Overview of Port Orchard
The quiet city of Port Orchard sits across the Puget Sound from the bustling metropolis of Seattle. With all of the attractions and entertainment of the big city just a short ferry ride away, Port Orchard residents feel lucky to have urban accessibility while still finding home within the midst of beautiful natural escapes.
While this quiet community is a great one to retire to, Port Orchard's high percentage of residents younger than 18 - around 23 percent - make this an ideal place to raise a family as well. Port Orchard apartments for rent are sure to fit any individual's lifestyle, no matter what stage of life they may be embarking on.
Living in Port Orchard, WA
The earliest residents of the area were the Suquamish Tribe. Unlike much of the rest of the country, this First Nation continues to have a large presence in the county and is one of the largest employers in the area.
Known as Sidney by some of its earliest settlers, Port Orchard was platted back in 1886 by Frederick Stevens, who lovingly named the town after his father, who fell in love with the area during a visit from DeKalb, Ill. As with most communities that lie within the Puget Sound area, Port Orchard's waterways played a large part in its early growth and continued development. The U.S. Navy chose the city's bay as its second naval installation on the Pacific Coast. Originally called the Port Orchard Navy Yard, the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard continues to be a large employer of the city and area to this day.
Port Orchard continued to grow into the late 1800s and early 1900s, with schools, roads and trolleys being added to the city's landscape. Port Orchard's bright prospects prompted county officials and the city to petition to move the Kitsap County seat to the city, and Port Orchard retains this position to this day.
With a wealth of well-preserved natural areas, strong government and accessibility by way of water and land, Port Orchard continues to be a stronghold on the Kitsap Peninsula.
Port Orchard Work and Study
While the job opportunities of Seattle are only a ferry commute away, residents of Port Orchard also have a number of job opportunities available to them just minutes from home. The Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and the associated Naval Base Kitsap remain the top public sector employers for Kitsap County, and provide Port Orchard residents with a wealth of job opportunities, whether they are part of the armed forces or civilian employees. Kitsap County Health District provides a number of jobs in the health and medical fields, while the South Kitsap School District gives residents in the field of education many opportunities.
Top private employers include Harrison Medical Center as well as the Port Madison Enterprises, which is an agency of the Suquamish Tribe.
Students utilizing Port Orchard apartments can take advantage of higher education opportunities at Olympic College, a two-year college that provides career development in fields such as medical assisting, education, computer science and many other fields. Of course, residents of Port Orchard can also take advantage of local waterways and ferry services if enrolled in universities in nearby Seattle, where the University of Washington, Seattle University and Seattle Pacific University are all top options.
Rentals in Port Orchard, WA and Cost of Living
Residents of Port Orchard enjoy a much more affordable cost of living than their counterparts residing within Seattle or Tacoma's city limits. According to City-Data, the median gross rent for 2009 was $760, approximately $150 less than the average for Seattle renters during the same time period. However, the beauty of the Pacific Northwest does come at some price. As similar to most communities in the area, Port Orchard's cost of living is nearly 9 points higher than the national average at 108.9 percent.
Port Orchard Attractions and Special Events
The natural beauty of Port Orchard is one of its finest assets, and residents love taking advantage of this feature of their community. Most residents utilizing Port Orchard rentals find solace at the seaside views and forested glens of Manchester State Park. For those with access to a small row boat or dinghy, the lovely Blake Island State Park is a quiet refuge from daily life.
On Port Orchard's main drag, Bay Street, residents enjoy the many culinary delights that can be found at the city's top restaurants. From comfort food that is sure to brighten any cloudy day to sizzling bistro delights, any palate can be satisfied here.
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