NB Kitsap Community
Surrounded by water on three sides and with a view of the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges, Bremerton, on one of Puget Sound’s beautiful protected harbors, has one of the most picturesque settings of any city in the Pacific Northwest. A one-hour ferry ride gets you to Seattle, and Tacoma is only 32 miles south via the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.
Bremerton is a “Navy Town” and has been ever since Puget Sound Naval Shipyard began its operations in the 1890s. Military installations play an important part in Bremerton’s economy.
Bremerton School District includes four Kindergarten through fifth grade elementary schools, one sixth through eighth grade middle school, one ninth through 12th grade high school, along with two alternative high schools (ninth through 10th and 11th through 12th), one Early Learning Center (pre-school to third) and one elementary STEM academy (pre-school to eighth). Bremerton Home Link is a Kindergarten through eighth home-school partnership program. Visit the district website at www.bremertonschools.org for more information.
You don’t need to look far to find visual and performing arts in Kitsap County, which provides stages and galleries for its own talent and imports acts from throughout the world. Bremerton maintains cultural expressions with plays, concerts, jazz festivals and art shows, often through Olympic College. The restored Admiral Theatre in downtown Bremerton showcases local entertainers and brings to town popular performing artists, as well as acrobats and other acts. Bremerton Community Theatre stages comedies, dramas and musicals. Bremerton supports a symphony orchestra and a concert chorale as well. The growing downtown arts district has monthly exhibits hosted by the local art galleries. SEEfilm Bremerton Cinema, a 10-screen theater that opened in 2012, features new digital technology and a VIP room with a bar for patrons 21 and older.
Bremerton is home to several annual events: Armed Forces Week, Harborfest, Wine Festival, Bremerton Boat Show, Bremerton Brewfest hosted by the Washington Beer Commission, and Blackberry Festival. Armed Forces Week has been honoring the men and women of the military since 1948. This week includes numerous activities, a golf tournament, an Armed Forces Ambassadors Scholarship Program, Military Culinary Arts Competition and the Navy League Gala. The week culminates with the nation’s largest and longest-running Armed Forces Day parade.
Bremerton is served by air, water and bus transportation facilities. Kitsap Transit offers routed bus service in Bremerton, Silverdale, Port Orchard, Poulsbo, Kingston and Bainbridge Island. Service is also available between Kitsap communities. The Worker/Driver Program has buses and vanpools that operate like a carpool from several locations across Kitsap County. Paratransit service is available to eligible elderly and disabled passengers. For information on Kitsap Transit services, routes and fares, call the Kitsap Transit customer service office at 377-2877 or visit www.kitsaptransit.com. It is a fast and economical way to move between points throughout Kitsap County.
The ferries in the Kitsap County area have both commercial and transportation value. The four cross-sound ferry terminals are at Bremerton, Southworth, Bainbridge Island and Kingston. Some people use the ferries out of necessity. Others refer to them as the “world’s biggest amusement ride.” Whether you choose to just watch the scenery or to venture around and explore the decks, you’ll find a ride on a Washington State Ferry a delight. There is a foot ferry that makes a 10-minute run between Bremerton and Port Orchard and offers the best view of the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. The boat runs every half-hour daily except Sunday. Ferry schedules can be found at www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries.
Bremerton National Airport, the largest of the three airfields in the county, is on State Highway 3, south of Bremerton. The two other airfields are Port Orchard Airport on Sidney Road and Apex Airport in Central Kitsap near Silverdale.
Lions Community Playfield offers 15 acres of lighted ball fields, lighted tennis courts, a fishing pier, a small boat launch, playground equipment and restrooms. It’s on the east side of the Port Washington Narrows Bridge along Lebo Boulevard.
Evergreen Park offers six acres of good picnicking and access to the waterfront. There is plenty of parking and a small boat launch, a playground and a rose garden. It’s on the west side of the Port Washington Narrows at the north end of Park Avenue.
Bachman Park furnishes a good view of Port Orchard Bay and passing ferry boats. The half-acre park, at Shore Drive and Trenton Avenue on Manette Peninsula, offers beach access and a covered veranda.
The Bremerton Ice Center, an ice arena for the whole family, is a year-round facility featuring sports for both children and adults, an Ice Cafe with a 1950s-style soda fountain, skate shop and fireplace. Programs include youth and adult hockey, figure skating, with fundamental skating lessons available, broomball and birthday party packages. Visit www.bremertonicecenter.com for more information.
For soccer fans the Kitsap Pumas are one of the area’s premier soccer teams. Home games are played at the Bremerton High School Memorial Stadium. The Kitsap BlueJackets collegiate baseball team plays its games at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds. There are also a number of golf courses, driving ranges and pro shops which can be found at www.golfkitsap.com/golf.
Stephenson Canyon is a heavily-wooded natural park on 28 acres with a canyon and a small creek. There are many trails for exploring and easy walking. It’s west of Warren Avenue between Sheridan Road and Lebo Boulevard.
The Bremerton YMCA, which has been a resource for Sailors and their families in the Bremerton area since 1911, is on Homer Jones Drive in Bremerton, not far from Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton. It offers reduced rates for active military individuals and families who want the family-oriented atmosphere of a traditional YMCA. Check out the website at www.ymcapkc.org/bremerton-family-ymca.
The Kitsap Peninsula Visitor and Convention Bureau can give information on local and statewide events and attractions. Visit their website at www.visitkitsap.com.
For any further information, contact the Bremerton Chamber of Commerce at 286 Fourth St., Bremerton, WA 98337, or call them at 479-3579. You may also visit their website at www.bremertonchamber.org.