Port Orchard is located 13 miles due west of West Seattle and is connected to Seattle and Vashon Island via the Washington State Ferries run to Southworth. It is named after Port Orchard, the strait that separates Bainbridge Island from the Kitsap Peninsula.
Port Orchard is notable because of its close proximity to several Washington attractions. It is a short ferry ride to Seattle and less than an hour away from the Hood Canal and the Olympic Mountains.
As a waterfront community Port Orchard has some amazing amenities. The numerous marinas provide visitors and boat dwellers alike with convenient accommodations. The vibrant downtown corridor offers shopping, museums, entertainment, galleries and dining. When visiting the city, it is hard to miss the majestic view of the Olympic Mountains and the pride of military heritage just across the water at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.
One of the big attractions in the area is the 636 acre Banner Forest Heritage Park which is very popular for hiking, cycling and horseback riding. Other attractions include several parks that are kid friendly.
As of the census of 2010, there were 11,144 people
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Southworth is a quiet residential community on the shore of Puget Sound 7 miles southeast of Port Orchard and State Route16. South Colby is in the same area.
It is best known for being the west end of the Fauntleroy-Vashon Island-Southworth Washington State Ferries run. Landmarks include Southworth Grocery, a US Post Office, ferry terminal, clay cliffs and a private beach on the point. Next to the ferry is a popular place to launch kayaks for trips to nearby Blake Island.
The population of Southworth was 2,185 at the 2010 census.
Manchester is a quaint residential village on the shores of Puget Sound, across the Sound from Seattle and just 7 miles northeast of Port Orchard. Manchester is only 5 miles from the Southworth Ferry run that provides access to Fauntleroy and Vashon Island. At the heart of Manchester Village is the Manchester Library & Community Center. In 1953, the library in Manchester was slated for destruction. The town pulled together and a new library was constructed in 1954.
The Port has two floating docks for short-term moorage, vehicle parking, and restrooms. Within short walking distance is a family restaurant, pub, and post office.
Manchester has excellent views of Seattle, Mount Rainier, and Puget Sound. There is a boat parade on the opening day of boating season, and salmon bakes at the library.
Visitors can bask in the sun on a sandy beach, paddle to nearby Blake Island State Park, or simply enjoy the views and local establishments.
Blake Island State park is over 1000 acres and has marine camping with 5 miles of saltwater beach shoreline. The park is reachable only by tour boat or private boat. Argosy Cruises provide Blake Island Excursions offering guided trail hikes, kayaking and light meals at the Tillicum Longhouse Café.
Another major attraction is Manchester State Park, which is a 128-acre camping park with stunning views and an interesting military history. A volleyball court and a horseshoe pit are maintained for park visitors. The park includes 2 miles of hiking trails, but the park's main attraction is its 3,400 feet of saltwater shoreline. Kayaking, swimming and diving (bring your own gear) allow visitors to take full advantage of this classic beach park with a view of Bainbridge Island on a clear day.
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