Some know the waterside neighborhood of Port Orchard in Kitsap County because the setting for the fictional Cedar Cove in novels by Washington creator Debbie Macomber. Others comprehend it as a bed room neighborhood for commuters from Seattle and employees on the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard a mile north throughout the Sinclair Inlet in Bremerton.
Locals like Samantha Smith, 44, a South Kitsap Excessive College alumna, see town for its potential for attempting out new concepts whereas hanging onto a small-town vibe.
“Group Plus Creativity” is the theme for 2 companies Smith runs on Bay Avenue, the historic essential drag a half-block from the place Kitsap Transit foot ferries make the 10-minute crossing to and from Bremerton.
4 years in the past she opened Josephine’s Mercantile, a cross between a high-end classic store and an old school common retailer within the former location of Rio’s Skate Citadel curler rink. Final April, in the course of the pandemic, she opened Revival PNW, a store promoting newly made Northwest items and presents in a constructing that after housed a Ford Motor Co. meeting plant and automobile dealership. Twice a month, she hosts Native, a pop-up marketplace for potters, glass blowers and different artists.
“I simply love my hometown,” Smith mentioned. “I thought of finding in Gig Harbor or Poulsbo, however my coronary heart simply mentioned no,” selecting Port Orchard over these two go-to tourism cities.
Curious to know extra? Hop aboard a ferry for a day journey on a sunny Saturday. (Different days are nice, however you’ll discover the farmers market on Saturday.)
Right here’s the plan, together with 11 suggestions to your Port Orchard day journey.
Bremerton to Port Orchard
With views of the Olympic Mountains and Mount Rainier, a ferry trip throughout Puget Sound to Bremerton is a cut price. It’s a 20-minute drive from Bremerton to Port Orchard in South Kitsap County. However as a substitute of bringing the automobile, I like to recommend both strolling on Washington State Ferries (one hour from the Seattle waterfront to Bremerton) or catching the Kitsap Transit passenger-only quick ferry (half-hour from the waterfront). Then, in Bremerton, observe indicators to the Port Orchard foot ferry for a 10-minute, $2 journey throughout Sinclair Inlet.
In case you’re fortunate, Kitsap Transit is likely to be working the refurbished Carlisle II, inbuilt 1917 as a part of the Puget Sound Mosquito Fleet. In any other case, you is likely to be onboard a brand new electrical ferry, or the older Admiral Pete, constructed with nostalgic touches similar to brass railings and picket cupholders.
Farmers and fiddlers
Observe the sound of fiddle music to the Saturday Port Orchard Farmers Market on the waterfront simply east of the ferry dock and marina.
Wander among the many stalls lined with white canopies to search out microgreens grown by Wildwood Hole Farm; bacon and pork chops from Foggy Hog Farm, which raises “pigs with a objective”; and cotton sweet spun with natural sugar by Sunshine Acres Household Farm.
Members of the Washington Previous Time Fiddlers Affiliation serenade. Among the many craftspeople is Kari Lassila of Thrifty Needle, who works behind her grandmother’s black Singer stitching machine to supply an array of upcycled crafts.
“I’m principally holding stuff out of the landfill,” she joked on a current Saturday, pointing to her show of handbags comprised of outdated cargo pants, tote baggage crafted from pillow circumstances and colourful doggy “poo” baggage knitted from sock yarn.
Lunch at Carter’s
Stroll a block south from the waterfront and discover Carter and Firm on the west finish of Bay Avenue.
Homeowners Matt Carter and John Strasinger describe their storefront because the “happiest place on the town,” and it simply is likely to be given the crowds that line up for orange and chocolate chip ice cream, chocolate-dipped bacon slices and handmade truffles.
A plant-filled again patio invitations lingering over lunch or dessert. Carter’s ardour is chocolate, however in hotter climate, the emphasis is on holding the circumstances crammed with miniature cheesecakes, fruit tarts, panini sandwiches and savory brioche crammed with ham and brie; mushrooms and smoked provolone; and typically even meatloaf.
Searching Bay Avenue
Platted because the city of Sidney in 1886 by Frederick Stevens, Port Orchard turned identified for lumber, pottery works and the small companies that offered companies. The middle of city was and is Bay Avenue, depicted on a mural on the aspect wall of the Sidney Artwork Gallery and Museum.
Lengthy often known as fertile floor for vintage hunters, the retail district has developed to incorporate a mixture of new and outdated companies.
Properly stocked is the Olde Central Vintage Mall, the place 45 sellers fill two flooring full of coloured glassware, clothes, books, classic jewellery and housewares.
Subsequent door is the free Veterans Residing Historical past Museum, opened 14 years in the past by Coast Guard veteran and former lighthouse keeper Dale Nitz, 77, to accommodate his overflowing assortment of navy artifacts.
Displayed on the sidewalk is a altering rotation of memorabilia that just lately included a newly acquired framed set of medals belonging to a soldier who collected 11 Purple Hearts.
Extra up to date outlets and galleries populate the west finish of Bay Avenue.
There’s Wilkerson Port Orchard Gallery, the place homeowners Glen and Shelly Wilkerson show their very own pictures and work as nicely the work of different native artists.
Contained in the Port Orchard Public Market, an area for distributors promoting handmade and native merchandise, Leanna Krotzer of Leanna’s Artwork and Espresso sells vintage teapots and cups — and bakes do-it-yourself cinnamon rolls in a kitchen behind her money register.
Coming quickly would be the first Dude’s Donuts cafe. The vegan and gluten-free doughnut firm, owned by Bainbridge Island’s Pegasus Espresso, wholesales to 30 cafes across the Puget Sound, “however we haven’t had our personal storefront,” says proprietor Matt Grady.
“There’s been a number of discuss attempting to make Port Orchard extra of a vacation spot,” he mentioned. “We’re thrilled to be part of that.”
Near the ferry dock and farmers market is Peninsula BevCo, with a roomy out of doors deck, a protracted record of Northwest brews on faucet and a dozen varieties of tacos with fillings that transport diners to Thailand, Vietnam and Hawaii.
Definitely worth the 1.2-mile stroll, principally alongside a brand new, paved waterside bike and strolling path is the Whiskey Gulch CoffeePub, an area favourite. (You can too catch the Kitsap Transit bus; search for the 9.)
Attempt to get a seat overlooking the water at Whiskey Gulch. Order up a espresso cocktail or your selection of a number of dozen whiskeys, then select from a menu with a stunning number of vegetarian gadgets like smoked candy potato tacos and “not-so-pork sliders,” made with jackfruit tossed in a peach barbecue sauce.
Along with your abdomen full, all that’s left to do is take a few ferries again to the Seattle waterfront.