Bremerton is a fascinating city with a rich culture and history tied to the American navy.
Seeing potential in the area, William Bremer planned the establishment of the city.
In 1891, the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, a well-equipped facility servicing the US Pacific Fleet, was created thanks to William Bremer’s persistence.
The city is also home to the USS Turner Joy, a destroyer ship that played an important role in getting the US more involved in the Vietnam War.
Even though the city is deeply connected to the military, it offers picturesque attractions for recreation and entertainment as well.
You can catch a show, revel in outdoor activities perfect for the whole family, savor delicious fare, visit a museum to learn about the city’s history, and much more.
Discover all the wonders of this city by reading our list of the 20 best things to do in Bremerton, Washington, below.
Learn About the Story of the USS Turner Joy
The USS Turner Joy is a Forrest Sherman-class ship that served the US for a long time - from 1959 to 1982.
Take a walk on its metal floors, observing its facilities and imagining how it’s like to be part of the crew.
Book a tour to learn all about the ship, starting from when it first set sail, and about its namesake, Charles Turner Joy.
For its visitors’ convenience, the ship comes with wheelchairs, and its main deck is wheelchair-accessible.
Remember to get a ticket 30 minutes before closing, as they won’t sell any more after that.
Also, wear their recommended attire to make sure you have a hassle-free trip.
Explore the Exhibits in the Puget Sound Navy Museum
The Puget Sound Navy Museum offers two permanent exhibits tailor-fit for the curious traveler.
The first exhibit, the USS John C. Stennis, gives you the chance to learn about the day-to-day lives of the crew of a nuclear aircraft carrier.
The second, called A Heritage of Excellence, recalls how the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard came to be.
The museum also holds a large collection of artifacts related to local history, and you’re free to request photos of the artifacts, provided you abide by their rules.
For more interactive experiences, take advantage of the programs that they offer.
Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead features activities where you can learn more about the US Navy.
The Cub Scout Workshops are perfect for teaching your children some much-needed skills.
The Set S.A.I.L. Fridays program is the most popular of the three and is ideal for young children.
Go around the area to explore all its features and have a fun family day.
Watch the Fountains at Harborside Fountain Park
Breathe in some fresh air and have a peaceful family day in Harborside Fountain Park.
It’s a great place to kick back after a trip to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, located just close by.
Have a snack in the outdoor seating area.
If you want to, you can just simply enjoy the view too.
Take a Scenic Walk Along Bremerton Boardwalk
Embrace the hustle and bustle of Bremerton in Bremerton Boardwalk, offering sights of ships and Puget Sound.
Take a stroll along the promenade and marvel at the towering metal structures getting on with their daily activities.
Some parts of it also feature historic sculptures, which make for a fun way to learn about the town’s past.
Shops and restaurants are just within walking distance too, so you’ll definitely find something to satisfy your cravings.
Surround Yourself With Colorful Plants in Albers Marcovina Vista Gardens
What started out as a home for John Albers and his wife, Santica Marcovina, became a lush garden.
Plants of different varieties abound in Albers Marcovina Vista Gardens, and it is composed of 15 segmented areas, each featuring a well-thought-out area filled with colorful plants.
These areas all have a cohesive theme and typically use related plants.
Take, for example, Mittsu No Shima, which uses Japanese maples and conifers, or Primo Giardino, which showcases horticulturally exceptional plants.
This garden was made with preservation in mind, and its mission is to create a much greener world.
Marvel at the Manette Bridge’s Architecture
The current Manette Bridge isn’t actually the original one.
The original was built in 1930, with steel trusses and concrete piers, and grew weaker over the years.
So, in 1996, a new bridge was conceptualized, and, in 2012, the old bridge was replaced.
The bridge is a sight to behold, with concrete spanning for miles, and it connects Bremerton and Manette, which was annexed to Bremerton in 1918.
Watch Plays in the Outdoors in Kitsap Forest Theater
If you love nature and spectacular shows, pay a visit to Kitsap Forest Theater, an outdoor theater built in 1928.
It also contains a rustic abode, called the Kitsap Cabin, that serves as the performers’ lodging during their shows.
Enjoy magical performances amidst a gorgeous natural setting – a large forest owned by the Rhododendron Preserve.
In addition, you can hike around the area, taking in the wonderful views, and watch the salmon on Chico Creek as they swim upstream to lay their eggs.
Observe the Bonsais at the Elandan Gardens
The small, intricate branches of many bonsai trees weave themselves into the horizon at the waterfront Elandan Gardens.
The garden is a piece of art, carefully manicured to bring out the best in each plant.
Colorful flowers and leaves beautify the space, and strategically placed rocks add complexity and depth.
If you want a tranquil respite in nature, the Elandan Gardens is surely an ideal choice.
Engage in Thrilling Outdoor Activities in Ilahee State Park
Outdoor adventures await in Ilahee State Park, with 86 acres of natural beauty.
It offers 0.5 miles of hiking trails, perfect for the avid explorer.
If you’re a person who loves water activities, you’ll have tons of that here too.
You can go fishing, oyster harvesting, diving, waterskiing, and much more.
On top of that, there are other activities, like birdwatching and playing softball, available too.
If you want to learn about some of the nation’s courageous military men, head to the veterans’ war memorial located on site.
Watch Kid-Friendly Shows in the Aurora Valentinietti Puppet Museum
Wondering where to take your kids for a fun and educational trip?
Look no further! Aurora Valentinietti Puppet Museum provides a wholesome, enjoyable experience, with puppet shows and exhibits showcasing the many kinds of puppets used over the years.
Moreover, the kids can play musical instruments, read books, and even create their own lovely puppets.
Pick up some goodies at the gift shop, including, of course, puppets and books, to bring the magic to your home.
Catch an Event at the Admiral Theater
Groove to the beat, watch a film, or catch one of the other events, which are plenty, held in Admiral Theater.
With world-class features and comfortable seating, it creates an overwhelming feeling of joy and excitement.
Reserve a front-row seat for the best views.
Gulp Down a Pint of Craft Beer in Silver City Brewery
In Silver City Brewery, you can drink draft beers, handcrafted to bring you a delicious, original taste.
Drink all the beer you want in its taproom, with various flavors available.
Or, spend a wonderful time with your family or friends in the beer garden.
With quirky names like Tropic Haze and The Magnificent, its beers are ones you won’t want to miss out on.
Discover Different Species in the Bremerton Bug and Reptile Museum
The world is filled with unique animals and insects that we don’t know about.
If you want to widen your knowledge about them, come to Bremerton Bug and Reptile Museum.
Here, you’ll get to see rare species of reptiles like snakes, iguanas, and chameleons and bugs like scorpions, butterflies, and praying mantises.
That’s not all!
They also have scavenger hunts for the young ones, where they’ll get pieces of paper with instructions and questions to answer.
If they manage to complete one, they’ll get a prize from the museum.
Explore Kitsap County Historical Society Museum’s Large Collection
Kitsap County Historical Society Museum features a large collection – one of the largest, in fact, in Washington.
You’ll find textiles, artifacts, photographs, and a well-stocked archive here.
Invite your family for a tour or book one for a whole group (it has tours for kids and for adults) and discover all that it has to offer.
Watch Local Plays in the Bremerton Community Theater
Have a night filled with entertainment in the Bremerton Community Theater.
Its plays touch on various genres, like thrillers, fantasy, and more.
And, you’ll get clear views of the acts from its 183 seats.
If needed, there’s also a seating area for people who need wheelchairs, and there are assisted listening devices to make sure visitors can fully enjoy the performance.
Play Games Amid Nature in Kiwanis Park
A perfect spot for sporty families, Kiwanis Park allows tourists to get some exercise while indulging in outdoor sceneries.
Show off your skills on the football/soccer field.
Take the kids to the playground for fun games.
Walk along the trails to enjoy a calming, picturesque environment and breathe in the fresh air.
When you get tired, there are seating areas too, and you can bring your own food and enjoy it on the picnic shelters provided.
Skate Around in Bremerton Ice Center
Fans of ice hockey or figure skating will surely have a great time in Bremerton Ice Center.
Don’t worry if it’s your first time, as they offer lessons for beginners as well as the experienced.
If you don’t want to be the center of attention, there are public skating sessions too.
Just make sure to check the calendar for the schedule.
After skating, you might start to get hungry.
When you do, just head to the on-site snack bar, where you can get coffee, pizza, and more.
Play Sports in Lions Park
Immerse yourself in nature while you play sports and other fun activities in Lions Park.
Shoot some hoops on the basketball court.
Play softball with your friends.
Get your racquet and practice your swing on the tennis court.
If you want to get up close to the waters, there’s a boat ramp on site as well.
You can play all day long, as there’s a drinking fountain and picnic shelters in the area.
Book an Event at Kitsap Conference Center
For a luxurious venue for events, book the Kitsap Conference Center.
It’s about 17,000 sq ft and can accommodate up to 700 guests.
You’ll have spectacular views of the Sinclair Inlet right from its location.
It accepts all kinds of events, including weddings, meetings, and more.
Furthermore, you can plan your event thoroughly, with its culinary, event planning, and technology services.
Take advantage of the special offers provided to get full value for your money.
Other Things to Do Nearby
Follow the Hiking Trails in Green Mountain
Green Mountain is a postcard-perfect destination, with beautiful madronas and rhododendrons and lush trees.
It is found close to Bremerton and only takes about a 30-minute drive to get there.
When you arrive, make your way to the Gold Creek Trail to start your hiking adventure.
After crossing Gold Creek on a bridge, you’ll have the option of switching to the Plummer Trail or continue on your way to the summit.
When you get to the peak, you’ll have overlooking views of the area and a fantastic spot for meditation.
Bremerton is a city to explore, offering beautiful natural landscapes, fun-filled attractions, and tons of exciting activities.
Its vast outdoor spaces are perfect for playing under the sun or simply enjoying the fresh, unpolluted air.
Art lovers and people who love studying history will appreciate its various exhibits and artifacts.
Its shows offer evenings of wonder and thrills, which are best viewed with a family member or friend.
If you’re planning a trip to the city and are looking for a comprehensive guide, then check out our list of the 20 best things to do in Bremerton, Washington.