Visit Bainbridge Island

Just a 35-minute ferry ride away from Seattle, Bainbridge Island was originally formed up to 15,000 years ago by a 3,000-foot-thick glacier. Since its ice age history though, it’s become a local favorite for weekend getaways and people looking to experience the Seattle lifestyle in a unique and charming way.  So, what is that you should know before visiting Bainbridge Island? Read on to find out.

Bainbridge Island Weather

Weather in Bainbridge Island is mild and marine-influenced. Rain showers tend to be mild and in the summer, where overcast skies give way to long summer days. For people who love to garden, Bainbridge Island weather can be ideal with a growing season that lasts about 180 days. If you visit Bainbridge Island for just a day though, it’s worth doing a weather check. Depending on the season, you might want to plan for an umbrella although mild showers won’t interfere with most of the activities you might have planned.

Ferry to Bainbridge Island

Getting to Bainbridge Island can be fairly simple — people who live in and visit the island typically ferry in. The first ferry of the morning departs Bainbridge at 4:45 am or leaves Seattle heading towards Bainbridge at 5:30 am. Ferries then run continuously throughout the day with at least one leaving every hour, making it great both for folks visiting Bainbridge Island, as well as island residents who commute to Seattle-based jobs.

Fares for adults and children leaving Bainbridge are free and the passage from Seattle to Bainbridge for passengers 19 and over is $9.05, although you’ll pay less with a monthly card. If you plan on using your car while visiting Bainbridge Island you can make vehicle reservations for the ferry for about $20 depending on the size of your car. Or you can always park your car at the ferry terminal in Seattle and choose to tour Bainbridge Island by foot or via ride-sharing services.

Things to Do on Bainbridge Island

Plan a successful visit to Bainbridge Island or discover the many reasons why people choose to live there by exploring the many things to do on the island. Below are just a few ideas worth considering.

Bainbridge Island Shopping

There are a few areas to shop in Bainbridge—but the Winslow district, which encompasses most of the downtown area, is by far the most popular. Winslow was the original name of the city, first founded in 1947, and you can still catch glimpses of its vintage charm. A casual 15-minute stroll from the ferry, people who visit Bainbridge Island commonly describe Winslow as an ideal day trip away from Seattle.

Named one of 13 Nationally Accredited Washington State Historic Main Streets, the area around Main Street is about 1.5 square feet and offers scenic views of Eagle Harbor. With a total of about ten city blocks, you’ll find a diverse selection of locally owned shops and restaurants.

Boating in Bainbridge Island’s Elliot Bay

Enjoy sailing or boating on Bainbridge Island across the Puget Sound. With companies like Dreamboat Adventure Sailing, you can select your own sail adventure during your visit to Bainbridge Island. Or if you own a boat, find a place to station it at Eagle Harbor Marina. There are also two marinas in Elliot Bay, with the most popular route used by the ferry system to travel back and forth to Seattle.

Beautiful Hikes on Bainbridge Island

If you’re looking for a Seattle outdoor adventure while you visit Bainbridge Island or you’re interested in ways to stay active as a local, consider the many beautiful hiking trails that the island has to offer. For over six miles worth of trails along old-growth cedar and Douglas fir trees, head to Grand Forest. Or trek over seven miles of trails at Gazzam Lake Nature Preserve where you’ll find forest views, a path to the lake, and a walk-up-only beach. Even if hiking isn’t your thing, history buffs and sea lion lovers alike will appreciate Fort Ward. 

Wine Tasting on Bainbridge Island

In addition to local restaurants and a brewery, you’ll also find a wide selection of wineries on Bainbridge Island that offer tours and tastings. Find vineyards that make 100% estate wines and those that grow some of their own fruit among 40-year-old vines. The island also hosts events, like Wine on Rocks, that occur four times a year, allowing visitors the opportunity to enjoy a taste of several vineyards all in one space.

Local Attractions on Bainbridge Island        

Outside of all the activities above, there are plenty of other attractions on Bainbridge Island to explore. You’ll find art studios, art labs, glass studios, jewelry making, and an artisan resource network for active artists. Or simply appreciate the arts at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, which is the largest art museum in the area, though there are also several art galleries to choose from.

You can also explore more outdoor activities like walking and biking tours. Or head to the farmers market on Saturdays. And every Fourth of July enjoy the Bainbridge Grand Old 4th—a tradition since 1967, it welcomes thousands of islanders and visitors in and around Winslow to run, dance, eat, drink, and celebrate.

Bainbridge Island is a great place to visit, and an even better place to live. With a short commute to Seattle and plenty of activities to embark on, people enjoy its small-town vibe and walkable downtown area. Find new construction homes for sale in Bainbridge Island by Pulte new home builders. With up to ten home designs available, you’re bound to find a home that matches the life of your dreams.



Contributed to Your Home blog 

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Published 9.1.2021

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