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Shopping in Port Orchard

You don’t have to travel far for a memorable day at this waterfront community

The Homemade Café has scenic views but better food. Photo credit: Missy Bouchat

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The holidays are quickly approaching, and the rush of shopping and gift giving is nearly upon us. Embrace this wonderful time of year by seeking out and enjoying all the holiday merry making. There are many beautiful towns and shops close by that deck the halls and hang the mistletoe to help ring in the holiday spirit for tourists and locals. Port Orchard is one such town worth spending the day in, and is only a 45-minute drive from Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Nestled on the shore of the Sinclair Inlet, the charming town of Port Orchard is known for its historical Bay Street and foot ferry that departs daily to Bremerton and Annapolis. Year round, Bay Street is home to an array of eclectic boutiques, restaurants, bakeries, and antique shops. The Olde Central Antique Mall, a two-story shop on the corner of Bay Street and Sidney Ave., is home to 45 different antique dealers selling items from jewelry to furniture. The assortment will leave any antique enthusiast happy, satisfied and inspired. One block down you'll find the eloquently curated Josephine's Mercantile, a shop full of vintage and reclaimed goods, repurposed furniture and local artisan crafts. You are guaranteed to find a one-of-a-kind gift for that special someone along Bay Street.

There are also many delicious food options in Port Orchard, but one that really stands out in charm and community is the Home Made Café. Sitting high up on a hill on the corner of Cline and Dekalb Street, this purple church turned café overlooks the marina and Olympic Mountains. The farmhouse style décor instantly makes you feel like part of the family, as this café was the dream in creation for a family of four, who moved in and opened in 2012. Their vision was to serve homemade comfort food, or "real food for real people", with menu items that include breakfast, lunch and dinner. For dessert, be sure to head to one of the many bakeries and candy shops in town for cheesecakes, monster cookies and artisan truffles. You can place your holiday orders for specialty cakes and candies at Carter and Company.

Up the road you will find Brothers Greenhouse, an immense greenhouse filled with an assortment of annuals, perennials, succulents, ferns, tropical plants, and evergreens, as well as gardening tools and everything you need to start your own fairy garden. The famous Hobbit House also lives here, a fantasy-inspired getaway complete with a rooftop garden. The knowledgeable staff can assist you with any questions about gardening in the PNW. Be sure to swing by to pick up your holiday poinsettias and table arrangements.

Port Orchard is a beautiful place to visit any time of year. Many restaurants offer outdoor seating during the summer, concert series, and the Port Orchard Farmers Market is held Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. between April and October. Fall and winter is full of events as well, including the upcoming annual Festival of Chimes and Lights. Saturday, Dec. 1, this free community event will include the Tree Lighting, Lighted Boat Parade, crafts, music, food, and new to this year's line-up, a Tree Decorating Contest. Spend the day shopping and stay for the festivities.

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