Bainbridge Island is only 5 miles away from downtown Seattle as the crow flies, but getting here can require a little bit of advance planning. Luckily, it’s one of the few destinations in Washington State that you can get to, and get around on, using only public transportation and your own two legs. But, don’t worry; there are also plenty of other options for transportation if you don’t want to walk and/or bike everywhere you go! Bainbridge Island offers a variety of different modes of transportation that will get you around the island, whether or not you have your own car.
By far the easiest way to enjoy the charmed life on Bainbridge Island is to leave your car at home, and arrive via the Washington State Ferry system. The Ferry departs from Coleman Dock in downtown Seattle on a regular schedule. Once you’re here, navigating around the island is easy. The Downtown Winslow core of Bainbridge Island is easily walkable from the ferry terminal, and the Bainbridge Downtown Association has produced a walkabout guide. The guide inludes the locations of Art Galleries, Museums, shops, restaurants, outdoor activity areas, and even real estate. Definitely take your time exploring our charming downtown; there are some really great shops and hidden treasures worth exploring!
Public Transportation on Bainbridge Island
When you’re ready to branch out and explore more of Bainbridge Island, there are plenty of transportation options at your disposal. The island enjoys regular service from Kitsap Transit, which operates bus service on fixed routes around the county. Kitsap Transit participates in the ORCA Card program, which is a contactless, stored-value smart card system that makes navigating public transit easy. All busses that service Bainbridge Island are accessible from the ferry terminal, and make numerous stops on the island.
The only downside to Kitsap Transit are its hours, but that’s when BI Ride steps in to fill the gaps. BI Ride is a shared-ride service that operates on Bainbridge Island by both rider request and by serving scheduled stops. BI Ride serves sites on the island including the Bainbridge Island Ferry, Bloedel Reserve, Lynwood Center, Manitou Beach, Sportsman Club, Agate Point, Rockaway Beach, New Sweden, and Day Road. This is a great option for visitors who hope to explore some of Bainbridge Island’s most well-known destinations without a car. To schedule a ride, please call 1-844-4BI-RIDE. Reservation lines are open from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Saturday.
Other Modes of Transportation on Bainbridge Island
Beyond public transportation and walking, biking, or driving yourself around, there are a few other modes of transportation to consider on Bainbridge Island.
- If you would prefer to have someone show you around the island, you can schedule a customized tour of the island through Tour Bainbridge. Tours include history and hiking, wine tasting, sightseeing, and even going off the island to visit the Suquamish Museum and Chief Seattle’s gravesite.
Sweet Deal Mobile is another fun option that is unique to Bainbridge. Enjoy a ride around town in an oversized golf cart owned by Sweet Deal Clothing. If you’re lucky, you can catch a ride on it when you get off the ferry. Although it does not have a set schedule, you might have a chance to flag it down in town. The ride is free, but be sure to tip your driver!
- Take your Bainbridge Island adventure to the next level, and rent a Vanagon Camper Van from local company PacWesty. They’ve been open on Bainbridge for a short time, but have already proved immensely popular.
- Join the ranks of the many cyclists who call Bainbridge Island home, and rent a bike. You can rent bikes at either the Bike Barn, located at the ferry terminal, or Classic Cycle, located on Winslow Way across the street from the ferry terminal.
- There are also a few Uber and Lyft drivers on Bainbridge now who have proved very helpful in our ever-expanding options for transportation on the island, as well as traditional taxis. Taxi & Tours can be reached at (206) 842-7660. Viking Cab Co. can be reached at (360) 244-4420.
If you do decide to bring your car to Bainbridge Island, that’s fine, too! You’ll enjoy the simplicity of navigating the island’s country roads, scenic vistas, and interesting sights worth exploring. Just be warned: There is a lot of construction currently happening on the Seattle waterfront, and it can impact the ferry schedule greatly, especially during peak afternoon travel times! Be sure to check the WSF website regularly (and their Twitter handle for the most up-to-date information), and give yourself plenty of time to find your way to the dock and onto the boat. We recommend you slip into Island time the moment you embark on your journey to Bainbridge Island–we’ll be waiting for you no matter how long it takes you to get here!