Bainbridge Island is a 35-minute ferry ride from downtown Seattle. Crossing the Agate Pass Bridge at the north end of the island will take you to the Kitsap Peninsula.
Like many Pacific Northwest residents, Bainbridge Islanders are socially progressive, outdoorsy, and physically active, with nearly every resident active in kayaking, sailing, hiking, skiing, running, biking or soccer. Bainbridge Island is a predominantly white, highly educated, and — as a by-product of isolated island life — culturally and socially sheltered community. The island was once a poets' commune in the 1970s and 1980s, when many West-Coast artists, poets, and musicians converged to bask in the island's serene environment. Artistic and cultural events and organizations still abound, at perennial Pegasus Coffee, The Harbour Pub, The Lynwood Theatre, and The Bainbridge Performing Arts Center, which has its own improv comedy troupe. There is a refreshing alternative scene forbpeople over 40 involving yoga, martial arts, and social activism. The island is becoming increasingly gentrified, with many retirees settling down, particularly since it was voted the #2 place to live by Money Magazine in 2005.
Cross the Agate Pass Bridge on Highway 305 from the Kitsap Peninsula on the north end of the island.
- 1 Washington State Ferries, 270 Olympic Dr SE (Winslow Way E & Olympic Dr SE (WA-Hwy 305)), ☏ , toll-free: . Offers direct service from the downtown Seattle Ferry Terminal (Pier 52) for both pedestrians and autos. 35 minutes one way; departures every 40-65 minutes.
- 1 The Harbor Marina, 233 Parfitt Way SW, ☏ . Guest moorage is available with free showers, laundry facilities, water, electrical (30 amp), phone and cable TV and pump-out station. $30-45 per night depending on length includes electrical.
Arriving by ferry there are usually cabs at the ferry terminal and Kitsap Transit has busses that meet each ferry. It is a short walk into Winslow, the primary shopping district on the island.
- 2 Kitsap Transit, 270 Olympic Dr SE, ☏ , toll-free: , ✉ email@example.com. Kitsap Transit offers transit services throughout the area including pickup from all ferry terminals and connects with Mason Transit (Mason County), Pierce Transit (Pierce County), and Jefferson Transit (Jefferson County) offering connections outside of the area. The main bus transit center (bus station) is at the ferry terminal. Full fare $2 and is part of the regional ORCA network system.
- BI Ride, ☏ . M-F 9:30AM-3:20PM, Sa 10:30AM-4PM. A visitor-oriented bus that stops at the ferry, Lynnwood Center, and the Bloedel Reserve; additional stops can be requested by phone. Full fare $2 and is part of the regional ORCA network system.
- A-Ward Taxi Towncar, Port Orchard based, ☏ , .
- Bainbridge Island Taxi, Bainbridge Island based, ☏ . Locally owned and operated, serving Bainbridge, Poulsbo, Kingston. Silverdale, Bremerton and the Olympic Peninsula
- Best Darn Taxi, Bremerton based, ☏ . Serving Kitsap County.
- Bumblebee Taxi, Silverdale based, ☏ . A full service taxi company serving Kitsap County. Serves all military bases and offers flat rates and military discounts.
- First Choice Taxi, Bremerton based, ☏ . It serves Bremerton, Kitsap County and Seatac Airport. Bremerton Ferry pickups can be arranged.
- KnM Transport, Bremerton based, ☏ . Transporting mobility challenged clients in specially equipped vans.
- Pleades Transportation, Bainbridge Island based, ☏ . 9AM–11:30PM. Limousine service on Bainbridge Island.
- Redtop Taxi of Kitsap, Port Orchard based, ☏ . 24 hr.
- Taxi and Tours. Bainbridge Island: +1 206 842-7660, Kingston - Silverdale - Poulsbo: +1 360 698-7660, Bremerton: +1 360 377-9393, Port Orchard: +1 360 876-9393 ; 24 hour serving Bainbridge Island, Kingston, Silverdale, Poulsbo, Bremerton, Suquamish, and Port Orchard.
- White Blitz Taxi, Bremerton based, ☏ .
By charter bus
- Janssen's Charter & Tours, 1623 Woods Rd E, Port Orchard, ☏ .
Bainbridge Island has several beautiful gardens and museums open to the public.
- Bainbridge Gardens, 9415 Miller Rd NE, ☏ , fax: . A retail garden with a long history, large selection and a small cafe for lunch.
- 1 Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial, Pritchard Park, 4192 Eagle Harbor Dr, ☏ . Daily dawn-dusk; tours available daily 10AM-4PM (3-4 weeks advance notice required). The Memorial is on the site of the former Eagledale ferry dock where, on March 30, 1942, US Army soldiers armed with rifles fixed with bayonets forcibly removed 227 Japanese Americans men, women and children — two–thirds of them American citizens — from their homes, sent by ferry to Seattle and then to internment camps in California and Idaho. Free.
- 2 Blake Island State Park (located in Puget Sound between Seattle and the Kitsap Peninsula). Bainbridge Island is a popular launching point for this nearby state park that was the birthplace of Chief Seattle and still offers Native American dancing for visitors.
- 3 Bloedel Reserve, 7571 NE Dolphin Dr, ☏ . Summer (Memorial Day–Labor Day): Tu-W 10AM-4PM, Th-Su 10AM-6PM. Winter: Tu-Su 10AM-4PM.. An award winning garden so popular that reservations are sometimes required. A 150-acre (0.61 km2) forest garden made by the vice-chairman of a lumber company, under the influence of the conservation movement and Asian philosophy. Prentice and Virginia Bloedel wished to "capture the essence of the Japanese garden — the qualities of naturalness, subtlety, reverence, tranquility — and construct a Western expression of it". Although the Reserve includes a traditional Japanese garden, the Bloedels' approach for the rest of the property stands in contrast to that of "Japanese gardens" which achieve their effects through the use of ornament. The Bloedel Reserve has both natural and highly-landscaped lakes, immaculate lawns, woods, a rock and sand Zen garden (formerly the swimming pool where poet Theodore Roethke drowned in 1963), a moss garden, a rhododendron glen, and a Reflection Garden designed with the assistance of landscape architects Richard Haag and Thomas Church. The Bloedels' French Chateau-style home including many original furnishings, is preserved as a Visitor Center. Adults $17, seniors (65+) and military $12, students 13-college $10, children 5-12 $6, 4 and under free.
- Bainbridge Island Historical Museum, 215 Ericksen Ave NE, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 10AM-4PM. Delightful local museum in a 1908 Bainbridge Island schoolhouse. $4 adult, $3 concession, $10 family.
- Kids Discovery Museum, 305 Madison Ave N, ☏ .
- Kitsap Regional Library Bainbridge Island, 1270 Madison Ave. N, ☏ . Northwesterners are very proud of their libraries and Bainbridge is no exception, this branch offers many events for children and adults alike including story time, writers club, kids movies etc. See website for current events.
- 4 Fay Bainbridge Park, 15446 Sunrise Dr NE, ☏ . the park comprises 16.84 acres (68,100 m2) of land, including 1,420 feet (432 m) of saltwater shoreline along Puget Sound.
Bainbridge Island is a great destination for bicycles - rolling hills and spectacular scenery. During the summer you'll find bike rentals near the ferry dock and year 'round you can rent or purchase bikes at Classic Cycle. Each February the Chilly Hilly, one of the classic bike rides kicks off the bicycle season with a ride around the island. You can get information on this ride from Cascade Bicycle Club.
The Kitsap Audubon Society has been actively meeting since 1972 and has a broad coalition of birders actively tracking and sharing sightings since then. They also maintain an active website with updates of the latest sightings, suggestions on areas for birders and even a regular newsletter. They also developed a checklist of birds likely to be seen birds in the area.
The state Audubon society developed 'The Great Audubon Birding Trail' which includes key migration flyways. Flyways are major north-south routes of travel for migratory birds and likely areas to see birds along the route extending from Alaska to Patagonia. Fort Ward Park on Bainbridge Island is one of only a handful of areas in the region to be named to the list.
With many small bays and inlets in the area, Bainbridge Island is one of the more popular places to kayak in Puget Sound and is popular for beginners and experienced kayakers alike. Thick forests of majestic pine and deciduous trees and dozens of creeks and estuaries dot the coastline. Or just explore Kitsaps many harbor towns like Bainbridge Island that cater to kayakers with shops and restaurants accessible from the water. Harbor Seals, Otters, Sea Lions, Bald Eagles and Blue Herons are common sites while the occasional viewing of an Orca or Grey Whale is not out of the question.
Organized trails offer overnight camping options and maps of appropriate and scenic travel destinations.
- Kitsap Peninsula Water Trails. The National Parks Service Named the this 'Trail of the Month' in the entire USA for the month of December 2012, PDF copies of the water trails map are available and the trail is accessible from Bainbridge Island.
- Exotic Aquatics Scuba & Kayaking, 146 Winslow Way W, ☏ . Kayak and scuba rentals.
Scuba diving the cold waters of Puget Sound takes a bit more gear and training than other warm water locations, but the rewards are incredible. The area contains some of the best diving in the world and many areas are accessible from the Kitsap Peninsula. The state offers a guide to parks with launch sites here.
Well-known to regional scuba divers, Orchard Rocks Conservation Area is located south west of Bainbridge Island in the waters and bedlands of Rich Passage within a 400-yard radius of Orchard Rocks day marker. The natural bedrock and boulders provide habitats for rock associated fish and invertebrate species. Copper rockfish and quillback rockfish once were common at this site. Brown rockfish and lingcod are common, red Irish lord, buffalo sculpin, striped seaperch, and pile perch . Kelp greenling, painted greenling, cabezon are consistently present in the reserve. Invertebrates include red rock crab, spider crabs, red sea cucumber, and orange sea cucumber. Harbor seals frequently visit the site and are often seen hauled out on the exposed rocks at low tide. California sea lions are also commonly observed at the site and may be seen hauled out on nearby navigational buoys.
There are several other popular dive sites centered around Blakely Harbor accessible by boat including wreck diving a 70' long wooden shipwreck simply known as The Boss. To find this site go to Blakely Harbors southern shoreline that heads out to Restoration Point. At about the midpoint of this shoreline, you will see a yellow buoy in about 50 feet of water. This is a PADI dive buoy marking The Boss which is maintained by local divers. The hull of the boat is in about 50' of water and is easily recognizable as it is covered in a field of white Plumose Anemones.
- Gazzam Lake Preserve on the west side of the island has entrances with parking lots at the north (end of NE Marshall Rd (47.624953, -122.566241)) and south (end of Deerpath Ln NE (47.609650, -122.563666)) ends of the preserve. The network of trails provides views of Gazzam Lake and across Port Orchard Channel to Illahee.
- The Grand Forest is a very large park/preserve with an extensive trail network that has multiple access points and parking lots, ranging from Battle Point Park (far west end of the trail system (47.659836, -122.574855)), a parking lot along Miller Rd NE (47.657004, -122.560544)), a parking lot at the curve in the south half of Mandus Olsen Rd NE (47.650477, -122.547834), a parking lot along the north half of Mandus Olsen Rd NE (47.659562, -122.547742), the end of McRedmond Ln NE (far east end of the trail system (47.654076, -122.537260)), and from other surrounding roads.
- [dead link] Bainbridge Island Farmers Market (Town Square at City Hall). Mid-Apr — mid-Sep: Sat 9AM-1PM. shop, eat, listen to great music, and enjoy one of Bainbridge Island's best traditions.
There are a variety of excellent restaurants on Bainbridge, with a full-range of cuisines and price-ranges.
- SuBI, Madison Ave. Japanese
- San Carlos, Madison Ave. Family-style Tex-Mex.
- Spice Route, Madison Ave. Indian
- Streamliner Diner, Winslow Ave (near the ferry). Traditional diner fare.
- Madison Diner, Madison Ave. Traditional diner fare.
- Bainbridge Crepes, Winslow Ave.
- Blackbird Bakery, Winslow Ave.
- Teriyaki Town, Winslow Ave.
- Mora Iced Creamery, Winslow Ave.
- Hitchcock Deli, Winslow Ave (next to Hitchcock, not inside).
- Hitchcock, Winslow Ave. Locally derived, farm-fresh foods.
- Fork & Spoon. Casual.
- 1 The Harbour Public House (The Pub), 231 Parfitt Way SW, ☏ . 11AM to midnight. 21+. Drinks with freshly-made mixers; seasonal drinks. Consistently voted the best Fish and Chips on the island. Harbor view.
- 2 Doc's Marina Grill (Doc's), 403 Madison Avenue S, ☏ . 8AM-midnight. Full bar and restaurant. Harbor view.
- 3 Isla Bonita, 316 Winslow Way E, ☏ . Enormous margaritas.
- 4 Bainbridge Island Brewing (The Brewery), 9415 Coppertop Loop (Taxi from Winslow, just ask for The Brewery or The Coppertops.), ☏ . M-F 2-9PM, Sa noon-9PM, Su noon-7PM. Child-friendly. Wide selection of beers brewed there as well as beers from other breweries in Kitsap County. Local music venue. Tourists are rarely encountered here due to the distance from the ferry terminal.
- 5 Bainbridge Organic Distillers, 9727 Coppertop Loop NE (Same as The Brewery.), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-Sa 11AM-5PM. Gin, vodka, and whiskey distilled in small batches from local organic grains. Contact them to see if you can assist on a bottling day (usually Saturdays).
- 1 Best Western Bainbridge Island Suites, 350 NE High School Rd (West on High School Rd from Hwy 305 (left turn if going north from the ferry terminal).), ☏ , toll-free: , fax: . Check-in: 4PM, check-out: noon.
|Routes through Bainbridge Island|
|Poulsbo ← Suquamish ←||NW SE||→ Ends at ferry terminal|