Bainbridge Island offers visitors all the benefits of picturesque Washington while serving as the ideal getaway from the bustle of Seattle.
The island and city of Bainbridge Island are just a 35-minute boat ride west of Seattle. Bainbridge, which sits amid Puget Sound and overlooks the Cascade Mountains, is a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts. This lovely island in the Pacific Northwest offers a variety of museums, parks, and restaurants to keep tourists occupied.
The little town retreat from Seattle’s bustle is Bainbridge Island.
Ideal Time to Visit
Since we are in the Pacific Northwest, rain and clouds are inevitable. Although the large, moss-covered trees that are typical of the region tend to look much more impressive in the mist.
But June and August are the best months to visit if you want to see Bainbridge during drier weather. These are also the months when tourists are most in demand, which is not surprising.
August falls during the busiest travel period, thus lodging costs will probably increase.
Due to the proximity to the Sound, it does become humid throughout the summer. But it is a worthwhile trade-off on days with less cloud cover. Enjoying the area is greatly enhanced by clear skies.
The Cascade Mountain Range and the famous Mount Rainier can be seen peeking over the still lake on clear days.
What to understand before going
The island’s past is convoluted. It served as one of the Suquamish people’s ancestral dwellings. In the 1850s, the tribe traded their land rights for fishing privileges near the Sound and a reservation in Port Madison, Washington, with the United States government.
The government has repeatedly violated the terms of the treaty since it was ratified, necessitating intervention by the Supreme Court to uphold the rights of the Suquamish people.
It’s crucial to know the history of Bainbridge Island and, if at all feasible, leave greater room for Puget Sound’s indigenous people.
Consider making the little trip up to the Suquamish Museum in the north of the island, a fantastic educational destination for both tourists and locals. Consider donating to the Suquamish Foundation if you visit and take in the breathtaking beauty of this historic island; the Suquamish were stewards of the land even before the treaties.
The charity supports the island’s original guardians’ cultural and educational initiatives.
Best Transportation Methods
Getting to Bainbridge Island must come first. The ferry boat is the simplest and quickest method. Day visitors can continue driving and taking in the sights from the deck, or they can continue walking.
Although it is possible to drive onto the island, taking the ferry offers stunning views, the potential to spot wildlife, and the chance to breathe in the fresh sea air.
- Walk-on Price: $4.60 for seniors, children, and those with disabilities; $9.25 for adults.
- Motorized Ferry Fare: $20.90 (For most passenger automobiles) (For most passenger cars)
- Colman Dock, Pier 52, Seattle; Address (Departing Seattle)
- Address: 270 Olympic Drive SE Bainbridge Island, WA 98110 (Departing Bainbridge).
Note: Passengers can return to Seattle for free, but cars must pay.
By bicycle, the island is easily accessible. On the ferry, you can bring your bike or hire one when you get there. Even paved road is not a requirement for cyclists. Bikers may access the island’s famed natural beauty on some Bainbridge Island riding trails.
The Bike Barn, which offers road, hybrid, and electric bike rentals, is conveniently situated near the ferry dock. Given how mountainous Bainbridge Island is, give a hybrid or electric vehicle serious thought.
- Renting an electric bike costs $65 for two hours and $90 for four hours (Full day)
- Hybrid Bike Rental: $30 (2 hours), $40 (3-8 hours), $75 (2 days), $90 (3 days), and $175 (weekly)
- Renting a road bike costs $80 for a day, $145 for two days, and $350 for three days (weekly)
While travelers could rent a car at the Seattle airport, Bainbridge Island offers a more distinctive choice. Volkswagen Vanagons with all the gear for an adventurous road trip or a night out camping is available for hire through PacWesty.
It is effectively a hotel on wheels, albeit costly.
Deposits: $500; $1500 (Security) (Booking)
Rental rates for Westfalia Vanagon begin at $195 per night (Depending on the season)
Starting at $225 per night for eTofino Vanagon rentals (Depending on season)
Including the van: A lot! All the kitchen necessities, sleeping bags, pillows, blankets, a power source, a cooler, etc. that campers could require. The website of PacWesty contains a complete list.
Places To Stay
Since the island is compact and accessible, there are no restrictions on where guests can go. Nevertheless, the Fort Ward region in the island’s south has some wonderful hiking paths.
However, for visitors without a car, the majority of the museums, hotels, and restaurants are located close to the downtown, also known as Winslow. Travelers can spend the night in Seattle and visit the island during the day by taking a short ferry ride.
But for those looking to experience small-town life, the island does offer a few hotels, inns, and other fascinating lodging alternatives.
Look into neighboring lodgings if you want to remain on Bainbridge without camping or sleeping in a Vanagon.
If my memory serves me well, staying on a yacht is referred to as being “fancy-schmancy.” A night spent onboard this traditional-style yacht will offer a distinctive and memorable experience for tourists ready to splash out.
A 2-hour cruise to see the Puget Sound sunset is included with the cost of the hotel room. Along with the night at sea, SailBainbridge offers other excursions.
- Price: $925 (up to 6 guests)
- Harbour Marina is located at 233 Parfitt Way SW in Bainbridge Island, Washington.
includes a breakfast and a sunset cruise
- Time to leave: 6:00 PM (Captain takes guests back to shore at 9 am)
Skiff Point Guest House and Retreat
Skiff Point Guest House is an excellent choice for individuals seeking a cozy and pleasant atmosphere. The Loft Suite and The Carriage House, two completely furnished guesthouses, are available at this adorable getaway.
It has all the conveniences of home along with the vistas and design of Bainbridge. There is a 2-night minimum stay requirement; during certain portions of the summer, it is 3 nights.
- $250 for one night (Suites sleep 4-6 people)
- Location: Bainbridge Island, Washington, 11040 NE Mountain View Road
- A full kitchen, DISH TV, a garden, and a porch are all features of the suites.
Accommodations of a Middle Class:
The Marshall Suites
The Marshall Suites is a less expensive boutique hotel. This choice is in a prime location close to the Bloedel Reserve, Puget Sound, and downtown Winslow.
Price: Nightly rates begin at $190.
350 High School Road NE, Bainbridge Island, Washington
The hotel, Eagle Harbor
This beautiful inn features two townhouses that are separated by a courtyard and five rooms with distinctive decor. Perfect for a romantic weekend away, the accommodations enjoy a beautiful view of the lake.
Address: 291 Madison Ave. S., Bainbridge Island, WA, starting at $200 per night
An Elf House
To experience hobbit life, visitors don’t need to take a flight to New Zealand. This tiny hobbit hole carved into the ground for a terrific glamping experience is one of the more unusual lodgings on Bainbridge.
Of course, it includes a cardboard cutout of a real hobbit.
- Cost: $126 per night
- Address: Highway 305, 3 miles north of the ferry station (exact location provided when booking)
Hotel on Bainbridge Island
This inn has outdoor doors and a motel-style design. However, the charming exterior and inviting accommodations live up to the inn’s name. Its proximity to Winslow makes it an excellent choice for those on a tight budget.
Address: 920 Hildebrand Ln NE, Bainbridge Island, WA, starting at $125 per night
What to eat
Breakfast is available at Pier on Bainbridge Island in Washington at Pegasus Coffee.
There are lots of individuals on the island who get up early to go on treks, go kayaking, or just watch the gorgeous sunrises over the Sound. They must eat in a reputable restaurant, such as Pegasus Coffee. With its exposed brick front covered in ivy, one could easily mistake it for a tavern in a small Irish village.
They are most known for their coffee, which has earned them a spot on the Financial Times’ list of the world’s greatest coffee shops. They even provide a coffee beginning kit and one-on-one teaching.
They do offer soups, delicious breakfast sandwiches, and other morning essentials.
- Hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
The Japanese restaurant Hi Life serves poke bowls, sweets, and Japanese food right in the heart of Winslow. Of course, the island offers excellent seafood, but Hi Life seems to stand out.
The poke shokado, a sampler of their poke and appetizers, is their most well-known meal. Additionally, a restaurant must be good if its sauces had to be packaged because consumers loved them so much.
- Time: 11 am to 7 pm (Every day)
- Location: 220 Olympic Drive SE, Bainbridge Island, Washington
This is a real farm that provides food from its farmhouse and is sustainable. The main floor of the house has communal seats, while the upstairs is for private events.
Of course, for a Bainbridge experience, the farm uses regional and seasonal ingredients, including their own. Consider making a reservation in advance because tables are in high demand due to the experience, atmosphere, and food.
- Hours: 4:30 pm–9:30 pm Price: $$$ (Thu-Sun)
- 4370 Old Mill Road NE, Bainbridge Island, Washington 98510
Which is that? Not a whisky fan? Fear not, gin is available from Bainbridge Organic Distillers. Not a fan of gin? They produce vodka as well. At this distillery that is family owned and operated, there is something for everyone (kids excluded).
They exclusively use crops cultivated organically to maintain the island’s sustainability focus. A taste is offered after a tour of the distillery.
12 p.m. to 5 p.m. (Wed-Sun)
Address: 101, Ste. 101, 9727 Coppertop Lp. NE, Bainbridge Island, WA
- Marketplace (Coffee/Deli/Taproom), another hot spot
- Italian/Pizza Brewery on Bainbridge Island Bruciato
- (Seafood, Tapas, Bar) Seabird
- The Bakery & Chocolatier L’Atelier TR