A Day Trip to Bremerton Without a Car

Ahoy! ⚓

📸: Cavan Images

Even if you don’t have a car, you can still take advantage of what the Puget Sound region offers. An hour’s ferry ride from Seattle, Bremerton is a day-trip escape away, with museums, coffee, and two movie theaters near the ferry terminal. Plus, nothing beats that gorgeous ferry ride on Puget Sound. 

📸: Kristy Ewing


Get on that dang ferry ⛴️

The Seattle waterfront is currently under construction chaos, but that’s more of a problem for drivers than pedestrians—lucky you! Climb the stairs to Colman Dock and pick up an adult roundtrip ticket ($9.85) from the self-service kiosk or a ticketing counter. Try to get to the terminal at least 15 minutes beforehand to be safe. If you miss the ferry, it’ll be at least two hours before the next one. But chilling in the terminal ain’t too bad. 

The Washington State Department of Transportation recently dropped many millions of dollars to update the terminal, and it’s a cush place to wait and read a book. When the time comes to board, scan your ticket, then mosey onto the ferry. You can chill in the galley or sit at a table by the window where you can solve puzzles to pass the hour-long journey. Depending on the weather, I’d recommend standing outside on the back deck and looking at Seattle shrinking from view. It’s cinematic!

📍Colman Dock: 801 Alaskan Wy, Seattle
📞 (888) 808-7977

Pro tip: Kitsap Transit operates a fast ferry that will get you to Bremerton in 30 minutes. If you’re keen to get to Bremerton quickly, check out their sailing schedule on their website.

📸: Fraiche Cup


Fuel up ☕

After an hour on the ferry, you’ll probably want some caffeine and snacks to fuel you for your day trip. Head over to Fraîche Cup, a literal hop, skip, and a few jumps away from the ferry terminal if you follow the sidewalk out and to the right of the exit. 

Fraîche Cup is a spacious cafe with many tables you can easily spread out at. They have all the usual suspects of hot and cold drinks—latte, frappucinos, americanos—plus lots of food items like pastries, breakfast sandwiches, and biscuits and gravy if you’re really looking to chow down. Their espresso is smooth and delicious. I’d recommend snagging a latte and croissant and then strolling down to the boardwalk and marina to drink coffee and admire the view. It’s also the perfect spot to chill before catching the ferry back to Seattle. They’ve got Wi-Fi!

📍Fraîche Cup: 105 Washington Ave, Bremerton
📞 (360) 377-1180

📸: Puget Sound Navy Museum


Check out a museum 🏛️

Within a half-mile radius, there are not one but three museums near the Bremerton Ferry Terminal. There’s the Kitsap History Museum, about a 10-minute walk from the terminal. Housed inside the former Seattle First National Bank office, the (free!) museum’s permanent exhibitions are dedicated to relaying the history and culture of Kitsap County via archival objects from Bremerton 100 years ago. It’s only open Thursday through Saturday, so make your plans accordingly. 

The two other museums are dedicated to Bremerton’s military history: the USS Turner Joy Museum Ship and the Puget Sound Navy Museum. The former is a museum on a literal Forrest Sherman Destroyer, launched in 1959 and decommissioned in 1982. Since 1992, visitors have been able to explore the ins and outs of the ship and learn about its history in the Pacific and what daily life looked like for soldiers living on the barge. In the winter, it’s only open Wednesday through Sunday, and tours take around two hours. Dress warm and wear sturdy shoes! At the Puget Sound Navy Museum, located inside the shipyard’s former administrative building, you can check out the naval history of the Pacific Northwest region and learn a bit more about the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton. 

📍Kitsap History Museum: 280 4th St, Bremerton
📞 (360) 479-6226

📍USS Turner Joy Museum Ship: 300 Washington Beach Ave, Bremerton
(360) 792-2457

📍Puget Sound Navy Museum: 251 1st St, Bremerton
📞 (360) 479-7447

Not into history?

If the past isn’t really your gig, peruse the records at Bigfoot’s House of Vinyl and More or play games at Quarters Arcade.

📸: Axe and Arrow Gastropub


Spicy lava fries? 🌋

You’re probably hungry again by this point, and there’s no shortage of good dining options. If you’re looking for something more mobile, head to El Balcon. This walkup restaurant serves Mexican and Salvadoran dishes (and hamburgers!). Their pupusas are divine—perfectly fried with bits of crunchy cheese on the outside, tasty pork filling on the inside, and the bright, pickled curtido on the side. 

If a sit-down situation is more your vibe, head to Axe & Arrow. The gastropub has many cozy seats and is an excellent place to relax, wolf down some food, and try a beer or two. They serve shareable dishes like spicy lava fries (cheese, hot peppers, fried garlic) and mains like an elk burger if you want to try something new. Their beer selection is good and extensive if all that history-learning has made you particularly thirsty. They regularly show sports games if you’re worried about missing the Seahawks play on this day-venture.

📍El Balcon: 326 Pacific Ave, Bremerton
(360) 627-8284

📍Axe & Arrow: 232 4th St, Bremerton
📞 (360) 813-1514

📸: Roxy Theatre


Finish the day with a movie 🎥

In addition to having a wealth of museums, Bremerton is also home to two movie theaters near the ferry. The first is Seefilm Cinemas, a multiplex about a 12-minute walk from the terminal. They show first-run blockbuster movies and other special occasion showings, so if you want to add a fresh zeal to catching the latest Marvel flick, this is the place to do it. You should also note that employee-owned speakeasy Remedy is just across the street from Seefilm. Pop in for a cocktail before! 

The other cinema located in Bremerton is the historic Roxy Theatre. Located next to Axe & Arrow and the Kitsap History Museum, the Roxy originally opened in 1941 and has pretty red velvet seats and an old-timey feel. In addition to first-run films, they also screen cult classics and host live events. Have fun!

📍Seefilm Cinemas: 655 4th St, Bremerton
📞 (360) 362-7665

📍Remedy: 602 4th St, Bremerton
(360) 627-7494

📍Roxy Theatre: 270 4th St, Bremerton
(360) 780-7699

Wave goodbye 🌊

The last ferry back to Seattle departs at 11:40 pm, so don’t miss it. If you’ve got time to kill, hang out at Harborside Fountain Park, just down the flight of stairs right next to the terminal. No need to buy or show your ticket when you head back. Shuffle on via the queue, and you’ll soon be back at home!


An author pic of Jas Keimig. They have blue braids.

Jas Keimig

Jas Keimig is an arts and culture writer in Seattle. Their work has previously appeared in The Stranger, i-D, Netflix, and Feast Portland. They won a game show once and have a thing for stickers.

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