Friends Charlotte Schell and Kristine Trueman, both of Vancouver, B.C., shop in Field Notes Home & Garden & Gifts in Sequim. Trueman said she’s not surprised to learn about Sequim being nominated as one of the “Best Small Towns for Shopping” by USA Today. She’s been coming to Sequim for 20 years with her husband for a golf tournament and uses the opportunity to buy gifts for family and friends. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Friends Charlotte Schell and Kristine Trueman, both of Vancouver, B.C., shop in Field Notes Home & Garden & Gifts in Sequim. Trueman said she’s not surprised to learn about Sequim being nominated as one of the “Best Small Towns for Shopping” by USA Today. She’s been coming to Sequim for 20 years with her husband for a golf tournament and uses the opportunity to buy gifts for family and friends. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

USA Today nominates Sequim, Port Townsend in contests

Sequim was No. 1 on Sunday in the Best Small Town for Shopping in the USA Today 10Best Reader’s Choice Awards, while Port Townsend was in 11th place for Best Coastal Small Town.

The contests are driven by internet votes at https://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-coastal-small-town/ and www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-small-town-for-shopping/.

Locals can vote once a day on each of their devices through 9 a.m. May 14. Winning towns will be announced May 18.

Barbara Hanna, Sequim’s communications and marketing director, said Friday that the town had risen from 18th to first place.

She said this nomination is a great nod to Sequim’s businesses.

“We have a lot of family-owned, one-of-a-kind stores. We really have an array of shopping opportunities,” she said. “It really does make a great place to shop especially with its shop local movement.”

According to the USA Today 10 Best Readers’ Choice 2018 website, “Sequim, an old mill town on the Olympic Peninsula, enjoys a walkable downtown filled with gift shops and cafes, and punctuated by a historic grain elevator.

“This unusually sunny small town (at least by Washington standards) is famous for succulent Dungeness crab, as well as the fields of fragrant lavender at its outskirts,” the website says.

Port Townsend was in ninth place in the Best Coastal Small Town category on Thursday but by Sunday had sunk to 11th place.

Christina Pivarnik, city marketing director, urged residents to vote daily on each of their devices to push Port Townsend back into the Top 10.

“We would appreciate everyone voting every day for Port Townsend. You can vote on all your devices daily, i.e. smart phone, tablet, laptop, computer.

“We’re always thrilled when we receive a national recognition like this,” she said.

“Of course, we love the bragging rights of these competitions, but more importantly, they provide a fantastic opportunity to promote Port Townsend across the country and through social media. Being in the Top 10 goes viral and often leads to other similar accolades.”

The USA Today website described Port Townsend as originally intended to be a major harbor on the West Coast, “and while that never came to fruition, the town retains much of its historic charm. Water Street passes through the heart of the historic district, where architecture buffs can spot numerous Victorian buildings, like the Hastings Building and the Rose Theater.”

Both Sequim and Port Townsend are among 20 small towns throughout the nation with populations of 25,000 or less that have been nominated by a panel of travel experts in each category.

Orcas Island is the only other Northwest town to be nominated in the shopping category. Port Townsend is the only Northwest town to be nominated in its category.

In 2017, Sequim was awarded the title of Best Northwestern Small Town while Port Townsend came in fourth in that category in the USA Today 10Best Awards contests.

Shenna Younger, president of the Sequim-Dungeness Chamber of Commerce, agreed with Hanna’s sentiment about Sequim’s shopping offerings.

“Sequim has one of the most diverse and eclectic shopping experiences to offer our residents and tourists and out-of-town guests,” she said. “I think it’s fabulous to receive the recognition our merchants have worked so hard for.”

Younger said Sequim’s merchants strive to do a lot of unique promotions and activities year-round to make shopping interesting, such as Elk on a Shelf and/or changing window decorations often.

“I hear from people all the time how friendly our shop owners are. I think it’s great to be recognized for it,” she said.

As of Sunday, Port Townsend was ranked No. 11 in the USA Today 10Best Reader’s Choice Awards for Best Coastal Small Town. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

As of Sunday, Port Townsend was ranked No. 11 in the USA Today 10Best Reader’s Choice Awards for Best Coastal Small Town. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

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