The village streets of historic Port Gamble haven't changed much since Puget Mill Company founded the town in 1853. The original New England Victorian-style homes have been lovingly preserved, along with the several other historic buildings in the area. Since 1966 the Port Gamble Historic District is a registered U.S. National Historic Landmark and a popular destination for tourists.
In 1856, the USS Massachusetts was sent from Seattle to Port Gamble, Washington Territory on Puget Sound, where indigenous raiding parties from British and Russian territories had been raiding and enslaving local Native Americans. When the warriors refused to hand over those among them who had attacked the Puget Sound Native American communities, Massachusetts landed a shore party and a battle ensued in which 26 natives and 1 sailor were killed. That sailor was the first US Navy man killed in the Northwest and his grave can still be seen at the hilltop cemetery.
Port Gamble is located along a bend in highway 104 near the Hood Canal bridge on the northern end of the Kitsap Peninsula.
Although Port Gamble does not have a marina for motorized boats, it is still a popular area for sea kayakers with easy access to the Hood Canal and the southern launching point for the Kitsap Peninsula Water trails leg from Port Gamble to Foulweather Bluff near Hansville.
Once you are in town everything can be reached by foot. Make sure you take a stroll up to the historic cemetery for a better sense of the history of the town and a sweeping view of the area.
Port Gamble is a great place to go for a stroll and soak up the early mill town history of the area. The Port Gamble Historic District has several quaint shops to visit and is a registered U.S. National Historic Landmark and a popular destination for tourists.
- 1 Sea and Shore Museum, 32400 NE Rainier Ave (2nd floor of Port Gamble General Store), ☏ . Daily 9AM-5PM. dedicated to the study of natural history, especially mollusks and other invertebrates and includes one of the largest sea shell collections in the world. Free.
- 1 Kitsap Memorial State Park, 202 NE Park St., Poulsbo (5 mi SW of Port Gamble off WA-3 S), ☏ . 8AM-dusk. Kitsap Memorial State Park is a 58-acre camping park with 1,797 feet of saltwater shoreline and facilities for group and individual recreation, weddings and overnight stays. The park offers beautiful natural surroundings and sweeping views of Hood Canal.
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 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 at near Port Gamble particularly important for birds migrating the Pacific Flyway. The Audubon Society designated it an IBA or an Important Bird Area. The nearby protected harbor which is also named Port Gamble is also an excellent area for bird watching.
Port Gamble is near Hood Canal which is a popular destination for Sea kayakers. Sea kayaking can be a rewarding way to explore the sheltered bay near Port Gamble and helps to make Kitsap one of the most popular areas to kayak in Puget Sound. Port Gamble is one of the many harbor towns that cater to kayakers with shops and restaurants accessible from the water. Harbor Seals, Otters, Sea Lions, Bald Eagles and Blue Herons are common sites and Grey and Orca whales are not out of the question.
Organized trails offer overnight camping options and maps of appropriate travel lengths and scenic travel destinations.
- Cascadia Marine Trail. This inland sea trail is a National Recreation Trail and designated one of only 16 National Millennium Trails by the White House. Suitable for day or multi-day trips, the Cascadia Marine Trail has over 50 campsites to visit. People can boat to the campsites from many public and private launch sites or shoreline trailheads including Hood Canal near Port Gamble.
- Kitsap Peninsula Water Trails. The National Parks Service named 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 Port Gamble is on the trail.
- 2 Olympic Outdoor Center, 32379 Rainier Ave (in Port Gamble), ☏ . It offers kayak rentals, classes and basic information for paddling the area for just a few hours or week long adventures.
- 1 Port Gamble General Store, 32400 Rainier Ave NE, ☏ . Store: M-W 9AM-4PM, Th 9AM-8:30PM, F Sa 8AM-8:30PM, Su 8AM-4PM. The Port Gamble General Store and Cafe serves up nostalgia and good eats daily! Housed in the historic general store, this retail store and cafe also shares space with the Sea and Shore Museum and the Port Gamble Historic Museum.
- Tango Zulu Imports, 32319 Rainier Ave NE, ☏ . 10AM-5PM. Tango Zulu Imports is a gift and apparel shop with unique handmade items from around the world. Items range from African baskets to Indian clothing to Nepalese housewares and more. Most items are priced below $50, with many products available for under $10. Open 7 days a week.
- Port Gamble Cafe, 32400 Rainier Ave NE, ☏ . Cafe: M-W 9AM-3PM, Th 9AM-8:30PM, F Sa 8AM-8:30PM, Su 8AM-4PM; dinner: Th-Sa 5-8:30PM; Happy Hour: Th 3-5PM, F Sa 4-5PM. a full service restaurant at the back of the Port Gamble General Store and Cafe building
- Port Gamble Guest Houses, PO Box 233, ☏ , email@example.com. three separate historic guest houses are available with access to the beach.
|Routes through Port Gamble|
|END ←||N S||→ Poulsbo → Bremerton|
|Ends at N S ← Port Ludlow ←||W E||→ Kingston → Edmonds|