Bainbridge-Island_Ferry

A Weekend on…Bainbridge Island

Located in western Washington, Bainbridge Island is a rapidly growing go-to travel destination for many Washington natives and visitors to the Evergreen State. Vast forests, harbors and clean city streets make Bainbridge the ideal location for a quiet escape from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Accessible by car, you can drive roughly two hours to the Island or take the most scenic and quickest route by ferry. The short 30-minute ferry ride that runs frequently during the day is a highly recommended way to get to Bainbridge and accommodates vehicles, motorcycles/bicycles and walk-ons.

With just under 28 square miles, this island has so much to offer. Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast, foodie or history buff, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Inn at Pleasant Beach

Stay

Located only 10 minutes from the ferry docks and the main town of Winslow is the Inn at Pleasant Beach. Nestled in the middle of a quaint little beach town, the Inn offers a wide range of lodging options. There are 22 king suites on this property, and each one is unlike the other. A number of these suites come with views of the Puget Sound while other rooms are equipped with cozy sitting areas, large fireplaces and breathtaking balconies looking out into the lush garden. The spacious bathrooms with walk-in showers and plush bathrobes are a great addition to all the rooms, along with a coffee bar, mini fridge and flat-screen televisions.

If you are traveling with your family, be sure to snag up the breathtaking townhouse suite that comes with a full kitchen, dishwasher and washer/dryer. This three-bedroom, 2.25-bathroom townhome is the ideal booking for an extended stay, wedding weekend or a family escape to the beach. The Inn at Pleasant Beach has ADA rooms, as well as pet-friendly rooms available upon request. Enjoy complimentary access to the fitness center, open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and relax or splash around at the large swimming pool, open seasonally from the end of May through mid September.

Bloedel Reserve

Do

The Pacific Northwest has no shortage of forests and on Bainbridge, there are tons of trails and parks to explore. One of the most visited areas of the island is Bloedel Reserve, which has also been named one of North America’s 10 best botanical gardens. The 150-acre forested garden is gleaming with beauty and rich with history. Take your time being engulfed in the natural beauty and peacefulness of nature while walking through the 2-mile loop around the grounds. Along your journey through the reserve, you will explore 23 unique landscapes, meadows, pristine gardens and the Bloedel Mansion, which is open for tours as well.

Next, truly immerse yourself into the “beach town” life and head into Winslow to stroll along Winslow Way. There is lots to explore including local boutiques, coffee shops, bakeries, ice cream shops and art galleries.

Drink

Earth and Vine, located in Pleasant Beach Village, is an excellent spot to try a variety of wines for a tasting or to grab a few bottles to purchase. They are also a co-host for live music and trivia nights with their neighbors at The Marketplace Bar and Taproom (this local hangout has lots to offer). Check out some of their pop-up events, like the island favorite Salish Sea Greens, dishing up locally sourced oysters that are so delicious even the non-oyster lovers will be going back for more.

Only 10 minutes away is Coppertop Park, the ideal location to taste your way through local whiskey, spirits, beer and wine. One tenant that has made their mark on American-made whiskey is Bainbridge Organic Distillers, who is most famously known for their Yama Mizunara cask whiskey and when available retails for $524.99.

Across the way is Fletcher Bay Winery, owned by Jim and Sharon Wilford. Highlighting wines from Yakima Valley, Walla Walla and Red Mountain, there is the perfect pour waiting for you at one of their two locations.

bruciato
Bruciato

Eat

There are lots of fantastic dining options in the area, some of which have become a staple to the Bainbridge restaurant scene. Visit Joe’s restaurant in Pleasant Beach for dinner or takeout. This local favorite is serving up traditional Italian cuisine along with delicious house-made pastas and mouthwatering meatballs that are a wonderful addition to your meal.

Transport yourself to Italy with a wood-fired Neapolitan-style pizza from Bruciato, open Thursday through Tuesday from 3 to 9 p.m. and lunch on the weekends beginning at noon. This is a great stop as you arrive into town or for a family night out as they can easily accommodate larger groups.

Ba Sa has paved the way for Seattle foodies who travel by ferry to get their hands on the famous spicy truffle wontons and taro egg rolls. The traditional Vietnamese dishes are a must-try while on the island, and be sure to arrive early as there is typically a wait for Chef Thai’s Vietnamese comfort food-style of cooking.

Coffee drinkers will be in paradise at Pegasus Coffee House, located right on the water and brewing up coffee since 1980 in a beautiful ivy-covered building that was once the Anderson Hardware store. Pick up a delicious flaky croissant, scone or pastry from Pane d’Amore Artisan Bakery in Pleasant Beach or cruise through Blackbird Bakery in Winslow during your morning walk or while you wait for the next ferry for a coffee and their famous house-made toast and jam.

For more information, visit www.visitbainbridgeisland.org.

Main photo credit: Keith Brofsky

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