7.2 out of 10

Port Hadlock-Irondale

48.0257784407654 -122.778910726211
Great for
  • Clean & Green
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Parking
  • Peace & Quiet
Not great for
  • Nightlife
  • Public Transport
  • Shopping Options
  • Medical Facilities
Who lives here?
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers


4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5

"Rural Olympic Peninsula outpost on the way to Port Townsend"

Port Hadlock-Irondale is a small community where highway 19 and highway 116 meet, on the Olympic Peninsula. Though by no means a city, Port Hadlock dwarfs tiny neighboring Chimacum, which is truly a “one stop sign” town.

Unlike well-known Port Townsend 16 miles to the north, Port Hadlock has a rural Washington culture. While Port Townsend is a tourist destination full of well-off retired professionals and artists, Port Hadlock is more of a blue collar working community.

Cost of Living:
Housing costs around here are about 30-40% less than living in Seattle. It goes up when you get into Port Townsend, but the rural areas are still very affordable.

If you’re looking to buy, there is a LOT of land for sale out here. In fact, it’s tougher to find land with a house on it, so it’s ideal for people looking to build their own dream home.

Port Headlock has a nice library, as well as a large post office. Many rural residents choose to get their mail delivered here, because USPS doesn’t deliver to all addresses in the area.

“Zoogs Caveman Cooking” is a bittersweet local story. It was once a dingy place, desperately in need of a remodel. Then, it was accepted to be on the show Restaurant: Impossible on the food network, and got a complete remodel. The host of the show was quoted saying it was “the worst he’d ever seen” before the remodel. But unfortunately, after the buzz of the brand re-opening wore down, there just wasn’t enough business in little Port Hadlock, and it wasn’t long until it was out of business. It’s now for sale and boarded up.

Fiesta Jalisco is pretty good for Americanized Mexican comfort food. Your standard enormous plates of burritos with a side of rice and beans smothered in cheese.

But my favorite is Scampi & Halibuts seafood grill. It’s nothing fancy, housed in a long building that feels like a manufactured home, but the greasy fish and chips are SO yummy. You can choose cod or halibut.

If you’re looking for a park, you could head to Anderson Lake, but it’s lost it’s appeal for many people when it got an algae bloom a couple years ago, making it temporarily off-limits to people and dogs alike.

There’s also HJ Carrol Park, which is on Rhody Drive/hwy 19, across from the intersection with Anderson Lake Road. There are local sports games here, and if you’re a runner, there’s a great path around the perimeter. It features quite a few amenities here for events, like large pavilions and concessions.

There is one very nice, little-known trail on neighboring Indian Island. Indian Island is a Naval base with very limited access. But one part of the island that is open to the public is a short trail that runs along the shore and in the trees. I’ve been here many times for a leisurely stroll. And though I personally have never done it, I’ve seen people digging for seafood (I think clams or geoduck) on the beach here occasionally. But if you do, check the conditions carefully, because there has been toxic shellfish here, which is extremely dangerous.

My favorite park around here is a few miles north—Fort Townsend State Park. A former military fort, it has miles of wooded trails, mostly flat, that you can meander through. There are signs up saying to hike with a buddy because of cougars, but I’ve never actually heard of a cougar sighting. There’s also beach access and camping here. The only downside is that sometimes the eggy smell of the paper mill across the water in Port Townsend wafts to the beach….
  • Beautiful location
  • Limited housing available
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers

Best Neighborhoods to Live In

Best Cities to Live In

Tell everyone what you love about your neighborhood!

Leave a Review

Have a question?

How are schools? Is the area safe? What about public transit options?" Why not ask our community of locals!

Ask Now

Selling or Renting Your Home?

Maximize the selling price of your home by sharing what you love about your suburb to increase its appeal...

Leave a Review

Corporate Relocation Manager?

Enable your employees to share local knowledge in a private, trusted environment with those relocating... while building community.

Learn More