Port Ludlow is a hidden gem that offers the perfect blend of natural beauty and outdoor recreation. Nestled between the Olympic Mountains and the Hood Canal, this charming town boasts stunning water views, lush forests, and a mild climate that is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts. With over 26 miles of hiking and biking trails, kayaking and boating opportunities, and easy access to some of the best fishing in the Pacific Northwest, retirees will have plenty of opportunities to stay active and enjoy the great outdoors. Beyond the recreational opportunities, Port Ludlow also features a vibrant arts community, numerous restaurants, and a variety of shops, making it a well-rounded destination.
Affordability and Cost of Living
Port Ludlow has a cost of living that is 14.9 percent higher than the national average. Housing is the largest contributor to this, with the median home price in the area sitting around $629,600, which is significantly higher than the national median. Groceries, utilities, transportation, and healthcare are priced at or below national averages, making it more affordable to live here than in the Seattle or other Puget Sound area cities. Total sales tax in Port Ludlow is 9.1 percent, and consists of the 6.5 percent sales tax and the 2.6 percent Jefferson County sales tax. Property tax in Jefferson County averages 0.69 percent of a home's assessed value, significantly lower than the average property tax for the state which is 0.92 percent.
Washington has no personal income tax which is great for retirees on a budget. Property taxes can be high in Washington but there are programs to assist seniors with their taxes. Washington does not have estate or inheritance taxes. The downside to Washington is their high sales taxes, the combined state and local sales tax rate can be over ten percent in some areas.
Climate and Geography
Port Ludlow is in a moderate maritime climate zone which is characterized by mild, wet winters and warm, dry summers. Average winter temperatures range from the high 30s to the mid-40s (Fahrenheit), with occasional snowfall that typically melts quickly. Summer temperatures range from the mid-60s to the mid-70s, and humidity levels are generally comfortable. The area receives around 50 inches of rainfall per year, with the majority falling between October and April. Interestingly, Port Ludlow experiences relatively little fog compared to other areas of the Pacific Northwest, which allows for clear views of the area's beautiful scenery.
The geography and scenery in the Port Ludlow area is truly remarkable. The town is situated on the eastern shore of the Hood Canal, a fjord-like body of water that is known for its pristine waters and abundant wildlife. The Olympic Mountains rise to the west of Port Ludlow, providing a stunning backdrop for outdoor enthusiasts. The town is surrounded by lush forests and features numerous parks and nature reserves, including the Port Ludlow Marina and the Ludlow Falls Interpretive Trail. The nearby Olympic National Park boasts over a million acres of protected wilderness, including rugged coastlines, ocean beaches, old-growth forests, and alpine peaks. With all of these natural wonders at its doorstep, Port Ludlow is an ideal destination for retirees looking to explore the great outdoors.
Recreation, Shopping, and Entertainment
Port Ludlow is a charming town that offers a variety of recreational activities, cultural events, shopping, and entertainment for residents and visitors alike. Whether you enjoy exploring the great outdoors or immersing yourself in local history and culture, there is something for everyone in Port Ludlow.
Golf and Racquet Sports
- Port Ludlow Golf Course
- The Racquet Club at Port Ludlow
- The Golf Club at Hawks Prairie
Hiking, Biking and Boating
- Ludlow Falls Interpretive Trail
- Anderson Lake State Park
- Olympic Discovery Trail
- Port Ludlow Marina
Museums and Historical Sites
- Jefferson Museum of Art and History
- Naval Undersea Museum
- Fort Worden State Park
- Point Wilson Lighthouse
- Key City Public Theatre
- McCurdy Pavilion
- Port Townsend Film Festival
- The Upstage Theatre
- Port Ludlow Village Market
- Chimacum Corner Farmstand
- Downtown Port Townsend
Parks and Gardens
- Finnriver Orchard and Cidery
- Fort Flagler Historical State Park
- Chimacum Creek Primary School Garden
- Port Townsend Rose Theatre
Festivals and Fairs
- Wooden Boat Festival
- Port Townsend Farmers Market
- Olympic Music Festival
- Jefferson County Fair
Health and Wellness
Port Ludlow is a great location for 55+ active adults looking to maintain their health and wellness. Port Ludlow's closest medical center is the Jefferson Healthcare Medical Center in Port Townsend which is a 30-minute drive from Port Ludlow. Jefferson Healthcare Medical Center offers a range of medical services. There are a number of healthcare providers, including family practitioners and specialists, and is located within close proximity to major medical centers.
There are many options available for self-care in the, including several fitness centers and yoga studios. The nearby parks offer space for walking, biking, and hiking. The Port Ludlow Farmers Market is held every Wednesday during the summer months. The market offers a variety of fresh produce providing a great opportunity for residents to stock up on healthy locally grown produce and other foods while supporting local businesses.
Recommended Itinerary for Visiting Area 55+ Communities
Port Ludlow is a wonderful location for those considering buying a home in a local 55 and over retirement community. Located near the picturesque Puget Sound, it offers a tranquil and scenic environment with easy access to major urban centers. Below is a 2-day itinerary to help visitors familiarize themselves with the area and determine if it's the right place for you.
- Check into the Resort at Port Ludlow, a stunning waterfront hotel with excellent amenities.
- Grab breakfast or coffee at the Fireside Restaurant, which offers fantastic views of Ludlow Bay and a menu featuring locally sourced ingredients.
- Take a stroll through the Port Ludlow Marina and explore the charming shops and restaurants along the waterfront.
- Enjoy lunch at The Dusty Green Cafe, which offers a delicious menu with a focus on fresh seafood.
- Visit the Ludlow Falls Interpretive Trail, a picturesque trail showcasing beautiful waterfalls and serene forested areas.
- Dine at Farm & Sea Grill, which features seasonal menus inspired by the bounty of the Pacific Northwest.
- Grab breakfast or coffee at the popular Cove Coffee Company, which offers a cozy and inviting atmosphere.
- Meet with your local 55places expert retirement community partner agent, who will provide a comprehensive tour of the area's top 55+ communities.
- Enjoy lunch at the Chimacum Cafe, which serves up delicious sandwiches and homemade pies.
- Explore Olympic National Park, which is home to stunning beaches, hiking trails, and natural beauty.
Getting to Port Ludlow, WA
To reach Port Ludlow visitors have several transportation options depending on their preference and location. Here are the directions for getting to the area by different modes of transportation:
Port Ludlow is located on the Olympic Peninsula, approximately two hours northwest of Seattle. Visitors driving from Seattle can take the Bainbridge Island Ferry from downtown Seattle to Bainbridge Island and then drive west on State Route 305 to State Route 3. From there, visitors can continue north on State Route 3 to State Route 104 and then head west to State Route 19, which leads directly into Port Ludlow.
The closest major airport to Port Ludlow is Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), which is approximately an hour or so away. SEA is one of the largest airports in the United States and is served by many domestic and international airlines, including Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, and Southwest Airlines. Some major hubs with connections to SEA include Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, and Chicago. After arriving at SEA, visitors can rent a car or take public transportation to get to Port Ludlow.
Visitors arriving from the Seattle area can take a scenic ferry ride from the downtown Seattle Ferry Terminal to the Bainbridge Island Ferry Terminal. From Bainbridge Island, follow WA-305 N and then merge onto WA-3 N, which leads to the Hood Canal Bridge. Cross the Hood Canal Bridge and continue on WA-104 W until reaching Port Ludlow.
For visitors coming from the south, the Edmonds-Kingston Ferry connects Edmonds (north of Seattle) to Kingston, which is a short drive from Port Ludlow. The ferry crossing takes approximately 30 minutes, and reservations are recommended during peak travel times.
Although Port Ludlow doesn't have a train or light rail station, visitors can reach nearby cities such as Seattle or Bainbridge Island by train or bus and then continue their journey by car or ferry as mentioned above.