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Old 06-16-2013, 12:52 PM   #1
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Ferries to Port Townsend

We are driving into Washington State on Rt 2 from Michigan. We're heading for Olympic National Park for a stay. From reading many posts in archives, it appears that Port Townsend is a good place to use as a location for the northern part of the park.

We're pulling a 28' 5th wheel.

We haven't been able to find much on the best ferry routes to avoid driving all the way south on I 5 and then back up. Here's what we think we know:

We can drive to Coupeville, Wa and take a ferry to Port Townsend.

We can drive to Mukilteo, Wa and take a ferry to Clinton, Wa and then drive to Coupeville and take the ferry to Port Townsend.

So, is our first assumption about Port Townsend on target? Then, any comments on the ferry options?
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Old 06-16-2013, 03:43 PM   #2
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We've done the Coupeville ferry which was great! It'll let you off right in Port Townsend and yes, this is a great area to stay. If you can get into Fort Worden State Park - the beach campground (not the wooded one up on the hill), it's a wonderful place to stay. There are quite a few other places in P.T. all the way to Port Angeles and Olympic Nat'l Park is convenient to all - some parts of the park. The park is huge and if you want to explore the western part - rain forest (highly recommended), then you should move and get a campsite over in that direction. With your 28' you'll find lots of places...with our 40' we stayed in Forks at the RV park to explore that area. Have a great trip!
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Old 06-17-2013, 02:26 PM   #3
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Quick get off Hwy 2 at Wenatchee and head north on 97 or 97a to Patereos (sp.) and go over Hwy 20. You won't regret it. It is spectacular and you can follow Hwy 20 onto Whidbey Island. Stay at Fidalgo RV or Swinomish Casino RV park if you want to do the San Juans. Deception Pass state park is beautiful too. Take the ferry to Port Townsend. If you can't get into the state park there, try Fort Flagler. Then head down the Hood Canal side. Then over to the coast. Feel free to pm me if you want specific answers to your questions.
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Old 06-18-2013, 07:20 AM   #4
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Thanks for the responses. We will definitely plan on using the ferries. We're still researching the island areas, Port Townsend, and Port Angeles and trying to figure out how much time to allow to see those areas. Then we'll work our way around to the Western side of Olympic NP, eventually heading down to the Oregon coast.
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Old 06-18-2013, 07:58 PM   #5
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There is a very nice campground in Port Townsend at the north end of town. It is co-located with the marina. Walking distance to downtown.

ALSO, don't forget to call ahead a day or so to get reservations on the ferry. Almost a necessity for an RV. Otherwise you may have a long, long wait. ps...there is also a state park CG near the ferry departure point.
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Old 06-18-2013, 08:38 PM   #6
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Port Townsend and the ferry ride are positively lovely. We did that last summer and loved it. Many nice heritage buildings and houses in Port Townsend and there is a great ice cream shop there that you have to visit... You might be a bit disappointed with Port Angeles IMHO. Port Townsend is THE place to visit.

If you are driving down the west coast of Washington and the Oregon Coast, you'll have a truly memorable experience. May I suggest horseback riding on the beach in Oregon at Pacific City? There is a fabulous Thousand Trails cg in Pacific City too. I don't think you have to be a member now.

On the south coast of Washington, there's Ocean Mist and Ocean Shores which are supposed to be nice. We are camping at one of them for 2 weeks this year (haven't decided which one yet).

Yes, do NOT travel up I-5 through Seattle for anything. It is almost as bad as LA. Ever since Bill Gates moved there it is bad almost 24/7. The west side of Puget Sound is a nice drive but you must do the ferry. If you have the time, a visit to one or more of the San Juan Islands is also positively lovely. The ferry trip there is very cool!
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Old 06-19-2013, 01:32 PM   #7
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Thanks for the additional responses. We're closing in on some final plans.
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Old 06-19-2013, 01:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick1142 View Post
There is a very nice campground in Port Townsend at the north end of town. It is co-located with the marina. Walking distance to downtown.
IMHO this is not a very nice campground to stay at unless you absolutely have to be very close to the water. In some sections of this park the RVs are so close together that all you will see from your window is the side of someone else's rig. Both CG's at Ft. Worden SP are far nicer than this.

Although a previous post seemed to recommend only the beach CG at Ft. Worden, the "upper" CG is quite nice also. The beach has full hookups; the upper one is in a forested setting and has only electric and water.
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Old 06-19-2013, 03:34 PM   #9
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Yes, the upper campground of Fort Worden State Park is o.k. but not as good as the beach campgroung. To us it is thick with trees so it doesn't let in much light - or sun - when it shines.
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Old 06-19-2013, 04:56 PM   #10
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Another vote for SR-20. We much prefer it to US-2. The road is better, the scenery is fantastic and the towns you go through are interesting.

Also, there's a SP immediately next to the Coupeville ferry terminal. It was upgraded before last season, but since it's fairly close to home, we haven't used it.
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Old 06-20-2013, 07:13 AM   #11
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Thanks for the responses. We were not able to get into either of the Fort Worden campgrounds. On the advice of a friend who has spent lots of time in the area, we reserved a spot in Sequim for a week.

That will allow us to do Port Townsend, Victoria, the norther part of Olympic, and also give me some time to work a little bit. Since we'll be on the road for 6 weeks, I can't ignore my clients the entire time!
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