Bainbridge Island

Bainbridge Island is an island city on the Kitsap Peninsula within the Puget Sound region of Washington state.

Bainbridge Island is a 35-minute ferry ride from downtown Seattle. Crossing the Agate Pass Bridge at the north end of the island will take you to the Kitsap Peninsula.

Bainbridge Island



Like many Pacific Northwest residents, Bainbridge Islanders are socially progressive, outdoorsy, and physically active, with nearly every resident active in kayaking, sailing, hiking, skiing, running, biking or soccer. Bainbridge Island is a predominantly white, highly educated, and - as a by-product of isolated island life - culturally and socially sheltered community. The island was once a poet's commune in the 70s and 80s, when many West-Coast artists, poets, and musicians converged to bask in the island's serene environment. Artistic and cultural events and organizations still abound, at perennial Pegasus Coffee, The Harbour Pub, The Lynwood Theatre, and The Bainbridge Performing Arts Center, which has its own improv comedy troupe. There is a refreshing 40s+ alternative scene involving yoga, martial arts, and social activism. The island is becoming increasingly gentrified, with many retirees settling down, particularly since it was voted the #2 place to live by Money Magazine in 2005.

Get in

Ferry Wenatchee en route to Bainbridge Island

By car

Cross the Agate Pass Bridge on HWY 305 from the Kitsap Peninsula on the north end of the island.

By ferry

By boat

Get around

Arriving by ferry there are usually cabs at the ferry terminal and Kitsap Transit has busses that meet each ferry. It is a short walk into "Winslow" the primary shopping district on the island.

By bus

By taxi

By charter bus


Bainbridge Island has several beautiful gardens and museums open to the public.

walkway in the Bloedel Reserve


thousands of bicyclists take over the ferry to participate in the Chilly Hilly

Bainbridge Island is a great destination for bicycles - rolling hills and spectacular scenery. During the summer you'll find bike rentals near the ferry dock and year 'round you can rent or purchase bikes at Classic Cycle. Each February the Chilly Hilly, one of the classic bike rides kicks off the bicycle season with a ride around the island. You can get information on this ride from Cascade Bicycle Club or follow the itinerary on your own .


The Kitsap Audubon Society has been actively meeting since 1972 and has a broad coalition of birders actively tracking and sharing sightings since then. They also maintain an active website with updates of the latest sightings, suggestions on areas for birders and even a regular newsletter. They also developed a checklist of birds likely to be seen birds in the area.

The state Audubon society developed 'The Great Audubon Birding Trail' which includes key migration flyways. Flyways are major north-south routes of travel for migratory birds and likely areas to see birds along the route extending from Alaska to Patagonia. Fort Ward Park on Bainbridge Island is one of only a handful of areas in the region to be named to the list.

Sea kayaking

With many small bays and inlets in the area, Bainbridge Island is one of the more popular places to kayak in Puget Sound and is popular for beginners and experienced kayakers alike. Thick forests of majestic pine and deciduous trees and dozens of creeks and estuaries dot the coastline. Or just explore Kitsaps many harbor towns like Bainbridge Island that cater to kayakers with shops and restaurants accessible from the water. Harbor Seals, Otters, Sea Lions, Bald Eagles and Blue Herons are common sites while the occasional viewing of an Orca or Grey Whale is not out of the question.

Kayak trails

Organized trails offer overnight camping options and maps of appropriate and scenic travel destinations.

Kayak rentals

Scuba diving

California Sea Lions

Scuba diving the cold waters of Puget Sound takes a bit more gear and training than other warm water locations, but the rewards are incredible. The area contains some of the best diving in the world and many areas are accessible from the Kitsap Peninsula. The state has offers a guide to parks with launch sites HERE

Conservation areas

Well-known to regional scuba divers, Orchard Rocks Conservation Area is located south west of Bainbridge Island in the waters and bedlands of Rich Passage within a 400-yard radius of Orchard Rocks day marker. The natural bedrock and boulders provide habitats for rock associated fish and invertebrate species. Copper rockfish and quillback rockfish once were common at this site. Brown rockfish and lingcod are common, red Irish lord, buffalo sculpin, striped seaperch, and pile perch . Kelp greenling, painted greenling, cabezon are consistently present in the reserve. Invertebrates include red rock crab, spider crabs, red sea cucumber, and orange sea cucumber. Harbor seals frequently visit the site and are often seen hauled out on the exposed rocks at low tide. California sea lions are also commonly observed at the site and may be seen hauled out on nearby navigational buoys.

There are several other popular dive sites centered around Blakely Harbor accessible by boat including wreck diving a 70' long wooden shipwreck simply known as The Boss. To find this site go to Blakely Harbors southern shoreline that heads out to Restoration Point. At about the midpoint of this shoreline, you will see a yellow buoy in about 50 feet of water. This is a PADI dive buoy marking The Boss which is maintained by local divers. The hull of the boat is in about 50' of water and is easily recognizable as it is covered in a field of white Plumose Anemones.




There are a variety of excellent restaurants on Bainbridge, with a full-range of cuisines and price-ranges.



Go next

Seattle is to the east via Washington State Ferry The rest of the Kitsap Peninsula is to the west via the Agate bridge.

Routes through Bainbridge Island

Poulsbo Suquamish  NW  SE  Ends at ferry terminal

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, May 24, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.