The harborside town of Bremerton is home to waterfront restaurants, a superb fountain park, and excellent naval museum.
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. Take a stunning ferry ride from Seattle to Bremerton.
Seattle has some beautiful ferry rides, and this 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 infront 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 south and north peaks of The Brothers are visible in the Olympic National Park, behind the Bremerton waterfront.
2. Visit the free Puget Sound Navy Museum at Bremerton.
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.
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!
There's also a whole section in the museum dedicated to life onboard an aircraft carrier. 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.
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!
Stroll past the white colonial-style building, to the modern entrance to the Puget Sound Navy Museum.
3. Splash around at the Harborside Fountain Park.
The Harborside Fountain Park at Bremerton is one of the best designed public spaces in the Pacific Northwest. It's located beside the Naval Museum, and is super fun for kids and adults alike! 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.
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 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.
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 are usually operational from March to the end of October.
The Harborside Fountain Park at Bremerton is equally beautiful in fall, when the fountains stop running, but there's an explosion of color.
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 53 vessels, and repair over 130 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.
4. Tour a cool warship at Bremerton.
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.
There are some interesting sculptures along the waterfront, like this one commemorating the 100 year history of the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.
5. Relax beside the fountains at the 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.
These rocks resemble waves on a turbulent ocean.
6. Enjoy breathtaking views from a waterfront restaurant at Bremerton.
The Bremerton Waterfront district has a choice of great restaurants. For sweeping views of the harbor, stop by Anthony's Restaurant. If you'd like to stay overnight at a hotel, the Hampton Inn Suites also has a great location on the waterfront.
7. Check out the neighboring township of Winslow.
Drive to the charming township of Winslow at nearby Bainbridge Island for a great selection of shops and restaurants.
8. Stroll through divine Bloedel Reserve and Chateau.
The stunning Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island has a chateau, and english-style gardens. This is one of the best gardens in Washington State.
9. Experience an authentic Scandinavian town.
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.
10. See real torpedoes at the Naval Undersea Museum.
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".
11. Visit the charming New England-like town of Port Gamble.
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.
12. Tour Point No Point Lighthouse.
Continue from Port Gamble to the breathtaking Point No Point Lighthouse, where you can stay overnight in the Lighthouse Keeper's Quarters.
Proposed itinerary when visiting Bremerton.
Stop by the free Puget Sound Navy Museum to learn about Bremerton's major shipbuilding efforts during WWII. Bremerton was the epicenter of warship production in the U.S., building over 50 warships, and repairing dozens more. It's a little known fact that the five ships damaged in the Pearl Harbor bombing were also sent here for repair. Next up, take a tour of the USS Turner Joy warship, active during the Vietnam War.
Cool off in the nearby Harborside Fountain Park, then explore the PSNS Memorial Plaza, celebrating the shipbuilding efforts of generations of workers. Finish up the day with a waterfront meal at lovely Anthony's restaurant, and jump on the ferry back to Seattle.