Located just a short ferry ride away from downtown Seattle, Bainbridge Island is the perfect day trip for adventure and relaxation. If you’re looking for a quick and easy day trip that requires little planning, Bainbridge Island is the perfect getaway any day of the week.
With a ferry dropping you off right near downtown Winslow, there is so much to do for anyone looking to walk or bike onto the ferry. While this itinerary includes activities that require a car, visiting the island can be enjoyed car-free!
Let’s get into the best things to see and do on Bainbridge Island.
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Visiting Bainbridge Island
Bainbridge Island is an ideal destination for a day trip, in the Puget Sound region. Beginning your journey from downtown Seattle, you will reach the island by taking a 35-minute ferry ride. Take in the breathtaking views of the Seattle Waterfront and the majestic Cascade Mountains as you make your way across the sound.
Whether you’re looking for a day of wine tasting, a relaxing bike ride to local parks, or to spend a day immersed in the many museums, you’re bound to have a fabulous day.
Getting to Bainbridge Island
To get to Bainbridge Island, you can take the ferry from Downtown Seattle or you can drive to the island. Below is how to do the two options.
To reach Bainbridge Island, head to the Seattle Ferry Terminal which has been recently updated. The ferry leaves from Pier 52. The route to Bainbridge Island has beautiful views of the Cascade Mountains and the return ferry has wonderful views of Mount Rainier.
The ferry to Bainbridge Island has a charge per person and for the vehicle. The return route only charges for the vehicle.
To check the Ferry Schedule, Click Here
Address: 801 Alaskan Way Pier 52 Seattle, WA 98104
Remember: You can WALK onto the ferry or DRIVE onto the ferry. Both are great options for a day on Bainbridge Island!
If you’re coming from the Olympic Peninsula, the 305 has a connecting bridge between Bainbridge Island and Poulsbo. The driving route is a good option for anyone coming from the South Sound.
What to Bring on a Day-Trip to Bainbridge Island
For a day trip to Bainbridge Island, you won’t need to pack much!
Here is what I would recommend for a Day Trip to Bainbridge:
Patagonia Atom Cross-Body Bag
To carry all of your things hands-free, the Patagonia Atom Cross-Body Bag is one of my favorite on-the-go bags. It fits a Nalgene Water Bottle! If you’re going to be doing any shopping, you can shove a canvas bag in there to use for any purchases.
Nalgene Water Bottle
Sometimes the weather on Bainbridge Island can be typical Pacific Northwest! Bring a good rain jacket with you so you don’t get stuck inside all day. My favorite rain jacket is the Stormline Stretch by Black Diamond!
For the cooler fall and winter days, the Patagonia Synchilla is the perfect mid-layer. They’re warm and cute!
Blundstone Chelsea Boots
Especially on a rainy day, your Blundstones will keep your feet dry and toasty!
Now that we know how to get to Bainbridge Island and what to pack, let’s check out one of my favorite things to do on the island, go to the parks and enjoy the walking trails!
Parks & Trails
Bainbridge Island is a great place for a small outdoor adventure with its natural beauty, lush greenery, pleasant beaches, and network of walking trails. Whether you’re seeking a stroll through the forest, wanting to check out a botanical garden, or trying to find the new troll installment on the island, there is no shortage of things to do.
In this section, we will explore the different areas on the island for outdoor exploration including Bloedel Reserve, Fay Bainbridge Park, and Waterfront Park.
Bloeddel Reserve is one of the most well-known botanical gardens offering an artful installation of walking trails and natural wonders. The 140-acre Northwest forest includes curated gardens and structures that speak to the beauty of the area.
Keep an eye out for seasonal tours like the Squash Hunt & Spooky Plants Walk in the fall.
You will want to spend a couple of hours walking around this garden, so be sure to plan accordingly!
There is an additional cost to visit this botanical garden. The standard admission for adults is $22.
For a full pricing list, you can visit this link.
Sakai Park & Pia the Peacekeeper
Sakai Park is named after the Sakai Family who used the land to grow berries before and after their internment in WWII. Now the small 23-acre park is home to the new wooden troll, Pia the Peacekeeper. The short 0.2-mile loop trail around the park leads visitors to Pia where visitors can take photos, relax, and meditate.
Battle Point Park
If you’re looking for playgrounds, tennis courts, and picnic areas, Battle Point Park has something for everyone. The walking trails around the park are extensive and secluded. This is a great kid-friendly park!
Rockaway Beach is a unique experience for anyone seeking solitude and hidden coves. On the far side of the island, this is a fantastic spot for visitors to explore a unique area with little foot traffic. With a mix of wetlands and saltwater shoreline, this a neat spot to explore low tide.
This is also a popular beach for scuba diving access to Blakely Harbor.
Fort Ward Park
Fort Ward Park on Bainbridge Island blends history and nature. As you walk around the trails, you’ll see former military structures. These offer a small glimpse at the island’s past amongst the lush greenery. Spend some time along the beach front and you can watch the Washington ferries pass by.
Gazzam Lake Nature Preserve
Gazzam Lake Nature Preserve is an excellent spot for birding and short walks. The 445 acres of park are made up of upland forests and wetlands. The extensive trail system allows visitors to walk throughout the park and enjoy a wide variety of plants and animals on the island.
For beautiful views of the Puget Sound and a nice boardwalk trail, Waterfront Park is an excellent option. This small park has a waterfront trail along the water. Enjoy views of the boats and maybe you can even spot some marine life in the water!
In the next section, we will look at the available Museums and Art Experiences available on Bainbridge Island.
Museums & Art
For those looking to experience the cultural scene of the Island, Bainbridge Island has a plethora of art and history-driven tourist attractions. The rich history of the island is incorporated throughout the island, but here is a short list of the options you have available on your visit.
Bainbridge Island Museum of Art
The Bainbridge Island Museum of Art has a strong focus on local artists. As you walk through the different galleries, you see both paintings and sculptures. With an emphasis on contemporary art, the vibrant exhibits of the museum will be thought-provoking and contemplative.
The museum offers free admission for everyone year-round!
Don’t forget to stop at the gift shop on the way out.
For most information about the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, you can learn more here.
Japanese American Exclusion Memorial
The Japanese American Exclusion Memorial on Bainbridge Island is a humbling reminder of the island’s role in World War II history. The memorial pays tribute to the Japanese Americans who were interned during the war. The beautiful Japanese gardens are mixed with plaques that help visitors understand and reflect on the history of the Japanese Americans on the Island.
Bainbridge Island Historical Museum
The Historical Museum on Bainbridge Island has a collection of artifacts and exhibits that tell the stories of everything from the indigenous roots to modern-day history. If you’re someone who likes to learn about the history of an area, this museum will be a great addition to your itinerary.
For more information about the Historical Museum, visit their website!
For additional fun experiences on the island, some additional options include:
Now let’s talk about the coffee shops & bakeries on Bainbridge Island.
Coffee & Bakeries
If you’re anything like me, Coffee and treats will be your first stop when you get to the Island. Bainbridge has several coffee shops and bakeries to choose from that are all a short walk within the downtown area.
Here are some of my favorites on the island:
Pegasus Coffee House
Located just a short walk from downtown Winslow, Pegasus Coffee House is the perfect place to start your day. One of my favorite things about the shop is that you can send postcards from the shop for free! It is a great way to tell a friend you’d like to bring them to Bainbridge next time!
They also have a delicious pastry case and some food options if you want a bite to eat!
If you’re on the lookout for a sweet treat, Blackbird Bakery is a go-to destination for pastries, cakes, and bread. Located in the downtown area, it is easy to grab something to go or sit back and relax while you enjoy your Croissant.
If you’re looking for something extra special, their Orange Rolls are amazing but they are only served on Saturday and Sunday.
Coquette Bake Shop
If you’re in search of exquisite dessert options, Coquette Bake Shop has beautifully made macaroons, tarts, and rolls. Voted as Bainbridge’s Best Bake Shop from 2020 – 2022, you know every item you purchase at the shop will be delicious.
Cafe Hitchcock is a coffee shop and restaurant with an impressive and diverse menu. With a seasonal menu, every dish is a testament to the Pacific Northwest and the changing of the seasons.
Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you can find something delicious at all hours of the day. View their menu here.
Bainbridge Apothecary & Tea Shop
If coffee is not your cup of tea, Bainbridge Apothecary & Tea Shop has a captivating tea experience. Here you can enjoy a cup of tea while exploring natural remedies.
Bainbridge Island is known for having delicious food and drink options, here is a short list of some of my favorites.
Food & Drinks
The first time I went to Bainbridge Island, I asked a local for a restaurant recommendation. Her reply was, “Only good restaurants survive on Bainbridge Island. You can’t go wrong with whatever you choose.”
So, here are some of the best spots on Bainbridge Island for food & drinks.
This quaint seafood eatery serves fresh and sustainable fish from fish & chips to lobster rolls and chowder. With a small menu that speaks to the nature of the Pacific Northwest, Proper Fish is a great place for anyone looking for a relaxed dining experience with delicious food.
Another coastal cuisine-heavy restaurant, Seabird is a true dining experience. Each plate is crafted to perfection. This restaurant is for those looking for an elevated restaurant with complex flavors.
Bainbridge Brewing Alehouse
Located near the ferry launch, Bainbridge Brewing Alehouse is a fantastic last stop on your Bainbridge Day Trip. With delicious beers and a small alehouse menu, you can fuel up before catching your ferry.
You can even keep an eye on the ferry by watching the ferry clock located right above the bar.
Fletcher Bay Winery
Whether you’re new to wine tasting or a connoisseur, Fletcher Bay Winery has a lovely wine-tasting experience for those looking to relax and enjoy the island air. In the nautical-themed winery, you can eat a meat and cheese plate while you sip on your wine.
Next door is Eagle Harbor Winery which is another wonderful option.
Harbour Public House
Island Cool Ice Cream
Formerly known as Mora Iced Creamery, Island Cool Ice Cream is a nice spot to stop on a hot day for a sweet treat. Next door to the grocery store in Downtown Winslow, this quaint ice cream parlor will be a family-pleasing stop.
There are plenty of options for food and drinks on Bainbridge Island.
If you’re looking for something else, here are a few more options:
Shopping in downtown Winslow is a great way to spend the day on Bainbridge Island. Here is what you can expect to see at the shops.
Downtown Winslow on Bainbridge Island has great shops and markets to explore that offer unique locally crafted merchandise. With Downtown Winslow being a short walk from the ferry, the strip of shops is convenient. Let’s check out a few of my favorite places:
Eagle Harbor Book Company
I am a sucker for a good bookstore and Eagle Harbor Book Company fits the bill for a great small-town bookstore. They have plenty of options for the whole family with a knowledgeable staff who are ready to talk books. They even have an impressive wall of staff recommendations. Take some time to pick out a new book for your ferry ride home.
Bainbridge Island Farmers Market
The farmers market on Bainbridge Island is open on Saturdays from April 1st to the end of November. The market is set up in the town square and has some wonderful local vendors that bring produce, crafts, and flowers.
To get a closer look at the vendors at the marker, you can follow this link.
Salt House Mercantile
For a unique shopping experience be sure to stop in Salt House Mercantile which boasts a variety of home goods and artisanal items. It is hard to not buy everything in this store so be careful!
Some other shops to stop in:
With just a short walk between all of the shops, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the area. There are public parking lots surrounding the downtown area as well as street parking if you bring your car with you!
Longer Stays on Bainbridge Island
While a day trip to Bainbridge Island is worth it, spending a long weekend on the island makes for a quick and easy getaway. If you’re looking for an extended stay on the Island here are two places you should consider staying at:
Fay Bainbridge Park
One of many beachfront areas around the island is Fay Bainbridge Park. This camping park is a great option for people wanting a beach stay on Bainbridge Island. The sandy beach has views of Mount Rainier and Mount Baker on clear days. This is an absolute must-stay if you’re looking for a special weekend stay on the Island.
If you’re looking to book a stay at Fay Bainbridge Park, you can reserve a site here.
Eagle Harbor Inn
Rated as the Best Bainbridge Island Hotel, Eagle Harbor Inn is just a short walk from downtown giving guests easy access to the vast amount of restaurants and shops. This cozy hotel has a home away from home feeling with the option of a “petit hotel” option or a larger townhouse stay.
To book at Eagle Harbor Inn, Check Out their Landing Page Here!
For more hotel options on Bainbridge Island, you can check out the many options on Booking.com!
Pack It Up
I hope this guide encourages you to take a day trip, or better yet, book a weekend getaway to Bainbridge Island. From the many park options to the diverse dining experiences and shops, there is something for everyone on Bainbridge Island.
As you journey back to Seattle on the Washington State Ferries, don’t forget to keep an eye out for Mount Rainier and take in the gorgeous Seattle Skyline.