The Pacific Northwest is a beautiful part of North America. Whether you're visiting a big city location like Seattle or Portland, or roaming around the mountains and forests of this extraordinary part of the world, you'll be taken in by its unique charms and unparalleled beauty. It's one of the more pristine areas of the United States, with a lot of nature to explore, and it's a perfect place for people who want to feel relaxed and rejuvenated, breathing in nothing but clean, fresh air and being able to get in touch with nature in ways that simply aren't possible in other parts of the country. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.


1.Overview

Overview
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There's a lot to see and do in the Pacific Northwest, and many travelers to this part of America make their way to Seattle. With its iconic Space Needle and many museums, as well as its many parks, restaurants, and shops, The Emerald City is a great place to spend some quality time with family or friends. It’s also a perfect place to organize a lot of different day trips. You can head over the border into Canada and see places like Vancouver and Victoria, for example, or you can stay closer to Seattle and enjoy a day trip to charming Bainbridge Island. Here’s how to plan your dream day trip to Bainbridge Island. Next read: Best Things to Do on Bainbridge Island, WA

Getting to Bainbridge Island

Bainbridge Island is located just a short distance over the Puget Sound from Seattle. The only way to access the island is by ferry, and you can either travel as a pedestrian or take your own vehicle onto the ferry as needed. The ferry ride takes just half an hour from Seattle to Bainbridge Island, and it's a very enjoyable journey, offering passengers wonderful views of the Puget Sound Area.

Since the ferry ride is quite short from Seattle to Bainbridge Island, it’s perfectly possible for people in other cities to arrange day trips to Bainbridge Island too. In fact, if you live in or are visiting a place within 2-3 hours of Seattle, you can simply drive or take public transport into the city and then head down to the waterfront to catch the ferry. Even those living in Portland could potentially do a day trip to Bainbridge Island, as the drive to Seattle can be done in about three hours.

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2.Important Information and Things to Do at Bainbridge Island

Important Information and Things to Do at Bainbridge Island
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- All About Bainbridge Island - Bainbridge Island is a small island city located in the Puget Sound. It's home to about 25,000 people, so it's a very quiet and tranquil place, and has been ranked as one of the top places to live in the whole of the United States. The island was once home to members of the Suquamish tribe of Native Americans. The Suquamish people eventually signed the Point Elliott Treaty in the mid-19th century to give up their rights to Bainbridge Island. Since then, the island has been a popular spot for those wishing to escape from the city and see something new. Home to great restaurants, intriguing boutiques, gorgeous scenery, and outdoor recreation opportunities, Bainbridge Island is a lovely place for a day trip.

- Getting Around - Bainbridge Island is quite a small place, but having a car is a big advantage for visitors who want to get around and see a lot of the island during their day trip. Taking a car is easy with the ferry and it gives you a lot of flexibility, but if you choose not to travel with a vehicle, you can rely on taxis or the island's bus service to get around. Buses leave right from the ferry terminal. You can also choose to rent a bicycle from a company like Classic Cycle or Bike Barn Rentals.

- Best Time to Visit - The weather at Bainbridge Island, like in many other parts of the Pacific Northwest, can vary a lot and be quite unpredictable at times. Since you'll be spending most of your Bainbridge Island day trip outdoors and will want to enjoy the views and scenery, it makes sense to visit at a time of warm temperatures and sunshine. The best time to visit Bainbridge Island is therefore from late spring through to early fall. May and September are particularly good months to visit as the weather is usually quite dry and mild, and the crowds of tourists aren’t too big or distracting.

- Things to Do - There's plenty to do on Bainbridge Island, and your individual day plan will depend on what kind of activities you enjoy the most. Those looking for family fun and relaxation should visit the more than 30 miles of Bainbridge Island beaches and the island's many parks like Fort Ward, Roackaway Beach, and Hidden Cove. Kids will also enjoy the Discovery Museum and KidsUp! Playground. The Bloedel Reserve and Bainbridge Gardens are other highlights of any trip to Bainbridge Island, and the island is home to some lovely boutiques and excellent restaurants too, with the likes of Doc's Marina Grill and the Isla Bonita Restaurant being a couple of examples.

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Bainbridge Island Day Trip



Attraction Spotlight: Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island

If you want to spend quality time with your loved ones or some time on your own to admire nature, the Bloedel Reserve is one of the best places to do this near Seattle. Its classic northwestern woodlands and gardens offer you the opportunity to interact with nature in a calm and quiet way. Visitors and those exploring this place have often referred to it as “forest therapy” as each step helps you to release your inner stress and banish negativity.

Calm and peaceful trails along with huge well-maintained trees and plants create a positive environment. Here you can come and meet new people and explore the woods and greenery together. If you want to connect with yourself in a quiet and natural environment, you should definitely visit the Bloedel Reserve.

The Bloedel Reserve is a famous forest garden on Bainbridge Island, Washington State. Covering a total area of 150 acres, it has many beautiful spots where you can simply relax with your friends and family. The reserve is named after its founders, the Bloedel family. Prentice and Virginia Bloedel wanted to create an authentic Japanese garden, offering a place where people can get close to nature and relax at the same time. The Bloedels took the Japanese influence and gave it a western spin, and while Japanese gardens are famous for their traditional ornaments, the Bloedels gave theirs a different look.

The Bloedel Reserve honors both the conservation movement and Asian philosophy. It offers natural and beautifully landscaped lakes, woods, great lawns, a rhododendron garden, a moss garden, and a reflection garden. The lumber company that created this place hired famous landscape architects Thomas Church and Richards Haag as designers. The Bloedel Reserve also features a rock and sand Zen garden that used to be a pool. In fact, this was once the very same pool in which the great poet Theodore Roethke drowned in 1963.

It also features a French chateau-style home that is preserved to date, allowing you to explore the original and vintage furnishings. It was donated to the University of Washington in 1970 and has been run under a trust since 1985. The Bloedel Reserve has also been called “one of this country’s most original and ambitious gardens” by the New York Times. Moreover, the Journal of Japanese Gardening has named it one of the top ten Japanese gardens in the US.

The Bloedel Reserve has a wide range of gardens, from a beautiful moss garden with soft and rich grass, to a Japanese garden, to a bird marsh and guest house. It is claimed that this is the only garden where one can find almost all the shades of green. This actually might be true as Mr. Bloedel was color blind and paid more attention to shades and textures. You can discover many mesmerizing greens while taking long walks through these woods.

Back to: Day Trips from Seattle, Things to Do on Bainbridge Island

7571 N.E. Dolphin Drive, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110, Phone: 206-842-7631

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Attraction Spotlight: Bainbridge Gardens

Located on Bainbridge Island in Kitsap County, Washington, Bainbridge Gardens is a six-acre historic garden facility offering a plant nursery, cafe, and children’s play area. The history of Bainbridge Gardens traces back to the personal garden of Zenhichi Harui, who relocated to the Island from Japan in 1908 and created a small flower collection of native and non-native plants.

History

Throughout the following decades, Harui’s garden grew to include a variety of sculpted trees, along with pools filled with fish and decorative fountains. The garden was opened for public exploration during the 1930s but deserted during World War II when Harui’s family was forced to leave the country as a result of Japanese-American internment.

Though some care for the gardens was sustained throughout the war internment period, the Harui family returned to find the garden overgrown, which resulted in a split partnership to restore and operate the facility with the Island’s Seko family. In 1957, Harui partnered with John Nakata to building a Town and Country Market building on the property’s eastern section, with an official public Harui Gardens constructed on its western half as a produce gardens and nursery facility that served as the island’s first florist. The facility was redeveloped as Bainbridge Gardens in 1989 by Harui’s son Junkoh, who replenished and rehabilitated the property’s historic Japanese red pine trees.

Attractions

Today, Bainbridge Gardens is owned and operated as a six-acre nursery and public garden facility on Bainbridge Island, offering tourist experiences for visitors and a variety of nature educational public programming. As a family-owned company, the garden center is located on a historic site within the Bainbridge Island community which celebrated its 110th anniversary in 2018. The center’s “Going Green” program is committed to environmentally-friendly policies, including the banning of harmful chemical use and research into sustainable alternatives, which has helped the facility emerge as a regional leader in teaching customers natural methods of garden care.

The six-acre facility offers a variety of attractions for visitors, including three greenhouse facilities stocked with a wide variety of plants for sale and display. The site’s west greenhouse stands 16 by 75 feet, while its east greenhouse stands 22 by 66 feet, with many original and historic elements of the facilities still intact. The middle greenhouse offers a covered and heated dining patio for the center’s New Rose Café, which offers espresso, light lunch fare, and desserts such as cookies and milkshakes. Food and beverages from the cafe may be consumed on site at the restaurant or patio or may be carried throughout the facility’s greenhouses and other attractions while shopping.

A Harui Memorial Garden is showcased within the facility’s garden areas, honoring the Japanese-Americans who were placed in internment camps during World War II. The 55-by-55-foot garden showcases plants native to the early Northwest Japanese landscape, including a Japanese-style garden featuring a trellis gateway, miniature waterway, and bridge. Plants highlighted in the garden include bonsai pine trees, a d’Anjou pear topiary, and the remnants of two red pine trees originally planted by Harui when he arrived on the island. Elements of the garden’s pre- and post-WWII landscape are emphasized to pay tribute to the actions committed against Japanese Americans during the war and the garden’s recovery following Harui’s return.

The facility’s Garden Center Store offers a wide variety of plants, produce, and farm goods for sale, including fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables. Annuals, perennials, and house plants are available for purchase in season, along with a wide variety of home goods and gifts, including candles, greeting cards, and pottery. A children’s play area is also offered for young visitors and families, located near the Memorial Garden.

Ongoing Programs and Events

Public programming is offered at the center on a regular basis, including family gardening and nature workshops and seminars and events with guest speakers. Adult workshops include beekeeping, landscaping, composting, and lawn and soil care courses, while family workshops emphasize hands-on activities to get young participants excited about gardening, nutrition, and environmental care. All courses are taught by certified professionals and center experts, emphasizing sustainable, environmentally-friendly tips and techniques. Many classes offer special offers on garden center merchandise for participants, including discounts on tools necessary to complete class activities and take-home plant offers. Other public special events include seminars, lectures, and special event courses taught by local gardening experts and public personalities, including nature writers and television and radio personalities. The center’s Reforest America One Backyard at a Time program also aims to reforest the Pacific Northwest through the planting of a tree for every child born on Bainbridge Island, offering a western red cedar, douglas fir, or hemlock tree planting in exchange for proof of birth certificate.

9415 Miller Rd NE, Bainbridge Island, WA, Phone: 206-842-5888

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Attraction Spotlight: Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial

Located on Bainbridge Island in Kitsap County, Washington, the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial honors area residents and West Coast Japanese-American citizens who were placed in internment camps during World War II. The history of Japanese immigration to Bainbridge Island dates back to the 1880s, with immigrants seeking jobs in strawberry field harvesting and area sawmill facilities.

History

By the 1940s, a large Japanese-American population had become part of the island’s community. Following the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941, however, the signing of Executive Order 9066 authorized the creation of exclusion areas to transport Japanese-Americans to concentration camps for the duration of the United States’ participation in World War II. Bainbridge Island was designated as the country’s first exclusion area, and in March of 1942, the island’s Japanese-American residents were gathered at the Eagledale Ferry Dock for transport to an internment camp in Manzanar, California. A photograph taken of island resident Fumiko Hayashida and her infant daughter while boarding the transit ferry, published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, became a national symbol of the campaign against and historical remembrance of the internment period.

The island became a voice of resistance during the internment period, with Bainbridge Review editors Walt and Mill Woodward becoming one of the few West Coast newspaper voices to take a public stand against internment. In 1943, Bainbridge Island residents were relocated to the Minidoka Relocation Center, one of 10 major concentration camp facilities along the West Coast. Though concentration camp residents were allowed to return to their homes and lives following the end of the war, remembrance of the period became a cultural touchstone through the phrase Nidoto Nai Yoni, which roughly translates to “let it not happen again.”

As a result of Executive Order 9066’s violation of Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendment constitutional rights, the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 presented apologies and redresses for the actions committed against Japanese-Americans during WWII. Plans for memorials sprung up around the country soon thereafter, including the 1998 formation of the Bainbridge Island World War II Nikkei Internment and Exclusion Memorial Committee for the creation of a memorial at the sites of the former Eagledale Ferry Dock. The organization proposed the construction of a $9 million memorial and interpretive center, which was approved in 2007, with the proposed site area being granted National Monument status. The memorial site, designed by architect Johnpaul Jones, broke ground in March of 2009 and was opened to the public two years later in July of 2011.

Permanent Attractions

Today, the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial is managed by the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community, serving as a unit of the greater Minidoka National Historic Site, which is located in Idaho. The site commemorates the 276 Japanese-Americans who were exiled from the island as part of Executive Order 9066 and serves as a celebration of the island community’s diversity and support of Japanese-American citizens during the war period and today. The memorial is located along Eagle Harbor’s south shore, overlooking the town of Winslow.

A 272-foot wall made of old-growth red cedar, basalt, and granite winds along the harbor’s shoreline, presenting the names of the 276 Japanese-American residents of the island who were imprisoned in concentration camps during the war. Structured as a “story wall,” the memorial winds down to a pier constructed on the site of the former Eagledale Ferry Dock, spanning 150 feet in honor of the 150 residents who returned to Bainbridge Island after internment. The memorial is engraved with the Nidoto Nai Yoni inscription, honoring the island’s commitment to preserving its Japanese-American history and cultural diversity.

The site is part of the island’s 50-acre Pritchard Park, which serves as a public recreational area and natural wildlife refuge for more than 42 species of birds and 40 plant species. A National Parks ranger is on site at the memorial to answer questions and provide additional information. Wayside markers throughout the memorial also elaborate on the history of Japanese-American internment and post-war reparations.

Ongoing Programs and Events

Free guided tours of the facility are offered by appointment for small groups and organizations with a minimum of three weeks’ advance notice. All interested tour groups should contact the Bainbridge Island Historical Society with information about group size and desired date and time of booking. Several annual commemoration events are held at the memorial, including the national annual Day of Remembrance and an Anniversary Commemoration in March presented by the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community. An annual community service and volunteer day is also held at the memorial on the anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066.

4195 Eagle Harbor Dr NE, Bainbridge Island, WA, Phone: 206-855-9038

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