There are plenty of fun things to do in Port Orchard, Washington, one of the best cities on the Kitsap Peninsula. The small city has a friendly, easy-going community and plenty of gems for curious explorers.
Vibrant local businesses and restaurants line the streets of downtown Port Orchard. Outdoor opportunities abound in the surrounding parks and green spaces. Take a stroll along a pretty waterfront, camp at an uncrowded state park, or find your next favorite book at a tiny, tucked-away bookshop.
Wondering where to get started? I’ll dive into 12 wonderful things to do in this small city. And read to the end, because I’ll also include some great options for where to stay in Port Orchard!
12 Things to Do in Port Orchard, Washington
Holy Water A Heavenly Lounge
Holy Water A Heavenly Lounge is one of my favorite Port Orchard attractions. This church-turned-wine bar is unassuming and looks like a regular church on the outside. But as soon as you step inside, you’ll be welcomed to a cozy and eclectic restaurant and bar. Take a closer look and you’ll find some of the quirky decor is a nod to its past as a place of worship.
Grab drinks and tapas from Holy Water or visit in the morning for brunch and mimosa flights. You can’t go wrong with any of the sangrias (though I highly recommend the Flirty Francis). And if it’s a nice day out, sit out on the patio. It’s practically made for warm nights and pretty sunsets.
Port Orchard Night Market
One of the best reasons to visit Port Orchard in the summer is to experience the Port Orchard Night Market. This exciting event only happens once a month, so double-check the dates if you want to go.
The night markets have tons of vendors that sell unique and one-of-a-kind gifts. Of course, you should also expect great food. Come out to stock up on candles, ceramics, hand-painted shoes, vintage clothing, and tons more. Enjoy everything from burritos and chicken sandwiches to crepes if you get hungry.
Are you a big night market fan? Don’t miss my round-up of the best Seattle night markets to enjoy even more of these fun events!
Just a small sampling of some of the things you’ll find in Josephine’s Mercantile
Port Orchard has some great antique stores, but Josephine’s Mercantile is one of the best. This well-curated shop has dozens of vendors with tons of fun vintage, antique, and locally made goods.
Some antique stores can feel overwhelmingly crammed with goods. However, Josephine’s Mercantile is well-curated and organized. It’s also not huge, so it’s an easy place to browse without taking up too much time.
To make things even better, there’s a coffee shop right inside the antique store! Once you’re ready to take a break from your shopping, pop over to Mercantile Coffee for a latte, scone, or a variety of other tasty treats.
Salmonberry Books is a micro bookstore located in the same building as The Dock Bar & Eatery. Come support this small independent bookstore! What it lacks in size, it makes up for in stock.
Whether you’re looking for non-fiction, fantasy, mystery, horror, or something else, you’ll find plenty of options for your next read. In addition to books, the store carries records, art prints, and the cutest stickers. Can’t make up your mind? The owners are friendly and chatty and willing to make personalized recommendations.
Western Washington Center For The Arts
Western Washington Center for the Arts in downtown Port Orchard is the place to go if you like to support local performance art. Catch performances for adults and younger audiences year-round in this historic building. Seats are reasonably priced and the theater is cozy and intimate.
Watch fun and familiar stories come to life on stage. Some of the shows have included Freaky Friday, Little Shop of Horrors, and 101 Dalmatians. If you love both musicals and dramas, you’ll enjoy your time here. The Western Washington Center for The Arts also hosts Imagined Reality, an improv troupe from Bainbridge Island.
Manchester State Park
You’ll find Manchester State Park just 10 minutes outside of Port Orchard proper. This 128-acre state park is the perfect place to visit if you’re staying in the city but want an easy nature getaway. The dog-friendly park has gorgeous tree-lined hiking trails and ample waterfront access. Bring a picnic for a day trip, or stay overnight in one of the spacious campsites.
One of the most defining features of Manchester State Park is the large torpedo warehouse near the center of the park. The old brick building is imposing and distinctive and is now used as a picnic, wedding, and gathering spot. Any trip to the park necessitates a quick stop to see it.
Banner Forest Heritage Park
Banner Forest Heritage Park is yet another great spot for people who love outdoor escapes. Bring a bike, go for a leisurely walk, or hike with an energetic pup. This forest has a massive network of well-maintained trails. Wander through towering pines, mossy undergrowth, ferns, and all sorts of mushrooms.
Make sure to bring a trail map when you come because the dozens of interconnecting trails make it easy to get lost. You’ll certainly feel like you’ve left the city and are much further from civilization than you are the further you get into Banner Forest.
Kitsap Live Steamers in South Kitsap Regional Park
Kitsap Live Steamers is located in South Kitsap Regional Park in East Port Orchard. It’s one of the most fun and unique things to do in Port Orchard. With Kitsap Live Steamers, you’ll get to ride a 7.5” gauge scale railroad through a forest. You’ll feel like a giant as you make your way down the track on the open-air miniature train powered by steam, diesel, or electricity.
Rides are only about 12 minutes long, but it’s completely free. The staff who drive the trains are friendly and excited to talk to visitors about the trains and their history. Kitsap Live Steamers train rides run from April to October and occur on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month.
After taking a ride, explore the rest of the park. Kitsap Regional Park has hiking trails that are perfect for wildlife watchers or anyone wanting to get a little exercise. There’s also a playground, skatepark, batting cages, soccer fields, and lots of spots for a picnic.
Port Orchard Waterfront Park
Go to Port Orchard Waterfront Park on a warm day. It’s nestled against the water and a great place to watch ferries and other watercraft make their way across the Sound. Take a leisurely walk along the boardwalk or find a spot to sit and read.
In summer, free concerts at the amphitheater create an upbeat, animated vibe at the park. There’s a tiny play area for kids, and water access too. The Waterfront Park is also where the Port Orchard Farmer’s Market takes place when it’s in season. Come on Saturdays between April and October to check it out and spend some time in this quaint downtown park.
Whiskey Gulch CoffeePub
Come to Whiskey Gulch CoffeePub in the early afternoon and stay until late in the evening. This cool restaurant on Port Orchard’s waterfront is a great place to catch up with friends for a few hours. It has beautiful views, strong coffee, and a fantastic whiskey selection.
The coffee cocktails are a must-try. Order an espresso old-fashioned or Gulch spiked cold brew. Whiskey Gulch has delicious drinks, but the food is also phenomenal. Choose between burgers, tacos, beer-brined wings, and unbeatable salads. And whatever you do, don’t leave without trying the tots!
Sidney Art Gallery and Museum
The Sidney Art Gallery Museum is tiny but mighty. This small, volunteer-run space focuses on both local history and art. You’ll find information about Port Orchard’s past on the top floor. Examine artifacts, photos, and displays that tell the city’s origin story.
Downstairs, peruse art by creative locals, most of which is for sale. Find stained glass, watercolor, jewelry, sculptures, and more. This is a great place to visit for souvenirs from your trip to this cute city. The art gallery and museum are open most weekends and occasionally weekdays. Make sure to call ahead before you go to ensure it will be open on your visit.
Rodeo Drive-In Theater
Looking for a Port Orchard movie theater? Just outside of town, you’ll find Rodeo Drive-In Theater. This old-school drive-in has been open for over 70 years! Rodeo Drive-In Theater plays double features of first-run movies.
Another Port Orchard movie theater to check out is the historic Dragonfly Cinema, which will be known as the Polaris Theater in the future. This 100-year-old building is currently being renovated with plans to turn it into a theater and event space in 2024.
If you’re searching for a more traditional movie theater, just hop on the foot ferry from Port Orchard to downtown Bremerton. Here, you’ll find several great spots to watch a movie.
Where to Stay in Port Orchard
Port Orchard is a relatively small city. But if you’re looking for a great hotel in Port Orchard or another lodging option, you’ll be pleased with what you find. Here are some of our top hotel, bed and breakfast, and vacation rental options for Port Orchard.
Comfort Inn On the Bay
Book a stay at Comfort Inn On the Bay for reasonably priced, basic accommodation. This is the closest hotel to Port Orchard’s downtown waterfront area. The hotel itself is comfortable, though dated. However, its location makes it an excellent option for budgeters and people who want to be near some of the city’s best sights. A continental breakfast is included with every stay and pets are allowed at Comfort Inn On the Bay.
Hampton Inn and Suites Bremerton
If you’re looking for accommodations that are a touch more modern, book a stay across the water at the Hampton Inn and Suites at Bremerton. This hotel is located near the Bremerton to Port Orchard foot ferry, so it’s easy to get across the water to Port Orchard. The hotel itself has a number of rooms with water views, free breakfast, a pool, and a fitness center. If you want to explore a bit of Bremerton as well, it’ll be easy to do if you stay here.
Mrs. Howe’s Bed and Breakfast
Mrs. Howe’s Bed and Breakfast is a great option if you’re looking for something cozy and charming in Port Orchard. This historic home was built in the 1920s and still retains some of the charm from that era. The host is lovely and does a lot to make guests feel welcome. The beds here are comfy, the location is excellent, and the breakfast is incredible. Altogether, this makes it the ideal bed and breakfast stay.
Holy Water A Heavenly Lounge (Airbnb)
Holy Water A Heavenly Lounge is both one of the best things to do in Port Orchard and one of the best places to stay! The owners converted the top floor of this wine bar and restaurant into an open and airy Airbnb. It can accommodate 6 guests and has plenty of space to work, lounge, and gather. From stained glass windows to carefully chosen religious decor, this is one of the most unique places to stay in Port Orchard.
Port Orchard is a wonderful place to visit on a day trip or overnight excursion. You’ll find plenty of things to do downtown and throughout the rest of the city. Whether you’re coming to explore antique shops or state parks, this list should be a good start to your adventure. Happy travels!