The Victorian seaport of Port Townsend puts on the largest wooden boat festival in North America, enthusiastically sharing the richness of maritime culture. Port Townsend’s Annual Wooden Boat Festival has grown into a major event over the years, attracting boat enthusiasts from around the region and across the border. This hugely popular festival features 300 beautiful wooden boats to see and admire, plus 100 presentations and 50 exhibitors. Educational presentations include Marine Diesel Engine Maintenance, Boat Electrical Systems, Writing & Blogging, Buying and Selling Your Boat, and Sail & Repair Maintenance among other presentations.

Children love all the boat centric activities like the Kid’s Boatbuilding, Fish Printing T-Shirts, and Paddleboard Pool; or kids can participate in the Pirate’s Treasure Hunt held on Sunday. Join the Sea Shanty Circle and have fun singing age-old sea shanties (songs), or join the Admiral Jack Boat Tours. Longboat Rides on 1792 Capt. George Washington replicas are available on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Captain Cloud’s Adventure, a fun, interactive short play is a long-time family favorite held on stage (Saturday and Sunday) behind Artist Row; hay bales are used for seating. For a complete schedule of events, including live music performances, go to

Tickets to the Festival can be purchased online to be picked up at Will Call at the Main Gate entrance. Tickets can also be purchased at the Festival Main Gate – single-day tickets are $25 or choose the full three-day event for $50; discounts available for seniors and students; children 12 and under get in free. Admission includes access to all festival boats, 8 stages of presentations, exhibitors, music performances, and kids’ activities. For more information, go to A shuttle to the festival runs from the Haines Place Park & Ride (440-12th Street, Port Townsend) for a nominal fee.

Boaters can anchor off Port Townsend in settled weather, or find moorage at Port Townsend’s Boat Haven, City Dock, or Union Wharf when space is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Anchorage is also available offshore of Irondale, located south of Port Townsend. Another option is to take the free Kingston Fast Ferry (foot ferry) from Seattle to Kingston, then hop on the Jefferson County Kingston Express bus #14 to Port Townsend. Those living on Whidbey Island or Fidalgo Island can take the Keystone Ferry directly to Port Townsend.

For a fun-filled weekend on September 9 through September 11, visit the Annual Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend at Point Hudson, 431 water Street. Hours are Friday and Saturday from 9 am to 6 pm, and Sunday from 9 am to 4 pm. Sorry, no dogs allowed, but service dogs are welcome.

Photo: Northwest Maritime Center