Chetzemoka Park—Port Townsend’s crown jewel

Perched on a bluff overlooking stunning Admiralty Inlet, Chetzemoka Park is the pride of Port Townsend and rich with history.

When settlers arrived in Port Townsend in the early 1850s, they were warmly welcomed by Chief Chetzemoka and his S’Klallam tribe. The chief offered a helping hand to settle the new seaside town, befriending many of the grateful pioneers.

When the city council donated land to build its first public park in 1904, hundreds of local volunteers joined together to clear several acres and plant flowers, shrubs and an expansive lawn. The finished park was fittingly named for Chief Chetzemoka to honor his memory and the important role he played during Port Townsend’s early days.

Today, the park’s natural beauty and tranquil, lush setting provide a welcoming and inviting oasis. Stroll lavish flower gardens and meander under towering old-growth evergreens. Saunter winding paths along the wooded cliff and walk under a rose-covered trellis to a tropical water garden.

While the kids enjoy the playground, feast your eyes on impressive views of the Cascade Mountains and the Salish Sea, then take the steps to the beach below. When the tide’s out, you can walk north to Fort Worden or south to Point Hudson in downtown Port Townsend.

The gazebo/bandstand is an architectural nod to the town’s Victorian homes, and the perfect spot for weddings, picnics and family reunions. A storybook-like kitchen shelter, framed by a cottage garden, is available to rent for special events and occasions.

Chetzemoka Park is a year-round destination and an idyllic setting for a quiet lunch, serene stroll or a day of play for kids and families. Be sure to visit in August to enjoy a bit of the Bard. Shakespeare in the Park is presented Thursday through Sunday evenings by the Key City Public Theatre.

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