Downtown Bremerton is experiencing a renaissance, starting with the new Transportation Center, Kitsap Conference Center and a new hotel on the city's waterfront. A new government center, which provides combined governmental services in a single building, anchors the town's revitalized core.
Already contributing to the downtown revitalization are art galleries, the Admiral Theatre, museums and many quaint shops and restaurants.
Bremerton is a safe, environmentally clean community within an hour's ferry ride from downtown Seattle where you can visit the Navy destroyer Turner Joy, stroll along a delightful block-long waterfront promenade and check out the new Kitsap Conference Center Plaza with its fascinating fountains, and enjoy a bounty of seasonal community events and concerts.
Downtown has three museums, in one block, within walking distance of the ferries.
Native American Salish people lived comfortably in the Puget Sound area navigating the local waterways in well made cedar canoes for thousands of years before 1792 when Captain George Vancouver 'discovered' the area, named it after one of his officers and declared the area for Great Briton.
Once the Washington Territory was established in 1853, the U.S. government began signing treaties with area tribes to acquire their lands. The Suquamish people ceded most of their land around the Kitsap Peninsula to the United States and logging came into the area in full force. The areas once impassible thick forests gave way to farms, towns and industry as lumber was shipped off to areas such as San Francisco or burned as fuel for the growing fleet of boats known as the Mosquito Fleet. In 1888, William Bremer, a German immigrant from a wealthy banking family, traveled by boat from Seattle and purchased land that is now Bremerton from a local logger.
In 1891, Bremer negotiated with Lt. A.B. Wyckoff to sell 190 acres to the U.S. Navy for Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, still a major employer. Bremer platted the town around the Navy's property and gave it his name. He opened businesses to support the Navy's activities.
The City of Bremerton was incorporated in 1901. The Bremerton Chamber of Commerce was incorporated in 1928 with William Gates, Sr., grandfather of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, as treasurer.
The town exploded in size during World War I and II, when more than 40,000 workers arrived to work at the shipyard. Since then fortunes have been through boom and bust and the town is now revitalizing the downtown area.
Main Highways to Bremerton are WA Highway 3 from Shelton, north through the county to the Hood Canal Bridge near the northern tip of the Kitsap Peninsula. From Tacoma and Interstate 5, take WA Highway 16 north from Tacoma across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge until it combines with WA Highway 3 near Gorst.
- Washington State Ferries +1 206 464-6400. Connects downtown Seattle to Bainbridge Island and Bremerton. All ferries are for both vehicles and walk on passengers and offer a scenic views of the Puget Sound and Olympic mountains on the way into the area.
Arriving by water, you'll find a large, destination public marina making Bremerton a favored boating venue with a central location for exploring the area but please be aware of the 500’ buffer zone around US Navy vessels and facilities.
- Bremerton Marina, 120 Washington Beach Ave, ☏ . Centrally located in downtown Bremerton within walking distance to shops and restaurants and with room for 80-100 visiting boaters.
- Port Orchard Marina, 707 Sidney Pkwy Port Orchard, WA 98366, ☏ . Just across the harbor from Bremerton this guest dock is 3000 feet in length. There are 44 guest moorage slips available. The total estimated guest boat capacity is 180. Electrical hook up is available for a fee. Electrical power is available in 30 and 50 amps. It has been reported the minimum depth at mean low tide is 30. Fuel and pump out available.
- Bremerton-Kitsap Airporter, (bus stop) Union 76 at 2550 Burrell St (Burwell & Montgomery west of downtown Bremerton. Additional stop at Baymont Inn by Wyndham at 5640 Kitsap Way), ☏ . provides scheduled ground transportation from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to various locations on the Kitsap Peninsula. Their buses travel all the way around with stops in Tacoma and Gig Harbor rather than going onto the ferry from downtown or West Seattle. Connections to Greyhound, Amtrak, Sound Transit and other bus lines are in Seattle and Tacoma.
Kitsap Transit offers transit services throughout Bremerton and between Bremerton, to Silverdale, Poulsbo, Bainbridge Island, Port Orchard. They also operate the foot ferry between Port Orchard, Bremerton and the Annapolis Ferry Terminals (see "By foot ferry" below). Kitsap Transit connects with Mason Transit Rt #3 (Mason County) at the Bremerton Ferry Terminal; Pierce Transit (Pierce County) in Purdy Park & Ride; and Jefferson Transit Rt# 7 (Jefferson County) at the Poulsbo North Viking Transit Center.
By foot ferry
- Kitsap Transit Foot Ferry, ☏ . M-Sa. shuttles passengers between Port Orchard, Bremerton and Annapolis ferry terminals using two passenger only ferries, 'Admiral Jack' and the 'Carlisle II' a historic Mosquito Fleet era boat that is nearly 100 years old. Foot ferry service is a great way to tour a historic boat and get an up close and personal view of the marinas and the harbor. $2.
- A-Ward Taxi Towncar, Port Orchard based, ☏ , .
- Bainbridge Island Taxi, Bainbridge Island based, ☏ . locally owned and operated, serving Bainbridge, Poulsbo, Kingston. Silverdale, Bremerton and the Olympic Peninsula
- Best Darn Taxi, Bremerton based, ☏ . Serving Kitsap County.
- Bumblebee Taxi, Silverdale based, ☏ . A full service Taxi company serving Kitsap County And Beyond. Services all Military Bases And offer flat rates and military discounts.
- First Choice Taxi, Bremerton based, ☏ . services Bremerton, Kitsap County and Seatac Airport. Bremerton Ferry pickups can be prearranged.
- KnM Transport, Bremerton based, ☏ . transporting mobility challenged clients in specially equipped vans.
- Pleades Transportation, Bainbridge Island based, ☏ . 9AM–11:30PM. limousine service on Bainbridge Island.
- Redtop Taxi of Kitsap, Port Orchard based, ☏ . Mon-Sun 12AM-12AM.
- Taxi and Tours, ☏ (Bainbridge Island), (Kingston - Silverdale - Poulsbo), (Bremerton), (Port Orchard). 24 hour serving Bainbridge Island, Kingston, Silverdale, Poulsbo, Bremerton, Suquamish, and Port Orchard.
- White Blitz Taxi, Bremerton based, ☏ .
By charter bus
- Janssen's Charter & Tours, 1623 Woods Rd E, Port Orchard, ☏ .
- Aurora Valentinetti Puppet Museum. Fun, hands-on place for the kids
- Bremerton Harborside and Louis Mentor Boardwalk. Beautiful fountains and wide plaza along the Bremerton Waterfront
- Bremerton Raceway, 7500 Old Clifton Rd, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. NHRA Division 6 Championship drag racing
- Kitsap Historical Society and Museum, 280 4th St, ☏ . Tuesday through Saturday 10-4. collects, preserves, and exhibits the diverse culture, heritage and history of Kitsap County with a great collection of photos. Adult $4.00, Youth (6-17 yrs) $3.00, Child (5yrs and under) FREE, Student/Military (w/ID) $3.00, Senior (65 yrs) $3.00.
- Elandan Gardens. Two acres of rhododendrons, Japanese maples and Bonsai trees
- , 251 First St, ☏ . 10AM-4PM, Closed: Tuesday (Oct - April). collects, preserves, and interprets the naval heritage of the Pacific Northwest from 1840 to the present and has more than 18,000 objects in its collection. Free.
- 1 USS Turner Joy, 300 Washington Beach Ave (on Bremerton Boardwalk within an easy walk of the Seattle Ferry Terminal and the Harborside Convention Center), ☏ . Mar-Oct 10AM-5PM, Nov-Feb 10AM-4PM. tour an actual Vietnam era Destroyer and see how life would have been for the 17 officers and 275 enlisted men it took to run the ship. Adults $16, Seniors (62+) $13.50, Youth (13-17) $11.50, Children (5-12) $9.50, Under 5 Free, Active Military (with ID) Free.
- 2 Illahee State Park, 3540 NE Sylvan Way, ☏ . Daily, 8AM-Dusk. close to Bremerton is a 75-acre marine camping park with 1,785 feet of saltwater frontage on Port Orchard Bay near Bremerton. "Illahee" means "earth" or "country" in the Indian tradition, and views of Puget Sound from the Illahee beach give the viewer a sense of what that word meant to native people.
- Green Mountain State Forest. -is a 6,000-acre working forest located a few miles west of Bremerton. 13 miles of trails and recreation opportunities for a variety of activities including horseback riding, mountain biking, fishing, hunting, camping, and other uses. The Green Mountain Horse Camp offer 16 campsites for first-come, first-served camping and the views include Puget Sound, Hood Canal, Mount Rainier, Mount Baker and the Seattle skyline. There's an access road on Green Mountain that's open on weekends, allowing cars to be driven close to the top.
- , 1400 Farragut Ave #850. established in 1891 as a Naval Station and was designated Navy Yard Puget Sound in 1901. During World War I, the Navy Yard constructed ships, including 25 subchasers, seven submarines, two minesweepers, seven seagoing tugs, and two ammunition ships, as well as 1,700 small boats. During World War II, the shipyard's primary effort was the repair of battle damage to ships of the U.S. fleet and those of its allies. Following World War II, Navy Yard Puget Sound was designated Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. It engaged in an extensive program of modernizing carriers, including converting conventional flight decks to angle decks. During the Korean War, the shipyard was engaged in the activation of ships. In the late 1950s, it entered an era of new construction with the building of a new class of guided missile frigates. In 1965, USS Sculpin (SSN 590) became the first nuclear-powered submarine to be maintained at PSNS. The shipyard was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1992. The historic district includes 22 contributing buildings and 42 contributing structures, as well as 49 non-contributing buildings, structures, and objects.
- First Friday Arts Walk. Downtown Bremerton galleries, museums and businesses stay open late
- St. Patrick's Day Parade. Be Irish for the day
- Armed Forces Festival. Nation's largest and longest-running Armed Forces Day parade on the third Sunday in May
- All City Arts Walk. All day event held on the first Saturday in June
- Kitsap County Fair and Stampede Rodeo. 5-day event held end of August, Stampede Rodeo consistently rated best in nation by cowboys
- Bremerton Blackberry Festival. Last celebration of summer on Labor Day Weekend
- Winterfest. Santa Claus comes to visit
- Lighted Boat Parade. Mid-December visit by Santa on the waters around Bremerton
The Kitsap Audubon Society has been actively meeting since 1972 and has a broad coalition of birders actively tracking and sharing sightings since then. They also maintain an active website with updates of the latest sightings, suggestions on areas for birders and even a regular newsletter. They also developed a checklist of birds likely to be seen birds in the area.
The state Audubon society developed 'The Great Audubon Birding Trail' which includes key migration flyways. Flyways are major north-south routes of travel for migratory birds and likely areas to see birds along the route extending from Alaska to Patagonia. Lions Park in Bremerton is one of only a handful of areas in the region named to this list.
Diving the cold waters of Puget Sound takes a bit more gear and training than other warm water locations, but the rewards are incredible. The area contains some of the best diving in the world and many areas are accessible from the Kitsap Peninsula. Many dive sites are completely covered with colorful sea creatures that defy description. Giant Pacific Octopus are common, along with friendly wolf eels. Colorful sponges, sea cucumbers, sea stars, soft corals, anemones and fish can be seen on nearly every dive. The state has offers a guide to parks with launch sites HERE
- Sound Dive Center, 5000 Burwell St, ☏ . Established in 1972, this 6000 sq foot diving center offers a full range of diving gear and classes.
With two local sea kayaking clubs based here, Bremerton is clearly a popular place for this sport with miles of coastline allowing the paddler a closer and slower look at their surroundings and exploring both urban and rural surrounding areas. Harbor Seals, Otters, Sea Lions, Bald Eagles and Blue Herons are common sites while the occasional viewing of an Orca or Grey Whale is not out of the question.
Organized trails offer overnight camping options and maps of appropriate and scenic travel destinations.
- Kitsap Peninsula Water Trails. The National Parks Service Named the this 'Trail of the Month' in the entire USA for the month of December 2012, PDF copies of the water trails map are available and Bremerton is centrally located on the trail.
Wheaton Way (WA Highway 303) is a major commercial road that extends from Bremerton across the Warren Avenue Bridge several miles north to Silverdale, the commercial district of Kitsap County. Food, motels and other businesses are available along Kitsap Way between the WA Highway 3 interchange and downtown Bremerton.
- Bremerton Farmers Market, Bremerton Ferry Terminal, ✉ email@example.com. May through September. wide selection of local produce and crafts.
- El Coral Restaurante, 536 4th St (Just west of the corner of Pacific & 4th), ☏ . 10AM-10PM Mon - Sat. Mexican/seafood restaurant / upstairs lounge on Fridays offers DJ - and occasionally live - music till 1AM $8-10.
- Brother Don's, 4200 Kitsap Way, ☏ (360) 377.8442 . S-Thu 11am - 9pm, F-Sa 11am - 10pm. Live music Tuesday - Sunday (on hold due to COVID).
In the immediate downtown area there are three newer bars:
- The Bremerton Bar and Grill, 190 Pacific Ave, +1 360 627-8081
- The Toro Lounge, 315 Pacific Ave, +1 360 813-1910
and a beer and fry place called
- Fritz European Fry House, 94 Washington Ave (hiding behind the taco place) +1 360 479-1088
There are two other very worthy neighborhood places to go:
- The Hi-fidelity, 2711 6th St, +1 360 373-5454 (very funky)
- Der Blocken Brewery, 1100 Perry Ave (located in the Manette neighborhood)
- Silver City Brewery & Taproom, 206 Katy Penman (south of West Bremerton Transfer Ctr).
- Best Western Bremerton Inn, 4303 Kitsap Way, ☏ , toll-free: , fax: .
- Hampton Inn & Suites, 150 Washington Ave., ☏ .
- Midway Inn, 2909 Wheaton Way, ☏ .
According to a Seattle newspaper, the Kitsap Peninsula has three of the top four golf courses in the state - The City of Bremerton's Gold Mountain Golf Course with its award-winning Olympic and Cascade courses, Kitsap Golf and Country Club, and McCormick Woods.
|Routes through Bremerton|
|Port Gamble ← Chico ←||N S||→ Gorst → Shelton|