The Best Small Towns in Washington to Relax in 2024

The Best Small Towns in Washington to Relax in 2024

Washington is the only American state named after a president. It is a geographically magnificent and culturally rich country that forms an important part of the country’s Pacific Northwest region. With its stunning mountain beauty, exceptional ocean and coastal views, and pretty valleys, lakes, and rivers, the Evergreen State is a spectacular destination for all ages. While such large urban centers as Seattle and Olympia continue to attract much of the attention, Washington State is also home to many smaller cities that offer just as much fun, charm, and beauty. So visit Washington in 2024 and its beautiful surroundings and explore these fantastic small towns that are always a great place to unwind and relax.

Port Angeles

View of the City Pier of Port Angeles.

View of the City Pier of Port Angeles.

The county seat of Clallam County, the beautiful city of Port Angeles is framed by the majestic Olympic Mountains, ensuring breathtaking views are never far from your door. With a history dating back to the 1790s and a current population of just over 20,000, Port Angeles is a wonderful community in which to immerse yourself in natural wonders and relax on vacation.

Known for its warm summers and mild winter temperatures, the city is a delight to visit year-round. The splendor of the Olympic Peninsula will never disappoint. Sail and swim along the seashore, while exploring natural landmarks like Hurricane Ridge (in Olympic National Park) is a highly photogenic excursion. And don’t forget the Strait of Juan de Fuca near the Canadian border! A drive down State Route 112 is also a delight, making Port Angeles a true treasure that travelers of all ages will appreciate.


Beach town of Coupeville, Washington, at low tide.

Beach town of Coupeville, Washington, at low tide.

Coupeville is home to a modest population of nearly 2,000 residents on Whidbey Island. The seat of Island County and located on the shores of Penn Cove, Coupeville can trace its history back to the 1850s and remains an extremely charming and historically fascinating community that is great for a relaxing and laid-back vacation. Ideal for a weekend getaway, guests can admire the inviting waterfront and its selection of restored 19th-century buildings, while trips to Forts Ebey and Casey State Parks are fantastic ways to experience living history.

Back in town itself, you can relax with a stroll along the water or a relaxing stretch of beach. Add to that a nice selection of restaurants, shops and other businesses, and Coupeville will leave a positive impression on all visitors.


Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center in Sequim, Washington, USA.
Sequim, Washington, USA. Image credit: CL Shebley /

Another beautiful town in the Olympic Mountains, Sequim is located along the Dungeness River, home to just over 8,000 residents. Sequim is considered the sunniest place in all of Washington State and averages just 16 inches of rainfall per year. Add to that the mild temperatures year-round, and this community is truly a pleasure to experience whenever you visit. Admire such beautiful destinations as the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge and its natural habitat for hundreds of mammal and bird species, and simple walks along the river are never a letdown.

An informative day can be spent at the Sequim Museum & Arts, where the area’s geological history is highlighted and excavated fossils can be examined. Add to that a charming waterfront, local shops and restaurants, and of course plenty of sunny days. Relaxing in Sequim makes for a perfect and relaxing vacation.


View of Walla Walla, a small city in Eastern Washington, at sunset.

View of Walla Walla, a small city in Eastern Washington.

The city of Walla Walla bears the same name as the indigenous peoples and is the seat of the county of the same name. It currently has a population of almost 34,000 and its history dates back to the early 19th Walla Walla has been a welcoming and charming place for a relaxing vacation for centuries. Close to the Oregon border, the city is surrounded by the Blue Mountains in the Walla Walla Valley, making for a scenic experience for all. Admire stunning rolling green hills and golden wheat fields, while mild winters and hot summer temperatures welcome guests year-round.

Additionally, visitors can explore historic landmarks such as Fort Walla Walla (1858) and parts of the famous Oregon Trail, providing a journey back in time to the Wild West era. Finally, wine connoisseurs will definitely appreciate Walla Walla and the surrounding region, where approximately 120 different wineries continue to offer guests some of the tastiest locally produced alcohols and spirits.

Gig Harbor

Spring day in Gig Harbor, Washington.

Spring day in Gig Harbor, Washington.

Just over 12,000 residents call the quaint town of Gig Harbor home, beautifully situated along a one-mile stretch of Puget Sound. Long home to indigenous peoples, Gig Harbor’s modern history dates back to the mid-1800s. Also known as the “Maritime City,” it is in close proximity to the Olympic Peninsula and several state parks. Enjoy scenic mountain views (including Mount Rainier), take a boat tour, enjoy a delicious meal at one of the many waterfront restaurants, or stroll along the marinas. Gig Harbor is a lovely slice of small-town life, perfect for relaxing and unwinding.


Scenic view of Stevenson, Washington, featuring residential homes, lush green trees, and a quiet waterfront against a backdrop of forested hills.
Stevenson, WA, waterfront area with homes and forested hills. By Chris Light, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Stevenson, the county seat of Skamania County, is an exquisite mountain community located in the unique Columbia River Gorge. Stevenson has a population of just under 1,500 and the scenic wonder of the famous Columbia River Gorge is on full display. Guests can expect extraordinary views, mountain peaks, lush green hills and of course, the famous Columbia River. Visit attractions like the Bridge of the Gods where you can hike, bike, swim and camp.

An afternoon at the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center Museum is great fun for the whole family. Unique artifacts and other exhibits educate and delight visitors. Finally, when visiting Stevenson, you should also spend a night or two at the Skamania Lodge, which offers a very authentic rustic setting on 190 acres.

Port Townsend

Scene on Water Street in historic Port Townsend, Washington, USA. Two older men check social media.
Water Street in Port Townsend, Washington, USA. Image credit: Gareth Janzen /

Located on the Quimper Peninsula, Port Townsend is the county seat of Jefferson County. The charming and quaint community has a population of just over 10,000, its history dates back to the 1790s, and it has retained its welcoming historic character. Spend time in Port Townsend’s historic district and marvel at several restored 19th-century buildings and landmarks, many of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

These include the Quimper Inn and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (1865), among others. Add to this a very enticing waterfront and several lovely stretches of beach, and Port Townsend becomes one of Washington’s most wonderful destinations for relaxation and respite. And with the Cascade Mountains as a natural backdrop, there are plenty of natural attractions to be found in this lovely little town.

Relax and unwind in Washington’s charming small towns

Northwestern Washington State, also known as the “Evergreen State,” is a beautiful cultural and natural attraction. As part of the country’s Pacific Northwest region, you can enjoy beautiful mountains, lakes, rivers, valleys and ocean vistas, while many of its cities are steeped in fascinating American history. Washington State’s small towns are truly remarkable places to relax and unwind while enjoying the conveniences of modern life. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventure, historical fascination or just a place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, these and other incredible Washington cities await and create very special memories for visitors of all ages.