Art, Culture & Museums in Port Angeles
It’s easy to get inspired in Port Angeles. From a historic underground tour to art spotting for murals along the Port Angeles Mural Trail to Native American heritage celebrations and museums, Port Angeles is popping with culture galore. Explore the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center, galleries, or the umpteen pieces of street art scattered throughout the downtown core. Don’t miss a visit to the Elwha Klallam Carnegie Museum or the House of Learning (a.k.a. The Longhouse) for a glimpse into the lives and culture of the original native Klallam people. Plan to watch one of the native ceremonies honoring the past traditions including the annual Paddle to Seattle Canoe Journey and the First Salmon Ceremony.
Art in Port Angeles
Port Angeles’s art scene is bursting with not only art murals and sculptures all over town, but more monthly and annual events that show off the artsy side of this small town. Stroll through downtown where you’ll find outdoor sculptures done by northwest artists for the Art on the Town program, and even art created by children called “Fish on the Fence” located along the waterfront near the Landing Mall. The Art on the Town program includes the “Avenue of the People”, a 15-piece outdoor sculpture exhibit that conveys a story of everyday life in a small town, by Bob Stokes — who is a popular artist that resides in Port Angeles and is a driving force in the city’s art scene — and two other resident artists: Mike Anderson and Gray Lucier.
Follow a Mural Trail
For a few hours of fun, plan to hunt and seek around downtown Port Angeles for hand-painted art murals that tell a story of Port Angeles’ rich maritime heritage and Native American culture. The self-guided art tour to 12 murals scattered about our downtown can be done on foot or by bike. Download the map to chart your art course!
Second Weekend Art Walk in Downtown Port Angeles
Every second weekend of the month, downtown Port Angeles galleries, restaurants and shops stay open late to host various exhibits and art displays during the Second Weekend Art Walk. See the event calendar for special events at participating downtown shops, galleries and bars.
Stroll Through an Outdoor Art Park at the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center’s Webster’s Woods
For a nature-meets-art exhibit, head to Webster’s Woods Art Park at the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center. The five-acre gallery and Webster’s Woods Art Park features an indoor selection of art along with over 100 sculptures artfully placed –and camouflaged — among the trees. The art park is open year-round from dawn to dusk and is free. Don’t miss the Light Art Experience happening over the holiday season. The Port Angeles Fine Arts Center also hosts a number of annual events and special exhibits including the Summertide Festival, Summer Art Camps, a Fall Festival, and the Wintertide Festival. Check out the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center event calendar for more artsy events and art exhibits in Port Angeles
Native American Heritage & Culture in Port Angeles
The entire Olympic Peninsula is rich in Native American history and culture. There are eight local tribes residing on reservations along the coastal areas of the Peninsula who ceded their land back in 1855 and 1856: Lower Elwha Klallam, Jamestown S’Klallam, Port Gamble S’Klallam, Skokomish, Quinault, Hoh, Quileute, and Makah. Today, ancestors of the original people remain and work in conjunction with the Olympic National Park and cities within the Peninsula to honor their access to the National Park and other natural areas for traditional land use and spiritual beliefs and practices.
The Klallam people once spanned the entire northern portion of the Olympic Peninsula with 33 villages. Downtown Port Angeles was once the site of a historic village called č̕ixʷícən (Tse-whit-zen) believed to be over 2,700-years-old. The ancient village was discovered by the city in 2003 when Native American remains and artifacts were discovered during a city project at the base of Ediz Hook. The artifacts found are now on permanent display at the old Carnegie Library now called the Elwha Klallam Carnegie Museum. To date, this is the largest Native American village to be found in Washington state since the Makah’s Ozette village was uncovered in the 1970s.
ʔaʔk̓ʷustəƞáwt̓xʷ The House of Learning Longhouse is the first of its kind in the nation to be constructed on a college campus. The Longhouse at Peninsula Community College was constructed through collaboration with six local tribes. The building is actually sitting on tribal territory set back in a wooded area and welcomes all with a traditional totem pole carved from one large tree. Wander or stop in during an event to view the impressive collection of rotating Native American art from area tribes.
You may have noticed several street signs in downtown Port Angeles in both the English and the Klallam language. The city’s waterfront park and the street signs were created to honor the Klallam tribal history. The city worked with the Lower Elwha Klallam and Jamestown S’Klallam tribes in planning the 1.5-acre waterfront public park for all to enjoy.
Don’t miss the annual Tribal Canoe Journeys, a spiritual canoe voyage where paddlers heading to Canada land in Port Angeles at Hollywood Beach in downtown Port Angeles between July and August. The public is welcome to spectate and even participate.
Live Theater, Music & Special Events
Anytime of the year, you can catch a play at the historic Port Angeles Community Playhouse, a classical music performance by the Port Angeles Symphony, live music at downtown bars and venues, or at one of the annual festivals like the famous Juan de Fuca Arts Festival. For jazz music fans, Jazz in the Olympics brings famous jazz musicians to Port Angeles every April. Every October, the tradition of storytelling lives on at the Forest Storytelling Festival.
Museums & Historic Tours
There are numerous historic buildings throughout downtown Port Angeles. We highly recommend taking the Underground Heritage Tours, a city walking tour of Port Angeles’ underground network of tunnels and storefronts from the early 1900s. Another highlight is the restored Carnegie Library building just up the hill from downtown. The Clallam County Historical Society restored the original 1919 library into the Museum at the Carnegie. There are two exhibits on display, including the permanent “Strong People: Faces of Clallam County,” which tells the history of the entire county.
331 Things to Do – Art & Culture
How to Make the Most of Your CrabFest Weekend in Port Angeles, Washington
Seafood is a way of life on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. Celebrate this maritime magic with a weekend of food, music, art and Olympic National Park sights at the annual Dungeness Crab and Seafood Festival [...]
Top Holiday Events on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula
331 Things to Do in Port Angeles, Washington - #86 Holiday Event Extravaganza A Roundup of the Newest, Most Festive, and Merry Holiday Happenings in Port Angeles updated December 2, 2022 The holiday season [...]
Native American Heritage Month and Year-Round Tribal Culture Attractions in Port Angeles
331 Things to Do in Port Angeles, Washington - #76 Native American Heritage Month and Year-Round Tribal Culture Celebrations and Attractions The entire Olympic Peninsula is rich in Native American history and [...]
11 Reasons to Visit the Olympic National Park
Visit Port Angeles & Washington States' Largest National Park & Only UNESCO World Heritage Site Updated January 2023 1. Head to Hurricane Ridge for the Best View On [...]
Port Angeles Art Mural Trail
331 Things to Do in Port Angeles, Washington - #69 Follow a Mural Trail Hunt and seek for art! Discover a collection of vivid hand painted outdoor art murals that tell a small town's [...]
5 Reasons to Visit Port Angeles this Spring
331 Things to Do - #22 Groove, Ride & Run: A Spring Event Extravaganza in Port Angeles 5 Reasons to Visit Port Angeles this Spring for Spring (Last Updated January 2022) Hey, spring breakers, [...]
Cold Beer and Crustaceans
331 Things to Do in Port Angeles - #27 Cold Beer & Crustaceans (updated June 2019) Get a taste of Port Angeles' fall flavor at the annual Arts & Draughts Beer & Wine Festival [...]
3 Port Angeles Wineries You Must Visit During Crush Season
331 Things to Do - #33 Wine Down & Swirl at 3 Local Artisan Wineries in Port Angeles & Taste the Flavor of Fall on the Harvest Wine Tour - Updated on November 5, 2018 - It's [...]
5 Reasons to Visit Port Angeles this Fall
331 Things to Do - #13 Fall Events Extravaganza in Port Angeles, Washington (updated September 2022) Eat, drink, ride and run this autumn during an event extravaganza in Port Angeles! Hey foodie, fitness and [...]
Art & Culture Related Listings
The Port Angeles City Pier is located in the heart of downtown. The pier not only offers scenic vistas, fishing and ferry watching, but it's also the sight of many annual events like Concerts on the Pier and The Dungeness Crab Festival.Learn More
The Heatherton Gallery
The Heatherton Gallery, located near the Ferry terminal in downtown Port Angeles, features over 40 regional artists with pieces in a variety of mediums like pottery, jewelry, painting, wood carvings, and more. Visit them during the Second Weekend Art Walk every month to see what's new.Learn More
Elwha Klallam Carnegie Museum
The Elwha Klallam Heritage Center opened the Elwha Klallam Carnegie Museum in downtown Port Angeles to house its Native American art exhibits. The Elwha Klallam Museum is located in the old Carnegie Library. The famous tribal exhibits on display include Tse-whit-zen Village (c'ix'íc'n) where two-thousand-year-old artifacts were recovered from the…Learn More
You may have noticed the wildly painted entrance to Studio Bob while walking along Front Street. Studio Bob is where Bob Stokes, an internationally known multi-media artist and sculptor, shares his space with visiting artists and hosts many art and music events happening and during the Second Weekend Artwalk in downtown…Learn More
Elwha Klallam Heritage Center
The Elwha Klallam Heritage Center in Port Angeles is a beautiful building that was completed in 2010 and hosts special events open to the public focused on Native American culture, art and wildlife. The state-of-the-art meeting facility can also host groups of 10 to 80 people. There’s a full commercial…Learn More
Port Angeles Fine Arts Center
The Port Angeles Fine Arts Center and gallery is a place where you can picnic, hike and play. The gallery was designed with nature in mind. The five-acre gallery and Webster's Woods Art Park features an indoor selection of art along with over 100 sculptures artfully placed among the trees. The…Learn More
Harbor Art Gallery
The Harbor Art Gallery is a cooperative art studio and gallery displaying the art of many talented artists. You'll find one of the resident artists, Cindy, working clay on her wheel turning out vases or bowls. Meet the artists during the Second Weekend Art Walk every month. A range of specialty gifts and functional…Learn More
Port Angeles Underground Heritage Tours
Discover What's Buried Below Your Feet in Downtown Port Angeles! The Port Angeles Underground Heritage Tour takes you on a gripping historical tour of Port Angeles' past below and above ground. Every Friday and Saturday, tours depart from the Visit Port Angeles Visitor Center in downtown along the waterfront year-round.…Learn More