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Itineraries

A few hours
Overnight
A Few Days
Day Trips from Bainbridge Island
A few hours

On Foot

You will find shops and eateries just up the hill from the ferry terminal, and a short walk east will bring you to the heart of downtown Winslow. Visit the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum and the Kids' Discovery Museum (known as "Kidimu"). Take a stroll through Waterfront Park.

Browse the one-of-a-kind shops and galleries and get a bite to eat in one of our many restaurants and cafes. (Our grocery stores have deli counters, too.) Keep your eye out for homemade ice cream, homemade candy, a yarn shop, an independent bookstore, a kitchen shop, a European candle shop and many other offerings.

You'll find more restaurants -- and a pub -- on the harbor. Walk down to the foot of Madison Avenue (once the location of Winslow's "Mosquito Fleet" dock) and follow the boardwalk for a close-up view of the marina and harbor.

With Transportation

Wheels -- whether your own car or bike, bus (limited service hours and days), rental bike, or taxi -- will give you the freedom to explore all of the island.

Highlights are the gardens and trails of the world-reknown Bloedel Reserve, the vineyards and winery at Day Road, the two waterfront former state parks, and the two plant nurseries/garden centers, Bainbridge Gardens and Bay Hay & Feed.

You can visit one of the many island parks, from the wilds of Gazzam Lake and the Grand Forest to Battle Point Park, with its amazing playground and astronomical observatory, ball fields, tennis courts and jogging path.

And you must have your picture taken next to Frog Rock, a rock with its own Facebook page -- putting it in a special category with Mount Rushmore and Ayers Rock (Uluru) in Australia!

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Overnight

If you like your nights peaceful, quiet, and free from urban lights (Winslow does have a few street lights), Bainbridge Island is the place to stay.

You'll find lodging of all types, from hotels to bed & breakfasts, to fit every budget. Deep in the woods, high on a cliff, right on the beach, on a farm, near the ferry -- there's something for every taste.

You'll also have a chance to sample another of our excellent restaurants and plan your evening.

What will it be? A play or the Improv at the Playhouse? A concert at the Island Music Center or in one of the cafes? A reading by one of our many local authors at the bookstore? A first-run movie at the Pavilion or an independent, foreign or classic film at the historic (1936) Lynwood Theatre? A lesson in salsa, contra dance or Nordic dance at Island Center Hall?

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A Few Days

Clearly there is more to do here than you might have imagined. With a longer stay, you can join the locals at a golf course, in a kayak, on a bike, in a health club.

Just kick back and read the fascinating book that jumped into your hand at Eagle Harbor Books -- or a travel guide to your next destination that you found at The Traveler. And you can still check your e-mail at your lodging, several local cafes, or -- if you left your electronics at home -- on the Bainbridge Island Public Library computers.

A few more days also give you a chance to visit our neighbors. Bainbridge is the perfect home base for exploring the Kitsap and Olympic Peninsulas and Seattle.

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Day Trips from Bainbridge Island

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Kitsap Peninsula
Olympic Peninsula
Seattle
Kitsap Peninsula

Just over the Agate Pass bridge is the Port Madison Indian Reservation and its center, the town of Suquamish. Learn about the history of the Suquamish Nation at the new museum. Visit Chief Seattle's grave and the site of his enormous longhouse on the beach. And stop by Clearwater Casino for gaming and good food.

A few miles down the road is Poulsbo (pronounced "Paul's bo") It was originally settled by Scandinavians and proudly proclaims that heritage today in the Old Town down by the water. Find the board walk at the north end of the waterfront park for a quiet stroll along Liberty Bay. Visit the shops and the bakery.

Hansville lies at the northern tip of the Kitsap Peninsula. The Point No Point Lighthouse, a Nature Conservancy trail and a large driftwood beach are attractions in the area.

A half hour's drive north brings you to Port Gamble, a lumber mill town whose mill finally closed only a few years ago. The town is still owned by the mill company, which has preserved its Victorian character in a pristine state, even down to real gas street lamps (a romantic stroll in the evening). The little town has restaurants, shops, especially antiques, and several festivals. The picturesque church is a favorite for weddings. And the old graveyard on the hill overlooking the water is well worth a visit.

The Naval Undersea Museum in Keyport is a little gem that offers exhibits on all things oceanic - including but certainly not limited to military subjects. And the gift shop is amazing.

Bremerton is a must for military history enthusiasts. Visit the Puget Sound Navy Museum and tour the USS Turner Joy, a Cold War destroyer. The city waterfront has been recently turned into a lively area with a convention center and hotel and many shops and restaurants.

Silverdale is the major shopping destination for much of Kitsap, with malls and restaurants. Stroll out on the public dock at the waterfront park in the Old Town for a lovely view of Dyes Inlet.

Seabeck, located on the eastern shore of the Hood Canal, was once a wild lumber town and major passenger port for the Puget Sound area. Now it is a quiet village. Its Scenic Beach State Park offers fabulous views of the Hood Canal and the Olympic Mountains.

Gig Harbor is just a few miles from the western end of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, and portions of the original "Galloping Gertie" still can be visited by recreational divers in the waters outside the harbor. It is a picturesque town with shops and restaurants located around the harbor and hosts several large events and festivals each year.

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Olympic Peninsula

Hood Canal - Cross the Hood Canal Bridge and continue on State Highway 104 for a little while. If you turn south onto State Highway 101, the road will follow the Hood Canal for many scenic miles. On a clear day, stop off at Mount Walker. It's an easy drive up to the two look-outs -- the western one looking into the heart of the Olympic peaks and the eastern one opening to a panorama of the entire Puget Sound area. Continue south from Mt. Walker to the town of Hoodsport for a tour of the winery and a bite to eat. You can continue to loop around the southern end of the Hood Canal, where the road follows the water again to the town of Belfair. Take a few minutes to visit the Theler Wetlands and walk the quarter-mile-long board walk over the marsh to the edge of the Canal.

Over the Hood Canal Bridge and about a half hour away in the other direction is Port Townsend, a town which flaunts its very Victorian flavor. Galleries, antique shops and restaurants abound. Passed over for the state capital and thereby suffering an economic disaster, the turn-of-the-century seaport was effectively frozen in time. It is now alive and vibrant and home to many artists and crafts people, especially those in love with wooden boats. The Center for Wooden Boats hosts a festival every year. Several other festivals beckon, such as the quirky Kinetic Sculpture Race in which human-powered vehicles transport themselves across the bay, up and down hilly roads and through a formidable bog. Year-round, Port Townsend offers interesting shops, lots of antiques, great views and great restaurants.

Sequim, Port Angeles and Hurricane Ridge - If you don't mind a longer trip (about two hours each way), you can take in Sequim and Port Angeles and still get back to Bainbridge in a day.

Sequim lies in the "rain shadow" of the Olympic Mountains, and was actually the first community in the state to install crop irrigation. This special climate makes Sequim a perfect place to grow lavender, and the output is beginning to rival that of southern France. Each summer there is a lavish lavender festival, where you can find lavender in everything from bath salts to ice cream to mustard! But you can also visit the lavender farms all year long. Hike out along Dungeness Spit to the lighthouse and see the bird and marine life in the wildlife refuge.

Port Angeles is just down the road. At the waterfront you will find a ferry can take you to Victoria in Canada, and a number of shops and restaurants. Port Angeles also hosts several festivals each year. A drive along Ediz Hook, the sandbar that encircles the harbor, offers great views of the town and the Olympic Mountains beyond. Cyclists will be interested in the new Olympic Discovery Trail that connects Sequim and Port Angeles.

At the southern edge of town is the road up to Hurricane Ridge. This is one of the most popular attractions in Olympic National Park. Stop at the visitor center along the way for information, maps, souvenir, etc. The view from Hurricane Ridge on a clear day is nothing short of spectacular. Deer wander through the parking lots, mountain goats can be spotted on nearby peaks. There are a number of hikes and more serious trails. In winter, it's a popular place for cross-country skiing -- but the road is sometimes closed due to excessive snowfall. The park web site posts alerts.

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Seattle

Bainbridge Island is the perfect place to base a trip to Seattle. You won't have to worry about parking anywhere in downtown Seattle, and the Metro bus system can take you anywhere outside the downtown area. Plus you have the most gorgeous and relaxing commute in the world aboard the ferry.

Within walking distance of the ferry terminal

The Seattle waterfront is a bustling place with shops and restaurants. It's an easy walk north to the Seattle Aquarium and Pike Place Market (an elevator will help you up the Hill Climb).

Heading in another direction, east, you'll quickly reach Pioneer Square, the historical heart of the city, where you can take the famous Underground Tour. Another short walk east brings you to the International District/Chinatown, featuring Asian restaurants and shops and a large Japanese department/grocery store.

Or walk up Marion to Fourth Avenue and see the new Seattle Public Library, an architectural marvel. Continue north on Fourth to the grand Fairmont Olympic Hotel. Nearby is the Seattle Art Museum. Then go to the Westlake Center at Pine Street, where you can board the monorail for Seattle Center. A trip to the top of the Space Needle is required of all visitors to the city.

Seattle has a number of interesting neighborhoods, each with its own special character and attractions. The convenient and efficient Metro bus service will get you there and back.

  • Capital Hill - Shops, restaurants and people-watching on Broadway and 15th Avenues
  • Fremont - funky, quirky, right on the Ship Canal, Dusty Strings music shop, don't miss the bridge troll with his Volkswagen beetle
  • Ballard - Seattle's main fishing port, Nordic heritage, arts and music venues, the Ballard locks
  • Wallingford - an artsy area, good restaurants, not far from Woodland Park and the Seattle Zoo
  • West Seattle - a bustling neighborhood center with nearby Alki Beach and lighthouse.
  • University District - lots of young people, restaurants, the venerable University Bookstore, and the most fabulous view of Mount Rainier from the fountain on the U-Dub campus.
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