Port Ludlow

Discover your Northwest here...

Port Ludlow is a residential and recreational community at the west end of the Hood Canal Floating Bridge. Near Paradise Bay, Mats Mats Bay, South Point and Shine, Port Ludlow has been a thriving town since the mid-1800s.    Visitors can relax in lounge chairs by the bay, ride bikes, walk to the waterfalls, hike the Timberton Trail loop, go sailing or play golf on a 18-hole course recognized as one of the most beautiful courses in the world.  For seafood lovers, there are nearby clam and oyster beds.

For enthusiasts of water sports there are boats and kayaks to rent, a beautiful marina, harbor tour boats and charter boats for fishing and sailing.   Located a short distance to the north, is historic Port Townsend. With these options Port Ludlow has convenience of a larger community.  Three entrances to the Olympic National Park starting just 15 miles to the south round out the picture of a community that offers recreation, culture, and solace in one beautiful area.

Helpful links for more information:

Port Ludlow Golf Club

Port Ludlow Marina

Olympic Culinary Loop 

Lodging in Jefferson County ~ Information

Best dining in Jefferson County ~ Information

RV and Camping in Jefferson County (outside of Port Townsend) ~ Information

Migratory Bird Watching Tour ~ information

Admiralty Audubon Society ~ information

Current weather and forecasts: NWS

Washington State Ferries ~ Schedule

Jefferson County Historical Society Research Center ~ visit

Jefferson County Fairgrounds ~ visit

Jefferson County Web Cams ~ webCams

Area Boat Launches ~ ramps

Shellfish Safety ~ Shellfish map

Streamflow Data for fishers ~ Link

Port Ludlow Voice ~ News

Port Ludlow Today ~ Information

Port Ludlow Activities and Forums




The Resort At Port Ludlow is committed to maintaining the integrity of the natural environment of Port Ludlow. In developing the area with homes, resort amenities and public utilities, environmental concerns are foremost in determining what projects to undertake and when. The Port Ludlow Golf Course is a Certified Audubon Cooperative, and has been since November 2000. Port Ludlow maintains an interpretive trail system around Ludlow Bay and to Ludlow Falls and supported successful efforts to bring salmon back to the streams. Because of these efforts the Port Ludlow Marina has healthy colonies of eelgrass, a telling factor for astable aquatic environment.

Wildlife is abundant in the area; raccoons and black-tailed deer are spotted frequently. Otters can be seen frolicking in the bay with blue herons standing stoically in the mist. One of the most beautiful local attractions is Ludlow Falls, an active salmon stream and in season,visitors can watch as salmon fight their way upstream to begin a new generation. Osprey and kingfishers can be spotted, as well as pileated and other woodpeckers.

Of course, being located in the Northwest, the question everyone wants answered is "How much does it rain?" Port Ludlow is in a unique location, known affectionately as the "banana belt" of the Northwest, because it is in the “rain shadow” of the Olympic Mountains. As a result, it rains much less in the vicinity than most other locations in the Northwest. Although Port Ludlow still gets it’s share of rainfall throughout the year, even on rainy days, the scenery is spectacular.


Originally settled by members of the S’Kallam tribe, Port Ludlow was named in 1841 by Lieutenant Charles Wilkes during the first U.S.Navy expedition to map and chart Puget Sound and the waters around the Olympic Peninsula. Lieutenant Wilkes, (an inveterate name who also gave Elliott Bay its name) liked to pepper his maps with the names of crew members, friends and often, people he simply admired. Thus, he bestowed Port Ludlow with the name of a naval officer, Lt. Augustus C. Ludlow, who died in the War of 1812. In addition to naming PortLudlow, Wilkes also provided this area with one other footnote in history: Wilke’s obsessive personality and harsh discipline with the cat-of-nine-tails whip reportedly made him the model for Herman Melville’s character, ‘Ahab’ in Moby Dick.

In 1853, Port Ludlow became the site of one of theNorthwest’s earliest sawmills. The mill supplied lumber to pioneers and settlers until 1878, when Andrew Pope and Captain William Talbot purchased and invested heavily in renovating the operation. Pope & Talbot, as the venture came to be known, transformed the small mill into a thriving logging, milling,and shipping enterprise. Port Ludlow became a swash-buckling shipbuilding town and with the money came businesses, churches, and plenty of social options from card playing to dance halls. During this era, many homes were built for workers in the eastern style of the owners’ hometown of East Machias, Maine.

The 1950’s brought a new beginning to Port Ludlow with the increasing value of Port Ludlow’s Real Estate. Also the post-war population growth created a market for recreational home sites and property. In the early 1960s, a floating bridge was constructed to span the Hood Canal.The bridge became an economic lifeline for the eastern part of the Olympic Peninsula, providing easy access from Kitsap County and the greater Puget Sound area. In 1966, Pope & Talbot recognized that Port Ludlow’s unique water and mountain views and pristine natural environment — now with a fast bridge connection — would provide aspectacular place for a residential community. Thus, they began the first phase of a planned residential community at the site of the original Port Ludlow mill.

For more information visit ~ Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce.


Port Ludlow WA 98365

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Want to get local? These community sites are great resources for finding even more information on local happenings, local businesses and places to stay. Take a look at these sites and plan your trip to the Olympic Peninsula!