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Port Orchard

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About Port Orchard

Port Orchard is a charming city on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington's Kitsap County. It's a popular tourist destination as well as a desirable place to call home, located fairly close to both Seattle and Tacoma. Because Port Orchard is on the opposite side of Puget Sound from the larger cities, most locals use the ferry to make the trip easier.

The History of Port Orchard

Incorporated in 1890, Port Orchard bears the distinction of being the first incorporated city in Kitsap County. Its first settlers arrived just a few decades before that, in 1854. Daniel Howard and William Renton established a saw mill in the early 1850s, and the town was platted in 1886 by Frederick Stevens.

Shortly after the city was incorporated, it was chosen by the U.S. Navy as the site for a major installation. The Puget Sound Naval Shipyard was established in 1891 and has been actively used ever since.

Living in Port Orchard

Perhaps one of the biggest draws of Port Orchard is that its location highlights the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. From around town, you can enjoy views of the Olympic Mountains, or you can visit the nearby Olympic National Park. There, many people hike through the temperate rainforest area and take in the views from the well-known Hurricane Ridge.

Port Orchard is also located near two major cities, Seattle and Tacoma, so you can easily make the trip for entertainment, shopping, dining or work. Seattle is home to several professional sports teams as well as many museums and cultural institutions.

Port Orchard's unemployment rate is below the national average. If you're unable to find a job in Port Orchard itself, you can look in Bremerton, which is a short drive away and the largest city in Kitsap County. Silverdale is also nearby and has a range of jobs to choose from. Although Seattle and Tacoma are a longer drive away (or a short ferry trip), it's not uncommon for Port Orchard locals to find work in one of the two large cities as well.

Port Orchard Schools

The South Kitsap School District manages the schools of Port Orchard and several of its neighboring communities. You can also enroll your child in one of the several private faith-based or Montessori schools in the area.

Resources for Moving to Port Orchard

Here are a few handy resources for your move to Port Orchard:

  • Utilities: The city utilities department provides water and sewer services. Major energy providers include Puget Sound Energy and Cascade Natural Gas.
  • Garbage and Recycling: Trash is collected on a weekly basis, while recycling is picked up every other week.
  • Transportation: Kitsap Transit facilitates public transportation in the Port Orchard area, including ferry, bus and van pool options.

Port Orchard Housing

Many of Port Orchard's residential neighborhoods enjoy a scenic, wooded setting. You can find apartments, town houses and single-family houses throughout the city, as well as options at many different price points. Like many suburbs of Seattle, Port Orchard has seen rapidly rising housing prices and a median home price that's well above the national average.