As we head into these drearier months, it’s a great time of year to explore the Kitsap County area museums. From contemporary art to naval history, there’s a museum for everyone.
Here’s 14 museums to get you started:
On Bainbridge Island you’ll find a number of museums. For general island history, check out the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum, housed inside a 1908 schoolhouse. For creative types, don’t miss the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art with its contemporary, rotating exhibits and special focus on local artists. If you have children definitely plan a trip to the Kids Discovery Museum (KiDiMu). The two-story museum offers fun exhibits and play spaces.
Educate yourself on a darker time in America’s history at the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial. The memorial wall winds solemnly down to the historic Eagledale ferry dock landing site, where the first of more than 120,000 Japanese—two-thirds of whom were American citizens—were banished from their West Coast homes and placed in concentration camps during World War II.
There are so many museums in Bremerton, it might be hard to know where to start. You have the Puget Sound Navy Museum, which aims to collect, preserve and interpret the naval heritage of the Pacific Northwest for the benefit of the U.S. Navy and general public. Learn about the vision of establishing a naval station in Puget Sound and how the vision became reality, among other things.
For a more hands-on experience dont miss the USS Turner Joy! The U.S. Naval Destroyer museum rests inside the actual ship, which you can tour and explore. If you’re interested in more general, Kitsap County history, there’s Kitsap History Museum. For kids, the Bug & Reptile Museum is free and fun outing.
Tucked away over in Keyport is the U.S. Naval Undersea Museum, the only official Navy museum that interprets all of the Navy’s undersea activities. The museum is home to the country’s more comprehensive collective of U.S. Navy artifacts, documents and reference material related to undersea subjects. Specialty collections include diving and salvage, submarine technology, unmanned underwater vehicles, torpedoes, mines and more. Don’t miss the new exhibit, “Giving Voice to the Silent Service!”
Tucked away in the small community of Port Gamble, the charming Sea & Shore Museum is a fun surprise. Housed above the Port Gamble General Store, the museum is the second largest, privatelyowned shell museum in the world. Cllected and curated by Tom Rice, a native and former, long-time resident of Port Gamble, the museum has been here since 1973. Take a step back in time at the Port Gamble Historic Museum. Immerse yourself in the rich history of one of Washington’s oldest towns.
In the heart of downtown Port Orchard you’ll find the Veteran’s Living History Museum. The museum houses military memorabilia and military history collections from the Civil War to Afghaistan. Owner Dale Nitz is a proud Army brat” from his childhood and served in the Coast Guard himself. Today he manages his museum and loves to share his military collections with the public. To learn more about Dale, click here.
In Poulsbo, be sure to visit the SEA Discovery Center! As a self-sustaining entity of Western Washington University, the center is a public aquarium and marine environmental education resource for the school districts, families, and learners of all ages. The Poulsbo Heritage Museum is a quaint museum that highlighs the cultural heritage and the daily lives of early Poulsbo families.
Did we miss any? Comment below and tell us what your favorite museum is! For more Bangor and Kitsap County resources and guides, click here.