The Kitsap Peninsula is lovely, but it’s often overlooked. Nestled between the Olympic Peninsula and Seattle, the area is surrounded by the Hood Canal to the west and Puget Sound to the east. And on top of being in a beautiful location, the peninsula has many small towns, parks and dining options that are worth your time to check out. They may not be very big or well-known, but these Kitsap communities definitely have a lot to offer.
Poulsbo – also known as Washington’s “Little Norway” – is set on the glistening shores of Liberty Bay. Their Scandinavian roots can be seen everywhere from the downtown architecture to the creative murals across town, and their annual Viking Fest every May. Swing by Sluy’s Bakery for a homemade pastry and head back down to the waterfront for up-close views of the bay dotted with local sailboats. While you’re here also check out the Poulsbohemian Coffeehouse, Liberty Bay Books and Valholl Brewing.
2. Port Gamble
Tiny and quaint, Port Gamble has a range of small shops with items like antiques and an old-fashioned general store. Keep an eye out for their signature water towers painted “Port Gamble” as you’re driving into town.
South of Poulsbo, Silverdale is a relaxing town with beautiful waterfront, a variety of local cuisine (like the popular Silver City Restaurant & Brewery) and shopping complexes including the huge Kitsap Mall. They’re also home to two huge beachfront hotels that offer views of Dyes Inlet, Mt. Rainier and the Olympic Mountains.
Kingston serves as the portal to catch the 30-minute ferry to Edmonds. It’s a small town, but filled with local shops, restaurants & pubs and a thriving tree-lined Main Street.
Hansville lies north of Port Gamble on the northern tip of the Kitsap Peninsula. With the community’s prime location also comes fantastic views of Admiralty Inlet, Whidbey Island and Puget Sound. Head over to Point No Point Park to find sandy beach overlooking the Sound, views of Mount Rainier and a historic lighthouse.
Seabeck is set along the shores of the Hood Canal, only a short drive from Silverdale. They have some excellent local cafes, a General Store, public pier, boat launch and beach where you can lay back and take in the calming water views. Scenic Beach State Park offers a great side trip, with tent & RV camping, blooming rhododendrons in the spring, a rocky beach, and paved trails that are wheelchair-accessible.
Also known as “Torpedo Town USA”, Keyport’s claim to fame is their Naval Undersea Museum with several exhibits for history and military enthusiasts. They’re also home to the Port of Keyport Marina with a boat launch, and the Keyport Mercantile and Diner – a classic-style grocery store with amazing sandwiches & ice cream.
Have you been to any of these communities before? Where else would you recommend visiting in the area?