Top 20 Washington State Trips

Port Hadlock

Port Hadlock is on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, 10 miles south of Port Townsend on Port Townsend Bay.

This small town is divided into Upper and Lower Hadlock.

Upper Hadlock has a few modern amenities including a gas station, hardware store, pharmacy and QFC.

Lower Hadlock is on the southern shore of Port Townsend Bay, in the oldest part of town. It features the historic Ajax Café, a pier, boat launch, picnic area, and a boat-building school.

The Old Alcohol Plant Inn is 1-mile south, with a waterview restaurant, rooms and beautiful gardens.

History:  Samuel Hadlock arrived here in 1870, and established the Washington Mill Company on the waterfront in 1884.  The area was soon bustling with saloons, hotels, a barber, general store and post office, and lots of maritime traffic. However, the mill closed in 1907 when it was clear the railway would not be extending to this area.

Samuel’s original home, Galster House, is still standing in Port Hadlock, and is now the popular Ajax Café. The land that his waterfront mill once stood on, is a sprawling 7-acre campus for the Northwest School of Modern Boat Building

Between 1910 to 1913 an alcohol plant known as Classen Chemical Company operated 1-mile south of the mill, converting mill dust to alcohol. It was run by the father of famous photographer Ansell Adams, but closed down after it was not profitable, then remained vacant for decades. In the 1980s the mill was converted to a boutique hotel, but closed down in 2011 when it went into foreclosure.  It re-opened as a hotel in 2016, with a wing dedicated to transitional housing, and is now known as the Old Alcohol Plant Inn.

3 best things to do at Port Hadlock 

1. Ajax Cafe

The Ajax Cafe is open for lunch and dinner at Port Hadlock, and has been serving delicious northwest cuisine since 1977.  It's also the original residence of the town's founder, Samuel Hadlock, constructed in 1890 when the waterfront was a busy town. It's the only surviving building from this era.

People travel far and wide to visit this destination restaurant, just steps from the waterfront. It's also a popular community hub for locals. The interior oozes ambiance, with an eclectic range of quirky decor (check hours, reservations are highly recommended).

2. Boat Launch & Picnic Area.

Launch a kayak or boat into Port Townsend Bay, from the pier or boat launch at Port Hadlock. There's even a few picnic tables to enjoy the views.

3. Old Alcohol Plant Inn

Visit the restaurant or book a room at the Old Alcohol Plant Inn at Port Hadlock, with a gorgeous setting on the bay. Explore the 3-acre gardens, or listen to live music while enjoying a meal on the patio.  Most of the inn's rooms have a waterview, and many come with a jacuzzi.

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