4 Activities to Beat the Winter Blues on the Kitsap Peninsula

OK, 2022 is here and we’re in the dead of winter. And if you live in Washington state, you’ve been pelted with dark, dreary days and torrential (and record-breaking) rainfall, all on top of a previous, obnoxious snowstorm that you were likely snowed in for. But as we itch for summer (160 days away, might I add), we’ve got to find some things to do and get out of the house.

If you are feeling down, Seasonal Affective Disorder is a very real thing. Here are some tips from other Washington state sub spouses who came before you. For indoor play with kids, check out this list. For advice on how to get outside during the wintertime, read this great advice.

And finally, here are some activities that might help inspire:

Snowshoe (or Tube, Ski, Sled, Snowboard…) at Hurricane Ridge

If you’re stationed at Naval Submarine Base Bangor, a visit to Olympic National Park is a must. At an elevation of 5,242 feet, Hurricane Ridge is an ideal alpine destination in winter. Typically snow-covered, Hurricane Ridge provides opportunities for snowshoeing, cross-country and downhill skiing, snowboarding, tubing and more. The visitors center is located about 90 minutes from base.

My family and I were tired of being cooped up in the house and wanted to get out of town. Hurricane Ridge was just the ticket. We happen to own snowshoes, but you can rent them from Brown’s Outdoors just outside the park ($18/day). The park is very popular and has limited parking, and when we arrived at 11am there was a two hour wait to get in! By the advice from a park ranger, we pulled our car over and snowshoed a trail right off the main road – Lake Angeles. We got back to our car around 1pm and ate lunch with only an hour wait. We drove up to the top and enjoyed hot chocolate in the lodge and watched skiiers and snowboarders.

Know before you go: Hurricane Ridge Road is typically open from 9am-4pm Fridays through Sundays, weather and road conditions permitting (always check before you leave the house). Make it an early morning and it’ll be worth it – trust me! Even if all you do is make the drive, the view and scenery is just stunning.

Poke Around The Bremerton Vintage Flea

This dreary season is the perfect time to check ou the Saturday Bremerton Vintage Flea! The market is open every Saturday from 10am-4pm, year-round, with over 25 vendors offering antique, vintage, repurposed and hand-made treasurers. The 8,000 sq. foot building is also home to Lucky Dime Vintage, a mid-century lovers dream with an impressive collection of mid-centruy modern decor and furniture.

Check their website for news about food trucks and other special pop-up events!

Explore Fort Worden in Port Townsend

Photo courtesy of Waggoner Guide

Only an hour from base, Port Townsend is a great day trip throughout the year. Visit Fort Worden Historical State Park, a former U.S. Army Coast Artillery Corps base constructed in 1898. The park features old bunkers you can explore (bring flashlights), as well as a museum, science center, lighthouse, trails and more than two miles of beachfront and high bluffs with views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Be sure to bring your Discover Pass or pay on site ($30/year, access to all state parks). Veterans can qualify for free, lifetime passes.

After going to the park check out downtown Port Townsend for great shopping and fun restaurants like the PT Soda Fountain & Diner, a 50s throwback diner.

Experience a Tacoma Night Market

Drive down to Tacoma for their monthly Tacoma Night Market (Jan. 27-Jan. 30), a well curated night-market destination with revolving vendors and offerings, where people can gather, have a drink, have some local food, bring their families and support local artists and crafters! The market will be hosted at the Tacoma Dome for this kick-off event. Kids of all ages are welcome! For details, follow their Facebook page.

What other day trips or events do you have on your radar? Comment below!

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