Fort Worden State Park
Capping Point Wilson, Fort Worden, along with Fort Flagler on Marrowstone Island and Fort Casey on Whidbey Island, served as the “Iron Triangle” of forts protecting the entrance to Puget Sound.
Fort Worden’s guns were never fired in battle, and advances in military technology made them obsolete almost as soon as they were in place. After the army left in 1953, Fort Worden served as a state detention center before becoming a state park in 1973.
If the place seems familiar, it may be because much of the movie An Officer and a Gentleman was filmed here.
Many of the fort’s buildings remain, the highlight being the Commanding Officer’s House (10 a.m.–5 p.m. daily June–Aug., noon–4 p.m. Sat.–Sun. Mar.–May and Sept.–Oct., one weekend per month Nov.–Feb., $2 adults, $1 kids 6–12, free for kids under 6) containing period Victorian furnishings.
One of the old barracks buildings now houses the Coast Artillery Museum (360/385-0373, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. daily July–Aug., 11 a.m.–4 p.m. daily the rest of the year, $2 adults, $1 kids 6–12, free for kids under 6), where you’ll learn how the enormous gun batteries out on the coastal bluffs worked.
Don't miss the photo op provided by the 1917 Point Wilson Lighthouse. No public tours of the building are offered, but the beach here makes for wonderful sunup or sundown strolls, with dramatic Mt. Baker seeming to rise directly across the water.
Contemporary facilities include a campground, boat launch, tennis courts, underwater scuba-diving park, rhododendron garden, hiking trails, and a hostel. Also visit the Port Townsend Marine Science Center (360/385-5582, www.ptmsc.org, hours and days vary by exhibit, $5 adults, $3 kids 6–17, free for kids under 6, discounts Nov.–Mar.) offering intimate, hands-on relationships with local sea creatures, beach walks, and evening slide shows and lectures.
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition