20 Best Things to Do in Bainbridge Island, WA
Bainbridge Island is a small island city on the western side of Washington State. The city is reachable by ferry from Seattle and is known for its beautiful nature, historical and cultural heritage, and stunning views. For those who enjoy getting out into the great outdoors, you will find plenty to do, with beaches, gardens and forest trails all ripe for exploring. Those who are looking for history and culture on their trip will enjoy visits to the various attractions around Bainbridge, such as Tillicum Village, the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum, and the Japanese American Exclusion Memorial. There’s also a wealth of locally produced spirits, wines, and beer with seven artisan wineries, an organic distillery, and a brewery all located on the island. Photo: Photodesign-Deluxe/Fotolia
» Bainbridge Island Museum of Art
The Bainbridge Island Museum of Art is a contemporary art museum with rotating exhibits. The museum has a particular emphasis on local and area artists. The museum exhibits are constantly changing, so check out their website in advance if you want to know what artists are being featured. They often host special events for the community, including family-friendly art-related events, so be on the lookout for that as well. The museum has a small bistro selling breakfast, lunch, coffee, and wine. There’s also a museum store on site, which sells a wide range of merchandise including jewelry, artwork, home decor, pottery, books, and toys.
Contact: 550 Winslow Way E, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110, Phone: 206-842-4451
Photo: Bainbridge Island Museum of Art
» Bainbridge Island Historical Museum
The Bainbridge Island Historical Museum is an area history museum located in a schoolhouse dating from 1908. Exhibits at the museum are related to significant events in local history, including an exhibit on Japanese American internment with accompanying photographs of Manzanar by famed artist Ansel Adams. Other subject matter on display includes the Port Blakely lumber mill, Native American history in the area, the expeditions of the explorers who first mapped the Puget Sound, and the history of Croatian fishermen who settled nearby in the 1800s. The museum is especially kid-friendly, with many interactive and hands-on exhibits that will interest and excite children of all ages.
Contact: 215 Ericksen Avenue NE, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110, Phone: 206-842-2773
Photo: Bainbridge Island Historical Museum
» Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial
The Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial is an outdoor exhibit built to acknowledge and remember the internment of the Japanese American residents of Bainbridge Island. Japanese immigrants settled on Bainbridge Island in the late 1800s and were integral to the operation of sawmills and strawberry farms in the area. Due to the fact that the island is somewhat close to a number of naval bases, 227 Japanese American residents were forced to leave the island during World War II. Most of them were interred in Manzanar, CA. The memorial has a cedar wall with the names of all of those interred. The wall is also decorated with friezes that depict scenes of the events surrounding internment.
Contact: 4195 Eagle Harbor Drive, NE, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110, Phone: 206-855-9038
Photo: Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial
» Bainbridge Gardens
Bainbridge Gardens is a family-owned nursery and garden center located on a historic property on Bainbridge Island. The nursery spans 6 acres and is well stocked with a variety of plants, trees, flowers, bonsai, flower pots, and art for the garden. There is a cafe on site that serves espresso beverages and lunch. There is also a fun play area for kids. If you are looking for souvenirs from your visit, the garden has a large gift shop where you are sure to find some interesting items. From time to time, the gardens offer special classes and events for those who wish to learn more about plants and flowers.
Contact: 9415 Miller Road NE, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110, Phone: 206-842-5888
» Naval Undersea Museum
The United States Naval Undersea Museum is one of ten official museums of the US Navy located around the country. The purpose of the museum is to collect, preserve, and display items related to the history of naval undersea operations for the purpose of educating and benefiting the public as well as the U.S. Navy. The museum has displays related to naval history, marine science, and undersea technologies and has the largest collection of such items in the United States. There is also an interesting exhibit containing a complete set of war patrol reports from the second world war.
Contact: 1 Garnett Way, Keyport, WA 98345, Phone: 360-396-4148
Photo: Naval Undersea Museum
» Suquamish Museum
The Suquamish Museum is located within the Port Madison Indian Reservation and aims to preserve, protect, and display artifacts and documents related to the Suquamish Tribe. Important artifacts include those from the Baba’kwob site and the Old Man House. The museum has two galleries, an auditorium, and a gift shop. There is a large collection of photographs that show what tribal life was like from the 1860s up until now. The main gallery has a permanent exhibit that is called Ancient Shores – Changing Tides, which includes artwork, photographs and historic documents as well as modern and historic handicrafts and multimedia elements. The highlight of the exhibit is a carved canoe that is 300 years old.
Contact: 6861 NE South Street, Suquamish, WA 98392, Phone: 360-394-8499
Photo: Suquamish Museum
»The Harbour Public House
The Harbour Public House is a waterfront restaurant that serves locally sourced American food in a renovated historic home. The restaurant has won several accolades and has appeared on several national news outlets, including the Travel Channel. They have won awards for their hamburgers, beer selection, fish and chips, and more. They host several special dining events each week, including a Sunday roast in the traditional English style. Menu highlights include a selection of local seafood dishes, delicious burgers, and a range of bar food and appetizers such as tuna and oyster sliders, quesadillas, hummus with veggies, fried calamari, and nachos.
Contact: 232 Parfitt Way SW, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110, Phone: 206-842-0969
Photo: The Harbour Public House
Tillicum Village is a tourist attraction on Blake Island in the Puget Sound. The island is designated as a state park and is only reachable by boat. An excursion to the village takes about 4 hours and includes a visit to the village’s longhouse, where visitors are given traditional food to try, served by staff in Northwest Coastal Native tribal apparel. There is tribal art on display throughout the longhouse. During your visit you will get to see a traditional cooking demonstration and then be able to enjoy a buffet meal. There is then a performance that includes filmed storytelling by a native from a local tribe and a dance performance by dancers wearing traditional masks. After the cultural experiences, you can explore the area’s beaches and trails.
Contact: Blake Island, Port Orchard, WA 98366, Phone: 206-623-1445
Blackbird Bakery is a family-owned and operated bakery and coffee shop serving seriously delicious coffee sourced from Herkimer Coffee Roasting Company, which is known for their ethical and sustainable practices. The menu includes tasty treats such as pastries, pies, tarts, and seasonal cakes. However, if you are looking for heartier fare, they also serve a small lunch menu, which is entirely vegetarian and includes soups, quiche, flatbreads, and savory tarts. If you find yourself missing it after you leave, you wouldn't be the first. As such, the bakery ships their specialty granola and t-shirts all across the country.
Contact: 210 Winslow Way East, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110, Phone: 206-780-1322
Photo: Blackbird Bakery
»Blake Island State Park
Blake Island State Park is a 475-acre park on Blake Island in the Puget Sound. The park is a popular recreational area with many activities and is primarily known as a destination for blue waters, natural beaches, peaceful hiking trails, and great views of both the city and Mount Rainier. There are both day-use facilities and campgrounds, so whether you want to come for a day or a week there are options for you. The island is accessible only by tour or private boat. The public marina has space for about 40 boats and offers overnight moorage.
Contact: Manchester, WA 98353, Phone: 360-731-8330
Photo: David Webber/Fotolia
The Bloedel Reserve is a 150-acre forest reserve and garden that offers a peaceful and tranquil escape into nature. The reserve has twelve individual and unique gardens designed to have visitors immerse themselves in nature. There are no signs, directions, plant identification tags, or anything of the like as the gardens are meant to be as natural and peaceful as possible. You’ll find everything from a bird marsh with abundant wildlife to an award-winning Japanese-style garden. The gardens are open year round and visitors should be prepared to spend at least 2 hours here in order to get the full experience.
Contact: 7571 N. Dolphin Drive, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110, Phone: 206-842-7631
Photo: Knim Adobe Stock/Fotolia
»Fay Bainbridge Park
Fay Bainbridge Park is a locally owned park and recreational area on the island’s northeastern tip, covering 17 acres of land inclusive of 1,400 feet of shoreline on the Puget Sound. Popular activities include spending time on the beach, camping, and enjoying the amazing views. From the park you get not only great views of the sound, but also views of the Cascade Mountains, Mount Baker, and Mount Rainier. For those who wish to spend the night, there are 15 tent camping sites. There are also campsites that are dedicated for use by kayakers as the park is a stop on the Cascadia Marine Trail.
Contact: 15446 Sunrise Drive NE, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110, Phone: 206-842-3931
»Fort Ward Park
Fort Ward Park was formerly designated as a state park, and prior to that the land was used as a military base named Fort Ward. The park sits on the Rich Passage at the island’s southern end, where it occupies 137 acres of mostly dense forest and underbrush. The area is incredibly beautiful, with views including the Olympic Mountains and the Rich Passage. Marine wildlife is abundant in the park. Popular activities including fishing, boating, picnicking, birdwatching, clamming, and scuba diving. Additionally, there are multi-use trails that can be used for jogging, biking, and walking. The park has a public boat ramp and two picnic areas, including one on the beach.
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Heydey Farm is a family-owned and operated historical farm that occupies 25 acres of the island. The farm grows and sells freshly farmed food and offers a variety of farm experiences to the general public as well as culinary classes and retreats. The farm practices sustainable farming techniques and believes in producing healthy and delicious food. The farm is an active, working farm and features a farm kitchen, historical farm house, creamery, gardens, and pastureland for animals to graze. They have a store in Lynwood Center, which sells their farm fresh eggs, meat, fruit, and vegetables. The farm house operates as an inn, with rooms available for overnight reservations.
Contact: 4370 Old Mill Road NE, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110, Phone: 206-201-1770
Photo: Heydey Farm
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»Illahee State Park
Illahee State Park is a 75-acre park located on Port Orchard Bay near the town of Bremerton. The bay is a small section of the Puget Sound and the park has a prime stretch of beachfront. Much of the park is covered with dense forest and the beaches are covered with shells, giving the entire place a distinctly natural feel. Popular activities include fishing, harvesting shellfish, crabbing, swimming, diving, watersports, and kayaking. The park has a variety of facilities available to visitors, including a playground for kids, picnic shelters with electricity, sports fields, and more. The park also has a war veteran’s memorial dedicated to two local veterans who died in World War I.
Contact: 3540 NE Sylvan Way, Bremerton, WA 98310, Phone: 360-478-6460
Photo: Zack Frank/Fotolia
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» Kids Discovery Museum
The Kids Discovery Museum is a children’s museum offering interactive and hands-on exhibits related to science and the arts. The museum is based on education through play and experiential learning and has a number of hands-on installations that are designed for sensory exploration for visitors of all ages. Exhibits include a miniature town with electric cars, a grocery store and a bank, the Science and Literacy Hall with science-related exhibits, and Totally Tot, which is a Waldorf-inspired play space designed especially for visitors under 30 months old. The museum has an outdoor playground and climbing wall available all year, with water play in the summer.
Contact: 301 Ravine Lane NE, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110, Phone: 206-855-4650
Photo: Kids Discovery Museum
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»Manchester State Park
Manchester State Park is a is a beautiful 111-acre state park set on the shores of Rich Passage. The park has 2 miles of trails and is popular among hikers. The old brick torpedo warehouse is an intriguing feature that is of interest to military and maritime enthusiasts. It is also quite photogenic, making it a popular backdrop for weddings and other events. The main feature that draws people to the park, however, is the 3,400-foot-long beach, which is popularly used for swimming, diving, and kayaking. Other facilities available for visitor use include a horseshoe pit and volleyball court.
Contact: 7767 E. Hilldale Road, Port Orchard, WA 98366, Phone: 360-871-4065
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Bainbridge Organic Distillers is a small-batch distillery that crafts organic spirits including whiskey, vodka, and gin. The distillery is family operated and has been in business since 2009. They were the first distillery in the state to produce USDA Certified Organic spirits and still remain the only distillery to hand-make their organic spirits from scratch, on site. They also work with local producers as much as possible in sourcing their ingredients. Tastings and tours are available. The tours are led by knowledgeable tour guides who teach visitors about the distilling process and all of the different spirits produced on site.
Contact: 9727 Coppertop Loop NE #101, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110, website, Phone: 206-842-3184
Photo: Bainbridge Distillers
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»Bainbridge Island Brewing
Bainbridge Brewing is an independent craft brewery that produces original and imaginative beer using high-quality ingredients, and also brew a hard cider made from local Washington apples. The brewery has an on-site tap room designed to evoke the feeling of a historical pub. The brewery is kid-friendly, and pets are welcome provided they are on leashes and well behaved. The craft brewery and tap room is open 7 days a week. Snacks are available, and several food trucks and other mobile food vendors serve food in front of the taproom for you to enjoy along with your beer or hard cider.
Contact: 9415 Coppertop Loop NE, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110, website, Phone: 206-451-4646
Photo: Bainbridge Island Brewing
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Eleven Winery is a boutique winery producing a large variety of wines. They focus their production largely on offbeat varieties such as Syrah, Malbec, Petit Verdot, pinot grigio, and several other varieties. The tasting room is conveniently located just off of the ferry terminal. The winery staff love answering questions about wine and helping novice tasters learn about wines and discover their favorites. On weekends the winery is open for tours, and on select weekends all of the wineries on the island open for tours at the same time. You’ll definitely want to take some wine home with you after all of that tasting, and the winery can certainly fix you up with a few bottles.
Contact: 287 Winslow Way E, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110, Phone: 206-780-0905
Photo: Eleven Winery
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20 Best Things to Do in Bainbridge Island, WA
- Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, Photo: Bainbridge Island Museum of Art
- Bainbridge Island Historical Museum, Photo: Bainbridge Island Historical Museum
- Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial, Photo: Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial
- Bainbridge Gardens, Photo: Courtesy of sylv1rob1 - Fotolia.com
- Naval Undersea Museum, Photo: Naval Undersea Museum
- Suquamish Museum, Photo: Suquamish Museum
- The Harbour Public House, Photo: The Harbour Public House
- Tillicum Village, Photo: Courtesy of EvgeniiAnd - Fotolia.com
- Blackbird Bakery, Photo: Blackbird Bakery
- Blake Island State Park, Photo: Courtesy of David Webber - Fotolia.com
- Bloedel Reserve, Photo: Courtesy of Knim Adobe Stock - Fotolia.com
- Fay Bainbridge Park, Photo: Courtesy of Laurens - Fotolia.com
- Fort Ward Park, Photo: Courtesy of vrabelpeter1 - Fotolia.com
- Heydey Farm, Photo: Heydey Farm
- Illahee State Park, Photo: Courtesy of Zack Frank - Fotolia.com
- Kids Discovery Museum, Photo: Kids Discovery Museum
- Manchester State Park, Photo: Courtesy of Chris - Fotolia.com
- Bainbridge Distillers, Photo: Bainbridge Distillers
- Bainbridge Island Brewing, Photo: Bainbridge Island Brewing
- Eleven Winery, Photo: Eleven Winery
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of Photodesign-Deluxe - Fotolia.com
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