Top 20 Washington State Trips


The harborside town of Bremerton is home to waterfront restaurants, a superb fountain park, excellent naval museum, history museum and warship open for tours.

Choose from a scenic 30 or 60 minute ferry crossing from Seattle to Bremerton.

The pedestrian only ferry to Bremerton takes 30 minutes, and leaves from Pier 54 on the Seattle waterfront (check schedule).

The car ferry takes 60 minutes, and leaves from Pier 52 on the Seattle waterfront (check schedule).

All key attractions are near the Bremerton ferry terminal, making it super easy to explore on foot.

10 best things to do in Bremerton

1.  Seattle to Bremerton ferry.

Seattle has some beautiful ferry rides, and the trip out to Bremerton is amongst the best.  The Bremerton Ferry leaves from Pier 52 on the Seattle Waterfront, and travels west along Elliot Bay, past Bainbridge Island, then through the quieter waters of Sinclair Inlet. 

The pedestrian only ferry to Bremerton is much faster, and takes 30-minutes (check schedule). If you want to take your car, the ride is 60-minutes (check schedule).  This might be useful if you want to explore some other cool towns near Bremerton, like Port Gamble, Winslow, Port Townsend and Poulsbo.

The Bremerton Ferry docks directly in-front of the Harborside Fountain Park, and Puget Sound Navy Museum. These's some great sightseeing onboard the Seattle to Bremerton Ferry route, including million dollar waterfront properties along Sinclair Inlet.

The snowcapped north and south peaks of The Brothers are visible in the Olympic National Park, behind the Bremerton waterfront.

2. Puget Sound Navy Museum.

The FREE Puget Sound Navy Museum is within walking distance of the ferry terminal at Bremerton.  This is a top notch museum with some really cool exhibits, and a room especially for kids.

The museum primarily focuses on two topics; life aboard the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier, and the history of the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton. It's fascinating to learn about Bremerton's critical shipbuilding role during WWII, when thousands of workers were ferried in from Seattle each day to build these warships.  By 1945 the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard was working around the clock, with a staggering 32,500 employees!

The museum can be accessed behind this colonial-style building (historic building 50) on Farragut street in Bremerton.

The black sail of the USS Parche is positioned proudly in front of the museum.  This submarine is the most decorated in U.S. Navy history, and was allegedly involved in many secretive espionage missions. Imagine the stories it could tell! 

Take the stairs up to the USS Nimitz exhibit (CVN 68), the leading nuclear powered aircraft carrier in the navy's Nimitz class.

There's a whole section dedicated to life onboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz. You'll learn about all kinds of fascinating things, like how fresh water is sourced, the different roles on the flight deck, and the enormous effort it takes to feed 5,000 sailors onboard an aircraft carrier each day. There's also a fun flight simulator where you can sit in a fighter pilot's chair.

Learn about the arresting gear on deck, designed to bring a plane to a full stop when it lands on deck.

Each sailor on deck has a color coded specific role, to make operations run smoothly.

3. Harborside Fountain Park.

The Harborside Fountain Park at Bremerton is one of the best designed public spaces in the Pacific Northwest.  The fountains are usually operational from March to the end of October. 

The fountains and wading pools at this park were built by the same company that designed the famous fountains in front of Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, so you're in for a treat. It's located beside the Naval Museum, and is super fun for kids and adults alike! 

Five giant fountains point towards the water like an armada of warships leaving Bremerton, and the spouting fountains are also reminiscent of active volcanoes in this region. Explore the wading pools beneath each fountain, perfect to cool off on a summer's day. The Harborside Waterfront Park at Bremerton is superbly landscaped in a Japanese Garden style, with beautiful granite sculptures adorning the grounds, and plenty of tables and chairs for picnics. 

The fountains almost seem to take flight, like warships on their way to battle. Everything along the Bremerton waterfront is nautical themed, taking into account its incredible naval history.

4.  Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.

The Puget Sound Naval Shipyard sits adjacent to the Harborside Fountain Park at Bremerton.  The Puget Sound Naval Shipyard occupies 1-mile along the waterfront, with dry docks, repair shops, piers and more.  This is a massive operation!

There's so much history here, but the shipyard's greatest achievement was building the U.S. Navy's fleet of warships during WWII.  Workers labored day and night to construct 24 vessels, and repair 225 other vessels, including aircraft carriers, destroyers, and battleships.  Five of the damaged ships from the Pearl Harbor bombing were also repaired here.

In 1992 the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard was designated a National Historic Landmark District, recognizing it's huge contribution to U.S. maritime history. 

5.  USS Turner Joy Warship.

The USS Turner Joy Warship is a short distance from the Navy Museum on the Bremerton waterfront, and a fee is required to tour this ship.

The USS Turner Joy was launched in 1958, and decommissioned in 1984.  It could carry 17 officers and 275 enlisted sailors, and was deployed in the Pacific during the Vietnam War, and Gulf of Tonkin incident.

6.  Anthony's Restaurant.

The Bremerton Waterfront district has a choice of great restaurants. 

 For sweeping views of the harbor, stop by Anthony's Restaurant on the Bremerton waterfront.

There are amazing views from the rooftop deck at Anthony's.

7. Bremerton Boardwalk.

The Bremerton Boardwalk overlocks the marina, and passes key attractions like the USS Turner Joy warship, Anthony's Restaurant and the Ferry Terminal.

There are some interesting sculptures along the boardwalk, like this one commemorating the 100 year history of the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.

Stop at The Shack for a casual lunch.

If you'd like to stay overnight at a hotel, the Hampton Inn and Suites also has a great location on the waterfront.

8. Kitsap History Museum.

Visit the FREE Kitsap History Museum in Bremerton's downtown, walkable from the waterfront. 

It's located in an art deco building that was formerly a bank.  

The first permanent exhibit is a re-creation of a main street in Kitsap County in 1890s, including a hotel, jeweler, doctor's office, and emporium. 

The second permanent exhibit covers the cultural history of Kitsap County, from the Ice Age to WWII.

9. Downtown Bremerton.

Stroll along 4th Avenue in Bremerton, for the Axe and Arrow Gastropub, Roxy Theater, The Bremerton Mercantile, and Dog Days Brewing.

10. PSNS Memorial Plaza in Bremerton.

The stunning Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (PSNS) Memorial Plaza was opened in 2009.  It's directly cross the road from the Puget Sound Navy Museum, on the corner of Pacific and Farragut Streets. 

The Memorial Plaza celebrates U.S. Naval history, with different terraces commemorating the efforts made by female workers during WWI, and other shipyard workers from WWII, to present day workers. 

The rock sculptures and fountains are beautifully done, designed by artist Will Robinson.

The stories of generations of naval workers, are etched into the stainless steel sculptures.  This plaza pays hommage to their tremendous efforts. A stream flows all the way from the top of the 2-acre park, to the bottom. 

A section of the USS South Carolina has been repurposed as a striking sculpture.  The Puget Sound Naval Shipyard at Bremerton is involved in decommissioning (scrapping) older ships.

A mural on the side of the USS South Carolina sculpture, indicates that a total of 24 warships were constructed and 225 warships repaired during WWII at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.

The memorial plaza celebrates the efforts of female workers during the war, like ship welder Miss Margaret Christenson.

Attractions near Bremerton.

  • Drive to the charming township of Winslow at nearby Bainbridge Island for a great selection of shops and restaurants.
  • The stunning Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island has a chateau, and english-style gardens.  This is one of the best gardens in Washington State.
  • The Scandinavian town of Poulsbo is also great for a meal along the waterfront.  Kids can also visit the touch-pools at the SEA Discovery Center.
  • Keyport is very close to Bremerton, and has a superb FREE Naval Undersea Museum where you can see torpedoes, the control room from a submarine, and deep submergence vehicles, including the one used in the Hollywood Movie, "The Hunt for Red October".
  • Drive north through the charming town of Port Gamble, with New-England style buildings gracing its main street.  Stop at the cafe at the historic general store for a coffee, check out some gift shops, do the self guided walking tour, and visit the Port Gamble Historic Museum.
  • Continue from Port Gamble to the breathtaking Point No Point Lighthouse, where you can stay overnight in the Lighthouse Keeper's Quarters.

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