The New Year is fast approaching. We’ll stay up past midnight, sing “Auld Lang Syne” and make a number of resolutions, with every one of them ending the same way: “And this time, I mean it!”
Chalk it up to having a little extra time off during the holiday season, which give us a chance to reflect on all the ways we wish to improve our lives. But once the yuletide spirit wears off and normal life resumes, those plans quickly go out the window. We’ve all been there at one time or another, haven’t we?
Perhaps a sustainable resolution is in order, one you can work on throughout the new year. Submitted for your approval is the 2018 Kitsap Bucket List — things to see and do in the coming year. Whether you’ve been here for decades or are a newly-minted Washingtonian (such as this reporter), this is an opportunity to re-acquaint or introduce yourself to some of the best things Kitsap County has to offer.
Once the residence of Prentice and Virginia Bloedel, the 150-acre reserve is now open to the public. Tour the Bloedel House and a Japanese garden and guest house. Walk along small streams and waterfalls, and in woodlands with various kinds of trees. It’s a little slice of serenity at the north end of Bainbridge Island.
Point No Point, Hansville
Way up on the northern tip of Kitsap County, the historic Point No Point County Park offers beautiful views of Puget Sound. Take the trail from the famous active lighthouse along the shore and through the forest, and be sure to keep an eye out for sea life. Seals, shorebirds and the occasional whale have been known to frequent the waters there. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, stop by the brand new Peninsula Pies for a bite to eat, just to the west of the park on Hansville Road Northeast.
Kitsap State Park, Poulsbo
Located near Hood Canal, there is a rocky beach and opportunities for fishing, crabbing, clamming and bird watching, as well as open space for other recreational activities. Take in a gorgeous sunrise or sunset with the Olympic Mountains in the background.
Scenic Beach, Seabeck
Located in the western part of the county, past Sunset Farm. Get out on the Hood Canal or Seabeck Bay with your jet ski, boat or paddle board, or just stick to the beachfront. The Emel House and nearby gazebo, combined with stunning views, make it a popular place for weddings.
Clear Creek Trail, Silverdale
Right next to the hustle and bustle of Silverdale’s business district, the Clear Creek Trail at Silverdale Rotary Gateway Park is a little rural slice of heaven surrounded by urban development. The trail on the west side of Silverdale Way is mostly flat, a perfect place for runners to get in a 5K run without having to contend with hills, while the east side extends uphill towards Ridgetop Boulevard.
Admiral Theater, Bremerton
Okay, you’re tired, it’s raining heavily, and even though you love walking in nature, you are really in need an indoor activity. Well then, head on over to the Admiral Theater in downtown Bremerton for a show or some live music. It was originally built in 1942 as a movie theater before being converted to a live entertainment venue. Show lineups include musicians and bands, play and stand up comedians.
Manchester State Park, Port Orchard
Known best for the large brick building that was once a torpedo warehouse and is now a popular wedding and picnic spot, Manchester State Park has great views of Bainbridge Island and Seattle and is a popular beach destination. For hikers there is also two miles worth of hiking trails with plenty of trees and canopy cover on those rare sunny days.
Blake Island Marine State Park, Manchester
Located between Seattle and Manchester, this one is only accessible by boat, whether it be engine or human-powered. But it’s worth the trip for those who make it. There is plenty of shoreline, along with hiking and biking trails and the famous Tilicum Village, a place known for Native American cuisine and storytelling.
The Port Orchard foot ferry
If you’ve done this list in order, you’re deserving of a break. So hop on the new foot ferry that runs between downtown Port Orchard and downtown Bremerton. It’s a unique ride as the boat is much smaller than most of the ferries that traverse the Puget Sound (it is a passenger-only ferry) and provides great views of the Sinclair Inlet and the nearby Naval Base Kitsap.
Now it’s your turn. Take some, or all, of these ideas and add your own to create a to-do list for next year that you will remember for a lifetime. So, what’s on your 2018 Kitsap Bucket List?