Bainbridge Island's lovely winding roads and charming gardens have often won it the acclaim of being one of the country's best places to live. Why not leave the mainland for the day to see what the fuss is all about?
In downtown Seattle, head toward the waterfront's ferry terminal, where your getaway adventure will begin. Buy a ticket as a walk-on passenger, grab a coffee and settle in (either indoors or on the deck) for the approximately 35-minute ride across Elliott Bay.
While on board, soak in the surrounding gorgeous views as well as the fascinating culture of island commuters who make this daily pilgrimage (by foot, bicycle or car) across the choppy waters. Thanks to the proximity of “downtown” Winslow, getting around on foot once your boat pulls into Bainbridge Island is no problem.
Walk the short distance to the strip of businesses in the heart of Winslow, and get things going with a steaming cup of coffee (if you’re in need of another boost) or a sweet treat from Blackbird Bakery. (Think cinnamon walnut coffeecake, orange sweet rolls or gluten-free raspberry almond muffins.) Fare at Streamliner Diner on Bainbridge Island — Photo courtesy of Streamliner Diner
Then take a walkabout to explore the small town; depending on how much time you plan to spend on this side of things, consider popping into the Bainbridge Art Museum for an hour or two to start your day. The venue is a collecting museum with a focus on artists and collections from the Kitsap and Olympic Peninsulas, in addition to the broader Puget Sound region.
If you feel like going farther afoot, Bainbridge offers a variety of nature trails on which to find a workout and fresh air. When lunchtime rolls around, head back to the main strip, and choose from options like Streamliner Diner (Try the biscuits and gravy, homemade soups, organic greens or sandwiches like Mrs. Murphy's meatloaf.) or Harbour Public House, where water views complement the tasty local eats.
After lunch, unwind even further at one of the island’s many wineries. Enjoy tastings at Eleven Winery or Island Vintners, where the wines are wonderful, but banter with the warm and gregarious owners prove an even bigger draw. Spend the rest of the afternoon popping into Winslow's shops and boutiques, and be sure to take notice of the public art that proliferates the community. Once you’ve gotten your fill and are ready to head back to the mainland, get back on the ferry, Seattle-bound. Bon voyage! Bainbridge Art Museum on Bainbridge Island — Photo courtesy of Bainbridge Art Museum