The Kitsap Peninsula boasts nearly 400 miles of shoreline, lots of marinas, and terrific waterfront communities to explore. Cross the Narrows Bridge and head west and visitors are not too far from finding some real family travel gems and things to do to suit everyone's tastes.
The region has a number of beautiful parks to explore. Large open spaces, trails, playgrounds, stunning scenery and picnic areas are the hallmarks of these public areas.
Besides the natural beauty, the Kitsap Peninsula boasts great family friendly museums, shopping, and so much more.
Here's a breakdown of activities and a place to begin exploring.
The Kitsap Mall in Silverdale/Clear Creek Trail/Heritage Park Trail/Silverdale Waterfront Park: The Kitsap Mall shopping center is the largest and most complete shopping complex between Tacoma and the Pacific Ocean. Besides large chains, there are well over 100 hundred specialty shops, a number of eateries to suite all tastes, and special events for the whole family (including military appreciation days). In the middle of the mall area, there are 5.6 miles of boardwalk and flat trails (perfect for families and stroller friendly) that take the visitor through stunning wetlands, along Silverdale's pretty waterfront and public beaches, docks, and a terrific children's play area.
Parks (Bremerton): Here are a couple of great park options for beach and picnic fun. Evergreen Rotary Park in Bremerton features 10 acres and nearly 2,000 feet of shoreline. A boat launch, multiple sports courts, and ample picnic tables and shelters are available. Also in Bremerton, brand new Lion's Park is even larger, coming in at 15 acres. Offering similar amenities as Evergreen Rotary Park, this one includes walking trails, a large dock, and four ball fields.
Of Sea and Shore Museum, Port Gamble: This is a seashell and marine life museum that boasts one of the world's largest seashell collections. There are also natural history and marine displays. Admission is free.
The Bug Museum, Bremerton: Are the kids fascinated by bugs? Here's their chance to get close and personal with them! Live bugs, bugs that can be looked at under a microscope and an eight foot long ant farm are on display at The Bug Museum. There are also many other kid friendly exhibits and a reptile room. Admission is free.
Marine Science Center, Poulsbo: Learn about marine life, science, and the environment at this kid friendly museum that offers free admission Thursday through Sunday.
Pacific Planetarium, Bremerton: One of the city's newest attractions, the family friendly Pacific Planetarium is a great way to learn about astronomy and science. Special events and programs showcase the night skies. The first Friday of the month and third Friday of the month shows are featured in their domed planetarium. Costs range from $3 to $5 for shows.
Valentinetti Puppet Museum, Bremerton: Celebrate the art of puppetry at this eclectic museum in Bremerton. Learn about how to make puppets, view historical puppets, and catch a terrific live show in the theater. Admission is a suggested donation (students, $1.00, adults, $2.00, or a family $5.00).
Naval Undersea Museum, Keyport: This is an official U.S. Navy museum and is dedicated to preserving naval undersea history and science. Tour a real submarine, take in interesting exhibits, and take advantage of special events and performances at this museum. Admission is free.
These are just some of the many activities offered on the Kitsap Peninsula. To find out more about these activities and places, check out the one stop shopping website provided by The Kitsap Visitors and Convention Bureau. This robust site provides everything you need to know about the area (attractions, lodging, sports, parks, and special events) and additional helpful links to plan your trip. Their website address is http://www.visitkitsap.com/. Be sure to visit their special section on military life, here at http://www.visitkitsap.com/military/ for special events and other important information for military families.