Charming Washington Towns That Highlight the Pacific Northwest’s Appeal

Friday Harbor | Credit: Yan Liu

With thick forests, coastal scenery, mountainous views, and pleasant communities, Washington’s abundant charm is evident to all who visit. Let’s explore some of the most charming towns in Washington State. 


Poulsbo is a small community along Liberty Bay. It is a lush, green place with evergreen forests, a coastal feel, and plenty to see and do. The waterfront is populated with small businesses, including high-quality local restaurants and excellent art galleries. The city is also known as Little Norway, as its charming architecture and natural landscape look quite similar to the Scandinavian country.


Anacortes is a pleasant seaside community on a drive-to island showcasing Washington’s coastal charm. This small city is home to just under 18,000 residents, but it is a popular destination thanks to its waterfront and outdoor adventure opportunities. Located on Fidalgo Island near Mount Erie, it is a hub for boating, hiking, and wildlife spotting, with orcas and whales just offshore. The town itself has antique shops, dining destinations, and a historic downtown area by the water.

Anacortes | Credit: Pavł Polø

Friday Harbor

Friday Harbor is one of the must-see communities on the San Juan Islands. This charming seaport may be home to less than 3,000 residents, but its scenery and culture contribute to why many visit the town throughout the year. Known for its many art galleries, museums, and dining destinations, it is very walkable. Friday Harbor is also considered one of the best places in the state for whale watching, so getting on the water is a must.

Friday Harbor | Credit: Eric Brehm


If you seek a gorgeous, laid-back town on the water, Langley may be ideal. This tiny city on Whidbey Island is home to around 1,200 residents and has a classic charm with antique stores, diners, art galleries, and boutique shops. The surrounding area is filled with beaches and marinas, making it a must-see summer destination. Nearby natural areas, such as Fort Casey State Park, are idyllic spots for a laid-back hike.


Sequim is a mountain town based at the bottom of the Olympic Mountains. These stunning mountains are an incredible backdrop, and views of the snow-capped peaks are visible throughout the community. In addition to its public parks and outdoor preserves, Sequim is known for the lavender that blooms throughout the summer. Visiting this city at the right time means spectacular shades of purple will greet you. 


Gig Harbor

Gig Harbor is a coastal city along the Puget Sound known for its maritime legacy that continues to this day. The small city of roughly 12,100 residents is a haven for boaters, comprising marinas and harbors filled with watercrafts of all shapes and sizes. The scenic waterfront is lined with shops and restaurants and offers views of Mount Rainier, and historical buildings date back to the town’s early days as a commercial fishing hotspot. 

Bainbridge Island

Bainbridge Island is a stunning city home to around 25,000 residents. It is just a 35-minute ferry ride from Seattle and is a popular destination thanks to its combination of art, scenery, and dining. Bainbridge Island has an abundance of galleries and museums, and outdoor enthusiasts can immerse themselves in incredible natural environments including beaches, forests, and camping areas. And for foodies, Bainbridge Island has plenty of delicious local restaurants and wineries.

Bainbridge Island
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