Port Angeles, Washington

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As cities go, Port Angeles really isn’t all that big, but considering its surroundings (the mostly unpopulated, undeveloped Olympic Peninsula), it feels like a big deal.  As a road-tripper, though, it’s exactly what you need: a place to gas up, stock up on supplies, eat a meal, and spend the night.  Even better, Port Angeles is the ideal base for a visit to Olympic National Park — the entrance to the popular Hurricane Ridge area of the park is on the south side of town.

Hotels in Port Angeles aren’t cheap, but I found a reasonable place to stay.  The Downtown Hotel offers rooms with a shared bath.  The idea may be a turn-off to most people, but the room was clean, it had a nice view (from those windows on the top floor), and the down-the-hall bathrooms were always clean and available.

It is a little strange to go into a hotel, and immediately climb a flight of stairs to get to the lobby (and then climb another flight of stairs to get to the room).  But, for about $70 dollars for the night, it was worth it (most other hotels in the area were well over $100).

This was the view from my room, the next morning.

The best part about staying downtown, is, well, you’re downtown.  I took a walk around the block, just before dark, and saw the Lincoln Theater, an old triplex that’s managed to stay open.

There’s also a small park at 1st Street and Laurel Street, in front of a staircase that takes you up the hill.

Even though downtown was quiet at night, there were several restaurants open.  I chose to have dinner at the Cornerhouse, a diner on the first floor of my hotel.  The food was good, the prices reasonable, and the place had a 1950’s feel to it — but not the phony kind of 50’s restaurant.  It simply felt like it hadn’t changed in a few decades.

The port at Port Angeles is just a couple of blocks from downtown.  From there, you can take a ferry to Victoria, the capital of British Columbia.

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