Arts, Culture & History

Kitsap Peninsula is rich with arts and culture, from museums showcasing the region's diverse people, creations, and history to dozens of venues featuring live theater, dance, and music. Use the Search Filter and Events Calendar to find a range of activities for all ages and interests. Read our blog for a suggested two-day itinerary that highlights the Kitsap Peninsula's history and culture.  In addition to a  KP Museum Guide, we now have a new KP Art Gallery Guide you can view or download and a Google map that lists dozens of art galleries around the Kitsap Peninsula.

Museums

Museums

The Kitsap Peninsula features museums offering exciting facts about the region's art, history and culture that contribute to the area's rich culture. We also have museums about puppets and bugs. Click here for a map and listings

Kitsap's Native American Heritage

Kitsap's Native American Heritage

Thousands of years before European exploration charted the waters of Puget Sound, several large communities of native people inhabited the area. Local tribes include the Suquamish and the Port Gamble S'Klallam. One of the most famous tribal elders is Chief Seattle, ancestral leader of the Suquamish. Click here to see his restored gravesite. 

Early Timeline of Kitsap's History

Early Timeline of Kitsap's History

  • 5000 BC - The Suquamish begin to settle on the Kitsap Peninsula.
  • 1792 - Capt. George Vancouver, first Englishman to visit this area, names Puget Sound, Hood Canal, Port Orchard, Mount Rainier, Vashon Island and other places.
  • 1852 - First non-native inhabitants on the "Great Peninsula" build a mill at what is now Kingston.
  • 1854 - Port Gamble and its mill begin. Longest operating sawmill of five original mills, it was in operation until 1996. The town is a National Historic Site.
  • 1857 - Slaughter County established from parts of King and Jefferson counties. Named after Lt. Slaughter. Six months later, the people changed the name to Kitsap County.
  • 1866 - June 7, Chief Seattle dies. Though he was born, lived, died and was buried on the Kitsap Peninsula, he is best known for lending his name to what was later to become Washington's largest city.
  • 1891 - Puget Sound Naval Station established in Bremerton.
Art Museums, Galleries & Walks

Art Museums, Galleries & Walks

Kitsap is home to a wide range of destinations featuring work created by artists known around the region, nation and world. Check out a pdf of the Kitsap Peninsula Art Gallery Guide which features art galleries through out the region. The Bainbridge Island Museum of Art has earned praise for its collection of contemporary art and art-education events. There are dozens of galleries around the region, including Lisa Stirrett Glass Art Gallery in Silverdale, which hosts gatherings of local artists the first Thursday of every month. Use the filters in Search Arts, Culture & History for other art and gallery locations. 

Kitsap's Military & Naval History

Kitsap's Military & Naval History

The Puget Sound Navy Museum, shown above, housed in the historic Building 50 built in 1896, is one of ten museums funded and administered by the U.S. Navy along with the Naval Undersea Museum in Keyport. In addition to 6,000 square feet of space and 600 objects, the museum hosts special exhibits. Located nearby is the historic USS Turner Joy, Naval Destroyer Museum, which is open for tours.

Japanese American Memorial

Japanese American Memorial

The Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community honors the heritage of the Issei (first-generation Japanese), who came to the United States, and particularly Bainbridge Island, to make a new life for themselves and their children. It provides a rich historical perspective that affected both Bainbridge Island and United States.