Bainbridge Island is one of the charming islands off the coast of Seattle, Washington, and one of the best day trips from the hustle and bustle of the city. And here is the best part — you don’t even need a car to get to Bainbridge Island from Seattle!
That’s right — all the best things to see and do on Bainbridge Island can be enjoyed after a short ferry ride from the Seattle Ferry Terminal (Colman Dock) in Downtown Seattle. Bainbridge Island offers quaint shops, gorgeous parks, exceptional eateries, and a laid-back atmosphere. It is the perfect place to add to your vacation in Seattle!
If you are looking for the best things to see and do on Bainbridge Island after disembarking the ferry for a fun, jam-packed day of adventure — this guide has you covered. Discover the best things to do on Bainbridge Island without a car for a memorable day on this beautiful island.
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Best Things to See and Do on Bainbridge Island
Most of the things to see and do on Bainbridge Island are in Winslow — the island’s central hub located within walking distance of the ferry from Seattle. Even if you travel on the ferry, you can still enjoy these best things to do in Bainbridge Island without a car and have a wonderful time!
1. Pegasus Coffee House
Pegasus Coffee House is one of the most adorable coffee shops on Bainbridge Island (and just in general!) The building’s red-brick façade is covered in lush greenery and vines, and the coffee shop offers a gorgeous courtyard where you can enjoy your coffee and food. It honestly feels like it should be in Europe — not the Pacific Northwest.
You can order breakfast items, like Breakfast on a Bagel or a Waffle and Berries, or pastries to enjoy with your coffee. Since we visited in October, I ordered a seasonal doughnut (of course). Pegasus Coffee House also serves wine, beer, and cider in the afternoons. They are open from 7 AM to 4 PM daily and stay open until 5 PM on Saturdays.
2. Blodel Reserve
Blodel Reserve is a gorgeous 150-acre nature preserve filled with forests, landscaped gardens, and a reflecting pool located on the north side of Bainbridge Island. It is lovely to visit in the summer or fall when everything is in bloom, or the autumn leaves are changing.
Blodel Reserve isn’t within walking distance of the ferry terminal, but you can catch a ride on one of the buses offering public transportation around Bainbridge Island by BI RIDE. These buses do not operate on Sunday (which was a bummer, since this is when we visited!), so if you want to visit the Blodel Reserve, plan your trip to Bainbridge Island another day of the week.
Tickets to the Blodel Reserve are $22 for adults and must be purchased before your visit — walk-ups are not permitted. They are open year-round on Tuesday through Sunday, rain or shine, and they adjust their hours based on the season.
3. Winslow Way (Main Street)
There are tons of things to do and see on Bainbridge Island on Winslow Way — the island’s main street. You will find tons of local restaurants, boutiques, and shops lining this street, so it is a fun place to explore for a few hours. These are a few popular shops to check out:
- Eagle Harbor Book Co. — Eagle Harbor Book Co. is an independent and locally-owned bookstore offering new and used books, author events, book groups, and fun events!
- Millstream Bainbridge — This art gallery and gift shop offers plenty of local goods and unique items made right here in the Pacific Northwest!
- Lively Olive Tasting Bar — Sample a wide range of flavorful olive oil and balsamic vinegar and find a few bottles to bring home with you to elevate your dishes.
4. Bainbridge Island Museum of Art
Bainbridge Island Museum of Art is one of the best things to see and do on Bainbridge Island — especially for art lovers.
This museum features contemporary artwork from artists in the Puget Sound region. They have a permanent collection and rotating exhibits that change three times per year, so you are always bound to see something new and interesting at the museum. And the best part? Admission is free, and the museum is open every day from 10 AM to 5 PM!
If you are looking for free things to do in Bainbridge Island, this lovely art museum is sure to please you. It is just a short five-minute walk from the ferry terminal on Winslow Way, so you can reach it easily when disembarking the ferry from Seattle.
5. Waterfront Park & Waterfront Trail
The Bainbridge Island Waterfront Trail is one of the best things to do and see on Bainbridge Island. This short trail offers two loops offering gorgeous, yet unique, views of Eagle Harbor.
The Waterfront Trail Western Loop begins in Downtown Bainbridge and leads you past parks, shops, and other natural scenery for two miles before ending at Eagle Harbor. The Waterfront Trail Eastern Loop leads you on a 1.5-mile journey to Hawley Cove, where you can watch the ferries depart from the harbor and head back to Seattle.
We embarked on the western loop, and we enjoyed the gorgeous views! It was fun to explore Bainbridge Island from a point of view that was off the beaten path.
6. Bainbridge Island Farmers Market
If you plan to visit Bainbridge Island on a Saturday, be sure to leave on an early ferry from Seattle so you can arrive in time for the Bainbridge Island Farmers Market in the Town Square at City Hall.
The Bainbridge Island Farmers Market lasts from 10 AM to 2 PM every Saturday, starting in April and wrapping up when the weather cools down in November. While you are here, you can purchase goods from farmers, food vendors, crafters, and more. It is a fun place to spend the morning when you arrive at Bainbridge Island on a Saturday!
7. Proper Fish
When you’re ready to lunch during your day trip to Bainbridge Island from Seattle, you have to head to Proper Fish. This indoor-outdoor eatery is located at the corner of Winslow Way and Madison Avenue, and it is the perfect place for some delicious seafood.
Proper Fish specializes in British-style fish and chips — and they are delicious! They also offer other seafood specialties, like cod chowder, lobster rolls, fish tacos, and more. The Pacific Northwest is known for its seafood, so this is a great place to try some of the best around.
8. Bainbridge Island Historical Museum
If you are looking for more free things to do on Bainbridge Island, look no further than the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum. This museum is in an old schoolhouse and shares the history of Bainbridge Island with rotating exhibits as well as objects, maps, charts, and photos.
The Bainbridge Island Historical Museum offers free admission on Wednesday through Sunday from 10 AM to 4 PM. It is located just north of Winslow Way on Ericksen Avenue, so it is easy to reach from the ferry dock. If you are a history nerd like me — pay this museum a visit during your day trip to Bainbridge Island from Seattle.
9. Wine Tasting
If you are looking for a relaxing way to spend an afternoon on Bainbridge Island, don’t miss the chance to go wine tasting at the wineries, tasting rooms, and vineyards on the island.
If you have a car, you can drive to Bainbridge Vineyards or Fletcher Bay Winery to enjoy a glass of wine surrounded by gorgeous, lush vineyards. However, if you are looking for a tasting room less than a mile from the ferry, consider visiting one of these tasting rooms on Winslow Way:
- Fletcher Bar Winery Tasting Room — This boutique winery produces red, white, and fruit wines using grapes from Eastern Washington and offers rooftop seating.
- Eagle Harbor Wine Co. — This company has been crafting wines on Bainbridge Island since 2005 and specializes in Bordeaux-style reds from vineyards in Washington.
- Eleven Winery Tasting Room — This winery produces simplistic yet offbeat varieties of Malbec, Syrah, Pinot Grigio, Roussanne, and a few other wines.
You can even go on this All-Inclusive Bainbridge Island Winery & Dinner Tour or Bainbridge Island Luxury Winery Tour if you want to visit several wineries without worrying about transportation.
10. Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial
If you do have a car, I highly recommend driving to the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial to learn more about the island’s sad and somber history.
This memorial honors the Japanese Americans who were excluded, forcibly removed from their community, and incarcerated during World War II. It is a reminder — “Nidoto Nai Yoni” (Let It Not Happen Again) — of the tragedies that happened in the 1940s.
FAQs: Best Things to See and Do on Bainbridge Island
Do you need a car in Bainbridge Island?
You do not need a car in Bainbridge Island. The best things to see and do on Bainbridge Island are within walking distance of the ferry dock. If you want to visit other locations on the island, the on-demand public bus offers transportation to popular destinations, like the Blodel Reserve.
When is the best time to visit Bainbridge Island?
Summer is the most popular time to visit Bainbridge Island for the beautiful weather and fun outdoor activities, like kayaking, boating, and paddleboarding. Plan for plenty of tourists to join you in Bainbridge Island on weekends in June, July, and August.
As an alternative, the autumn months on Bainbridge Island are lovely — especially if you can time your visit when the leaves are changing colors! September and October are great months to visit Bainbridge Island, with minimal rain and great weather before it gets too cold.
How long is the ferry ride from Seattle to Bainbridge Island?
It takes about 35 minutes to get to Bainbridge Island from Seattle. However, the journey goes quickly, since you can enjoy gorgeous views of Elliot Bay from the ferry. If you ask the locals, they will tell you these are the best views you will get of the Seattle skyline!
Where do you catch the Bainbridge ferry?
You can catch the ferries to Bainbridge Island and Bremerton at Colman Dock at the Seattle Ferry Terminal, located on the Seattle Waterfront at Pier 52.
How much are ferry tickets to Bainbridge Island?
Ferry tickets to Bainbridge Island from Seattle are very affordable. Adult tickets cost $9.45 per ticket and all children (0–18) can ride for free. Plus, if you ride as a passenger without a vehicle, you only have to pay for the ride to Bainbridge Island — the ride back is free.
Enjoy the Best Things to Do and See on Bainbridge Island on a Day Trip from Seattle
There are so many amazing things to do and see on Bainbridge Island that you will have no problem filling up an entire day trip from Seattle!
Which of these fun things to see and do on Bainbridge Island sounds the most interesting to you? Whether you’d rather spend your day shopping and wine tasting or trail trekking and museum hopping — I hope this guide helps you plan the perfect day!
Save These Best Things to See and Do on Bainbridge Island for Later
Are you looking for more things to do during your trip to Seattle? Check out these other posts to help you plan the perfect trip to the Pacific Northwest: