Whether your family has lived in Kitsap for generations, or you just moved to this side of the Sound, the peninsula has a lot of beaches and hidden gems to quench your thirst for waterfront.
Based on word-of-mouth recommendations, and popular spots known to tourists, here is a collection of some of the best beaches in Kitsap County. If you disagree with our list, don’t be shy: Send in photos of your favorite beach, and include some memories, to firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured in a special photo slideshow next week.
Salsbury County Park, a mile west of Port Gamble. Try during the day, as this is a popular spot for the working crowd before and after the work day. Salmon season ends Oct. 31, and crabbing season (Thursday through Monday only) closes Sept. 2. Also, check out Buck Lake Park in Hansville, where you might not have any competition for the trout.
Fay Bainbridge Park on Bainbridge Island. “North Kitsap residents all know this beach, so I suggest Scenic Beach State Park near Seabeck,” reporter Megan Stephenson writes. “Boating, swimming, water-skiing, even clamming and crabbing are available to campers, with majestic views of the Olympics.”
Best Family Beach
Long Lake Park, Port Orchard. An easy jaunt for South Kitsap families, Long Lake has a playground, swimming area for any age and a big lawn for picnics and gatherings. Families dig this lakefront beach because of the softer sand. Also consider Wildcat Lake Park outside Bremerton, and Island Lake Park outside Poulsbo.
Best Secluded Beach
Foulweather Bluff, Hansville. Take Hansville Road until it turns into Twin Spits Road.This stretch of beach hugs the very northwest top of the Kitsap peninsula, with views of the Olympic Peninsula and Whidbey Island, in the Hood Canal and Puget Sound. You can access a beach at the end of Twin Spits Road, or head to the Foulweather Bluff Nature Preserve, a 101-acre site with native trees and flora. Called "a coastal sanctuary," the hike is easy enough for children, and be on the lookout for shorebirds and waterfowl. The preserve is 2.8 miles from Hansville, with no parking lot. The trailhead is on the southwest side of Twin Spits Road (if you hit Skunk Bay Road, you've gone too far).
Best All-Around Beach
Point No Point in Hansville. This beach has everything: sand that is perfect for building castles, clear water for swimming (but don’t go into the rip tide), 60 acres of beach to explore and hike, conditions ideal for flying kites, and more. Visit the Point No Point Lighthouse, the oldest operating lighthouse in Puget Sound. See if you can spot seals and whales in Admiralty Inlet. The park is also open for fishing and clamming (be sure to get your license from Fish and Wildlife). Children, fishermen, bird enthusiasts and beach combers will find this beach a delight.
For information about all Kitsap County parks, go to www.kitsapgov.com/parks/Parks/Pages/Parks_By_Category.htm. Information about state parks, visit www.parks.wa.gov/parks.