Port Orchard Observation Deck
Located along Sinclair Inlet near the Kitsap Bank, this observation deck offers a slightly better view of the nearby mountain ranges than the walkway below. The stairs up to the walkway are somewhat steep, and the observation deck isn't that tall, but thanks to being able to see over the various boats and marina buildings you do get a slightly better view.
Port Orchard Waterfront Park
Westward from the Ferry Pier you will find that there is a very attractive park (especially in the spring when the flowers are in bloom) with open grass and a scattering of picnic tables and other places to relax.
There is a concrete walkway that runs along Sinclair Inlet from the ferry pier all the way behind one of the local banks and to the Port Orchard public boat ramp.
The park is attractive, and far from traffic noise, but it is also very small and except for coming here to relax, there isn't a huge amount to do in this park.
The primary points of interest in the park are:
+ the Port Orchard Welcome Map and Sign. Located close to the ferry pier entrance ramp, you will come face to face with this sign as you walk off the ferry and start to head into town. It has useful information about where to find things in Port Orchard. See my Port Orchard Welcome Map and Sign Tip
+ the "Ha Tu Ba Di" Memorial Totem is located right were the park joins the walkway to the ferry terminal. See my "Ha Tu Ba Di" Memorial Totem Tip
+ the Port Orchard Observation Deck is located in the far west end of the park. See my Port Orchard Observation Deck Tip
The park was dedicated in 1999 to the memory of Nick J. Repanich, who was mayor from 1962 to 1971, and a community leader credited with helping to establish the Port Orchard Marina that is now so important to the recreational fan base of the community.
Small Town South of Bremerton with Artworks
On a clear day, the small town of Port Orchard offers views of the Olympic Mountains and a few of the Cascades peaks.
The waters are mostly quiet, but the dominant view offered is of the sprawling US Navy Yard across Sinclair Inlet in Bremerton. There are great views of the Olympic Mountains, and otherwise the area is quite scenic, but it is really hard not to miss the aircraft carriers and other ships at the huge complex on Sinclair Inlet. (Note the Bald Eagle in the forground in this photo: thanks to efforts to clean up the industrial contamination, wildlife can be found here again.)
The town offers only a very few activities that would be of interest to tourists, and even those are very off the beaten path attractions that are unlikely to be of huge interest to a large number of people.
It is possible that you will see Bald Eagles in the area, as they fish in Sinclair Inlet and nest in the trees on the nearby hills. However, it is a rapidly growing suburban community of Seattle, and it is possible that many of the trees and other natural features that make the area so attractive to the human eye and to the wildlife that also lives here will soon be gone.
In the past, Port Orchard had its history of crafts, including a brewery (think local craft brew!) and ceramics. The big ceramics plant burned some decades ago, and the brewery relocated and has apparently been subjected to several layers of takeovers, so that the company doesn't even exist any more.
However, Port Orchard lives on, and there are efforts to bring back local art work and craft to this small city.
Murals, similar to the one shown here, were actually started in the early 1900's, but many of the original ones are gone. There is an effort to bring mural painting back to the city, however. Thus, you can find several buildings with murals, and there are plans and efforts to add more as time goes on.
The ceramics tradition lives on to a very limited extent, as shown by The Bells by Salamander Pottery.
Artworks by local artists are available at the Sidney Gallery and Manchester Art Gallery, which are located right downtown within a very short walk of the ferry pier.
One local artist has become quite famous in his field of Bonsai Trees, and you can see his work at Elandan Gardens, which is some distance west of town. Among other things, bald eagles regularly visit the trees of the gardens there. It is an artwork that not all can appreciate, but for those who know bonsai this is garden has become reasonably famous.
However, the local artists that almost anyone can appreciate are the locally produced works by Carter's Chocolates. While they are not an easy walk from downtown, there is at least a bus service that runs between downtown Port Orchard and the suburban shopping mall where you can watch their very tasty works of art being created. Among other places, these chocolates are also available at the Lighthouse Restaurant, which IS an easy walk within downtown Port Orchard.