Accessible only by boat, Blake Island has 476 acres of state park land with year-round camping ($10); sandy beaches for swimming, sunbathing, and clamming; fishing and scuba diving; a 0.75-mile loop nature trail; and 12 miles of other hiking trails. To reach the island from the Kitsap, rent a boat from Manchester Boatworks in Port Orchard, or check with local chambers of commerce for charter operators.
Kitsap Harbor Tours (360/876-1260) offers tours to Blake Island from Bremerton on Friday and Saturday evenings May–October.
Blake Island’s main attraction is Tillicum Village (206/933-8600, www.tillicumvillage.com). This village can be visited as part of a full-day trip (daily May–Sept., $80 adults, $73 seniors, $30 kids, free for under age 4) offered by Argosy Cruises, departing from Pier 55 on the Seattle waterfront. Reservations are required (206/443-1244, www.tillicumvillage.com).
This trip into history has been one of Washington’s premier tours since 1962. Visitors ride an Argosy boat to Blake Island State Park, where they enjoy a salmon bake in the cedar longhouse, traditional Native American dance performances, crafts, nature trails, Native American artifacts, and a gift shop.
For those who want more time to explore Blake Island’s hiking paths, the company offers 6.5-hour trips on Saturday from mid-June to mid-September, plus weekdays in July and August. The cruise, dinner, and dance performances are all available separately for a lesser price.
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition