Here’s Everything Visitors Can Explore In One Day On Washington’s Bainbridge Island

Bainbridge island is a great day trip away from the hustle and bustle of Seattle, especially if small-town island charm is what you’re looking for.

While Seattle is a popular tourist destination (and definitely worth a trip), a world outside of the bustling city awaits anyone looking to explore a more laidback vibe off the mainland. Located in Puget Sound, Bainbridge Island is the ideal spot for a one-day getaway—its lovely scenery; fun outdoor activities; and small-town, homey charm are just a short ferry trip away. Below are some of the best things to see and do on a day trip to beautiful Bainbridge Island.

Hop On The Ferry

To get to Bainbridge Island, travelers will have to take the Bainbridge Island ferry, a trip of approximately 35 minutes. The ferry accommodates both cars and passengers, and walk-ons only have to pay when boarding in Seattle (fare is free for passengers boarding in Bainbridge). Though it’s quite rare, keep your eyes peeled for orcas (Southern Resident killer whales) on the crossing.

  • Single ride tickets are $9.05 for adults (age 19-64)
  • Single ride tickets are $4.50 for youths (age 6-18) and seniors (age 65 & over)

Learn more about the Bainbridge Island Ferry and its schedule here.

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Catch Some Breathtaking Views

One of the best parts of visiting Bainbridge Island is its stellar views. While the ferry ride over is a chance for some photo ops, there are several spots on the island that are ideal for scoping the idyllic scenery.

  • Fay Bainbridge Park is a great place to spend the afternoon—a walk on the beach and take in the views of Puget Sound, Seattle, and the Cascade Mountains.
  • Head to Hall’s Hill Lookout and Labyrinth to enjoy the scenic, winding trail that visitors describe as magical and relaxing.
  • The Grand Forest is a great spot for nature lovers who are looking to explore and take a hike on one of the well-maintained trails.
  • Stop in at Gazzam Lake Nature Preserve to see the views of Gazzam Lake and the surrounding forest and wetlands.
  • Bloedel Reserve is a popular spot known for its lovely scenery that includes cultivated gardens; walking trails, and carefully curated landscapes. Be sure to book timed tickets in advance.

Art And History That Wow

There’s more to Bainbridge Island than the fantastic views; it is also a great spot to learn about local art, history, and culture. Take a break from the outdoors to check out some of these eclectic spots.

  • The Bainbridge Island Museum of Art is a great place to check out some original arts and crafts from the island and surrounding area. Admission is free.
  • Learn about local history at the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum through various exhibits and items from the permanent collection. Admission is free.
  • Fort Ward Park is history and scenic views rolled into one. Explore the military bunkers; walk the paved, wheelchair-accessible trail; or check out local wildlife in their natural habitats along the water—including eagles and herons.
  • The Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial is an important historical site memorializing the Japanese Americans that were banished from their homes during WWII. Learn their story through a guided tour, or explore The Memorial Wall at your own pace.
  • Families will love the Kids Discovery Museum—a great place for kids to learn, have fun, and participate in interactive exhibits. Admission is $8 for both adults and children. Tickets can be purchased online in advance.

Eat, Drink, And Be Merry

Exploring all these amazing spots is a great way to work up an appetite. Day trip visitors to Bainbridge Island will definitely want to experience a delish meal at one of the area’s tasty restaurants; take a tour of a winery or distillery, or even visit Heyday Farm to learn about local food; take a cooking class, and have an unforgettable meal.

  • Book a tasting at Bainbridge Distillers, an organic, grain-to-grass distillery offering up some of the best local spirits.
  • Start your day on Bainbridge Island with an apricot oatmeal scone and a latte at the Blackbird Bakery.
  • Grab an amazing pastrami sandwich and sip on a dry Seattle cider at Café Hitchcock.
  • Sip on a signature local brew at Bainbridge Brewing Alehouse. On-site food trucks vary but can offer everything from curry to BBQ; Filipino fusion, and burgers. Check their Instagram (@bainbridgebrewing) to learn more.
  • Try the Puttanesca pizza for dinner at Bruciato and finish with a slice of tiramisu.

RELATED: 10 Amazing Distilleries You Have To Tour In The Midwest

Other Things To Do On Bainbridge Island

  • Check out Eagle Harbor Books, a charming, independent bookstore with a large variety of new and used books.
  • Visit Battle Point Park, a former naval radio station with a jogging trail, picnic area, disc golf course, and more.
  • Have a tasting at the Amelia Wynn Winery and dine at the on-site bistro
  • Check out Backstreet Beat to score some cool vinyl.
  • Stay the night before heading back to Seattle at Skiff Point Guest House & Retreat, known for its lovely, scenic views.

Visitors to Washington will want to take a day to explore charming Bainbridge Island—take in the sights; learn the history, and explore the fun restaurants and shopping spots along the way before heading back to the hustle and bustle of Seattle.

NEXT: San Francisco to Napa Valley: How To Plan The Perfect Day Trip Itinerary

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