Bainbridge Island is located in Kitsap County Washington State and it is part of the Puget Sound. Bainbridge is a short 35-minute ferry ride from downtown Seattle. It is made up of beautiful forests, beaches, little shops, restaurants, and artistic communities. You can access the rest of the Kitsap Peninsula by the Agate Passage Bridge on the Northern part of Bainbridge Island.
One thing that I love about Bainbridge is how easy it is to do a day trip here. Especially if you live in the greater Seattle area, it doesn’t take a lot of hassle to get up and go, have a lovely day, and still get back home at a reasonable time. Check the ferry schedule and plan your day accordingly. Give yourself a little extra time if you are headed out on the weekend.
You can walk, bike, or drive on the ferry, it’s up to you! I personally drive since it gives me easier access to see the whole island.
What To Do
After taking the ferry you will arrive in Winslow, Bainbridge Island. There are a bunch of cute boutiques, bookstores, restaurants, and a little mall here.
Grab some coffee and a pastry from a nearby bakery (more on that later!) and take it down to the Waterfront Park which is just a short walk away (behind Town & Country Market). It has some art sculptures, grassy lawns, water views, and picnic tables. It’s a nice area to walk around if the main street is feeling too busy.
Art & History
I believe the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art and the Bainbridge Island Historical Museums are must-sees and very conveniently located in the walkable town of Winslow. They both have free admission! However, they do graciously take donations, which I would recommend you do if you are able! I found the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art building to be very impressive for being in a smaller town. They had a mix of local and global artists with thoughtfully curated displays throughout several rooms.
The Bainbridge Island Historical Museum is an easy five-minute walk from here. Part of the museum is in an old 1908 Schoolhouse! Come here to learn about Bainbridge Island history, Japanese American Exclusion in WWII, as well as a rotating exhibit. These are both great options for a cold & rainy day!
Named one of the Top Ten Botanical Gardens of North America by USA Today, the Bloedel Reserve is a spot you don’t want to miss! The Bloedel Reserve dates back to 1951 when Virginia & Prentice Bloedel purchased the property. They lived there for more than 30 years before later giving the land to be preserved by the community. Come explore the tranquil grounds, the Japanese Garden, and the beautiful estate house. Tickets for Adults are $17. Check out their website for more info about their timed tickets & other admission options. Fun fact—I’ve also been to the Bloedel Conservatory which is located in Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver, BC. I talk about visiting it in my Vancouver Travel Guide blog.
Take a hike in the expansive trails of the Grand Forest. My husband and I hiked around for about 3 ½ miles. They have maps and guideposts along the way, but it’s always a good idea to take a picture on your phone to refer to if needed!
Fort Ward Park
Fort Ward was initially instated in 1903 for the main purpose of protecting the nearby Bremerton Naval Shipyard. There are still the remains of two gun batteries that you can explore. This is a lovely spot to have a picnic on the grass and walk along the beach!
Depending on how long you are spending on Bainbridge Island, go see the Grand Forest or Ford Ward. If you have time go to both!
On your way back to town for either dinner or to catch a ferry home, you can make a quick pit stop at the Labyrinth Mosaic and Halls Hill Lookout. This is a fun little hidden spot to check out the view and the art installations! Try to solve the labyrinth! Address: The Labyrinth Mosaic, NE Halls Hill Rd, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
Where to Eat
On my most recent trip I stopped by Blackbird Bakery on a Saturday morning, there was a long line out the door! It was worth the wait though! I got a delicious maple scone! My husband got the soup & bread deal and we shared a croissant as well.
For dinner, I recommend the Vietnamese restaurant BA SA. It is family-owned by two siblings that strive to create traditional Vietnamese dishes by incorporating the local products the Pacific Northwest has to offer. We ordered the Taro Egg Rolls and Chicken Buns which were amazing. I had the Chili Oil Prawn Noodles and my husband got the Ha Noi Style beef pho. Everything was fantastic! It is a small popular spot, so make a reservation before you go!
I hope you enjoyed this Bainbridge Island day trip guide and I hope it informs your future travels! For more travel guides and Seattle eateries check out these posts:
For more pictures and video of my adventures on Bainbridge island check out my social media accounts:
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