Kingston Marinas

A Walk through Downtown Kingston, WA

Monday, November 14, 2016S.V. CAMBRIA



What is it about Kingston that keeps us coming back year after year? Is it the location? Is it the price? Is it the marina? Or is it the community itself? The answers are simple and they’re all the same – yes, yes, yes and yes. There’s something really special about Kingston, a rural seaside town that manages to maintain a level of innocence that can be hard to find nowadays: The pace of life is slower. People know each other. And there’s a real sense of community in the air.

Kingston isn’t officially a town. It’s a “census designated place” (whatever that means) and covers 2.4 square miles. Wikipedia lists the population as only 2,099 people (from the 2010 census), but it feels larger than that because of the surrounding neighbourhoods . . . and the traffic. The main road into town, NE State Highway 104, ends at the water’s edge where there’s a Washington State Ferry terminal. Traffic flows regularly in both directions every day of the week and, yet, it’s still very quiet here (I’m sure the summer months are a different story). But the best way to see Kingston is by foot, so let’s take a walk.

For me, all walks start at the water’s edge and the Port of Kingston where Cambria has made her winter home for the last four years. The POK owns and maintains the land along the waterfront which is also a public park. The tallest mast in the picture is Cambria (if you squint, you can make out her backside and boom) and the ferry terminal is in the background.


Businesses and shops say a lot about a community and here in Kingston they scream, “We like to eat, drink and be merry.”  Walking north along the western side of the street, the first place you come to is Drifter’s Sports Bar and Grill. But we’re more interested in its next door neighbour, the candy shop (the pink sign).


Next up is the Majestic Mountain Coffee Roasters which, as you may have guessed, sells coffee and baked goods. Their new neighbours are Mi Sueño (Mexican takeout) and the Kingston Ale House (pub fare and some higher-end dining). 


On the opposite side of the road closest to the water is J’aime les Crêpes where you can buy sweet and savory crêpes. It smells really good and gets busy on the weekends, but we’ve never eaten there so I can’t offer an opinion.


Further up is Kingston’s newest business, a psychic (I wonder if they know I’m writing this). 

 

Next door to them is Mora Iced Creamery. We’ve been to the one in Poulsbo and it’s very good but this one closes down for the winter – bastards! Behind the shops, the Harbor View Plaza finishes the block with businesses offering financial services, pizza and vaporizers. 


That’s the official end of the downtown area but, wait, there’s more!



But this post is getting a little photo-heavy, so I’m going to stick to pictures of the hightlights and skip some of the less interesting buildings, starting with the western side of the road where there’s a wine bar, florist, hair salon, bakery and a day spa (the bakery and spa are not pictured).


Across the street is the Filling Station, a local pub that was once nicknamed the “Felony Station” because it was a little rough. We’ve been there several times to watch college basketball but haven’t been back since David almost got us thrown out 18 months ago (I’m not kidding). I don’t want to go into too much detail, so I’ll just say that both David and I can be passionate about sport (it was a big game) and that we go out of town to watch now.   



Up from the Filling Station is the former library and community center. They built a new on one off the main road near the Village Green (see map above). Just beyond the old library there’s a Thai restaurant and the sheriff’s office. It always looks closed, so I’m guessing we don’t have a lot of crime here. I’m not sure what the false front is all about, but there are several other buildings downtown that have them. 


Most of the action takes place on the western side of the road. Across the street from the church, there’s the Firehouse Theater and a motel.



After that, there’s a taproom called Downpour (nice beers!), The Cup and Muffin (good coffee!), the McDonald’s and an ARCO gas station.


Yes, you read that right. Kingston, with all of its 2,099 people, has a McDonald’s (think ferry traffic) but the locals know where to eat fast – across the street at the Grub Hut (as in food, not bugs).




It gets pretty ordinary from there. On the eastern side of the street, there’s a strip mall with a post office, grocery store, hardware store, a book store, a framing shop and a couple of small restaurants (including a Subway). After that, there are a few offices, mostly financial planning it seems, and the old Kingston Lumber yard that’s still for sale (they moved a couple of miles out of town years ago). 

Back on the western side of the street and beyond the ARCO station, there’s a coffee kiosk (in the Pacific Northwest, there’s no such thing as too many coffee shops). And a new chandlery in the old Bank of America building, but David says it’s not very good (or photogenic). And last, but not least, we have another strip mall. This one is much smaller, but equally as important for one reason: The Borrowed Kitchen Bakery (and espresso in case you need another coffee!) where you can buy the world’s best slice of three-layer chocolate cake – I kid you not!




There’s a lot more to Kingston than the downtown area – walking trails through second-growth forests, beautiful homes, parks and farms. But that wraps up our walk for now. I hope to bring you more walks through some of the other great places that are nearby over the coming months – Point No Point (great name!), Poulsbo, Port Gamble and so on. In the meantime, if you’d like to read more about walks through interesting and unique spots around the world, check out the blog at  Restless Jo and Jo's Monday Walk
 
How about you? Have you been on an interesting walk lately? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below or on our Facebook page.


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15 comments

  1. Oh my goodness! Check out those fall colors..... and the hardware store and bakeries...Thai food....all in walking distance to your boat for a good price? What's not to love (I'm guessing real cold dark days in the winter). I also have a real weakness for the salt and fat in McDonald's fries. Kingston looks awesome!

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    1. It is awesome (and all for around $350 for 43 feet). And it's going to get even more awesome in a few weeks. The port decorates the park in a million lights (literally) for Christmas. I can hardly wait!

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  2. That was a fun walk! I enjoyed seeing the Kingston area thru pictures. Of course, I'm really curious exactly what did happen in that pub :-)

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    1. Lol. A few too many beers and testosterone, I'm guessing.

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  3. Just a tiny bit disappointed that it wasn't Kingston, Jamaica, Stephanie, but it looks like a very nice Winter home. Nobody's going hungry, are they? Marinas seem to attract more than their share of eateries. It's the same here in Hartlepool- another small scale place. Very many thanks for your company and your kind link up.

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    1. You live in Hartlepool? I'll be darned. Here's a blog post that links your world with mine. http://www.svcambria.com/2015/02/hms-trincomalee-discovering-connection.html

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  4. it's little red neck,doughnut hugging,'ok' beer,mean bars and vaporizor speciality shops that leave me cold,and all ready we're in the cold.. Looks like a pro Rump-Trump township to me.. the kind of place that the electoral college had to pitch in votes for .. since most find some reason not to vote, for either candidate .. You know barely over forty percent of nation stated their choice .. pathetic to say the least . Lets face it this country is about tractor pulls and NFL.. 'climate denial' , and a propensity for racism . Oh my have I just shot off my mouth. No apology !

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    1. There's no apology needed, even if you felt obliged. We all have a right to an opinion. How you got to a political discussion from a walk through Kingston, I'm not sure. But I do understand your frustration and anxiety -- I'm there myself. I can't speak to people's political beliefs here in Kingston, but apparently you got the wrong idea from this blog post or I wasn't clear in my description. It's just another small town with a bit of bohemian feel to it located along Puget Sound that caters to boaters, tourists and people commuting to Seattle on the ferry.

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    2. thanks for your patience regarding my rant.. that's generous of you.. I'm bored to hell with American and it's need for trendy shops.. so much of it is destructive to our moving ahead in positive healthy ways. Take the towns of most places and give it back to the woods. Have a coop for every day needs, and dispense with all the kinky slop shops,parking lots and no parking signs and the world will be a better place . Retail destroys the natural beauty and the trend just goes on and on expanding to a point such as where Santa Cruz is now where there's no turning back and everyone is looking back at a time there was so much more beauty and authenticity .

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  5. Thanks for the walk - great place, great company

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  6. It is so nice to be able to walk everywhere for your food (and other) needs. Lots of choices in Kingston! There is even a Thai. Yum! Looking forward to the atmospheric Christmas photos!

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    1. It really is nice to be within walking distance to just about anything we need. It's one of the reasons we keep coming back -- a quiet community where we don't feel too isolated from the world. Sure, we have to drive a little farther to get to the Costco, but it's worth it. :-)

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  7. Another good reason to go to Kingston is to visit the Mossback Cafe! It is a couple of blocks up the hill from the main street in an old farmhouse and the happy hour food and drinks we ate were fabulous and a really good value. Highly recommended!

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    1. Mossback Cafe is a little too frou-frou for us, lol. But I'm pleased you didn't know that after being our neighbours for so many winters -- we must hide our lack of social graces well.;-) BTW, we sure do miss you guys around here!

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