Whenever you PCS you should take advantage of what the area has to offer and make sure you “Take a Vacation on the Navy”! Seeing different parts of the county is one of the many benefits of a military career.
I don’t think I would have ever had the privilege of seeing all of the nation’s monuments in Washington D.C, or seeing the spot where the real “Cheers” bar is located, or walked the Freedom Trail if not for the Navy and the PCS we did to Groton, CT back in 2003.
Nor would I have ever learned about the Mojave Desert first hand and climbed in Joshua Tree National Park if not for the Navy and a PCS to Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twenty-nine Palms, CA.
I know I would never have watched the mountain race in Seward, AK on the 4th of July or watched a real sled dog race or learned to fly fish for salmon on the Russian River if not for a PCS to Anchorage, AK! So make sure you find the tourist in you when you PCS to a new area!!
Here are just a few of my favorite day trips in the Puget Sound area. I know there are several more but this will get you started!!
The Series | Bremerton| Day Trips | Safeco Field
Moose Country? Yep, that is what I said! Mariner Moose Country!!! The Mariner Moose is the official mascot for the Seattle Mariner’s pro baseball team. Living in the area all my life I have come to see the many changes ofthe Mariners and the Moose. I remember the days of sitting in the Kingdome watching baseball on a warm sunny Seattle day – INSIDE!!
“Refuse to Lose”- I also remember the days of the greats, Ken Griffey, Jr., Edgar Martinez, Randy Johnson, Jay Buhner, Dave Valle, Alex Rodriguez and Edgar Martinez. Oops, did I say Edgar Martinez twice? I sure did! He is my all time Seattle Mariner favorite player. I personally feel he saved baseball in Seattle with “The Double” he hit during the 1995 game vs. the New York Yankees to win the game 6-5 and advance the Mariners for the first time to the American League Championship Series. I know that the tiles of the doomed Kingdome probably played a role, but it was that game on that day that grabbed all of Seattle and the Pacific Northwest and made us a “baseball town”!!!
The new stadium opened in 1999 and it was amazing. I probably attended 25 games that year!! I love to watch baseball.
When you relocate to the area Safeco Field “The House That Griffey Built” should be one of your “day trips”. You can tour Safeco Field individually or as a group.
April 1 – October 31| You may tour the stadium on days when there are now games at three different times. 10:30, 12:30 and 2:30. On days with 6 pm games there are only the first two tour times.
November 1 – March 31 | Tuesdays through Sundays at 12:30 and 2:30
Tours are approximately one hour long and cover a distance of one mile, so wear appropriate apparel.
Birthday Tours – How much fun would this be?!!
The Birthday Tour package includes the following.
- Personal guided tour for up to 20 people
- Time to play at the Children’s Hospital Playfield
- A suite overlooking the ballpark for presents and cake
- Party favors for each child
- A birthday message on the scoreboard
- Time on the field’s warning track and in the dugouts
- A present to the birthday child from the Mariners
See more tour ideas and all of the package information with costs and contact names and numbers here – SAFECO FIELD PACKAGE TOURS
The Series | Bremerton | Day Trips | Point Defiance Park
Never have I ever come across a park like Point Defiance Parkjust over the Narrow’s Bridge in Tacoma. Growing up in the area I have enjoyed this park many times, from the family picnics to the elementary school field trips. Point Defiance Park is a day trip you will revisit often. There is so much to do and see that you will probably need to divide the attractions up and visit on at least 5 occasions just see the minimum. Point Defiance Park is situated on approximately 702 acres that encompass natural forests and salt water beaches. The park offers several recreation and educational opportunities. You can have fun here, learn here and hang out with nature here!!
Gardens and Old Growth Forest
Acres of gardens | Dahlia, Fuchsia, Herb, Iris, Japanese, Native, Rhododendron and Rose. You can spend hours and hours just walking along the paths of these gardens. Several times I have just taken a book and sat in a garden and enjoyed the smells and the beauty.
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
Even on a rainy Pacific Northwest day you can have a blast at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. There are covered viewing areas and indoor exhibits. I love aquariums and this one is one of my favorites. I guess the reason is because it was one of my firsts. I remember as a child going on field trips to this zoo.
Five Mile Drive
There have been times I have visited Point Defiance Park just to makethe “Five Mile Drive”. These five miles of asphalt wind thru some of the most gorgeous old growth forest in the area. Along the way there are viewpoint opportunities, areas to picnic and relax and several “Kodak moments”, including Puget Sound, the Cascade Mountains, the Olympic Mountains, the Narrows Bridge, Vashon Island and Gig Harbor.
This is my favorite spot at Point Defiance Park. I love the beach! Any type of beach! From the Owen Beach you can see Vashon Island, watch the ferry boats and any other water traffic. Owen Beach is perfect for a family picnic with picnic shelters, grills, tables and a large restroom area. If you are adventurous you can rent kayaks here!
I remember as a child going to Fort Nisqually with my entire family. Over the years it has grown and improved. Fort Nisqually was originally a Hudson’s Bay Company outpost built in 1833. This is where you can travel back in time and experience life in Washington during the fur trade era. Fort Nisqually was the first European settlement on Puget Sound.
Art in the Park
Around the park grounds you can find several different sculptures to include an authentic Native American totem pole.
So no matter how much time you have, an hour or several you can find something to do that is either free or a nominal fee at Point Defiance Park. Remember, even if the weather is cloudy and raining you can still enjoy several areas of the park.
The Series | Bremerton | Day Trips | Seattle Space Needle
There is nothing like having lunch at the Seattle Space Needle. One year while living in eastern Washington I decided that it was time to take a vacation and we choose to explore Seattle. I love to vacation local. I am amazed at how many people who live in Seattle and the surrounding area have never been to the Space Needle! I decided on lunch because my kids were elementary school age and the price is lower than dinner. Many say they would never eat at the Space Needle because of the price. Well, treat it like what it is a “treat” and have lunch. Over the years the rules have changed and there is a minimum charge of $25 per person for lunch. Lunch Menu
You also will be able to continue up the observation deck. Maker sure your lunch last an hour so you will have completed a full rotation of viewing. The Observation Deck is located 520′ above Seattle and features 360º full view of the Puget Sound.
The Space Needle was the huge attraction of the 1962 Worlds Fair. Now it is the “trademark” of Seattle.
400 Broad Street
Seattle, WA 98109
Located near the Monorail and Seattle Center House at 5th Avenue North & Broad Street.
Insects, Butterflies and Dinosaurs, Oh My
The Series | Bremerton | Day Trips | Pacific Science Center
When my kiddos were in elementary school we must have visited the Pacific Science Center at least 3 times a year. This is an amazing place unlike any other science center in the world. Of course the fun just isn’t for kids, all of the adults I saw each time seemed to be having just as much fun. Of course I did everything my kids did!! I even touched living saltwater tide pool creatures! Today there are even more exhibits to see, feel and play with. I always enjoyed the Body Works Exhibit and the Science Playground.
There are over 6 acres of hands on exhibits, two IMAX theaters, planetarium, motion simulator and laser light shows everyone of every age will find something of fascinating interest.
You will want to check the Pacific Science Center website for the schedule of special eventsand IMAX and laser light show times as well as to learn what is available to do prior to your trip. This way you will not miss a thing while there. I would never spend less than 4 hours on a visit. Doors open at 10am.
List of Exhibits
- Dinosaurs: A Journey Through Time
- Tropical Butterfly House
- Insect Village
- Puget Sound Model and Saltwater Tide Pool
- Kids Works
- Animal Exhibits
- Body Works
- Adventures in 3Dimensions
- Science Playground
- Technology Exhibits
- Outdoor Exhibits
Another great place to have a youngster’s Birthday Party!!!
Pacific Science Center is located under the arches near the Space Needle. Daytime entrances are on Denny Way and the main entrance and Will Call are located facing Seattle Center to the north. This is also the only evening entrance.
All Aboard… Ferry Ride!!
The Series | Bremerton | Day Trips | Ferry Rides
Take a day and ride the Ferry. Several years ago I took a day trip with my kids on the Ferry. We left Seattle and headed over to Bainbridge Island. There is nothing like being out on Puget Sound!! Once on Bainbridge Island we took a little drive and had lunch, then back to the ferry for the ride back. Riding a ferry is a very relaxing and fun experience for all ages.
From Bremerton you could ride the ferry into Seattle and depending on the weather you could leave your car on this side and then walk on over to Pike Place Market. It isn’t that long of a walk and well worth it.
Make sure to check out the Official Washington State Ferries website for more information on times and charges. Right now with all the winds and waves there has been some “ferry drama” and you might want to wait until spring.
Ferries are just not for commuting they can be used for fun too. Did you know that the Washington Ferry System is the largest ferry system in the United States? People use the ferries for Birthday parties, weddings and memorial services. Just be sure to contact the proper department to schedule your special event.
The Series | Bremerton | Day Trips | Mount Rainier National Park
That is what we call it. When you relocate to the Pacific Northwest you will here people talk about “the mountain”. You will hear the phrase “the mountain is out today” and”have you seen the mountain today”. The mountain they are talking about is Mount Rainier. Mount Rainier dominates the skyline from the urban areas of Puget Sound to the eastern wine country of Washington State.
I have only been to Mt Rainier in the summer time. I have hiked a couple of the trails with my boys. Even if you aren’t into hiking you will enjoy this day trip because just getting to Mt Rainier is a treat in itself. Mount Rainer is 14,4100 feet in elevation with 26 major glaciers, breathtaking waterfalls, over 100 varieties of wildflowers and approximately 56 species of mammals including deer, elk, goats, black bears, cougars, red fox and others. The park encompasses 370 square miles and is the tallest of the Cascade Mountain Range volcanoes. Yes Mt. Rainier is a volcano.
The park also offers over 240 miles of trails. There are trails for all ages and abilities. You can “stroll” a trail of less than one mile or you can go on the 93- mile Wonderland Trail. I have “strolled” the easy trail with several older family members. It is amazing what you can see.
Sunrise Day Lodge & Visitor Center is on the northeast corner of the park. This is the highest peak you can reach by car and is 6400 feet. The center is open between June to mid-September. This side of the park is in Mt Rainier’s rain shadow and has a drier climate.
Henry M. Jackson Memorial Visitor Center is opened year round and is located at Paradise. Here you can view exhibits on geology, glaciers, flora and fauna.
There are also places where you can stay for a mini vacation. National Park Inn has 25 guest rooms and a restaurant. Paradise Inn will re-open this May after a renovation project.
This is a great day trip and can also be a very great several day vacation. Check out these websites for more information on lodging and rental equipment. http://www.mt-rainier.com/ and http://www.mount.rainier.national-park.com/
Things you can do on Mount Rainier
- Back packing
- Bird watching
- Cross-country skiing
- Horseback riding
- Hot tubing
- Mountain climbing
- Snow shoeing
- Wildlife viewing
Hope you are enjoying all the articles so far. If you have missed any articles you can check out the article that introduced the Naval Base Kitsap Online Relocation Package by clicking on this link Naval Base Kitsap |Online Relocation Package | IT’S YOUR PCS which is updated after every new article.
HAVE A FINE NAVY DAY!!
If you have any questions about real estate in Bremerton Washington, contact Jo Soss
with Skyline Properties, Inc. at (360) 990-1433 or visit her personal website Puget Sound Real Estate Today
where you will be able to search for homes and find more Bremerton Real Estate information.