Kitsap’s charm, natural beauty, rural character and central location in the heart of Puget Sound make it a great place to live, work and play. With Puget Sound and the Cascade Mountain Range to the east, the Olympic Peninsula, backed by the Olympic Mountains to the west, and Mount Rainier looming to the Southeast, Kitsap unique communities each offer picture-perfect views and abundant recreational opportunities. All within an easy and scenic commute to Seattle’s bright lights and big city attractions via the Washington State Ferry system.
Family friendly, with great schools, top-notch healthcare, and a true sense of community – Kitsap offers the perfect Work + Life balance.
Located 35 minutes by ferry from Seattle, Bainbridge Island residents enjoy easy access to the Seattle’s urban amenities, while enjoying the ease and freedom of life in a rural setting.The island is home to 24,000 residents, over 2000 businesses, a thriving arts community, eight artisan wineries, a brewery and an organic distillery, The Bloedel Reserve public garden, and over 1400 acres of parkland. The vibrant downtown area, just a short walk from the ferry, features boutique shops and restaurants, the newly opened Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, numerous galleries and a waterfront park.
Bainbridge is home to Avalara, named one of Washington’s Fastest growing companies for the past two years, Sage, makers of world class fly fishing rods and Islandwood, a 255-acre outdoor environmental learning center and conference facility.
The county’s largest city (38,790), Bremerton is home of the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (PSNS) and has a strong Navy history. The city is undergoing a renaissance with new publicly and privately funded buildings emerging along the waterfront. Waterfront condos provide residents easy access to new parks and a newly expanded marina, planned boardwalk, and more downtown development. A new, multi-modal transportation center has been built for Washington State Ferries, which has been connecting the peninsula to Seattle for more than a century.
Amenities include the Bremerton Naval Museum, downtown waterfront promenade and the Navy destroyer, USS Turner Joy, Harborside Fountain Park and PSNS Memorial Plaza, the historic Arts District, unique shops and Gold Mountain Golf Complex, rated one of the best public golf courses in the country.
Known as the “Little City by the Sea” Kingston, a former logging town, is a busy port of entry, with ferry service to Edmonds on the other side of Puget Sound. Now the social and economic center of the north end of the Peninsula, Kingston features its own community center, theater groups and shopping district. With an independent movie theater and wonderful restaurants, Kingston is a treasure of a town!
Recently named one of the Best Northwest Getaways, Kingston and North Kitsap are an outdoors lover’s dream with breathtaking views and beaches, and numerous water, hiking and mountain bike trails. Nearby amenities include the historic Point No Point Lighthouse, and the legendary Heronswood Botanical Gardens. Kingston’s shops and restaurants as well as the Saturday Farmers Market are popular with both locals and boaters. The annual Old Fashioned Fourth of July features an old fashioned logging competition, parade, salmon bake, and craft fair.
Situated against the Sinclair Inlet with the Cascade and Olympic Mountains in the distance, Port Orchard (population 11,440) is the county seat and the commercial center for South Kitsap. Port Orchard is a historic ‘port’ discovered and named by early Puget Sound explorers, with one of Puget Sound’s largest marinas – owned and operated by the Port of Bremerton. The community is completely oriented toward the water with miles of winding, scenic roadways passing beautiful inlets and hidden coves.
Small, locally owned restaurants and shops make up nearly all of the storefronts in the historic downtown. Port Orchard residents enjoy a true sense of community and enjoy a thriving Farmer’s Market, weekly Artwalk, the annual Fathom’s O’ Fun Parade in June, and the Jingle Bell Run and Festival of Chimes and Lights every December. Amenities include a beautiful waterfront park, nearby Manchester State Park and premier golf courses.
Located on beautiful Liberty Bay and known as “Little Norway on the Fjord”, this enchanting Norwegian heritage town (population 9,245), has blossomed into a visitor destination filled with recreation and shopping opportunities. With its stunning water and mountain views Poulsbo is as rich in natural beauty as it is in authentic Scandinavian charm. Annual events include Viking Fest, Scandia Midsommarfest and Yule Fest. Visit Find Poulsbo for a complete list of events and ammenities.
While Poulsbo’s thriving downtown with its wonderful old murals, world famous bakeries, art galleries, boutiques and restaurants is the heart of the city, it also home to high-tech businesses with worldwide clients. The largest commercial development in the county is the College Place project where Olympic College Poulsbo is located. A community proud of its heritage boasts a well-maintained and busy marina, beautifully appointed B&B establishments, and international company offices.
Situated ten miles northwest of the city of Bremerton and nine miles south of Poulsbo. Silverdale lies at the north tip of Dyes Inlet, which connects it to Bremerton via Sinclair Inlet and the Pacific Ocean via Puget Sound. An unincorporated community, Silverdale is a thriving commercial and retail center, not just for Kitsap, but serving most of the adjacent Olympic Peninsula as well. Its hub is the Kitsap Mall, built in 1985, which is surrounded today by hundreds of other retail and service businesses including Costco, and a new REI. New developments include The Trails at Silverdale, a new 17.6 acre retail development that broke ground this Fall (2014). The busy pace of centrally located Silverdale has generated new homes, new entertainment venues, and new opportunities for both employment and business activity.
The historic heart of the city is Old Town Silverdale, which hosts the family-oriented Whaling Days Festival and a thriving farmers market and has a wide variety of shops, art galleries, cafés and panoramic waterfront views of Sinclair Inlet. Additional Silverdale favorites include the Silver City Brewery & Restaurant and the lovely Clear Creek Trail, which winds through the rest of Silverdale’s urban area.
More small town gems
In addition to Kitsap’s five largest communities, there are several smaller scenic, waterfront towns including Hansville, a tiny community at the northern tip of the peninsula overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca; Port Gamble, a historic, turn-of-the-century mill town; and Seabeck, a scenic community on beautiful Hood Canal. Kitsap is also home to the Suquamish and Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribes, who offer numerous cultural, historic and scenic attractions, including museums, world-class resorts and casinos.