Bremerton Things to Do

  • Small Beach and Pier used for Fishing or Boat Moor
    Small Beach and Pier used for Fishing or...
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  • Charter Boat Joker offers trips from Bremerton
    Charter Boat Joker offers trips from...
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  • waiting area for Kitsap Transit Foot Ferry
    waiting area for Kitsap Transit Foot...
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Best Rated Things to Do in Bremerton

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    Kitsap Foot Ferry / Carlisle II Museum

    by glabah Written Jun 10, 2010

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    Carlisle II is a 1917 ferry operating museum piece
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    Operating as both a museum and as a form of transportation, the Kitsap Foot Ferry operates between Bremerton and Port Orchard. It is funded by Kitsap Transit, and currently operates once every half hour. By "Foot Ferry" they mean exactly that: it is a walk-on only ferry, and if you want to take your vehicle you will have to spend the half hour or so it takes to drive all the way around Sinclair Inlet.

    There is also a route that operates Bremerton to Annapolis. However, there isn't as much to do in Annapolis. Also, that route is served by a more modern boat. Bremerton -> Port Orchard is specifically set aside for the Carlisle II.

    The boat Carlisle II was built in 1917, and is a living piece of Puget Sound history. It is the last of the "mosquito fleet" (the small boats that used to provide ferry service between scores of cities throughout the area) still in regular operation. Therefore, the boat also serves as a small floating museum, and the interior is equipped with a number of photos and a little bit of information about some of the cousin boats that used to operate thoughout the area.

    Current prices are $2 cash for each crossing, so $4 for a round trip ticket. The trip is very short, but it gives you a good look at the surrounding area from the boat.

    As it is a short trip, there are no services on board such as refreshments or food. There are two decks, and the opper deck features an small outdoor seating area.

    Trips depart from the lower level of the Kitsap Foot Ferry terminal, which is on the northeast side of the Bremerton Ferry Terminal. Follow the signs from inside the main ferry terminal for the big Washington State Ferries to Seattle. From the Washington State Ferry waiting room, you would need to go through the Kitsap Transit office and waiting area, through the doors at the end of the room by the restrooms and drinking fountain, then go down the stairs that are just outside the doors. You must then go all the way out to the end of the small pier, and then down to the lower level of that pier.

    Watch your Children! There is no barrier of any sort at the edge of the dock, and it is possible to just walk right off the edge - so just keep them away from the edge until there is a boat there ready to board. Just treat it like you would waiting for a bus on the edge of a busy street: you don't want to walk out there.

    There are life preservers to throw in in the event someone does fall in, however.

    Related to:
    • Sailing and Boating
    • Museum Visits
    • Cruise

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    Puget Sound Naval Shipyard Memorial Plaza

    by glabah Written Nov 30, 2009

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    Puget Sound Naval Shipyard Memorial Plaza from N.
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    Located on the north side of the main entry to the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, this plaza and impressive fountain is a memorial to a number of different people:


    This wonderful plaza honors the history of the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and the men and women who have maintained the ships of the United States Navy.
    Special thanks to Congressman Norm Dicks, the United States Navy, the State of Washington, the workers in the shipyard, and the Bremerton City Council for their support of this project.
    We must also recognize the work of Gary Sexton, Project Manager. Without him this magnificent plaza would never have been built!
    Mayor Cary Bozeman
    May 16, 2009


    The fountain starts at the intersection of Pacific Avenue and Burwell Street, and flows downhill from there through the various memorial scenes.

    Parts of the fountain, particularly at the lower end of the fountain, are animated and change very slowly as time goes on. Sometimes water "snakes" splash onto the side of rock faces, while at other times they shoot directly through holes carved in the rocks.

    Benches, raised picnic tables, flowers, and other pieces are intermixed with statues of particular workers, photos of workers on large coin-like sculptures, and sculptures made from ship pieces.

    One piece of memorial sculpture has a plaque that reads:


    Esther Bielmeier
    Esther Bielmeier was born on October 30, 1900. During the Great War Esther and sister Nora hired into the Shipyard as rivet heaters, passers and catchers. The women took turns heating the rivets, and tossing the heated rivets to the catchers who delivered them to the male riveter. Esther worked at the shipyard from 1918 to 1920. In the the summer of 1919 this photograph was taken of Esther operating a rivet heater. This photograph is the inspiration for the Memorial Plaza's centerpiece statue created at the Creo Industrial Arts by Sculptor James Sellen Guerci in 2009. The artist felt it was important to capture the authenticity of her appearance in the photograph. Esther passed away on Mother's Day of 1989.


    Other sculptures and pieces in the memorial are reaonably well described, while a few of the photos are apparently only to represent general workers, as the names of all those who worked here over the many decades of operation number in the tens of thousands.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Budget Travel

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    Puget Sound Navy Museum

    by glabah Updated Sep 3, 2009

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    entrance to Naval Museum on S side (r), main house
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    With no entrance fee, not only does the Puget Sound Navy Museum in Bremerton offer quite a bit of history of the ship building and repair industry that has been located here for many decades, but it is also one of the best bargains in the Puget Sound area.

    The museum is open 10 am to 4 pm Monday through Saturday, and 1 to 4 PM on Sundays.

    Not only does the museum have quite an extensive collection of models and artifacts from the history of the ship building and repair that happened here, but there is a fair amount of current information about ongoing work and fairly recent efforts. You will find descriptions of a number of different levels of work that go on today in Bremerton, presented by the labor unions involved in doing some of that work.

    It should be noted that today the Bremerton Naval Shipyard is only an intermediate repair facility, and actual ship building and even heavy repairs no longer occur here. There are, however, artifacts and photographs from the years in which those activities did occur here.

    This is one of the places that is actually much easier to visit if you don't drive your car onto the ferry from Seattle. From the passenger only area of the ferry terminal, all you need to do is walk south past the entrance to the naval shipyard itself, turn left as you go past the main gate, and enter on the south (right) side of the spectacular historic officer's home that you see in photo 1. If you drive your car onto the ferry from Seattle, you need to find somewhere north of downtown to park it, and then walk back towards the ferry terminal several blocks. There is no civilian parking allowed anywhere near the main entrance to the naval ship yards, which is where the museum is located.

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    • Family Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel

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    Kitsap County Historical Society Museum

    by glabah Written Nov 30, 2009

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    Kitsap County Historical Society Museum Entrance
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    With two levels, this is a fairly nice museum considering the size of city where it is located. However, to get the full value of the museum, it is best to visit when the occasional rotating display upstairs is actually displaying something (I managed to visit on a day when the display was in the process of being changed, and so upstairs was closed).

    Displays downstairs include a history of the area, starting with Native American artifacts at the entrance to the exhibit space. This then moves on into logging exhibits, and a recreation of the early 1900s storefronts that made up the city of Bremerton, including antique fire fighting apparatus. Artifacts also include early industry, such as ship building, and of course the Navy yard. Small pieces of the ferry fleet (both the big ships and the "mosquito fleet") are also preserved here. In more recent days, modern equipment such as the old telephone exchange is part of the museum.

    The museum is open late on the first Thursday of every month, as part of the First Thursday Art Festival.

    Admission charge is $2 per adult, or $5 per family, with some discounts available.

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    • Family Travel
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    Bremerton Boardwalk

    by glabah Written Nov 30, 2009

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    Bremerton Boardwalk: looking N on first segment
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    While only one small segment of this boardwalk has been completed, what has been completed is a great example of what may be coming to the waterfront in Bremerton.

    The boardwalk is a very wide sidwwalk positioned above the waters of Port Orchard, and eventually Port Washington Narrows will be included as well. The eventual plan is for the boardwalk to go north all the way to Evergreen Park.

    All along the boardwalk, there are decorated light posts, and a few sculptures and other works that memorialize the ship builders and workers that have made Bremerton a part of Puget Sound history.

    Look carefully at the memorial plaques affixed to each light pole, as they also tell a little bit of the story of Brememrton.

    This is also the case beneath your feet, as some of the funds for the walkway were paid for by citizens buying bricks with various names, slogans or other statements engraved on them.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Historical Travel

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    Harborside Fountain Park

    by glabah Updated Sep 10, 2009

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    Harborside Fountain Park from Ferry to Seattle
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    Crammed between the Washington State Ferries terminal and the Bremerton Navy Ship Yard, you will find a small park that features concrete walkways, and views of Sinclair Inlet. There are a number of benches and a few picnic tables, and some eccentric artwork scattered here and there in the park.

    The most dominant of these eccentric art works is the fountain which, at moments and patterns only its computer system knows in advance, will spout forth exploding balls of water into the air. Sometimes the spouts go off in a progressive order, at other times there are random spouts, and in many cases the fountain just sits there innocently gurgling small trickles of water from the top of its five streamlined stacks.

    I have a video of the fountain in action.

    The fountain seems to be a popular place for children (even some older ones!) to get wet and cool off on hot days. There are, however, warning signs that warn that fountain water is, in fact, wet, and anyone getting too close to the water in the fountain may, in fact, become wet just like the water in the fountain!

    (The sign actually says: "CAUTION When active, spray from Fountain, Super Shooter will drift over Walkways in Light Winds. We recommend staying off walkway in the direction of the Tail of the Weather Vane.")

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    U.S.S. Turner Joy Cruiser Ship Museum

    by glabah Updated Dec 16, 2009

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    USS Turner Joy as museum ship in Bremerton
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    Having been built and launched at the Puget Sound Bridge and Dredging Company, the USS Turner Joy truly is a piece of Puget Sound ship history, and certainly a part of the Navy legacy of Bremerton.

    The ship is a museum that has been pretty much preserved as it was when it was decomissioned in 1982. The most modern instrumenton the ship from its days of service appears to be the electronic cash register in the comissary.

    Additions made by the museum include display signs, transparent windows around objects they do not want people to touch and blocking off certain rooms, and a Prisoner of War memorial / monument and war memorial constructed out of several rooms.

    Almost the entire ship may be explored, including the engine room, bridge (interior and exterior - though it is somewhat hard to find your way to the interior part as it involves an easily missed ladder), parts of the officers quarters (commanding officer and executive officer), and cafeteria. Parts that you are not able to explore, but are able to view through transparent walls that have been added across the doorways, include navigation and communication rooms. Places that are off limits completely include the very bottom level of the ship, and certain stairways.

    Be sure to take a close look at the various decorations and material on the wall - as they include some interesting items such as knot tying artwork, a few odd drawings and photos of the history of the ship.

    Standard price is $10, but there are discounted tickets for children and seniors, and active military with ID are admitted free of charge.

    Special tours include such things as "Haunted Ship" around Holloween.

    During the peak tourist season, the ship is open every day of the week, 10 to 5. During the off-peak season, the ship is only open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It is expected that people will need at least an hour to explore the ship, and they stop selling tickets completely about 1/2 hour before closing time.

    Strollers and wheelchairs are very difficult to use on the ship, as it is in service configuration.

    Ladders and hatchways can be very steep, so watch your step and carefully consider how you will get back up or down the ladder once you have explored the area you are entering. Be sure to explore all these passageways if you are physically able to do so (see example) as these all lead to various places worth exploring in the ship.

    Be sure to look at the web site, which includes a considerable amount of history about the vesel, plus a quick video tour.

    It is also possible to rent meeting or other facility space on the ship, and educational groups (such as scout groups) may be able to spend the night on the ship under special circumstances.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

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    Aurora Valentinetti Puppet Museum

    by glabah Updated May 11, 2010

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    entrance to Aurora Valentinetti Puppet Museum
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    The official name of this organization (although there isn't enough space allowed in the Tip Title to give the entire thing) is the Evergreen Children's Theatre and Aurora Valentinetti Puppet Museum.

    While the majority of the space in the storefront is taken up by the puppet museum, the puppet museum is only a division of the Evergreen Children's Theatre.

    And "storefront" it is in a literal sense: the space was once obviously designed as a retail location.

    Puppets on display here include a number of interesting works from Asia, as well as puppets made by the University of Washington's puppet theatre program going back to the 1930s. I can't tell you specifically what you will see in the museum however. The collection has well over 1,000 puppets in their collection (according to the web site), and there is only space in the museum to display a fraction of that - at least one tourist guide book suggests the display space is limited to a maximum of 100 puppets. Therefore, displays and puppets are rotated through the museum and back into storage, and as the web site says, the museum display is always being re-worked to provide a "fresh experience" for the visitor. The photos you see in this tip are of puppets that happened to be on display when I visited in October of 2009, but with the ratio of stored displays to actual display space, there is actually a pretty good chance you WON'T see the same displays as I have in the photos.

    Aurora Valentinetti was an instructor in the University of Washington School of Drama, particularly in the area of children's theatre and puppetry. A portion of her very large collection of puppets and props formed a significant part of the early collection and displays in the museum. Some of these materials go all the way back to at least the 1930s era of University of Washington puppet production and children's theatre (I only know this because some of the 1930s puppets were on display when I visited - it could very well be that parts of the museum's collection go back even further, but just didn't happen to be on display at the time of my visit.)

    In 2004, the museum was part of a special agreement between the Port of Bremerton and Qui Zhenhua (“Qiuqiu”), Chief Representative in China, West China Development International Association (USA), Chengdu Representative Office. This arrangement has brought a number of Chinese gifts, including puppets and puppet related material given to the musuem.

    In the past year, over 140 items have been donated to the museum, so the collection continues to grow.

    The museum also has a retail store, which includes naturally some puppet materials and other toys.

    The facility operates off of donations only, and as of this writing there is no set charge entrance fee. Their suggested donation when I visited in late 2009 was $2 per adult.

    Related to:
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    • Arts and Culture
    • Museum Visits

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    Day trip to Hood Canal

    by bfiesta Written Jun 27, 2006

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    Seabeck is cute. Go to Big Beef Creek at low tide and you will usually see bald eagles working the beach for food. Buy a shell fish license at the Lone Rock store (cash only) and schuck oysters and picnic on the beach at Scenic Beach State Park.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Sailing and Boating
    • Family Travel

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    Illahee State Park

    by glabah Written Nov 5, 2011
    Small Beach and Pier used for Fishing or Boat Moor

    Illahee State Park is several miles (several km) north of Bremerton, and features a small beach, several picnic areas, and a small campground. Fishing and shell fishing are allowed here during certain times of the year. Picnic shelters are available in several areas, but may be reserved ahead of time.

    There are several monuments and memorials in the state park.

    As Illahee State Park is a separate destination in the VirtualTourist database, I have placed all of my Illahee State Park items in my Illahee State Park page. The link below is to the Washington State Parks page about this park.

    Related to:
    • Camping
    • Beaches

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    Various Boat Trips and Tours from Bremerton

    by glabah Written Nov 9, 2011
    Charter Boat Joker offers trips from Bremerton

    There are various boat trips available from Bremerton. Some of these are charter trips, while others are regularly operated tours. I can't tell you too much about any of them yet, as I haven't been on any of them yet. However, I did notice several advertisement boards placed on ships along the Bremerton waterfront walkway, and am passing on the information for those interested in getting more information (and this includes me - this tip is partly to help me remember what was advertised here and what might be interesting to research).

    The boat tour operators here in Bremerton seem to have a lot more of a budget minded operation (ie, their signs are simple cardboard or wooden sings attached to the side of their boats, or sandwich board signs along the walkway) and this seems like it might be more reasonably priced than the Seattle equivalent.

    Here are a few advertisements that I noticed:

    Charter Boat Joker offers charter trips for groups or individuals. Keep in mind that fishing is a seasonal activity and thus fishing trips offered will depend on if they are in season or not.
    http://www.charterboatjoker.com
    The hand letter sign says:
    "Salmon Fishing, Sundays $95, Thursdays $110. Limiting to 8 people."

    Tillicum Village trips from Bremerton
    one sandwich board sign advertised Tillicum Village trips, which almost always depart from Seattle rather than from Bremerton. The trips are handled by Argossy Cruises as well, but the boat trip is handled from Kitsap Harbor Tours.
    http://www.argosycruises.com/publiccruises/tillicum.cfm
    The season runs from early March to late October.

    Related to:
    • Cruise
    • Sailing and Boating
    • Fishing

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    Kids on a hot day

    by bfiesta Written Aug 31, 2007

    Bremerton's newest park, the Harbor Side Fountain Park, is located right next to the ferry terminal. It's a great place on a hot summer day for both kids and adults. The park entrance is next to the new Naval museum. It consists of four very large wadding pools with very large fountains that are supposed to resemble spouting whales. And spout they do... 30 feet into the air. The fountains were built by the same company that created the fountains at the Belagio resort in Las Vegas. It's a nice little, manageable park to cool down on a hot day.

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    Day trip to Seattle

    by bfiesta Updated Jun 28, 2006

    Easy to hop on the ferry and daytrip to Seattle. Tons of things to do in Seattle, of course. Pikes Market! Go early! I love going early in the morning shortly after the vendors have set up. Take a drive to Greenwood Memorial Park in Renton and pay homage to Jimi Hendrix grave site. Or drive to Capital Hill (two or three miles from downtown Seattle) and see if you can find the Lee family site (hint: Lakeview Cemetery).

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    Turner Joy ship tour

    by bfiesta Written Jun 27, 2006

    A must do is the Turner Joy ship tour. I finally went last year after living here for several years. Very interesting, informative and fun. You can spend several hours going through the whole ship! Ask if they have guided tours... if so, take one. Then explore the ship on your own.

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    Picnic at Illahee Park

    by bfiesta Written Jun 27, 2006

    Make sure to visit the WWII buildings and read the placards. Interesting history here. Lovely park to picnic and enjoy. Buy a crab ring (and fishing license) and some bait (chicken parts) perhaps you'll catch lunch? Explore the 75 acres of forest... still some old growth (500+ Year Douglas Fir trees).

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Bremerton Things to Do

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