Port Orchard is located on the Kitsap Peninsula in the Puget Sound region of Washington state. Like many towns in the area Port Orchard used to be only accessible by boat, and the town grew around the harbor. Its downtown core has kept its original small-town character and is accessible by foot from the harbor.
Port Orchard has grown considerably from its beginnings and includes spread-out suburbs and big box stores. From the waterfront Port Orchard offers commanding views of the Sinclair Inlet and nearby Bremerton with its historic naval shipyard.
The city is very family-friendly, with child-friendly parks, a library with activities for kids, and friendly neighborhoods. Port Orchard's identity is anchored in its connections to the past, and its vision of the future. Port Orchard began as a booming lumber town called Sidney and became Kitsap County’s first incorporated city in 1890. It wooed the county seat away from Port Madison on Bainbridge Island in 1893 and remains the center of county government.
The main highways to Port Orchard 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, then follow Highway 16 through Gig Harbor then take one of the several exits marked for Port Orchard.
Arriving by water, you'll find a large, destination public marina making Port Orchard a favored boating venue. Marina Park, with its boardwalk and covered gazebo, offers beach access and is the site of the summer outdoor Farmers' Market and the center of town is within steps of the marina. There is a 500 ft (150 m) buffer zone around US Navy vessels and facilities to the north.
- Port Orchard Marina, 707 Sidney Pkwy, ☏ . This is the main guest moorage dock in the area and the 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.
- Port Orchard Railway Marina, 405 Bay St, ☏ . All vessels staying at the guest moorage area overnight will be required to register at the marina office.
- 1 Port Orchard Yacht Club, 201 Bay St, ☏ . Full facilities but reciprocal moorage only.
- Port Orchard Boat Ramp, 535 Bay St (across from City Hall). The boat ramp facility has been significantly improved and reopened in February of 2013 by the Port of Bremerton and can be used in most tidal conditions. Large parking lot designed for boats and trailers. Facilities: floating concrete dock, concrete ramp, and restrooms
- Washington State Ferries, ☏ . Connects connects West Seattle to Southworth near Port Orchard. All ferries are for both vehicles and passengers except the ferry between downtown Seattle and Vashon Island and connections to buses can be made at all ferry terminals for walk-on passengers. The Southworth terminal provides the best access to Port Orchard however be warned that lines can get long during the summers and holidays. Try to avoid peak times such as commuting peak hours heading towards Seattle in the mornings and leaving Seattle in the late afternoons. Friday late afternoon and Sunday late afternoon should also be avoided if possible or at least plan on arriving early to avoid congestion. prices change depending on season, number of passengers, and destination, check website for latest pricing, regional ORCA cards do not work for drive-on passengers.
By foot ferry
- Kitsap Transit Foot Ferry, ☏ . It 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.
By airport shuttle
- Bremerton-Kitsap Airporter, ☏ . It provides scheduled ground transportation to and from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to various locations on the Kitsap Peninsula.
Although Port Orchard is quite spread out and as a whole is mostly appropriate for car travel. The historic downtown shopping area is small and very accessible on foot or bike and includes easy access from the foot ferry and marina.
- Kitsap Transit, ☏ , toll-free: , email@example.com. Kitsap Transit offers transit services 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.
- A-Ward Taxi Towncar, ☏ , .
- Redtop Taxi of Kitsap, ☏ . 24 hr.
- Taxi and Tours, ☏ . 24-hour service to Bainbridge Island, Kingston, Silverdale, Poulsbo, Bremerton, Suquamish, and Port Orchard.
- The Sinclair Inlet. The body of water that extends out from Port Orchard is an arm of the Puget Sound and a busy shipping channel with state ferries coming and going from Bremerton. The water taxis, the Naval Ship Yard and the busy local marinas make it an interesting place to watch boat traffic.
Port Orchard has several small museums all within walking distance from downtown and the marinas. This is a great way to explore some local art or learn more about Port Orchards maritime history.
- Log Cabin Museum, 202 Sidney Ave, ☏ . Sa 10AM-4PM, Su 1-4PM. Just up the street and only open seasonally and selectively, this quaint museum located in a historic log cabin features changing exhibits of home life in South Kitsap during the past 100 years as well as items typically used and tells the ongoing story of the Orchards. Worth watching for seasonal happenings like santa visiting at Christmas. free.
- Sidney Art Museum, 202 Sidney Ave (just up the hill from the marina), ☏ . Tu-Sa 10AM-4PM, Su 1-4PM. It is in one of Port Orchard's historic buildings, the Gallery features a monthly exhibition of works of Northwest artists. free.
- Veterans Living History Museum, 825 Bay St.. This tiny museum along main street is a labor of love by its curator who has collected and displays an amazing array of military memorabilia he has collected or has been donated to him over the years. Not much space is available to navigate this tiny museum but its worth a stop on your way exploring downtown.
- South Kitsap Regional Park, Jackson Ave SE & SE Lund Ave (various locations along Jackson and Lund). With a large area and many utilities including batting cages, a scale outdoor railroad, hiking trails, a 6-bench picnic shelter, 3 ballfields (baseball, softball, and multi-use), and more, the park frequently hosts local sports events and is a popular spot for social gatherings and celebrations.
- Central Park, 915 Dwight St. Basketball court, large field for informal games, playground, picnic areas, restrooms, this is a popular sunny park for kids and their families.
- The Commons (end of Sidney Ave, next to Public Library and accessible by public transit). A small grassy area with benches and a view of Port Orchard Marina and the ongoing ship traffic, this popular downtown park is the hub of many activities downtown.
- Marina Park, 901 Bay St (the park runs along the Bay Street waterfront). This popular waterfront park has a boardwalk, covered gazebo and beach access. This area is central stage for many events in Port Orchard including the summer outdoor Farmer's Market
- 1 Blake Island State Park (located in Puget Sound between Seattle and the Kitsap Peninsula). Port Orchard is a popular launching point for this nearby state park that was the birthplace of Chief Seattle and still offers Native American dancing for visitors.
- 2 Manchester State Park (at the entrance to Sinclair Inlet), ☏ . Summer: 8AM to dusk; winter: 8AM to dusk. It is a 111-acre camping park with 3,400 feet of saltwater shoreline on Rich Passage in Puget Sound between Southworth and Port Orchard. It was at one time a harbor defense installation for the protection of nearby Bremerton, then a fuel supply depot and Navy fire-fighting station. The park contains a former torpedo warehouse built in 1901, a mining casement, and a gun battery which are open for exploring. The park has 35 tent spaces, 15 utility spaces and two restrooms/showers. Maximum site length is 60 feet (may have limited availability). One dump station is near the entrance. To make a reservation, visit online or call +1-888-CAMPOUT or Template:0hone. Campsites are only available first-come, first-served between Sep 16 and May 14. There are three hiker/biker campsites available only to hikers and bikers and only on a first-come, first-served basis. These sites include a picnic table. Braziers are not provided.
- 3 Square Lake State Park (from Hwy 16: take the Sedgewick exit, head west on Sedgewick; at the stoplight go straight onto Glennwood. Follow Glennwood for 2½ miles to fork; go straight onto Lake Flora Rd; follow Lake Flora Rd. for 1 mile, take a right onto Square Lake Rd. Park is at end of road). Summer: 8AM to dusk, winter: closed from mid-September to the end of April. Don't let the Manchester address fool you, this 7.9-acre park is southwest of Port Orchard along Lake Flora Rd. Popular with sport fishermen with limited parking and access, a small pit toilet is available. Best suited for hand-launched boats.
- Calvinwood State Park, 6838 Calvinwood Road SW, Port Orchard. Known for the large lodge on Nels Johnson Lake and surrounded by just over 100 acres of wilderness.
- Howe Farm County Dog Park, Long Lake Road Southeast (take Hwy 16 to Sedgwick; travel east on Sedgwick about three miles to Long Lake Road; the park is on Long Lake Road between Mile High Drive and Sedgwick). when Fido needs to stretch his legs and play with other dogs, this is the park to be in. Lots of room to run and meet other dogs.
- [formerly dead link] Wynn-Jones Nature Preserve (travel through Port Orchard on Beach Drive; drive about five miles along the water to Wynn Jones Road; turn left off of Beach Drive, and left again from Wynn Jones Road into the parking area; cross the road and go uphill to find the trails). daylight hours only. 54 acres of saltwater access and hiking trails offering views of Puget Sound and ship traffic passing through the area.
- April -Port Orchard Farmers Market Opens
- May -Kitsap Harbor Festival: Bremerton.Port Orchard Marina
- May -Annual Seagull Calling Festival - Port Orchard Waterfront Park
- May- Concerts on the Bay (usually Thursday evenings)-Port Orchard Waterfront Park
- June/July Fathoms O’ Fun Summer Festival.
- June- Fathoms O’ Fun Grand Parade- Downtown
- July 4th- Fathoms O’ Fun Grand Fireworks- Sinclair Inlet
- July -Chris Craft Rendezvous- PO Marina
- August - The Cruz Classic Car Show and Festival by the Bay
- August - Olalla Bluegrass Festival- Olalla
- Sept- Taste of Port Orchard- Port Orchard Waterfront Park
- December- Festival of Chimes & Lights
- [dead link] Dragonfly Cinema Movie Theater, 822 Bay St, ☏ . A selection of indie, foreign, classics, and new movies with strong stories, this cinema in downtown Port Orchard only shows films on the weekends and offers a VIP option. Rumor has it that this vintage theater is haunted.
- Kitsap Live Steamers, 3100 SE Marbeth LN (located at South Kitsap Regional Park), firstname.lastname@example.org. second and fourth Saturdays of each month, April through October, weather permitting. Train operations are from 10AM to 4PM. Scale outdoor railroad enthusiasts operating a non-profit 7 1/2-inch gauge railroad take visitors on a tour of the park. donations suggested.
- [dead link] Paradise Theatre, 9911 Burnham Dr NW, Gig Harbor, ☏ . Founded in May 2000, Paradise Theatre was created to serve the Arts Community by providing both theatre education and Professional grade entertainment to the Puget Sound Area.
- Rodeo Drive-In Theatre, 7369 State Hwy 3 Bremerton, ☏ . Port Orchard is the closest neighbor, a well-loved and awesome classic drive-in movie theater.
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. The Sinclair Inlet north of Port Orchard is one of only a handful of locations in the area along the trail and an excellent area for birdwatching.
Port Orchard is blessed with several of the top golf courses in the state some of which offer shuttle service to their courses from the marina for those arriving by boat.
- McCormick Woods, 5155 McCormick Wods SW, ☏ . The course is known for being equally beautiful and challenging.
- Trophy Lake Golf & Casting, 3900 SW Lake Flora Rd, ☏ . Expensive and very well-maintained golf course and fishing lodge-style clubhouse.
- Village Greens Golf Course, 2298 Fircrest Dr SE, ☏ . Daily 8AM - 4:30PM. Affordable 19-hole golf course that is well designed, Caddy shack has hotdogs, soda and coffee. There is also a small driving range.
Sea kayaking can be a rewarding way to explore the Kitsap Peninsulas' nearly 400 miles of coastline and Port Orchard is a popular place to launch with its convenient downtown boat launch giving paddlers a closeup look of the harbor and the nearby naval shipyard. There is a 500 ft (150 m) buffer around military vessels and ferry traffic is common, but shipping lanes are easily avoidable by boating close to shore and there is still plenty to see and do. Port Orchard is also home to the Port Orchard Paddle Club organizing many local kayaking events.
Organized trails offer overnight camping options and maps of appropriate lengths and scenic travel destinations.
- Kitsap Peninsula Water Trails. Port Orchard is centrally located on this trail and gives many options for exploring the local waterways, PDF copies of the water trails map are available
Scuba diving the cold waters of the Puget Sound takes a bit more gear and training than warm water locations, but the rewards are incredible. The area offers some of the best diving in the world and many areas are accessible from the Port Orchard via boat. The state offers a guide to parks with launch sites HERE[dead link].
Watermans Wall is a well-known advanced dive accessible by boat near Port Orchard. When rounding Point Glover, you will see a very prominent navigational marker on a large concrete foundation on the shore to your left (mistaken for a lighthouse by some). Find the wall with a depth sounder on a straight line between this navigational marker and a little red house on the far shore that sits all by itself. This puts you just south of the marker, with the wall starting in about 75 yards offshore. Anchor in about 40 feet of water on the shelf above the wall, about 10 yards from the wall. The wall starts in about 50 feet of water.
The wall has some shear faces, lengthy ledges, boulders, rock piles, and some large crevices. Here you can find most of the famous marine creatures that make Puget Sound the marine-life Mecca that it is. Lots of little Pink Scallops and some big Rock Scallops, Giant Barnacles, a wide assortment of sea stars including Sunflower Stars. Brown Rockfish and Quillback Rockfish, Lingcod, Buffalo Sculpins and Orange, purple, and yellow sponges are in abundance, as are yellow Sea Lemons nudibranchs. Wolf Eels and Giant Pacific Octopus can be seen here also. However, the steep terrain and currents make this an advanced dive.
- Well-known to regional scuba divers, Orchard Rocks Conservation Area is located northeast of Manchester State Park in the waters and bedlands of Rich Passage within a 400-yard radius of Orchard Rocks day marker and accessible by boat from Port Orchard. The natural bedrock and boulders provide habitats for rock-associated fish and invertebrate species. Copper rockfish and quillback rockfish once were common at this site but now are rare. Brown rockfish are common as are lingcod, red Irish lord, buffalo sculpin, striped seaperch, and pile perch. Kelp greenling, painted greenling, and cabezon are consistently present in the reserve. Dominant invertebrates include red rock crab, spider crabs, red sea cucumber, and orange sea cucumber. Harbor seals frequently visit the site and are often seen hauled out on the exposed rocks at low tide. California sea lions are also commonly observed at the site and may be seen hauled out on nearby navigational buoys.
Port Orchard has expanded over the years to include strip malls, big box stores and chain fast food, however through these changes the historic downtown core which is accessible by foot from the marina has kept its small town character intact and is well worth exploring.
- [formerly dead link] Bay St Custom Picture Framing and Fat Cat Gallery, 839 Bay St, ☏ . not only a great local framer located downtown, but also an art gallery featuring local art and of course a fat cat for a mascot.
- Candy Shoppe, 833 Bay St, ☏ . A favorite for children that will bring out the children in adults as well. Many kinds of candy and over-the-top fudge.
- Olympic Enterprises Bike & Skate, 744 Bay St, ☏ . An old school bike and bike repair shop, worth peeking in just to see the crazy variety of bikes.
- Port Orchard Farmers Market (on the downtown waterfront between Amy's on the Bay Restaurant and Marina Park, behind Peninsula Feed Store). Mid Apr—mid-Oct: Sa 9AM-3PM. to help preserve the agricultural identity and quality of rural life by providing a place for our local farmers to market their produce & farm products to the communities of the Kitsap Peninsula.
- Maggie's Attic, 825 Bay St, ☏ . Vintage costume jewelry, antique handbags, and vanity items.
- Olde Central Antique Mall, 801 Bay St, ☏ . A mixed bag of vendors means a large selection and many different price levels, a great place to treasure shop.
Like the rest of the area, Seafood is a specialty so look for seasonal specials and locally sourced ingredients. Dungeness crabs, clams, oysters, mussels, and of course, Salmon can all be found in abundance but look also for fresh produce from local farms. Blackberry season towards the end of summer usually means these tasty local berries will find their way into local dessert menus. Port Orchard offers a variety of dining options, including seafood, Italian, gourmet hot dogs and hamburgers and of course, pizza.
- Morning Side Bakery, 707 Bay St, ☏ . M-Th 5AM - 7PM, F 5AM - 8PM, Sa 6AM - 8PM, Su 7AM - 6PM. This bakery is dangerously close to the marina for anyone on a diet, a great place to start the morning.
- Bay Street Bistro, 834 Bay St, ☏ . A popular Port Orchard destination for both tourists and locals, this place offers everything from pork chops to martinis.
- Hiro Japanese Restaurant, 920 Bay St, ☏ . A nice mix of Japanese and American (California) sushi in a pleasant atmosphere.
- Amy's by the Bay, 100 Harrison Ave, ☏ . Seafood and all-American burgers served with a great view of the water.
- [dead link] La Palapa, 150 Harrison Ave, ☏ . A great Mexican restaurant close to the marina with fresh food and good drink specials.
- Jj's On the Bay, 833 Bay St, ☏ . In a great location by the Port Orchard foot ferry dock, and has good views with outdoor seating and a nice, clean interior and expansive menu.
- Hideaway Cafe, 807 Bay St, Ste B, ☏ . Small and a little difficult to find despite its downtown location, this family-owned business serves great breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.
- Pizza Factory, 1800 SE Mile Hill Dr, ☏ . A pizza place and salad bar that also offers delivery.
Like the rest of Puget Sound, Port Orchard takes its coffee pretty seriously. Chain shops like Starbucks are prevalent but try these coffee shops for some local flavor.
- Chug-A-Tug Espresso, 110 Bay St, ☏ . A boat-themed drive-through coffee stand. On Tuesdays, you can get 50 cents off your beverage for correctly answering their trivia question.
- Creme Cafe, 174 SW Sedgwick Rd, ☏ . Daily 6AM - 9PM. Another locally owned espresso shop with a creative variety of coffee combinations. Try starting your morning with a 'Rockstar Mimosa' which is a watermelon energy drink and orange drink combo.
- The Crow's Nest, 701 Bay St, ☏ . Another boat-themed coffee shop, this little one is located downtown close to the water.
- Cutters Point Coffee, 4720 Bethel Rd. SE, ☏ . This small chain was founded in nearby Gig Harbor and is named after a nearby landing point of the 1792 exploration of the area.
- Dippity Donuts & Espresso, 1540 Retsil Rd, ☏ . M-F 8AM - 6:30PM, Sa Su 8AM - 3PM.
- Lighthouse Espresso, 6300 SE Mile Hill Dr, ☏ . M-F 5AM - 6PM, Sa 6AM - 6PM, Su 7AM - 4PM. A bit off the beaten path for most tourists, this drive-up lighthouse-themed espresso stand is on the route to the Southworth ferry.
- Whiskey Gulch Coffee Company, 2065 Bay St, ☏ . Whiskey Gulch was the name given to the area that once was home to an illegal moonshine operation that flourished based on its proximity to Puget Sound shipping routes. Now they serve coffee, soup, and sandwiches, and an occasional band might play there as well.
- The Grey House, 1130 Bethel Ave., ☏ , email@example.com. Coffee, delicious tea, and a broad food menu served in a fancy pink Victorian house.
Bars are scattered across the area. However, there are enough of them downtown close to the marina to be able to perform a mini bar crawl.
- Bethel Tavern, 3840 Bethel Rd SE, ☏ . Probably a bit off the beaten track for most tourists, but if you're looking for the classic dive bar full of colorful locals complete with peanut shells on the floor, this is your place. Older than anyone can remember they also have music on the weekends.
- Lighthouse Restaurant & Lounge, 429 Bay St, ☏ . A lighthouse-themed lounge close to downtown with a view of the water.
- MoonDogs Too, 714 Bay St, ☏ . Great food and family-friendly pub.
- One Ten Lounge, 110 Harrison Ave, ☏ . A popular jazz and blues lounge downtown known for its extensive drink menu.
- Rendezvous Tavern, 1750 Village Lane SE, ☏ .
- Slaughter County Brewing Company, 1307 Bay St, ☏ . Hand crafted beers in a maritime, pirate-themed pub with views of the water. The name comes from the original name of the county before it was changed to Kitsap.
- Tommy C's Sports Bar & Grill, 1501 Piperberry Way #201, ☏ .
- Comfort Inn, 1121 Bay St, ☏ . On the waterfront and close to downtown, this hotel is a popular option.
- Days Inn, 220 Bravo Terrace, ☏ . Far from downtown, this hotel is close to a freeway exit.
- Vista Motel, 1090 Bethel Ave, ☏ . A small local motel with friendly staff.
Bed and Breakfasts
- Cedar Cove Inn, 228 Seattle Ave, ☏ . This well-restored 1909 home has several guest rooms with private baths and overlooks Port Orchard Bay, Sinclair Inlet, and the Olympic Mountains. $115-165.
- The Vintage Inn, 703 Kitsap St. A bed and breakfast set up in a historic house that used to be the home of the town treasurer, even has a walk-in safe where all of the records used to be kept.
- Little Clam Bay Bed & Breakfast, 7801 E. Jessica Way, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Near Manchester and overlooking Little Clam Bay this small bed and breakfast offers a wonderful location and privacy. $165 for master suite with an extra bedroom available.
Nearby Manchester State Park offers 35 tent spaces, 15 utility spaces, and two restrooms/showers. Several campsites are reserved for non-motorized campers such as kayakers or bicyclists.
Located on the Sinclair Inlet, Port Orchard is an excellent starting point for exploring the area by water. Bremerton and its historic Naval Shipyard and convenient marina are directly across the water via boat or foot ferry. Bainbridge Island, Manchester State Park, and Blake Island State Park are also nearby to the east.
- Kitsap Regional Library Port Orchard, 87 Sidney Ave, ☏ . More than just a community library, this branch near downtown and the waterfront offers many events for children including story time and kids' movies, and for adults it hosts book clubs and visiting authors. See website for current events, might offer a nice break from other activities and a chance to learn more about the area.
|Routes through Port Orchard|
|Bremerton via ← Gorst ←||N S||→ Burley → Tacoma|