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Living in Port Orchard Washington - EVERYTHING You Need to Know

Port Orchard Washington with Mount Rainier

What is Living in Port Orchard Washington Like?

Port Orchard, Washington, located in Kitsap County, is home to approximately 16,000 people. With its mix of urban and rural living, the city is an attractive location for those seeking a quieter lifestyle. Located west of Seattle, Port Orchard offers access to outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and boating. The city is near State Route 16, which runs along Puget Sound, providing easy access to other towns and attractions. Port Orchard embodies the Pacific Northwest lifestyle with its lush greenery, water views, and proximity to the Olympic Mountains. Port Orchard residents and visitors enjoy recreational activities such as kayaking, hiking, and exploring the nearby Kitsap Peninsula. The Best of Port Orchard includes a historic downtown, modern shopping centers, and residential neighborhoods with stunning views of Puget Sound.          

One of the main attractions in Port Orchard is the historic downtown area, which features a variety of shops, restaurants, and galleries. Another attraction in the area is the Manchester State Park, which offers hiking trails, beach access, and stunning views of the Puget Sound. Port Orchard has several other parks, including South Kitsap Regional Park and Howe Farm Park. These parks offer amenities such as playgrounds, sports fields, picnic areas, and walking paths, providing plenty of opportunities for residents to enjoy the outdoors.  


There are also many large employers in and around Port Orchard, Washington, including the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, the largest employer in Kitsap County, and the South Kitsap School District, which employs over 1,000 people. Additionally, several small businesses and retail stores in the downtown area provide employment opportunities for those living in Port Orchard, Washington.      

The cost of living in Port Orchard, Washington, is slightly higher than the national average but still relatively affordable compared to other cities in the region. The city's natural beauty and abundant outdoor recreational opportunities make it a popular place to live, leading to higher housing costs and a higher overall cost of living. There are a variety of housing options available, including single-family homes, apartments, and townhouses. The average home value in Port Orchard is around $500,000, making homeownership attainable for many.

If you're searching for a small town that offers easy access to larger cities, a delightful downtown area, top-notch schools, and abundant outdoor activities, Port Orchard, Washington, could be the right spot for you! Continue reading to discover more about living in Port Orchard, including information about its neighborhoods, schools, cost of living, and some pros and cons of living in this charming city. Hopefully, with the information in this blog, you can tell if living in Port Orchard, Washington, is for you.  

The Moving to Port Orchard Washington Team

Let our team of trusted professionals help you buy or/and sell a home in Port Orchard, Washington. To connect with a local expert/real estate professional in Port Orchard, Washington, CLICK HERETo start receiving emails with homes that match your criteria anywhere in Washington, CLICK HERE and sign up for Listing Alert. With a little info on what, where, and how much, you'll get newly listed homes matching your criteria sent to your inbox as they hit the market. This can give you a big leg up in your home search.

The first step in the home-buying process is getting pre-approved for a mortgage. Todd Davidson is an experienced mortgage broker and can help you get the best financing option for your home purchase. Not quite ready yet? Todd can help you put together a plan to get you there. Whether you're thinking a few months or a year or more if you want to buy a home, reach out to Todd and he can help. CLICK HERE to email Todd and set up a call to get the process started or just call him at 971-275-2465. 

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Todd Davidson

Mortgage Broker

What is the Cost of Living in Port Orchard Washington?

If you're exploring a move to Port Orchard, Washington, or any place, the cost of living would be a significant factor in your decision-making. I calculated the REAL cost of living in Port Orchard, Washington, by factoring in today's costs for housing (rent and own), utilities, food, transportation, healthcare, and other necessities to live. To live in Port Orchard, Washington, and rent, you would need to make $45,000 a year. To live in Port Orchard, Washington, and buy a home, you would need to make $70,000 a year. Rental amount is based on current low end cost of studio or one bedroom, purchase is based on recent low end sales of a three bedroom and monthly payment with 20% down.

Cost of Living

Living in Port Orchard Washington Tips/Info/Blog Posts

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What are the Best Neighborhoods in Port Orchard Washington?

Port Orchard, Washington, offers a variety of neighborhoods, each with its own unique attractions and housing types. Here are five of the best neighborhoods in Port Orchard, Washington, along with information about their attractions, housing types, and other notable features:

  1. Downtown Port Orchard: Downtown Port Orchard is the heart of the city and a hub of activity. It features a charming waterfront area with a marina, boutique shops, art galleries, and restaurants. You can stroll along the boardwalk, visit local parks like Waterfront Park, and enjoy events like the Farmers Market—housing options in downtown Port Orchard range from historical Victorian homes to apartments and townhouses.

  2. Manchester: Located on the eastern side of Port Orchard Bay, Manchester is known for its picturesque waterfront views. The neighborhood primarily consists of single-family homes, many with stunning water views. It offers a peaceful atmosphere and access to several parks and beaches, including Manchester State Park and Manchester Beach.

  3. McCormick Woods: McCormick Woods is a residential community situated in a beautiful wooded area. It features a championship golf course and offers a mix of single-family homes, townhouses, and condominiums. The neighborhood boasts well-maintained trails, parks, and green spaces, providing residents with ample opportunities for outdoor activities.

  4. Annapolis: Annapolis is a waterfront neighborhood located on the southern edge of Port Orchard. This area is known for its maritime heritage, and you can explore the marina and watch boats sail by. It offers scenic views of Sinclair Inlet and the Olympic Mountains. Housing options in Annapolis include waterfront homes, cozy cottages, and some newer developments.

  5. Sunnyslope: Sunnyslope is a neighborhood on a hill overlooking Sinclair Inlet. It offers panoramic views of the water and surrounding areas. The neighborhood primarily consists of single-family homes, many of which are situated on spacious lots. Sunnyslope is known for its quiet atmosphere, proximity to nature trails, and easy access to downtown Port Orchard.

Port Orchard - Olympic Peninsula

20 Pros and Cons of Living in Port Orchard Washington

Living in Port Orchard Washington Pros

  1. Beautiful Natural Setting: Port Orchard is surrounded by scenic beauty, including stunning water views, lush forests, and the majestic Olympic Mountains.

  2. Waterfront Lifestyle: With its location on the shores of Sinclair Inlet and proximity to other water bodies, Port Orchard offers residents opportunities for boating, fishing, kayaking, and other water-based activities.

  3. Charming Downtown: The city's downtown area is filled with charming shops, restaurants, and art galleries, creating a vibrant and welcoming atmosphere.

  4. Community Events: Port Orchard hosts various community events throughout the year, such as festivals, parades, farmer's markets, and live music concerts, fostering a strong sense of community and providing entertainment for residents.

  5. Quality Schools: The Port Orchard area is served by the South Kitsap School District, which is known for its quality education and dedicated teachers.

  6. Strong Sense of Community: Port Orchard has a close-knit community feel, where neighbors often come together to support each other and participate in local initiatives.

  7. Lower Cost of Living: Compared to neighboring cities like Seattle, Port Orchard generally offers a more affordable cost of living, including housing costs, utilities, and everyday expenses.

  8. Outdoor Recreation Opportunities: The region provides numerous opportunities for outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, biking, and exploring nearby parks and nature trails.

  9. Proximity to Seattle: Port Orchard is conveniently located within commuting distance of Seattle via the Bremerton-Seattle ferry, allowing residents to access the amenities and employment opportunities of the larger city while enjoying a quieter lifestyle.

  10. Lower Traffic Congestion: Compared to larger cities, Port Orchard generally experiences less traffic congestion, resulting in shorter commute times and less stress on the roads.

Living in Port Orchard Washington Cons

  1. Limited Job Opportunities: Port Orchard has a smaller job market than larger cities, which may make finding employment in specific industries more challenging.

  2. Commuting Challenges: If you work outside of Port Orchard, commuting to neighboring cities or across the water to Seattle can be time-consuming and may involve relying on ferries or congested highways.

  3. High Cost of Living: While Port Orchard generally offers a lower cost of living compared to larger cities, it can still be relatively expensive, particularly when it comes to housing costs and property taxes.

  4. Limited Cultural and Entertainment Options: Port Orchard has a smaller arts and cultural scene than larger cities, resulting in limited options for museums, theaters, and diverse entertainment venues.

  5. Weather: The region experiences a significant amount of rain and cloudy weather throughout the year, which may not appeal to those who prefer a sunnier climate.

  6. Limited Shopping Selection: While Port Orchard has some shopping options, the selection may be more limited than larger urban areas, requiring residents to travel to nearby cities for a broader range of choices.

  7. Limited Dining Variety: Similarly, the dining scene in Port Orchard may be limited compared to larger cities, with fewer options for diverse cuisines and culinary experiences.

  8. Potential Isolation: Port Orchard's semi-rural location may result in a sense of isolation or limited access to certain amenities and services commonly found in larger urban areas.

  9. Seasonal Tourism: Port Orchard experiences an influx of tourists during certain seasons, which can lead to increased crowds and traffic congestion in popular areas.

  10. Limited Healthcare Facilities: Although Port Orchard has medical centers and clinics, individuals requiring specialized or advanced healthcare may need to travel to larger cities for certain treatments or procedures.

Former Mosquito Fleet vessel Carlisle II operating as the Kitsap Transit Foot Ferry to carry passengers and tourists between Bremerton and Port Orchard

FAQs About Living in Port Orchard Washington

What is Port Orchard known for?

Port Orchard, Washington, is most known for its picturesque waterfront and charming downtown area. Visitors can enjoy a stroll along the marina, take a ferry ride to nearby islands, or explore the local shops and restaurants. The town also hosts various events throughout the year, such as the Fathoms O' Fun Festival and the Festival of Chimes and Lights during the holiday season. Port Orchard's scenic beauty and small-town charm make it a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.

What cities are nearby Port Orchard?

Port Orchard, Washington, is located in Kitsap County, part of the Puget Sound region in the northwestern part of the state. The city is approximately 13 miles west of Seattle (as the crow flies, over an hour via ferry or to drive) and 50 miles north of the state capital, Olympia. Port Orchard is close to several other cities in the area, including Bremerton, about 5 miles to the north, and Tacoma, about 20 miles to the south. The city is also within easy driving distance of other popular destinations in the region, such as Bainbridge Island, Olympic National Park, and the Hood Canal. Port Orchard's central location in Kitsap County makes it an excellent starting point for exploring the surrounding natural beauty and nearby cities.      

What is the weather like in Port Orchard?

Living in Port Orchard, Washington, you can expect mild weather throughout the year. In the winter months, the average high temperatures range from 45°F to 50°F, and the average low temperatures range from 32°F to 35°F. The city occasionally experiences light snowfall during the winter, with an average of 7 inches of snowfall annually. Summers in Port Orchard are mild, with average high temperatures ranging from 70°F to 75°F and occasional hot spells in the 80s and 90s. The city receives around 33 inches of rain yearly, with most precipitation occurring in the fall and winter months. 


Does Port Orchard Washington have good public schools?

Students in Port Orchard, Washington, attend public school in the South Kitsap School District, which serves the city of Port Orchard and some surrounding areas. For school year 2022-23, ranks the South Kitsap School District #129 out of the 252 school districts in Washington it ranked, giving it an overall B- rating. The district is committed to providing a well-rounded education, including arts and athletics, and offers a variety of programs for students with different interests and needs. The district has a diverse student body and strong partnerships with local organizations and businesses. Families living in Port Orchard, Washington, can feel confident that their children will have access to a quality education in the public school system.

Is Port Orchard Washington safe?

Living in Port Orchard, Washington, you'll find it a pretty safe place. Property crime rates in Port Orchard are lower than the national average, and violent crime rates are significantly lower than the national average. states Port Orchard has a crime rate lower than 68% of all US cities. You should feel extremely safe living in Port Orchard, Washington.    

What is there to do living in Port Orchard, Washington?

Living in Port Orchard, Washington, you will always have things to do. The city is surrounded by natural beauty, including the Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains, offering ample opportunities for hiking, boating, and fishing. Port Orchard boasts several parks, including Waterfront Park and South Kitsap Regional Park, which feature playgrounds, picnic areas, and scenic walking trails. The city hosts several annual events, including the Fathoms O' Fun Festival, which includes a parade, carnival rides, and fireworks, and the Kitsap County Fair, offering live music, carnival rides, and 4-H exhibits. If you're looking for a day trip, Port Orchard is located near attractions like the Olympic National Park and the Seattle Space Needle. Whether you enjoy outdoor activities or cultural experiences, there is always something to do in Port Orchard, Washington.   

Who are large employers in Port Orchard Washington?

If living in Port Orchard, Washington, some of the top employers include the Naval Base Kitsap, which employs over 14,000 workers, South Kitsap School District, which employs over 1,000 people, and Kitsap County, which employs over 1,000 people as well. Other notable employers in Port Orchard include Harrison Medical Center, Fred Meyer, and various retail and hospitality companies. With a diverse range of employers, residents of Port Orchard can find opportunities in healthcare, education, government, and more.    

I want to relocate to Port Orchard.  How do I make it happen?

You've come to the right spot if you're looking to move to Port Orchard, Washington.  There’s a lot of information on this website to help including some helpful links below. If you want to ask questions, try our Facebook Group > Moving to Washington  where we have broad group of locals to answer any question you might have. If you’re looking to buy a home in the Port Orchard area, getting pre-approved for a mortgage should be your first step. For Mortgage Info, reach out to me. I would love to tell you more about what living in Port Orchard, Washington, is like as well as help with your mortgage if you decide to purchase a home.

Video's About Moving and Living in Port Orchard Washington

Elizabeth Davidson - Realtor - About Me Video

Elizabeth Davidson - Realtor - About Me

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Elizabeth Davidson - Realtor -  Listing your home

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