With its deep port and proximity to abundant timber, Port Townsend in the nineteenth century was well on its way to becoming the commercial center of Washington State, but the railroads balked. Seattle eventually prevailed. Now, Port Townsend hinges much of its fortune on tourism and boat-building. The preservation of Victorian homes built during the boom years led to the establishment of the Port Townsend Historic District and placement on the National Register of Historic Places. It is now home to many retirees and destination of tourists (including my wife and me) who admire its quaint charms, good restaurants, recreational opportunities and local events, including the jazz festival in July and film festival in September. Port Townsend boasts a stunning setting by Admiralty Inlet and spectacular backdrop of the Olympic Mountains to the east, which buffer rainfall from the Pacific Ocean.