Where to Live When Stationed in Bangor, WA

Source: LoopNet

Finding a place to live at a new duty station you’ve never been to can be daunting, to say the least. If you prefer to live off-base (or are subject to a 12-18 month waiting list), that can be even harder. How do you know what community to live in? What’s the reputation or best fit for my family? How close is it to base? What about me and best places for my job opportunities? The questions are endless.

First step, we encourage you to find the Facebook group for your new duty station. These spouses have an aresenal of knowledge and experience for you and can help share their experiences. For Bangor, be sure to join: Military Spouses of Kitsap, Bangor Base Naval Families and Naval Base Kitsap PCS Pay-It-Forward.

Secondly, we hope to offer some help here. If your family has orders to Washington state, here is a list of Kitsap County cities to live in and some quick notes to consider:

Source: Visit Kitsap Peninsula

North Kitsap

Bainbridge Island



  • Commute to base: 20 minutes
  • Population: 10,602 (2019)
  • Poulsbo’s historic “Little Norway” is one of Kitsap Peninsula’s most popular destinations for visitors. Founded by Norwegian immigrant Jørgen Eliason in the 1880s, Poulsbo was settled in its early years by a large number of Norwegian and other Scandinavian immigrants because of its similarities to their native countries. Today, you can see that heritage celebrated throughout the town.
  • The town’s charming Front Street downtown offers galleries, museums, unique shops and restaurants along the waterfront. Some of our favorites: The infamous and beloved Sluy’s Bakery, Red Plantation, Hot Shots Java, Liberty Bay Books, Tickled Pink, The Loft, and Slippery Pig Brewery.
  • Poulsbo is a coveted place to live for families. Given its proximity to nearby Bainbridge Island and surrounding attractions, homes can be more competitive and expensive. According to Realtor.com, the median home price in 2022 is $619K.
  • Poulsbo hosts a variety of events an festivals throughout the year, including Viking Fest in July and Julefest in December. For a full list of events, click here.
  • School district: North Kitsap School District

Central Kitsap


  • Commute to Base: 15 minutes
  • Silverdale is a convenient, central hub for shopping with familar chain stores including Costco, Target, Trader Joe’s, REI and others. The town also offers the Kitsap Mall (Macy’s, Bath & Body Works, H&M, Cost World Plus Market, Kohl’s, Torrid, etc.) and The Trails, an outdoor shopping center with HomeGoods, Marshall’s, Old Navy, Chipotle, and several restaurants.
  • Silverdale also has great recreation opportunities. The popular Clear Creek Trail stretches eight miles from the Silverdale Waterfront Park on Dyes Inlet north to Trigger Avenue. The trail meanders through wetlands and forests, with mixed terrain of smooth pavement,boardwalks and gravel roads.
  • School district: Central Kitsap School District
  • Popular breweries: Silver City Brewing, Breaking Waves Brewing
  • The waterfront also offers two of the largest hotels in Kitsap County,  the Oxford Suites and the Best Western Plus Silverdale Beach Hotel.


South Kitsap

Port Orchard

  • Commute to Base: 30-40 minutes
  • Port Orchard is the county seat of Kitsap County, and the original city established in 1890.
  • Port Orchard also has a convenient Kitsap Transit Foot Ferry, which crosses over to Bremerton. The scenic ride travels between Bremerton and Port Orchard and goes out about every 10 minutes. Schedule is Monday through Saturday and some weekends for special events.
  • The area has a small, charming downtown waterfront with antique shops, paved walking paths, a playground and community park for family-friendly activities. Farther down the waterfront, you’ll find excellent dining options.
  • While the city offers plenty of grocery stores, other shops like Target, Costco and other errands require a drive to Silverdale or Gig Harbor.
  • School district: South Kitsap School District
  • Popular breweries and micropubs: Slaughter County Brew Co., Yoked Farmhouse & Brewery, Peninsula Beverage Co.
  • During the spring and summer, Port Orchard features many free and exciting events and concerts. Come and stroll through the Saturday Farmers Market, or sing and dance during the Thursday evening Concerts on the Bay at the Gazebo by the water. Meet and greet with local artists on the First Friday Artwalks, or join the thousands of people who gather downtown during the car shows.
  • Port Orchard is also home to the South Kitsap Regional Park, one of the largest skate parks in the area with ball fields, hiking trails and picnic areas. It’s a great place to let children and pets run and enjoy the outdoors. The park also features the popular Kitsap Live Steamers Train Park and the new Forest Explorer Trail. 

This list only scratched the surface of Kitsap County. Other smaller communities include Keyport, Gorst, Seabeck, Port Gamble and others. To learn more, visit www.visitktsap.com. For more PCS resources, check out other blog posts: “How to Find Your Next House,” “How to Buy a House with a POA” and more.

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