“With my last breath, I’ll exhale my love for you. I hope it’s a cold day, so you can see what you meant to me. ” – Jarod Kintz
Port Angeles, WA – Hey folks, it’s that time of the year again, and if you’re not the outdoor-type, you ought to become one A.S.A.P.! Otherwise, you’re going to miss out on the beautiful weather that comes with spring each year. But, now that we’ve mentioned it – the weather can be a strange thing, right? Depending on if it’s sunny, raining, misty, or a full-on snow blizzard, you’re looking at a different type of adventure.
But, here’s the thing: there’s this small town, right, and it’s one of the most memorable places we’ve been to recently. And the thing that’s gotten us addicted is the fact that you can have fun in it regardless of what the weather is like! It’s called Port Angeles, WA, and we’d like to share with you a little something about this gorgeous place.
A Thriving Small Town With Plenty Of History
The county seat of Clallam County, WA, Port Angeles is also the largest city in the county. It has a population of approximately 19,100, and its origins can be traced back to the late 1700s. In fact, in 1791, Spanish explorer Francisco de Eliza dubbed the harbor in the city Puerto de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles, meaning “Port of Our Lady of the Angels.” However, the name was shortened and partially Anglicized to its current form, following the settlement by English speakers from the United States, circa mid-19th century.
Interestingly, during a 275-million dollar reconstruction project in August of 2003, the site of Port Angeles was found to be the largest prehistoric Indian village and burial ground found in the United States. This because the area was long occupied by succeeding cultures of indigenous peoples before it was eventually claimed for Spain by de Eliza.
It Boasts A Symbiotic Relationship With Its Surrounding Natural Treasures
Today, the first thing one learns about Port Angeles is the fact that it’s the gateway to one of the most popular natural spaces in Washington. It’s a place we’ve written about in one of our previous articles, called the Olympic National Park and Hurricane Ridge. This incredible jewel of nature can be found just 17 miles from downtown. That means that if you ever feel like going out and exploring the surrounding outdoors during your Port Angeles vacation, you’ll have the perfect backdrop!
Then again, if you prefer to spend your time here exploring everything this small town has to offer, that’s an equally interesting choice. We say “interesting” because there are many examples of why this is an awesome place to visit and live. The City Pier is definitely one of them, and it’s located in the downtown area.
On the other hand, the Strait of Juan de Fuca is also a good choice. Located to the north, it’s where kayakers paddle around a sandy beach, with smaller vessels bringing fresh-caught crabs to the docks. Massive ones also float by, filled with cargo and lumber. A simple stroll through either of these places (or both) is bound to be a memorable experience, at the very least.
Port Angeles, WA – You Better Get A Checklist Ready When Visiting
Generally speaking, high community involvement, low crime and low food costs make Port Angeles one of the best places to live in the nation. And the same absolutely applies to visitors. Therefore, highly-ranked natural amenities are just part of the equation.
And speaking of food, Port Angeles is a hub for crab lovers across the region. Harvested by local fishermen, the Dungeness crab is the main attraction of the city’s annual Crabfest. Now, that’s a shindig we definitely recommend. Every year, steam from large kettles of boiling crab carries the smell of buttery seafood through the town’s streets.
Finally, the modern-day Port Angeles is successfully tied to its past as a home for Native Americans, logging town and an outpost in the Pacific Northwest. This is thanks to the murals, sculptures and other artwork found throughout the town. Filled with restaurants, bookstores, gift shops, galleries and cafes, the iconic downtown area overlooks the bay. It represents a mandatory experience for every out-of-towner. And rightfully so.