Where to wander in Kitsap this Memorial Day weekend

Discover all that Kitsap has to offer

By Donna Etchey

Kitsap News Group

KITSAP — If you are wondering what to do this Memorial Day weekend, there is plenty to do right here on the Kitsap Peninsula. Here are a few of the must see things to do, but for more ideas be sure to check out the new 2018 Discover Kitsap to find even more exciting things to do.

Kitsap has more than 250 miles of accessible shoreline for you to explore, virtually every community has a beach for you to discover; boating, beach walks, fishing, water skiing, sailing, scuba diving or you can just spend the day on the beach. For more on the many beaches in Kitsap turn to Discover Kitsap’s “Great Outdoors” section on page 56.

In Kitsap, you will also find an abundance of farmers and growers of organic produce. Their fresh ingredients help create delicious foods and beverages as varied as the ingredients themselves. Many of these products are used by local restaurants, bakeries and caterers. Find your next favorite ingredient at one of the many farmer’s markets in the county.

Craft brewing is making it’s mark in Kitsap, where you can find some of the finest purveyors of frosty libations. There are also several local wineries on the Kitsap Peninsula, many of them can be found on Bainbridge Island, but you don’t have to stop there, wineries are starting to pop up in other places around Kitsap as well. The Kitsap Peninsula is an emerging culinary hotspot, offering fine cuisine, hoppy craft brews, local wines, baked goods, ice-cream or local chocolates.

Outdoor adventures and shopping are just some of the ways to enjoy the Kitsap Peninsula, but don’t forget to just take a moment to enjoy the nature that surrounds you while you are discovering the Kitsap Peninsula.


Where to wander in Kitsap this Memorial Day weekend

Located just east of the Hood Canal bridge, this turn-of-the-century company town is now preserved as a National Historic Landmark. With it’s charming New England-style buildings and lovely waterfront setting, Port Gamble is a fun place to wander and explore. Be sure to visit the Port Gamble General Store & Cafe, which houses the local history museum as well as an astonishing collection of seashells. The Port Gamble Historic Museum is located beneath the store facing the bay, 360 – 297 – 8074 ext. 21. Stroll through actual furnished settings and experience the dynamic story of Port Gamble. The Port Gamble Historic Cemetery dates back to 1856 when U.S. Navy Coxswain Gustave Englebrecht of the USS Massachusetts died in a skirmish with Haida raiders, in the French & Indian War in Port Gamble. Englebrecht is credited with being the first U.S. Navy man killed in the Pacific. Town founder Josiah Keller died in 1862 in Victoria and he is buried here in a plot surrounded by an iron fence, but without a headstone.


Where to wander in Kitsap this Memorial Day weekend

Japanese American Exclusion Memorial

4192 Eagle Harbor Drive, Bainbridge Island

The Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial is an outdoor exhibit commemorating a dark time in our nation’s history, wherein families of Japanese descent were sent to internment camps across the country. The site’s motto, nidoto nai yoni (let it not happen again) serves as a reminder to ensure that the mistakes of the past are never made again.


Where to wander in Kitsap this Memorial Day weekend

USS Turner Joy

300 Washington Beach AVE, On the Bremerton Waterfront, 360 – 792 – 2457

A restored Vietnam era destroyer – the first permanent, and publicly accessible, Naval heritage and educational ship attraction in the Pacific northwest can be toured by visitors from the boiler room to the bridge.


Log Cabin Museum

416 Sidney Ave, Port Orchard, 360 – 876 – 3693

Housed in an original settler’s cabin, the museum features a “family” which follow a seasonal story line depicting life in South Kitsap. The displays are changed regularly.


The Poulsbo Maritime Museum located at 18980 Front Street NE in downtown Poulsbo showcases the rich maritime history through imaginative exhibits and interactive displays. Guests are invited to explore the amazingly diverse history, from families traveling dock to dock to take their produce to market in Seattle, to home-porting of Alaskan codfish fleets.


Clear Creek Trail – In 1841, Captain Wilkes sailed through a narrow channel from Puget Sound into a large bay roughly dividing the geographical area which would eventually become Kitsap County in half. Wilkes named the bay Dyes Inlet.

In 1886, legend has it that shortly after moving to this area, Mrs. Hannah Schold, one of the first non-natives to settle in Clear Creek area, looked at the stream outside her home after a nasty storm and remarked with surprise how clear the stream was. Hannah named the stream running through the fertile valley Clear Creek.

In 1950, Kirk Best built a barn at the mouth of Clear Creek, using recycled materials from surplus materials from a nearby army barracks and barn boards and poles from an even older barn. The barn, named Tides End by the Best family, sat as a sentinel on the estuary while Harriet and Kirk Best raised their family. The Bests sold their farm to Carlton and Betty Smith in 1960.

The Smith family lived there, raising their family, for 30 years before donating the barn and surrounding property to the Kitsap Land Trust now the Great Peninsula Conservancy, thus providing the impetus to the start of the Clear Creek Trail System.

In 1995, after years of neglect, the Clear Creek Task Force began the long process and tremendous task of restoring and renovating the old barn into a small environmental, historical interpretive center. After seven years, the Clear Creek Sa’qad Interpretive Center stands ready to receive visitors, families and students, young and old. The parking lot and beginning of the trail is just north of Silverdale.

— Donna Etchey is the Editorial Director with Kitsap News Group. Donna can be reached at detchey@soundpublishing.com.

Where to wander in Kitsap this Memorial Day weekend