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Exploring the Natural Beauty that Surrounds McCormick

Posted April 27, 2018

Exploring the Natural Beauty of the Kitsap Peninsula

It may have been a late arrival, but spring is finally here in the Puget Sound area. Are you ready to get out of the house and shed the winter doldrums? If you live at McCormick, getting out of the house and exploring is easy, and not just because you have various options for getting around.  There are so many things to see and do locally that you don’t have to worry about getting off the Kitsap Peninsula for some R&R. And on top of that, reaching a destination like Seattle or the Olympic Peninsula is also convenient — so you’ll never run out of things to do.

kids playing in pond

-Play a round golf – Designed in accordance with the Audubon Society to optimize its serene location, McCormick Woods Golf Course can be enjoyed by all ages with clubs for men, women, youth and couples. Players of every level can enjoy this championship public course. The course features natural lakes hidden amongst towering firs and cedars. At McCormick, your scenic golf experience becomes a tranquil escape.

MCCORMICK WOODS GOLF COURSE

-The Marinas: If you’re a boater, you’re no doubt familiar with the Port Orchard Marina and its bigger sister across the water, the Bremerton Marina. Both offer permanent and guest slips and various amenities, and are located on lively waterfronts where you’ll find shopping, dining and family-friendly activities. With the boating season now open, the marinas are going to have a flurry of activity. But you don’t need a boat to enjoy the marinas’ picturesque setting. Events are happening at each marina year-round, and here are a few upcoming ones that are always popular.

port orchard marina

-Kitsap Harbor Festival, May 26-27: Much of the fun will be happening on the Bremerton side over Memorial Day weekend, including family activities, vendor booths, live music and more. But make sure to check out Port Orchard, too, for more Kitsap Harbor Festival events. At the very least, don’t miss the Seagull Calling Contest and the Seagull Wings Cook-Off on Saturday. You haven’t experienced Port Orchard until you’ve been to the seagull fest!

-State parks:  Explore from the forest to the shore. The south end of the Kitsap Peninsula has numerous parks, and beaches including two state-owned ones that should be on your destination list.

The Manchester State Park, in Port Orchard, is a popular day-trip locale for anyone who wants to enjoy beautiful waterfront views. Kayaking, hiking, diving and swimming are among the things you can do. Make sure you explore the former torpedo warehouse — that alone may be worth your trip.

torpedo warehouse

Illahee State Park, in Bremerton, is another park where you can explore the beach, play volleyball, hike and do much more. Go ahead, bring a tent and make a weekend out of it — who said you need to drive for hours to go camping?

Illahee State Park

Wineries: Need some adult time? Take your significant other on a date to a local winery. Olalla Vineyard and Winery, not far from Port Orchard, is not only a beautiful setting for a stroll but also has live music on Fridays.

Olalla Vineyard & Winery | Featured, Food & Entertainment ... WestSound Home & Garden

Or take a drive to Bainbridge Island where you can take an entire tour of wineries. Seven distinct wineries are located within 10 miles of each other, and each has a tasting room. Plan to spend an entire day on the island, as there’s plenty more to explore in between those locations.

Ferries: Once you’re done checking out the Bainbridge wineries, you can also hop on the 30-minute ferry to Seattle and end your evening with a show at one of the world-class performing venues. The ferry ride itself, either from Bremerton or Bainbridge Island, will give you a chance to enjoy Puget Sound from the water — and you never know when orcas may show up.

Did you know that the galleries have beautiful art on display from local artists? The ferries are like floating galleries! (Insider’s tip if you’re just looking at buying a home: The Bremerton terminal is less than 20 minutes away from McCormick and is a popular way to commute to Seattle.)

seattle ferry

Foodie adventures: If you love locally grown foods and supporting local farmers, the Port Orchard Farmers Market makes that easy April through October. Get fresh produce and other foods, flowers, handmade goods and more, and enjoy a day out on the waterfront. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can always take a drive to Gig Harbor or Bremerton for their farmers markets. Gig Harbor, in fact, has three!

If you don’t want to wait for the weekend, you’ll also find some locally grown and made foods at PJ’s Market off Mile Hill. One of the regulars there is Farmer Rosie’s Food Truck, a Port Orchard “farm-to-truck” vendor that sells everything from fresh baked cookies to sandwiches, made from organic ingredients.

Kids activities: If you have kids or visiting grandkids, here are some ideas for one-of-a-kind experiences that will keep them enthralled for a few hours:

With over 7 miles of trails that weave throughout McCormick take the kids on a nature walk and enjoy the small lakes and ponds along the pathways.

Kitsap Live Steamers: Take an open-air ride through the woods of South Kitsap Regional Park on a real, 12-gauge railroad, on “train” that’s pulled by a real miniature locomotive.

Habor WildWatch: If your child or grandchild loves marine critters, take them to the 100-gallon touch tank at Harbor WildWatch in Gig Harbor. There’s even an augmented-reality sandbox, perfect for today tech-savvy youngsters.

gig harbor

This is just a sampling of all the things happening in Port Orchard and beyond. Take a break from the spring-cleaning and yard work and make sure you spend a little time enjoying the fresh air in other ways – Live in McCormick and be Close to What Counts.

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