Kingston (Washington)

Kingston is on the Kitsap Peninsula in the Puget Sound region of Washington state.

Kingston, on the shore of Appletree Cove, is a 30-minute ferry ride from Edmonds for cars and walk-ons.

A rip-roaring lumber town 100 years ago, it's quieter now as the constant whine of the sawmill has given way to the occasional blast of a ferry whistle.

Known as the "Little City by the Sea", Kingston is the northern gateway to the Kitsap Peninsula and Olympic National Park & Forest.

Boats docked at Kingston


An early settler named Michael King came to the area in 1878. He moved in along with 10 oxen and 10 men. They slowly logged the hills around Appletree Cove. Mr. King built many small buildings and shacks along the shore for his men and animals. In 1882, the trees were gone and King moved on. The shacks and bunkhouses were left behind and lived in by drifters, squatters and old loggers. People living in the area often referred to this as King's Town, probably as a joke. The name slowly evolved in to Kingston and stuck.

The Kingston townsite was platted on April 24, 1890 by C.C. Calkins and Samuel B. Brierly. Calkins dreamed of Kingston as a resort town for vacationers from Seattle. Calkins called it The Monterey of Washington. Calkins had drawings and designs for a giant hotel on the waterfront, with a boat launch, a church on the hill, along with a college. After Calkins and Brierly platted the town, a lower than expected number of people showed up to settle there. Calkins then gave up and left. The town slowly grew, but not at the pace that Calkins had dreamed and it eventually became the quaint harbor town we know today.

Get in

By car

From Port Angeles, Olympic Peninsula Points: Drive EAST on U.S. 101 to State Route (SR) 104, crossing the Hood Canal Floating Bridge. Continue EAST on SR 104 for 8 more miles (through Port Gamble) to the Kingston Ferry Terminal.

From Bremerton, Poulsbo: Drive NORTH on State Route (SR) 3 and take SR 307 for 6 miles to the junction with SR 104. Continue EAST on SR 104 for 3 miles

By ferry

By boat

Get around

Kingston at dusk

By bus

Local taxi services

Charter bus





The Kitsap Audubon Society has been actively meeting since 1972 and has a broad coalition of birders actively tracking and sharing sightings since then. They also maintain an active website with updates of the latest sightings, suggestions on areas for birders and even a regular newsletter. They also developed a checklist of birds likely to be seen birds in the area.

The state Audubon society developed 'The Great Audubon Birding Trail' which includes key migration flyways. Flyways are major north-south routes of travel for migratory birds and likely areas to see birds along the route extending from Alaska to Patagonia. Point No Point County Park near Hansville just north of Kingston at Kitsap Peninsula's northern tip is particularly important for birds migrating the Pacific Flyway. The Audubon Society designated it an IBA or an Important Bird Area and it is easily accessible from Kingston.

Sea kayaking

Blue Heron on Puget Sound

Sea kayaking can be a rewarding way to explore the Kitsap Peninsulas 371 miles of coastline allowing the paddler a closer and slower look at their surroundings and making Kitsap one of the most popular areas to kayak in Puget Sound. Thick forests of majestic pine and deciduous trees and hundreds of creeks and estuaries dot the coastline. Kingston has a small craft launch and is an excellent area to start a sea kayaking adventure. Harbor Seals, Otters, Sea Lions, Bald Eagles and Blue Herons are common sites while the occasional viewing of an Orca or Grey Whale is not out of the question.

Kayak trails

Organized trails offer overnight camping options and maps of appropriate and scenic travel destinations.





Go next

By ferry

Edmonds north of Seattle is a 30-minute ferry ride to the east.

By car

Many tourists use Kingston as a quick route to the Olympic Peninsula, coastal towns and Olympic National Park with perhaps a short stop at historic Port Gamble, however often overlooked is the area around Hansville with its wild natural beaches and historic lighthouse this is a side trip worth taking.

By boat

Kingston is well situated for exploring the northern half of the Kitsap Peninsula including giving good access to the nearby Hood Canal or a last stopping point on the way north to the San Juan Islands. If you are following the Kitsap Water Trails map Kingston is on the southern end of the run up to Foulweather Bluff near Hansville..

Routes through Kingston

Ends at N S Port Gamble  W  E  Car ferry Edmonds

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, May 30, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.