If you are interested in architecture, particularly Victorian architecture, Port Townsend will make you feel like a kid in a candy store.

Many people head to Port Townsend not for the beautiful waters and enjoyable water activities, or the mild weather, or even the interesting arts scene, but to explore the architecture and take in a town fully alive in its turn of the century buildings and houses.

Port Townsend was built on a dream and a promise – residents believed the town would be a great harbor in the west and they would become wealthy and prosper. Once reality set in and it became clear this would not happen, many residents abandoned their homes and businesses and moved elsewhere. Today, those Victorian homes have been inhabited by small businesses and restaurants and many of the larger homes have been turned into small hotels and bed and breakfast inns.

The Ann Starrett Mansion is a classic example of the Queen Anne style of architecture and, as well, a classic example of these beautiful old homes being turned into successful businesses. It operates now as a B & B and features a free standing staircase that coils upward. You’ll see it as soon as you enter the lobby.