Bremerton Things to Do Tips by glabah Top 5 Page for this destination
Bremerton Things to Do: 18 reviews and 47 photos
Charter Boat Joker offers trips from Bremerton
There are various boat trips available from Bremerton. Some of these are charter trips, while others are regularly operated tours. I can't tell you too much about any of them yet, as I haven't been on any of them yet. However, I did notice several advertisement boards placed on ships along the Bremerton waterfront walkway, and am passing on the information for those interested in getting more information (and this includes me - this tip is partly to help me remember what was advertised here and what might be interesting to research).
The boat tour operators here in Bremerton seem to have a lot more of a budget minded operation (ie, their signs are simple cardboard or wooden sings attached to the side of their boats, or sandwich board signs along the walkway) and this seems like it might be more reasonably priced than the Seattle equivalent.
Here are a few advertisements that I noticed:
Charter Boat Joker offers charter trips for groups or individuals. Keep in mind that fishing is a seasonal activity and thus fishing trips offered will depend on if they are in season or not.
The hand letter sign says:
"Salmon Fishing, Sundays $95, Thursdays $110. Limiting to 8 people."
Tillicum Village trips from Bremerton
one sandwich board sign advertised Tillicum Village trips, which almost always depart from Seattle rather than from Bremerton. The trips are handled by Argossy Cruises as well, but the boat trip is handled from Kitsap Harbor Tours.
The season runs from early March to late October.
Directions: Various boats depart from the Bremerton marina, and advertise using a variety of improvised methods. Just walk down there and see what happens to be offered.
Small Beach and Pier used for Fishing or Boat Moor
Illahee State Park is several miles (several km) north of Bremerton, and features a small beach, several picnic areas, and a small campground. Fishing and shell fishing are allowed here during certain times of the year. Picnic shelters are available in several areas, but may be reserved ahead of time.
There are several monuments and memorials in the state park.
As Illahee State Park is a separate destination in the VirtualTourist database, I have placed all of my Illahee State Park items in my Illahee State Park page. The link below is to the Washington State Parks page about this park.
Address: Sylvan Way NE & Bayview Drive NE
Directions: By bus routes 21 and 29 work, though 29 gets closer. Park entrance is at above intersection. See my Illahee State Park page for more details.
Carlisle II is a 1917 ferry operating museum piece
Operating as both a museum and as a form of transportation, the Kitsap Foot Ferry operates between Bremerton and Port Orchard. It is funded by Kitsap Transit, and currently operates once every half hour. By "Foot Ferry" they mean exactly that: it is a walk-on only ferry, and if you want to take your vehicle you will have to spend the half hour or so it takes to drive all the way around Sinclair Inlet.
There is also a route that operates Bremerton to Annapolis. However, there isn't as much to do in Annapolis. Also, that route is served by a more modern boat. Bremerton -> Port Orchard is specifically set aside for the Carlisle II.
The boat Carlisle II was built in 1917, and is a living piece of Puget Sound history. It is the last of the "mosquito fleet" (the small boats that used to provide ferry service between scores of cities throughout the area) still in regular operation. Therefore, the boat also serves as a small floating museum, and the interior is equipped with a number of photos and a little bit of information about some of the cousin boats that used to operate thoughout the area.
Current prices are $2 cash for each crossing, so $4 for a round trip ticket. The trip is very short, but it gives you a good look at the surrounding area from the boat.
As it is a short trip, there are no services on board such as refreshments or food. There are two decks, and the opper deck features an small outdoor seating area.
Trips depart from the lower level of the Kitsap Foot Ferry terminal, which is on the northeast side of the Bremerton Ferry Terminal. Follow the signs from inside the main ferry terminal for the big Washington State Ferries to Seattle. From the Washington State Ferry waiting room, you would need to go through the Kitsap Transit office and waiting area, through the doors at the end of the room by the restrooms and drinking fountain, then go down the stairs that are just outside the doors. You must then go all the way out to the end of the small pier, and then down to the lower level of that pier.
Watch your Children! There is no barrier of any sort at the edge of the dock, and it is possible to just walk right off the edge - so just keep them away from the edge until there is a boat there ready to board. Just treat it like you would waiting for a bus on the edge of a busy street: you don't want to walk out there.
There are life preservers to throw in in the event someone does fall in, however.
Address: Bremerton Ferry Terminal, 1st St & WAshington Ave
Directions: Parking available in parking garage north of terminal. Terminal served by ferries from Seattle or most Kitsap Transit bus routes that serve Bremerton. Bikes may be taken aboard.
entrance to Aurora Valentinetti Puppet Museum
The official name of this organization (although there isn't enough space allowed in the Tip Title to give the entire thing) is the Evergreen Children's Theatre and Aurora Valentinetti Puppet Museum.
While the majority of the space in the storefront is taken up by the puppet museum, the puppet museum is only a division of the Evergreen Children's Theatre.
And "storefront" it is in a literal sense: the space was once obviously designed as a retail location.
Puppets on display here include a number of interesting works from Asia, as well as puppets made by the University of Washington's puppet theatre program going back to the 1930s. I can't tell you specifically what you will see in the museum however. The collection has well over 1,000 puppets in their collection (according to the web site), and there is only space in the museum to display a fraction of that - at least one tourist guide book suggests the display space is limited to a maximum of 100 puppets. Therefore, displays and puppets are rotated through the museum and back into storage, and as the web site says, the museum display is always being re-worked to provide a "fresh experience" for the visitor. The photos you see in this tip are of puppets that happened to be on display when I visited in October of 2009, but with the ratio of stored displays to actual display space, there is actually a pretty good chance you WON'T see the same displays as I have in the photos.
Aurora Valentinetti was an instructor in the University of Washington School of Drama, particularly in the area of children's theatre and puppetry. A portion of her very large collection of puppets and props formed a significant part of the early collection and displays in the museum. Some of these materials go all the way back to at least the 1930s era of University of Washington puppet production and children's theatre (I only know this because some of the 1930s puppets were on display when I visited - it could very well be that parts of the museum's collection go back even further, but just didn't happen to be on display at the time of my visit.)
In 2004, the museum was part of a special agreement between the Port of Bremerton and Qui Zhenhua (?Qiuqiu?), Chief Representative in China, West China Development International Association (USA), Chengdu Representative Office. This arrangement has brought a number of Chinese gifts, including puppets and puppet related material given to the musuem.
In the past year, over 140 items have been donated to the museum, so the collection continues to grow.
The museum also has a retail store, which includes naturally some puppet materials and other toys.
The facility operates off of donations only, and as of this writing there is no set charge entrance fee. Their suggested donation when I visited in late 2009 was $2 per adult.
Address: 257 4th Street, Bremerton, WA 98337
Directions: North on Washington, west on 4th. Only street parking is available around storefront. Parking garage nearby on Washington. Easy walk to Ferry Terminal, so you don't need to take your car onto the ferry to get here from Seattle.
Phone: (360) 373-2992
USS Turner Joy as museum ship in Bremerton
Having been built and launched at the Puget Sound Bridge and Dredging Company, the USS Turner Joy truly is a piece of Puget Sound ship history, and certainly a part of the Navy legacy of Bremerton.
The ship is a museum that has been pretty much preserved as it was when it was decomissioned in 1982. The most modern instrumenton the ship from its days of service appears to be the electronic cash register in the comissary.
Additions made by the museum include display signs, transparent windows around objects they do not want people to touch and blocking off certain rooms, and a Prisoner of War memorial / monument and war memorial constructed out of several rooms.
Almost the entire ship may be explored, including the engine room, bridge (interior and exterior - though it is somewhat hard to find your way to the interior part as it involves an easily missed ladder), parts of the officers quarters (commanding officer and executive officer), and cafeteria. Parts that you are not able to explore, but are able to view through transparent walls that have been added across the doorways, include navigation and communication rooms. Places that are off limits completely include the very bottom level of the ship, and certain stairways.
Be sure to take a close look at the various decorations and material on the wall - as they include some interesting items such as knot tying artwork, a few odd drawings and photos of the history of the ship.
Standard price is $10, but there are discounted tickets for children and seniors, and active military with ID are admitted free of charge.
Special tours include such things as "Haunted Ship" around Holloween.
During the peak tourist season, the ship is open every day of the week, 10 to 5. During the off-peak season, the ship is only open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It is expected that people will need at least an hour to explore the ship, and they stop selling tickets completely about 1/2 hour before closing time.
Strollers and wheelchairs are very difficult to use on the ship, as it is in service configuration.
Ladders and hatchways can be very steep, so watch your step and carefully consider how you will get back up or down the ladder once you have explored the area you are entering. Be sure to explore all these passageways if you are physically able to do so (see example) as these all lead to various places worth exploring in the ship.
Be sure to look at the web site, which includes a considerable amount of history about the vesel, plus a quick video tour.
It is also possible to rent meeting or other facility space on the ship, and educational groups (such as scout groups) may be able to spend the night on the ship under special circumstances.
Address: 300 Washington Beach Ave, Bremerton, WA 98337
Directions: From Seattle suggest walking onto Seattle-Bremerton ferry. From ferry terminal, walk north 1 block along Washington, turn right onto 2nd just north of the hotel. Walk onto boardwalk, and walk north until you reach the ship gift store and office.
Phone: (360) 792-2457
Bremerton Boardwalk: looking N on first segment
While only one small segment of this boardwalk has been completed, what has been completed is a great example of what may be coming to the waterfront in Bremerton.
The boardwalk is a very wide sidwwalk positioned above the waters of Port Orchard, and eventually Port Washington Narrows will be included as well. The eventual plan is for the boardwalk to go north all the way to Evergreen Park.
All along the boardwalk, there are decorated light posts, and a few sculptures and other works that memorialize the ship builders and workers that have made Bremerton a part of Puget Sound history.
Look carefully at the memorial plaques affixed to each light pole, as they also tell a little bit of the story of Brememrton.
This is also the case beneath your feet, as some of the funds for the walkway were paid for by citizens buying bricks with various names, slogans or other statements engraved on them.
Address: along waterfront, North of Ferry Terminal
Directions: From ferry terminal, walk north to stairs on N. side of ferry terminal and walk down them to boardwalk. From downtown it is also possible to get to the boardwalk from walking east on 2nd Street all the way down to the water.
Puget Sound Naval Shipyard Memorial Plaza from N.
Located on the north side of the main entry to the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, this plaza and impressive fountain is a memorial to a number of different people:
This wonderful plaza honors the history of the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and the men and women who have maintained the ships of the United States Navy.
Special thanks to Congressman Norm Dicks, the United States Navy, the State of Washington, the workers in the shipyard, and the Bremerton City Council for their support of this project.
We must also recognize the work of Gary Sexton, Project Manager. Without him this magnificent plaza would never have been built!
Mayor Cary Bozeman
May 16, 2009
The fountain starts at the intersection of Pacific Avenue and Burwell Street, and flows downhill from there through the various memorial scenes.
Parts of the fountain, particularly at the lower end of the fountain, are animated and change very slowly as time goes on. Sometimes water "snakes" splash onto the side of rock faces, while at other times they shoot directly through holes carved in the rocks.
Benches, raised picnic tables, flowers, and other pieces are intermixed with statues of particular workers, photos of workers on large coin-like sculptures, and sculptures made from ship pieces.
One piece of memorial sculpture has a plaque that reads:
Esther Bielmeier was born on October 30, 1900. During the Great War Esther and sister Nora hired into the Shipyard as rivet heaters, passers and catchers. The women took turns heating the rivets, and tossing the heated rivets to the catchers who delivered them to the male riveter. Esther worked at the shipyard from 1918 to 1920. In the the summer of 1919 this photograph was taken of Esther operating a rivet heater. This photograph is the inspiration for the Memorial Plaza's centerpiece statue created at the Creo Industrial Arts by Sculptor James Sellen Guerci in 2009. The artist felt it was important to capture the authenticity of her appearance in the photograph. Esther passed away on Mother's Day of 1989.
Other sculptures and pieces in the memorial are reaonably well described, while a few of the photos are apparently only to represent general workers, as the names of all those who worked here over the many decades of operation number in the tens of thousands.
Address: Along Pacific Avenue, south from Burwell
Directions: from Ferry Terminal, walk north along west edge (along walkway along Waterfront Fountain). Cross to north side of entrance of Navy ship yard. Plaza runs along Pacific Avenue along side ship yard to Burwell Street.
Kitsap County Historical Society Museum Entrance
With two levels, this is a fairly nice museum considering the size of city where it is located. However, to get the full value of the museum, it is best to visit when the occasional rotating display upstairs is actually displaying something (I managed to visit on a day when the display was in the process of being changed, and so upstairs was closed).
Displays downstairs include a history of the area, starting with Native American artifacts at the entrance to the exhibit space. This then moves on into logging exhibits, and a recreation of the early 1900s storefronts that made up the city of Bremerton, including antique fire fighting apparatus. Artifacts also include early industry, such as ship building, and of course the Navy yard. Small pieces of the ferry fleet (both the big ships and the "mosquito fleet") are also preserved here. In more recent days, modern equipment such as the old telephone exchange is part of the museum.
The museum is open late on the first Thursday of every month, as part of the First Thursday Art Festival.
Admission charge is $2 per adult, or $5 per family, with some discounts available.
Address: 280 Fourth Street, Bremerton, Washington 98337
Directions: From ferry terminal, walk north on Washington, left on Fourth. Building is about 3/4 of the way down the block. If driving, there is a parking garage on Washington Street. Street parking is available, but usually occupied.
Phone: (360) 479-6226
Harborside Fountain Park from Ferry to Seattle
Crammed between the Washington State Ferries terminal and the Bremerton Navy Ship Yard, you will find a small park that features concrete walkways, and views of Sinclair Inlet. There are a number of benches and a few picnic tables, and some eccentric artwork scattered here and there in the park.
The most dominant of these eccentric art works is the fountain which, at moments and patterns only its computer system knows in advance, will spout forth exploding balls of water into the air. Sometimes the spouts go off in a progressive order, at other times there are random spouts, and in many cases the fountain just sits there innocently gurgling small trickles of water from the top of its five streamlined stacks.
I have a video of the fountain in action.
The fountain seems to be a popular place for children (even some older ones!) to get wet and cool off on hot days. There are, however, warning signs that warn that fountain water is, in fact, wet, and anyone getting too close to the water in the fountain may, in fact, become wet just like the water in the fountain!
(The sign actually says: "CAUTION When active, spray from Fountain, Super Shooter will drift over Walkways in Light Winds. We recommend staying off walkway in the direction of the Tail of the Weather Vane.")
Address: 1st Street & Washington Avenue
Directions: Walk from the ferry terminal on north side of park, or park in parking garage at 5th & Washington and walk south along Washington through Ferry Terminal. There is no public parking near the park due to protective measures at the Navy Shipyard.
entrance to Naval Museum on S side (r), main house
With no entrance fee, not only does the Puget Sound Navy Museum in Bremerton offer quite a bit of history of the ship building and repair industry that has been located here for many decades, but it is also one of the best bargains in the Puget Sound area.
The museum is open 10 am to 4 pm Monday through Saturday, and 1 to 4 PM on Sundays.
Not only does the museum have quite an extensive collection of models and artifacts from the history of the ship building and repair that happened here, but there is a fair amount of current information about ongoing work and fairly recent efforts. You will find descriptions of a number of different levels of work that go on today in Bremerton, presented by the labor unions involved in doing some of that work.
It should be noted that today the Bremerton Naval Shipyard is only an intermediate repair facility, and actual ship building and even heavy repairs no longer occur here. There are, however, artifacts and photographs from the years in which those activities did occur here.
This is one of the places that is actually much easier to visit if you don't drive your car onto the ferry from Seattle. From the passenger only area of the ferry terminal, all you need to do is walk south past the entrance to the naval shipyard itself, turn left as you go past the main gate, and enter on the south (right) side of the spectacular historic officer's home that you see in photo 1. If you drive your car onto the ferry from Seattle, you need to find somewhere north of downtown to park it, and then walk back towards the ferry terminal several blocks. There is no civilian parking allowed anywhere near the main entrance to the naval ship yards, which is where the museum is located.
Address: 251 1st Street, Bremerton, WA 98337
Directions: Walk to south side of passenger only area of ferry terminal. Naval Museum is located between entrance to actual naval yard and ferry terminal. Entrance is on south side of main house. Facing house as in photo 1, go to the right side of the house.
Other Contact: fax: (360) 396-7944
Phone: (360) 479-7447
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