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Beautiful Bainbridge Island Washington

See It Again or For the First Time

Location: Bainbridge Island Washington USA

A thirty-minute ferry ride from Seattle, or a thirty-minute drive from Bremerton, Beautiful Bainbridge Island Washington is a well kept secret.

Home to 25,000 full-time residents, the island is one of several that call the Puget Sound home, and is one of the most populated. Only ten miles long and five miles wide, Bainbridge is connected to the Kitsap Peninsula by a bridge over Agate Pass and to Seattle and King County by Washington State Ferry.

History of Beautiful Bainbridge Island Washington

For thousands of years the island was home to the Suquamish people who lived in nine separate villages around the island. The Vancouver expedition visited the island in 1792 and the Wilkes expedition in 1841. It was Wilkes who named the island after Commodore William Bainbridge.

Bainbridge Island Historical Museum

In 1855 the Suquamish relinquished their claim to the island to the US government in exchange for reservation and fishing rights at Port Madison.

Japanese immigrants made their way to the island starting in 1888 and began much of the agriculture of the island, some of which remains today. But the Japanese were removed to internment camps during WWII…many never returned. A very beautiful Japanese American Exclusion Memorial is located just outside of the town of Winslow.

Japanese American Exclusion Memorial

In 1991 the entire island was named the City of Bainbridge Island.

A Perfect Day Trip

Spending more than one day on beautiful Bainbridge Island Washington would be amazing, but if you only can get here for a day trip there is plenty you can do. We offer up some suggestions below. If you are walking from the ferry the village of Winslow has much to offer. And if you have a car there is even more to see and do further afield. Here are our suggestions:

Close to the Ferry

Marina and Ferry Terminal with Seattle Skyline in the distance

If you are driving, parking is usually available either on the main street called Winslow Way or on one of the side streets. But if you are walking from the ferry it’s a short five minute walk to the area known as Winslow.

SHOPPING

The Winslow area offers a wonderful variety of shops and restaurants including clothing and outdoor wear, jewelry and decorative finds, wine and tea and more. Two of my favorite shops are the incomparable Eagle Harbor Books and Town & Country Market. On my most recent trip I discovered Bainbridge Apothecary and Tea Shop. I loved it!

Eagle Harbor Books
Bainbridge Apothecary & Tea

DINING

You will never go hungry on Bainbridge Island. So many wonderful places to eat breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Photo below is dinner at Restaurant Marche, one of my favorite restaurants in Kitsap County. We also love both Cafe Hitchcock and their new sister restaurant Burgerhaus. Streamline Diner is great for breakfast, Blackbird Bakery has the best lemon blueberry scones and San Carlos is one of the best Mexican/Southwest Restaurants in the state of Washington.

Marche Restaurant
Burgerhaus
Blackbird Bakery

WATERFRONT TRAIL

It’s not a long walk but the Bainbridge Waterfront Trail is a beautiful walk along both a paved path and a raised boardwalk. Definitely worth a few minutes of your time to enjoy the wind and salt in your hair, the thousands of masts and to hear the horn of the ferry in the distance.

MUSEUMS

Unfortunately the day we were on Bainbridge the Bainbridge Historical Museum was closed, currently having limited hours due to the PanDamit. I do encourage you to check it out though when you visit. Learn more about it here.

We were, however extremely surprised and impressed with the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art. What a revelation to find such an outstanding museum in this small town. And it was FREE!! We spent about an hour here, enjoying both the permanent and temporary exhibits as well as marveling at the beautiful architecture of the building. A must visit when on the island. Learn more here.

Bainbridge Island Museum of Art

Further Afield

Beautiful Bainbridge Island Washington is home to many, many parks including the beautiful Fay Bainbridge waterfront park and camp ground. See a full list of parks here. With a vehicle we also recommend;

JAPANESE AMERICAN EXCLUSION MEMORIAL – mentioned above

GRAND FOREST PARK – an astonishing variety of trails offered in this park located in the forested interior of the island. A beautiful spot.

The Grand Forest Park

BLOEDEL RESERVE – not to be missed. This 150 acre reserve is located on the historic property of Virginia and Prentice Bloedel. Today the spectacular gardens are astonishing to say the least and open to the public by timed tickets available online. Adults $20. Worth every penny.

Bloedel Reserve

LYNNWOOD CENTER – is a small neighborhood village with a handful of shops and restaurant worth a drive to enjoy. We recommend The Treehouse Cafe.

BAINBRIDGE BREWING – always in search of microbrew, we found it on Bainbridge. Bainbridge Brewing has it’s brewing headquarters and a tasting room on the interior of island and also has a tasting room in Winslow.

Bainbridge Brewing

Worth a day or a weekend, beautiful Bainbridge Island Washington will sooth your senses – forest bathe in the green forests, inhale the salty air from the multiple waterfront locations, relax. Experience a friendly neighborhood island of socially active residents who make nature, art and sustainability a priority on their island. Take it down a notch on beautiful Bainbridge Island Washington. I’ll see you there.

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8 Comments

  • Reply Laura

    Enjoyed this post about Bainbridge! We love the island, too. Have spent two of my last birthdays there in a great hotel (both times during the pandemic). Highly recommend the “Inn at Pleasant Beach”……in the Lynwood Center area. Beautiful rooms. You gave us some new ideas…haven’t tried the hiking trails in the middle of the island and haven’t been to the art museum yet. And you gave us some new restaurant ideas, thanks!

    BTW: once we took that Bremerton to Seattle ferry (walking on) just for the fabulous water views of Seattle, as you arrive. Great day trip for tourists visiting the area. Happy 4th! Laura

    July 2, 2021 at 4:34 pm
    • Reply Laureen

      Great! I’ll have to try your suggestions.

      July 2, 2021 at 8:11 pm
  • Reply Alma

    I’ve never been to Washington or America for that matter, so thanks for giving me an insight into Bainbridge Island. Would love to explore…

    July 3, 2021 at 7:44 am
    • Reply Laureen

      We hope you can visit someday!

      July 4, 2021 at 6:06 am
  • Reply Linda (LD Holland)

    I am so excited that we are driving to the west coast in the fall. And if the border opens we may even get to head south into Washington on our way home. We have been to the Seattle area several times and have not visited Bainbridge Island. So this would be a new treat for us. I know that our plates would be filled with seafood! And our glasses full of local beer. I will keep this for future planning.

    July 3, 2021 at 2:41 pm
    • Reply Laureen

      If I’m not traveling when you visit in the fall we should meet up!

      July 4, 2021 at 6:07 am
  • Reply Wendy Lynn Lee

    I’ve been to Bainbridge twice and just love it. Though after reading your post, I realized there is still more for me to explore on this lovely island.

    July 3, 2021 at 2:59 pm
    • Reply Laureen

      It’s a sweet spot in the beautiful PNW!

      July 4, 2021 at 6:07 am

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