Top 20 Washington State Trips

Puget Sound Navy Museum

Puget Sound Navy Museum

Visit the free Puget Sound Navy Museum on Bremerton's waterfront.

The free Puget Sound Navy Museum is a 1-hour drive from Seattle in the famous shipbuilding town of Bremerton at 251 1st Street (check hours).

You can also take a car ferry (60 minutes) that leaves from Pier 52 in Seattle, or walk onboard the pedestrian ferry (30 minutes) that docks near the museum.

The excellent Puget Sound Navy Museum is a must-see, just steps from the popular Anthony's restaurant and Hampton Inn on the Bremerton waterfront. 

After visiting the museum, tour the nearby USS Turner Joy warship, or cool off at the stunning fountain park outside the Puget Sound Navy Museum.

10 best things about Puget Sound Navy Museum

1. Experience life onboard a nuclear powered aircraft carrier, the USS John C Stennis.

The upper floor of the Puget Sound Navy Museum depicts life onboard an awesome warship; the USS John C Stennis. This aircraft carrier's homeport is in Bremerton, but it's currently undergoing a $3 billion refueling and systems overhaul in Norfolk, Virginia that wont be complete until 2025.

The USS John C Stennis is a nuclear powered aircraft carrier, first commissioned in 1985 at a cost of $4.5 billion.  It's absolutely huge, as wide as four football fields, with a weight of 103,300 long tons. There are 8 to 9 squadrons on board, with a maximum capacity of 90 aircraft.

2. This USS John C Stennis is a mini city with its own zip-code.

The USS John C Stennis functions like a mini city, with its own laundromat, hospital, post office, two stores, a cafeteria, and coffee shop that sells Starbucks!  An amazing 400,000 gallons of fresh water is produced each day, by de-salinating the ocean water.

3. The average age of sailors onboard the ship is just 25 years old, and only 12% are female. 

4.  Every 7 to 10 days another ship drops off $2 million worth off food and supplies to the USS John C Stennis.

The exhibits at the Puget Sound Navy Museum show the different roles and responsibilities of the 5,000 sailors onboard  Meals must be prepared for thousands of sailors each day in the mess, and very 7 to 10 days another ship drops off $2 million worth off supplies, including food and mail, using a sophisticated pulley system.

5. The Flight Operations is the busiest part of the warship, co-ordinated from the primary command post on The Bridge.

6. The USS John C Stennis has it's own Meteorological Division, where weather is forecast a week out to warn of any impending storms.

7. Each sailor has a role on the flight deck, clearly identified by the color of their shirt. 

Everything is tightly co-ordinated on the flight deck of the USS John C Stennis, and each sailor has a role, clearly identified by the color of their shirt.  Check out this photo at the Puget Sound Navy Museum.  The purple shirts fuel the aircraft, yellow shirts direct movement, blue shirts chain the aircraft to the deck, and green shirts operate the catapults.

8. Bremerton was the main warship building facility in America during WWII, constructing 42 warships.

The lower floor of the Puget Sound Navy Museum provides a fascinating look at Bremerton's history as a busy ship building facility from the late 1890's to the 1960's.  Bremerton was the principal ship building and repair facility on the West Coast during WWII, and its workforce swelled to 32,000 during this time.  During the course of WWII, 42 warships were built and another 400 ships repaired at this facility. 

9. Warships bombed during Pearl Harbor were repaired here.

Repairs were carried out on 5 out of the 6 remaining warships bombed during the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941.  They were known as ghost ships, because the Japanese Navy did not know where they had gone.

10. See the black sail of the USS Parche spy submarine, the most decorated vessel in the U.S. Navy.

The black sail of the USS Parche spy submarine is proudly positioned in the courtyard of the Puget Sound Navy Museum, on Farrugut Street. All of its missions are still classified, so the story behind many of its exploits is still largely unknown.  It was commissioned in 1974, then scrapped in 2006.


 

Visit the beautiful Harborside Fountain Park afterwards.

The Harborside Fountain Park is directly outside the Puget Sound Navy Museum.  The front of the museum is a modern, white building (on the right).

Know before you go

  • Admission: FREE.
  • Address:  251 1st Street, Bremerton, WA 98337.
  • Hours: here.
  • Seattle-Bremerton Ferry Schedule: car ferry (60 minutes), pedestrian ferry (30 minutes).

Other fun things to do

You should also drive to Keyport to visit the FREE Naval Undersea Museum there.  Looking for a nice play for lunch over an overnight stay?  Try the charming Scandinavian town of Poulsbo, or the quaint village of Port Gamble.  The Point No Point Lighthouse is directly north of Port Gamble.

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