Here, the nature-lover finds hundreds of miles of trails through cedar forests and along the Puget Sound coastline, the aesthete discovers artist studios and galleries around every corner—especially in hamlets such as Poulsbo—and the historian delights in a walking tour of Port Gamble, a former company mill town with preserved, mid-19th-century Victorian architecture and home to one of the peninsula’s most vibrant, open-air Sunday markets from May to October.
Avid kayakers will want to paddle the Cascadia Marine Trail, a route from Olympia to Canada that follows much of the 230 miles of Kitsap Peninsula shoreline, with numerous specially designated campgrounds.
Cyclists pedal onto terra firma in large numbers, drawn by organized rides such as Bainbridge Island’s “Bike the Bloom,” a combination 25-mile ride and garden tour, with a dozen established loops of varying challenge. For an independent ride, there are sparsely traveled roads and trails that dip past lavender fields and local wineries, through historic towns and past naval bases and marinas filled with swaying white masts. Bike shops in the larger towns offer rentals for the spontaneous ride.