Port Angeles : Washington


What It Is Like to Retire in Port Angeles

Port Angeles, Washington is a busy port on the northern portion of the Olympic Peninsula and offers spectacular scenery and recreational opportunities. Victoria, British Columbia is across the Strait by ferry.  Port Angeles is home to Peninsula College. Population is about 18,000. This coastal town is tucked between the Olympic Mountains and the Strait of Juan de Fuca with a panoramic view of Victoria and southern Vancouver Island, British Columbia. It is surrounded the by the million acre Olympic National Park, this Pacific Northwest town has much to offer active retirees.  

For people who love the great outdoors, here you can live in a town that serves as the gateway to a world heritage park encompassing three diverse eco-systems.  Opportunities abound within Olympic National Park for walking and hiking (a number of paths are wheelchair accessible), camping, kayaking, birding, fishing and simply enjoying the work of Mother Nature, including some of the many geographically diverse cascades along the Olympic Peninsula Waterfall Trail.

Hurricane Ridge, a mountainous area within Olympic National Park, lies 17 miles to the south of the city, offering panoramic views of the Olympic Mountains along with downhill and cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in winter. In August, senior cyclists can participate in the Ride the Hurricane event, a recreational 18-mile ride on the famed Hurricane Ridge Road.

Those preferring less strenuous terrain will enjoy peddling through scenic pastures and lavender fields, across historic bridges and along coastal waterways on the Olympic Discovery Trail, which passes through Port Angeles’ historic downtown waterfront and City Pier.


Where to Retire in Port Angeles and Home Prices

Port Angeles's median home price was $254,000 in early 2019, according to Zillow.com. Average taxes were about $2000.
There are come active adult communities in the area (see link at top left).


What Is Special about Port Angeles

Port Angeles is a mecca for year-round sea-to-ski outdoor activity. A thriving arts community, artisan wine industry, and signature annual festivals give the town a flavor all its own, and offer plenty of opportunities for seniors to stay active through volunteerism. There is a state-of-the-art medical center and a beautiful community college. Kiplinger rates Washington as one of the 18 most pension-friendly states. The absence of a state income tax means that retirees pay no tax on pensions, social security benefits or other forms of retirement income. Washington offers a property tax exemption program for senior citizens who are at least 61 years old and have a combined disposable income of $35,000 or less.  There are nearby wineries. Continuing Education available at Peninsula College.

What Is Not Special about Port Angeles

This is a working port and it has some hard edges to it.

Who Will Like Retirement in Port Angeles

Port Angeles is ideal for people who enjoy mountain and outdoor recreation like hiking, boating, and golf.

Local Economy Is Driven by

Formerly a logging industry hub, Port Angeles’ economy has diversified to include motor yacht building, airplane parts manufacturing, and service jobs in healthcare, education, local and federal government. Tourism has become particularly important with Olympic National Park's headquarters located in the city and major attractions nearby.

Climate and Physical Environment

Port Angeles is in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains and therefore gets less rain than much of western Washington. Located on the Olympic Peninsula on the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It is situated within the “rain shadow” of the Olympic Mountain Range with a resulting temperate climate and low rainfall (average precipitation is a mere 25 inches per year). Winter temps are moderate.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Port Angeles is home to a talented and enterprising artist population that integrates art into everyday life for everyone to enjoy. Art on the Town is an outdoor gallery showcasing the work of a variety of artists in the pedestrian friendly downtown core. The work of one local artist transformed a single street into the Avenue of the People aligned with 16 abstract steel sculptures depicting ordinary folks.  On the second weekend of each month, 16 local galleries open their doors and offer hors d’oeuvres and music for visitors to enjoy while viewing special exhibits and permanent collections.


The crime rate is a bit above average in Port Angeles.

Medical Facilities

Award-winning Olympic Medical Center is located in PA. Its 80-bed acute-care facility includes a level-three trauma designated emergency department and surgical services. Outpatient services include cardiac, imaging, physical therapy and rehabilitation, laboratory, sleep medicine, surgical services, home health, and comprehensive regional cancer care at locations in Port Angeles and Sequim.


Port Angeles is located approximately 130 miles from SeaTac International Airport in SeaTac, Wash. Driving time is about 2 hours and 40 minutes. Kenmore Air Express offers a shuttle service from Port Angeles’ Fairchild International Airport to Seattle's Boeing Field (with shuttle service to SeaTac.
There is a ferry across the Strait to Victoria, B.C.

Valuable Links

Wikipedia link to Port Angeles
Washington state retirement guide
We are grateful to Deborah Black for much of the commentary and facts in this section, not to mention the excellent photos!

What people are saying about Port Angeles

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