On the Kitsap Peninsula, you can get away from it all and still enjoy amenities like farm-to-table restaurants, craft wineries and spa treatments. Even better, all of those goodies are surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery around.
There are so many mouth-watering choices for sipping and supping, you can easily plan a tasting tour from one end of the peninsula to the other. Here are some of our favorites, along with ideas for other activities to fill out your itinerary:
–If you take the ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge Island, you’ll find an amazing array of dining experiences, including two Seattle Magazine Top 100 restaurants – Brendan McGill’s Hitchcock and Greg Atkinson’s Restaurant Marché. Stroll down Madrone Lane for foodie favorites like Fork & Spoon and Verjus or try Harbour Public House for a gourmet burger with a marine view. Don’t miss the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art’s mix of contemporary regional art or the Bloedel Reserve’s 150 acres of peaceful perfection. With seven wineries on the island, you’ll have your pick of tasting choices, including the award-winning Madeleine Angevine at Bainbridge Vineyards. Downtown, Eleven Winery’s tasting room has a nice selection and a laid-back vibe.
–From Bainbridge, head across the Agate Pass Bridge to the village of Suquamish for fine dining at the Agate Pass Café and a stop at the world-class Suquamish Museum, where the multi-media presentation and thoughtfully curated artifacts will immerse you in an ancient culture. Pamper yourself at the Clearwater Casino Resort’s Angeline Spa with a massage or pedicure. The Beach Rock Lounge has live music, comedy and more. Click here for special lodging offers.
–In nearby Kingston, which you can also access via the Edmonds ferry, Mossback Cafe is one of the Kitsap Peninsula’s best-kept dining secrets. Located in a 100-year-old house just a couple of blocks from the ferry, the slow-food restaurant offers a gracious and relaxing atmosphere with inventive, well-crafted entrees. Happy Hour is all day on Wednesdays and Sunday brunch features a signature Bloody Mary with pepper-infused vodka, house-made pickles and a tomato-dust and smoked salt rim. Downtown, check out d’Vine Wines, a small wine bar and retail shop near the ferry with hundreds of wines by the glass, a small bites menu and a knowledgeable staff to help you find the perfect bottle to take home or back to your hotel room.
–No Kitsap Peninsula getaway is complete without a stop in Poulsbo, also known as Little Norway. Browse the charming downtown shops and art galleries, then sample a beer at one of four local microbreweries. Dining options include Burrata Bistro, where the handmade pasta is delicate and the roast half-chicken over polenta is sumptuous. Paella Bar next door has authentic tapas and shares a creative cocktail and dessert menu with the bistro. Another winning choice is Sogno di Vino, which has a cozy fireplace, an old-world atmosphere and an extensive wine menu. Treat yourself to a wood-fired pizza with prosciutto, apple, fig, brie and a drizzle of honey.
–In Bremerton, the Toro Lounge downtown offers a small plates menu that includes truffle fries, bison queso and dates stuffed with turmeric goat cheese. Or venture to Honor Bar near Evergreen Park, where the cheese plate is adorned with a pastry-like homemade cracker and the Happy Hour shrimp cakes are luscious. Another option is the elegant La Fermata Italian restaurant across the bridge in Manette. While you’re in the neighborhood, stop by Elixir Fixer for unique “party in a bottle” flavored syrups and take a peek in Louis & Draper Home for vintage and antique treasures. Spend an evening at the restored, art-deco Admiral Theatre. Upcoming shows include the Seattle Comedy Underground on New Year’s Eve, The Time Jumpers with Vince Gill Jan. 14 and Hot Sardines Jan. 20.
–In the south end of the peninsula, you’ll love the high-end cuisine and relaxed atmosphere at Port Orchard’s Bay Street Bistro. The house-smoked pork chop and Alaska weathervane scallops are a treat and the four-course Sunday dinners are both delicious and affordable. The Dragonfly Cinema offers documentaries and independent films in an old-fashioned movie house near the bistro. Learn about ancient winemaking techniques at Olalla Vineyard & Winery, where the owners use handmade Italian clay amphorae for grape fermentation. The tasting room is open 3-7 p.m. Dec. 23 and 30, and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 1. The winery is typically open weekends through winter and hosts a Happy Hour 3-7 p.m. Fridays with discounts, live music or pub trivia. Check the calendar before you go.
–The last stop before you head over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge is Gig Harbor, where the waterfront downtown business district includes a sophisticated mix of galleries and shops. You’ll find everything from fishing flies to designer clothes. Also downtown is Heritage Distilling’s popular tasting room, where you can try a flight of award-winning spirits. Don’t miss the iconic Tides Tavern, an over-21 restaurant considered one of the best seafood shacks in America. The thyme-infused chowder is a favorite, along with the fish and chips.
Ready to plan a getaway? Go to visitkitsap.com for lodging options, including beachfront hotels, cozy B&Bs and unique listings on Airbnb. And check our calendar of events for live music, art walks and more.