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Introducing Port Angeles

Despite the name, there's nothing Spanish or particularly angelic about Port Angeles, propped up by the lumber industry and backed by the steep-sided Olympic Mountains. People come here to catch a ferry for Victoria, Canada, or base themselves here for excursions into the northern parts of Olympic National Park. The town itself is not a draw.

Named Puerto de Nuestra SeƱora de los Angeles by Spanish explorer Francisco Eliza in 1791 (the name was later anglicized), Port Angeles entered history in 1862 when president Abraham Lincoln created a navy and military reserve around the natural harbor and made it only the second planned city in the US (after Washington, DC). Though the fishing industry has declined in recent years, Port Angeles has added dynamism to its cultural life with a fine-arts center and numerous public sculptures.