Port Townsend is a city on the Quimper Peninsula in Jefferson County, Washington, United States. The population was 9,113 at the 2010 United States Census and an estimated 9,704 in 2018. It is the county seat and only incorporated city of Jefferson County. In addition to its natural scenery at the northeast tip of the Olympic Peninsula, the city is known for the many Victorian buildings remaining from its late 19th-century heyday, numerous annual cultural events, and as a maritime center for independent boatbuilders and related industries and crafts. The Port Townsend Historic District is a U.S. National Historic Landmark District. It is also significantly drier than the surrounding region due to being in the rainshadow of the Olympic Mountains, receiving only 19 inches or 480 millimeters of rain per year.
The bay was originally named "Port Townshend" by Captain George Vancouver in 1792, for his friend the Marquis of Townshend. It was immediately recognized as a good safe harbor, although strong south winds and poor holding ground often make small-craft anchorage problematic off the town's waterfront.
The official European-American settlement of the city of the same name took place on April 24, 1851. American Indian tribes located in what is now Jefferson County in the mid-19th century included the Chimakum (or Chemakum), Hoh (a group of the Quileute), Klallam (or Clallam), Quinault, and Twana (the Kilcid band — Anglicized as "Quilcene").