A rip-roaring lumber town 100 years ago, it's quieter now as the constant whine of the sawmill has given way to the occasional blast of a ferry whistle.
Known as the "Little City by the Sea", Kingston is the northern gateway to the Kitsap Peninsula and Olympic National Park & Forest.
An early settler named Michael King came to the area in 1878. He moved in along with 10 oxen and 10 men. They slowly logged the hills around Appletree Cove. Mr. King built many small buildings and shacks along the shore for his men and animals. In 1882, the trees were gone and King moved on. The shacks and bunkhouses were left behind and lived in by drifters, squatters and old loggers. People living in the area often referred to this as King's Town, probably as a joke. The name slowly evolved in to Kingston and stuck.
The Kingston townsite was platted on April 24, 1890 by C.C. Calkins and Samuel B. Brierly. Calkins dreamed of Kingston as a resort town for vacationers from Seattle. Calkins called it The Monterey of Washington. Calkins had drawings and designs for a giant hotel on the waterfront, with a boat launch, a church on the hill, along with a college. After Calkins and Brierly platted the town, a lower than expected number of people showed up to settle there. Calkins then gave up and left. The town slowly grew, but not at the pace that Calkins had dreamed and it eventually became the quaint harbor town we know today.
From Port Angeles, Olympic Peninsula Points: Drive east on U.S. 101 to State Route (SR) 104, crossing the Hood Canal Floating Bridge. Continue east on SR 104 for 8 more miles (through Port Gamble) to the Kingston Ferry Terminal.
- 1 Washington State Ferries, 11264 State Route 104, ☏ . Connects Kingston to West Edmunds, all boats on this route accept both walk on and vehicle traffic. Ferry lines can get pretty long in the summer season so arrive early or just plan on waiting awhile for the next ferry.
- Port of Kingston Marina, 25864 Washington Blvd (VHF: Channel 65), ☏ . offers 49 guest slips ranging from 24 feet to 50 feet. They can accommodate larger vessels up to 80 feet. All 40 foot and 50 foot slips as well as fifteen 30 foot slips are reservable with 24 hours advance notice. They have four 20 foot slips and ten 30 foot slips that are first come first serve basis. Marina provides restrooms with free hot showers, laundry facilities, covered picnic shelters, WIFI, use of our small electric car, and 30 or 50 amp power service $1.00 per foot per day.
- Kayak / Small Boat Facility, ☏ . This facility provides a step launch and retrieval system that is user friendly for the novice and experienced allowing safe access to the waters of Apple Tree Cove and Puget Sound.
- Kitsap Transit, ☏ , toll-free: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Kitsap Transit offers transit services throughout throughout the area including pickup from all ferry terminals and connects with Mason Transit (Mason County), Pierce Transit (Pierce County), and Jefferson Transit (Jefferson County) offering connections outside of the area. full fare $2 and is part of the regional ORCA network system.
Local taxi services
- A-Ward Taxi Towncar, +1 360 440-1517, +1 360 801-1235
- Bumblebee Taxi, +1 360 782-1966
- Red Top Taxi of Kitsap, +1 360 876-4949
- Janssen's Charter & Tours +1 360 871-2446
- Firehouse Theater, 11171 NE State Hwy 104 (4 blocks up from the Kingston Ferry), ☏ . A theater in a former North Kitsap Fire and Rescue building.
- Kitsap Regional Library Kingston, Community Center, 11212 State Hwy 104, ☏ . Northwesterners are very proud of their libraries and Kingston is no exception, this branch offers many events for children and adults, including story time, writers' club, and kids' movies. See website for current events.
- Arness Roadside Park (in Kingston, turn south on S. Kingston Rd from Hwy 104 and proceed about 2 miles; the park is on your left). one Acre - Saltwater beach access, picnic areas and viewpoint.
- A Quiet Place Park (from Highway 104 in Kingston turn left on Ohio Street; parking is just below the entrance to the trail). 9.3 Acres - Walking trails, viewpoints.
- Carpenter Lake/Nike Site/Saltmarsh - Park (take Highway 104 in Kingston to Barber Cut-Off Road; the park site is behind Gordon Elementary School off of Barber Cut-off Road.). 67.0 Acres - Walking trails, education center and view point Directions
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. Point No Point County Park near Hansville just north of Kingston at Kitsap Peninsula's northern tip is particularly important for birds migrating the Pacific Flyway. The Audubon Society designated it an IBA or an Important Bird Area and it is easily accessible from Kingston.
Sea kayaking can be a rewarding way to explore the Kitsap Peninsulas 371 miles of coastline allowing the paddler a closer and slower look at their surroundings and making Kitsap one of the most popular areas to kayak in Puget Sound. Thick forests of majestic pine and deciduous trees and hundreds of creeks and estuaries dot the coastline. Kingston has a small craft launch and is an excellent area to start a sea kayaking adventure. 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
- [dead link] Kingston Adventures, 26050 Illinois Ave, Ste B, ☏ . Daily 10AM - 7PM. sea kayak and bike rentals, this is a great place to start an adventure in the area.
- Kingston Farmers Market. Saturdays, May to Oct. 9AM-2PM. a lively, friendly market on a beautiful, grassy lawn at Mike Wallace Park at the Port of Kingston Marina where local farmers, producers, crafters, and artisans sell their goods.
- J'aime Les Crêpes, 11264 NE St Hwy 104, ☏ . Coffee & tea, ice cream & frozen yogurt, crepes.
- The Grub Hut, 11130 NE State Hwy 104, ☏ . Serious hamburgers.
- Hood Canal Brewery, 26499 Bond Road Northeast, ☏ . W Th 2PM – 8PM, F Sa noon – 8PM, Su noon – 7PM, M Tu closed. try Dosewallips Special Ale,, Bywater Bay ESB, Dabob Bay IPA, Agate Pass Amber, Big Beef Oatmeal Stout and Breidablik Barley Wine.
Many tourists use Kingston as a quick route to the Olympic Peninsula, coastal towns and Olympic National Park with perhaps a short stop at historic Port Gamble, however often overlooked is the area around Hansville with its wild natural beaches and historic lighthouse this is a side trip worth taking.
Kingston is well situated for exploring the northern half of the Kitsap Peninsula including giving good access to the nearby Hood Canal or a last stopping point on the way north to the San Juan Islands. If you are following the Kitsap Water Trails map Kingston is on the southern end of the run up to Foulweather Bluff near Hansville.
|Routes through Kingston|
|Ends at N S ← Port Gamble ←||W E||→ Car ferry → Edmonds|