Bainbridge Island is only 8.5 miles away from downtown Seattle, and is best reached via the 35-minute Washington State Ferry from Coleman Dock. Getting here can require a little bit of patience and advanced planning, but luckily, it’s one of the few destinations on this side of the Puget Sound that is not only easy to get to, but easy to get around. We recently posted a blog that serves as an excellent guide to the many different options for transportation on Bainbridge Island. But truly, we think one of the easiest and most interesting ways to get around Bainbridge Island is without a car. Much of Bainbridge Island is walkable, and when things get a little too far, there are always bikes available to rent. Once you start exploring, we don’t think you’ll want to stop. Check availability at the many Bainbridge Island Lodging properties, so you can keep the adventure going.
Things to Do on Bainbridge Island Without a Car
Bainbridge Island is a unique destination and one that is easy to visit without a car. In fact, the majority of shops and restaurants are located within an easy 15-minute walk from the ferry terminal, and the broader community is bike-friendly and easy to navigate. Once you’re on Winslow Avenue, which runs through the historic heart of Bainbridge Island’s downtown, take your time to explore the charming shops, visit with locals, and stop in for a warming cup of coffee or a delicious bite to eat at our restaurants and eateries. Here are a few of our favorite places that you can easily visit on Bainbridge Island without the hassle of bringing a car over:
- Blackbird Bakery is a small, centrally located bakery on Winslow Way, and a focal point for activity downtown.
- Eagle Harbor Book Company is a quintessential local book store that has been here for decades.
- Harbor Public House is a local favorite 21+ establishment that serves up delicious pub-fare made from local ingredients, and a picturesque view of the harbor.
- Visit the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, which showcases contemporary art from local artists in the Kitsap, Puget Sound and Olympic peninsula region. And stop by the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum just up the street. Both museums are free!
- Danger is one of the many examples of great boutique shops to browse on Winslow. Their store features a variety of local artwork and home furnishings.
- Visit Local wine tasting rooms. Eleven Winery, Fletcher Bay Winery, Eagle Harbor Winery, and Amelia Wynn Winery all have tasting rooms in Winslow.
- Sample the seasonal brews at Bainbridge Brewery’s newest addition, the Bainbridge Brewing Alehouse in Winslow. You can also walk or bike up to the original Bainbridge Brewery, which is also near Bainbridge Organic Distillers, makers of the world’s best whiskey and vodka.
- When you’re ready for a sweet treat, visit Bon Bon Candies or Mora Iced Creamery, which always offers something interesting for the season.
Want to see more of the island? Book an excursion with Tour Bainbridge. They will give you a VIP experience and take you sightseeing, wine tasting, to Bloedel Reserve, Fay Bainbridge, the Japanese Exclusion Memorial, and more.
And you can always rent a bike. You can rent either at Classic Cycle on Winslow Way, or the Bike Barn near the ferry. It’s fun to get lost on the winding roads of the island (you can never really get too lost), and it’s also a great way to explore the entire island. A few destinations for you to consider are the following:
- Rolling Bay Neighborhood, where you can take a look in local farm store Bay Hay and Feed and pick up one of their iconic t-shirts, or grab a cup of Coffee and relax at Rolling Bay Cafe.
- Fay Bainbridge Park offers beautiful views of Seattle and a lovely beach to explore.
- Visit the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial. The memorial is a 276-foot long wall, made from old-growth Alaskan yellow cedar, on the site of the first forced removal of Japanese
- Tour the wineries of Bainbridge Island. While many of them have tasting rooms downtown, you can actually visit some of the other wineries on the island, including Rolling Bay Winery and Bainbridge Vineyards.
- Walk the gardens at Bloedel Reserve, a 150 acres wildlife sanctuary with stunning gardens and trails.
If you want to see these things but don’t want to be working up a sweat on a bike, don’t worry! Just refer back to our transportation blog for the myriad of options available to those without a car on Bainbridge Island. It’s easy to get here, but we’ve made it even easier to get around! Once you’re here and see how easy it is to get around without a car, you’ll want to spend more than a day here. Luckily, there are plenty of choices for lodging on the island, from traditional Inns and boutique hotels, to short term vacation rentals and AirBnB’s. Check availability at our association of properties, and book your getaway to Bainbridge Island today.