Central Kitsap

Central Kitsap

Central Kitsap Community Page


Written for Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty


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In December of 2012, the Kitsap Peninsula made national headlines as its Water Trails system was honored as one of the top 12 trails of the year by the National Park Service. Residents of the Peninsula were not surprised by the attention; for them, incredible trails are par for the course. They are one of the reasons why many people have relocated to the Peninsula, specifically Central Kitsap. But trails are not the only things attracting visitors and residents alike. The region has an abundance to offer, from hundreds of miles of beautiful seashore, to thriving arts communities, to a great pace of life that’s not available in many other locations. It’s this pace of life and the ability to have a small-town experience while being close to major metropolitan areas that continues to draw people from all over the world to Central Kitsap. From military families to corporate sophisticates, residents have one thing in common: there’s nowhere else they’d rather live.

LOCAL FLAVOR: It’s hard to imagine why someone would not want to live in Central Kitsap. It’s a convenient, central location for exploring the many quaint, waterfront communities that have made the Peninsula famous. It’s also the beating heart of the region, a place where the different cultures of the Peninsula mix and mingle, influencing each other while at the same time remaining incredibly unique.

When exploring Central Kitsap, it’s easy to see just how unique these towns and cultures are. Each one has a personality all its own. Just north of Central Kitsap is the town of Poulsbo, which has been nicknamed “Little Norway,” and reflects the Scandinavian way of life in everything from its history to its main street. To the east of Central Kitsap is Blake Island, famous for its Native American living history exhibits honoring the Suquamish and Sklallam tribes. Pioneer culture and military culture are on display within Central Kitsap in the towns of Silverdale and Bremerton, respectively.

Residents of Central Kitsap have access to this abundance of local culture right in their own backyards, enjoying more museums, living history exhibits, and world-famous art than most major metropolitan areas. But even better is the environment in which this culture is displayed. Central Kitsap is not surrounded by condos and concrete like large cities. Instead, each of its small communities is surrounded by the beautiful blue water of the Puget Sound. And unlike in large cities, the skyline is not dominated by office buildings. Instead, majestic views of the Olympic Mountains and Mt. Rainier are set against a backdrop of clear skies and fresh air.

But the communities have more in common than just unparalleled access to cultural enrichment and outstanding natural beauty. Each one is infused with the spirit of the Kitsap Peninsula, a laid-back friendliness that permeates everything from business to social interactions. In Central Kitsap, it’s common to see people enjoying a slow cup of coffee at a local diner with friends or donating several hours of their weekend to a local museum. It’s a small-town pace of life, where there is always enough time for friends, family, and fun.

With community priorities like that, it’s no wonder that many people have chosen to call Central Kitsap home. These residents come from many different walks of life, some drawn in by the military, others attracted to living in a place that reflects their family’s cultural history. Together, they have created a region where the past is honored, but not at the expense of the future. The two have been integrated. Local businesses and museums are connected via commuter-friendly roads and a county-wide high-speed fiber-optic backbone.

Central Kitsap has made it easy for residents to not only explore the local region, but also the surrounding areas. Major cities such as Seattle and Tacoma are just a short ferry ride or drive away. And for weekend adventures, the Olympic Peninsula is right around the corner. Even Sea-Tac International Airport is only an hour away from Central Kitsap.

ARTS & CULTURE: There’s so much to do in Central Kitsap that a nearby airport is almost not needed. And it’s not just history that’s on display. Central Kitsap is home to a thriving arts scene, wonderful live music, and enough outdoor recreation opportunities to keep even the most active person busy.

Central Kitsap’s art scene extends into each of its small communities but nowhere is it easier to explore than in Bremerton’s Harborside Arts District. This area includes three museums, two performing arts stages, numerous fine arts galleries, and even several clubs featuring jazz and other live music. It is one of the largest and most diverse official fine arts districts in the northwest. Bremerton also hosts a popular First Friday Art Walk and hosts numerous classes for teaching art to beginner and advanced students alike. Nearby town Silverdale is also known for its art galleries and classes.

If your taste in art runs more along the lines of live music, Central Kitsap is definitely the right place for you. Bremerton is home to a symphony, and the Kitsap Peninsula Opera is right around the corner. Bremerton is also home to world-class jazz and a plethora of breweries featuring live music throughout the week. This includes everything from celtic strings and storytelling to rock music. The combination of award-winning local beer and outstanding musical performances can’t be beat.

For those looking to explore the area’s natural beauty, Central Kitsap has a variety of incredible trails and parks to choose from. There are over 675 acres of parks in Bremerton alone, and parks are sprinkled all over the surrounding towns as well. The area also features incredible hiking and walking trails. One of the local and national favorites is the Water Trails, which is accessible to boaters and runs along the several hundreds of miles of shoreline on the Kitsap Peninsula.

The best way to explore the diversity of art and activities in Central Kitsap is through a day-long road trip of the surrounding area. But this isn’t an ordinary road trip, because we’re throwing in some walking and boating, as well. So put the top down, wear your comfortable shoes, and don’t forget your camera. And read on for our top-10 list of things to do on your perfect Central Kitsap Day.

  • Start your morning right by eating green eggs and ham at Hi-Lo’s 15th St. Cafe in Bremerton. Their moon biscuits also get rave reviews.
  • Enjoy a brisk morning walk along the Louis Mentor Boardwalk.
  • Explore the Bremerton Arts District and all of its enticing galleries.
  • Visit the Puget Sound Navy Museum for a local history lesson and some military-themed fun.
  • Enjoy lunch at the area’s favorite mom and pop diner, Suzy’s Kitchen. The restaurant is known for its considerate staff as much as its delicious food.
  • Join an Argosy Tour for an unforgettable trip to Blake Island, where you’ll learn about the Suquamish and Sklallam tribes and visit the famous Tillicum Village.
  • Drive to Seabeck for a beach walk. Don’t forget a small bag for collecting shells, rocks, and other treasures.
  • Continue on your drive to Silverdale, where you’ll take a glass art class at the Lisa Stirrett Glass Art Studio.
  • Take in an early evening show at the CSTOCK community theater.
  • Linger over dinner and relax after your busy day at Silver City Restaurant and Brewery. Try the beer sampler to taste the best of what’s on tap.

ANNUAL EVENTS: Regardless of the season, there is always something fun and interesting going on in Central Kitsap. A sampling of events is below. For more information, see the complete list of events here.

  • First Friday Bremerton Art Walk
  • Kitsap Harbor Festival
  • St. Patrick’s Day Parade
  • Kitsap Women Today Expo
  • Viking Fest
  • Kitsap Antique Show
  • Seagull Calling Festival
  • June Faire
  • Kitsap Water Trails Festival

FAMILY LIFE: Central Kitsap residents enjoy more than just great activities year around. They also have access to great schools that are provided by the Central Kitsap School District. Local public schools serve unincorporated portions of Kitsap County, as well as Silverdale and part of Bremerton. This includes six high schools, two of which received either gold, silver, or bronze metals in U.S. News’ Best High School rankings. There are also 12 private schools in the area to choose from.

In Central Kitsap, there are many opportunities for learning and fun outside of school. The Valentinetti Puppet Museum and Evergreen Children’s Theater is a local favorite, with its world-famous selection of puppets from around the globe. Many children in the area also enjoy classes at the Anna Smith Park in Bremerton, which has a children’s gardening area, hosts 4H groups, and offers a beautiful butterfly house. The Clear Creek Saq’ad Interpretive Center in Silverdale is also popular. It features educational and cultural programs and its Discovery Play Days in spring and summer attract many families from all over the Kitsap Peninsula.

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