WISH YOU WERE HERE~ A Photologue Of Our Travels.

A Day Trip To Port Gamble, Washington

Last week I indulged in a day trip to this historic, tiny, picture-perfect town positioned on the eponymous Gamble Bay, which is part of the Hood Canal along the Kitsap Peninsula. Unless you are familiar with the irregular Washington Coast, and the Puget Sound, this will mean absolutely nothing, and I get that.  I have lived in Anacortes almost 15 years and I still need a good visual of the numerous islands, peninsulas, bridges, and ferry routes in the northwest corridor of our state in order to orient myself to the vast unfamiliar territory. To help you out, I have provided a link to a good map of the area here.

Port Gamble was founded in 1853 when a large sawmill opened at water's edge. The mill, which closed in 1995, was the longest continuously operating sawmill in the United States. Port Gamble was once home to 250 men, women and children who worked for Puget Mill Company. 

Here is an excerpt from Port Gamble's Website~

...Kitsap Peninsula situated on the shores of scenic Hood Canal. Explore the 120-acre National Historic Landmark complete with picturesque, turn-of-the-century buildings filled with shops, an historic church, breathtaking views, expansive grounds and New England style houses on maple and elm tree-lined streets.​

This is all very true. Port Gamble is one of the most lovely and enchanted small towns I have ever visited. I was very much caught off guard when I happened to drive through town en route to a doctor visit about a month ago. I was just following Siri's directions, and was certainly not expecting to simply happen upon such a charming and inviting burrow. Seriously speaking, this little patch of paradise was just suddenly there; like a rural town in Anywhere, USA. You blink and it's behind you.

Anyway, doctor days are best left unto themselves. So I made an appointment with myself to return to Port Gamble at a less-frenzied time.

The town is without flaw. I am guessing there are a set of ordinances covering a variety of can do and cannot do topics. The public areas are pristine and so are the private residences. The exterior home colors are subtle and tastefully compatible. There are only a limited number of retail businesses in a centralized tract, which is great. The town doesn't feel at all like a tourist trap. And there is white picket fencing around everything.

Allow me to share my photos~

This is what shopping looks like in Port Gamble.

I have a soft spot for old wooden ladders and Americana, so this immediately caught my eye.

I like old and rusty wheelbarrows, but I'm not really attracted to this pink one.

I really like these motel chairs however. 

There weren't a ton of shops, but rather a sprinkling. And each shop is housed within an historic residence, barn or other original structure. For instance, the original post office was the visitors' center. And an old barn is the quilt shop. There was a conspicuous absence of new construction, which is one of the many reasons Port Gamble is so fantastic!

Here is a sampling of residential life~

Wow, I could move in!

There are gardens and flowers everywhere~

And did I mention picket fences?

I had lunch in an old filling station, now home to Butcher and Baker.

Out of this world food, coffee and baked goods.

And I spent a little bit of money at Quilted Strait~

I don't quilt but I do sew other things. This is a very cool shop.

Are you are feeling the love? I am determined to go back with Larry in tow. I think he would enjoy spending a few hours there with me. Though he doesn't really like shopping, there are so many large, old trees in Port Gamble. Larry would be content to sit in the shade and read a magazine or browse the internet while I browse the boutiques. Whether you are traveling this way, or you live in the Pacific Northwest, make Port Gamble a destination. I mean really make a point of seeing it. You won't be disappointed. An authentic step back in time is never a letdown.  

Thank you for your readership. I am so, so busy holding down the fort while Larry is away, I haven't had time to share my recent projects. But I have some fun stuff in the works. Please visit again soon!



  1. Dana,
    What a time capsule of Americana! If I were anywhere near Port Gamble, I would love visiting there. Your photos are beautiful and captured the spirit of this small town.

    There are 3 of us working together to start a new linking party with a launch date of Sept. 11 at 4:00 (CDT) I would love for you to share your blog photos AND to share your Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest site photos.


  2. What a lovely town! It's so picturesque! You have showcased the homes in your beautiful photography! This looks like a town I would love to visit!