There are so many fun things to do in Bainbridge Island. It’s perfect for a romantic date, a peaceful and restorative getaway, or an outdoor adventure. Plus, Bainbridge Island is one of the easiest day trips to take from Seattle since it’s just a short ferry ride across the Puget Sound.
A quirky and fun downtown, a myriad of wineries, waterfront parks, and historic sights mean there are plenty of ways to spend an entertaining day on Bainbridge Island.
As a bonus, much of Bainbridge Island can be enjoyed for free and cheap, so Seattle budget travelers can add this excursion to their itinerary too.
Keep reading to learn about all the best things there are to do on this island in the Sound!
Table of Contents
- 16 Best Things to Do in Bainbridge Island
- Bainbridge Island Museum of Art
- Eleven Winery
- Fort Ward Park
- Bainbridge Island Historical Museum
- Bloedel Reserve
- Blackbird Bakery
- Battle Point Park
- Heyday Farm
- Fay Bainbridge Park
- Japanese American Exclusion Memorial
- Grand Forest
- Bainbridge Brewing
- Kids Discovery Museum
- The Labyrinth Mosiac and Halls Hill Lookout
- Bainbridge Organic Distillery
- FAQs About What to Do on Bainbridge Island
Disclosure: Travel Lemming is an independent reader-supported blog. You can support us by purchasing via the affiliate links on this page, which may earn us commissions. Thank you!
16 Best Things to Do in Bainbridge Island
Explore shops, restaurants, wineries, and cafes in the Bainbridge Island downtown district
Winslow is probably where you’ll spend most of your time on the island. It’s a ten-minute walk from the ferry terminal, and full of many of the best things to do on Bainbridge Island.
Don’t skip a visit to Mora Iced Creamery, which has the most delicious hand-churned ice cream and tangy sorbet. If you’re in the mood for cocktails, Isla Bonita makes a mean (and generously-sized) margarita. Go to Town and Country Market if you’re planning on having a picnic in the park. They have all the bread, cheeses and drinks you’ll need.
As far as dining goes, two popular choices are Harbour Public House, a waterfront restaurant with new American fare, and Proper Fish, which serves up great local seafood dishes.
Get curious and explore all the little nooks and crannies and shops in the area. Winslow is full of fun surprises, and exploring it should be at the top of all first-time visitors’ lists.
⛴️ How to Get to Bainbridge Island: The quickest way to get to Bainbridge Island is via the Bainbridge Island ferry from downtown Seattle. You can walk, bike, or drive onto the ferry, though you’ll pay for the departure and return trip if you drive. You don’t need to make a reservation to ride the ferry, and you can get your ticket right from the terminal. Just make sure you arrive early since this is a popular route and the ferry lines fill up fast! You can check the ferry times and plan your trip further here.
Bainbridge Island Museum of Art
Admire contemporary art by talented local artists
The Bainbridge Island Museum of Art is a contemporary art museum with a variety of creative museum exhibits. The museum is small and intimate. Inside you’ll find a permanent and rotating collection of paintings, sculptures, fabric art, and more by local and area artists.
BIMA’s exhibits rotate fairly regularly, which means you’ll get a taste of something new on return trips. Make a summer visit a priority because the museum hosts a new summer art market series where you can purchase goods directly from independent makers.
Admission to the Bainbridge art museum is free, and it’s located in Winslow which makes it incredibly easy to get to.
Sip delicious wine in a comfortable, relaxed environment
Wine tasting is one of the best things to do on Bainbridge Island, and there are plenty of wineries to make this possible. Eleven Winery is one of the best on Bainbridge Island. They have two locations, but their tasting room is walking distance from the ferry terminal, so it’s a great one to start with.
The atmosphere at Eleven is casual and laid back. Eleven Winery emphasizes a relaxing and welcoming environment so even non-regular wine drinkers can feel at ease. Both the tasting room and the winery are small and intimate with indoor and outdoor seating, and their flights are reasonably priced. You can sample a good mix of reds, whites, rose, and dessert wines here with a friendly staff to answer questions or offer suggestions.
As a bonus, if you happen to bike to their Winery on Day Road Winery (about five miles north of Winslow) you’ll get a free wine tasting! This is a way for the owner (an avid cyclist) to support fellow bikers.
👉 Love Wine? There are plenty of other top-rated wineries in Winslow and throughout the island. Fletcher Bay Winery, Eagle Harbor Winery, and Bainbridge Island Vineyards are just a few other options for the wine-loving crowd. To get the best experience of Bainbridge Island wine-tasting, I recommend booking an all-inclusive wine and dinner tour. Do this so you don’t have to worry about transportation, can enjoy multiple flights, get a chance to meet some winemakers, and enjoy a tasty meal.
Fort Ward Park
Walk, bike, or picnic in a 137-acre military base turned public park
On the southwest side of Bainbridge Island is Fort Ward Park, a 130-acre park that’s the perfect setting for a peaceful and relaxing outing. The main trail is paved, so it’s fully accessible and a popular place for walking, biking, and jogging. The trail also leads you along the waterfront where you can watch ferries making their way to Bremerton along Rich Passage.
Picnic tables and grills are available for afternoon excursions and meet-ups, and if you want to get out on the water you can use the hand boat launch area. Want to take it a step further and get in the water? The park has a naval undersea museum, the perfect place for scuba divers who want to brave the chilly Puget Sound waters.
If you’re in the mood for more exploring, you can search for the old gun batteries from when Fort Ward was a military base nearly 65 years ago
Bainbridge Island Historical Museum
Learn about the island’s fascinating history in a converted schoolhouse
The Bainbridge Island Historical Museum is small, but it’s jam-packed with so much information about Bainbridge Island that history buffs will easily get sucked in. This free-to-enter museum is located in an old school house in Winslow and there’s plenty to see.
The museum thoroughly covers a wide range of topics including the forced internment of the island’s Japanese residents during World War II, the lives of the original Suqauamish inhabitants, the island’s rich military history, and its creation of pickleball to name a few. If you have additional questions while exploring the exhibits there are museum docents on site to provide further insight.
👉 Want More History?: Though it’s located outside of Bainbridge Island on the Port Madison Indian Reservation, a trip to the Suquamish Museum is a worthwhile one. The Suquamish Museum features exhibits, films, artifacts, and an abundance of information to help you understand the Native American history of the greater Seattle region.
Wander through a historic reserve with beautiful, immersive gardens
📍 Google Maps | Phone: (206) 842-7631 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 5 pm daily, Closed Mondays | Entrance: $20, adults, $10 students (13-18), $5, children (5-12), free, children 4 and under | 👉 Book a Bloedel Reserve Tour
The most beautiful part of Bainbridge Island is the Bloedel Reserve. This meticulously maintained garden is one of the best and least crowded botanical gardens to visit in Washington state. Because it’s so well-kept, the Bloedel Reserve is breathtaking year round, even on rainy days.
Timed tickets are required to enter, so purchase them online before you visit. When you arrive, you’ll take a journey through grounds featuring several different gardens including a traditional Japanese garden, a moss garden, a reflection pool, a rhododendron glen, and more.
The Bloedel Reserve is on the north side of Bainbridge Island, and while it’s possible to take a bus here, it’s much easier if you drive. If you don’t want to rent a car, I highly recommend booking a Bloedel Reserve Tour. This tour also includes a picnic at Fay Bainbridge Park, so you’ll get to experience another great part of Bainbridge if you do this!
Sample fresh, seasonal baked goods at a popular island staple
Blackbird Bakery is a Bainbridge Island gem, a regular destination for both Bainbridge Island residents and visitors. If you’re coming to the island in the morning, this is the best place to start your excursion. If you plan to leave Bainbridge Island before it closes, this should be your last stop before hopping on the ferry.
The bakery has a multitude of offerings: croissants, bread, quiches, and cakes, all cooked with fresh, seasonal ingredients to guarantee the best flavors. And in true Pacific Northwest fashion, they also offer a range of coffee drinks. Can’t choose because of all the tasty-looking treats? The toast and jam gets top reviews from nearly everyone that tries it, and their potato quiche is superb.
Battle Point Park
Hang out at a huge community park with large meadows, recreational activities, and an astronomy center
If you can only visit one park on Bainbridge Island, let it be Battle Point Park, which has a little something for everyone. There are expansive playgrounds and huge, open fields for picnics and ultimate frisbee. If you’re looking for recreation options, there are tennis and basketball courts, along with spots for roller hockey, disc golf, and pickleball (which was invented on Bainbridge Island!).
Battle Point Park sits on the west side of Bainbridge Island, and its northern end has ponds teeming with ducks. Walkers have plenty of trails to choose from, one of which even leads to the Grand Forest.
One final thing that makes this park super cool? The astronomy center within the park hosts star parties, classes, and other events.
Visiting the naval radio station turned park is one of the best things to do on Bainbridge Island if you like outdoor recreation, connecting with the community, or just need a fun place to spend the day with friends and family.
🐸 Fun Fact: While wandering the island, you’ll see a ton of frog art and sculptures. It all started with the original frog rock, which was painted by high schoolers in the 70s. Since then, it’s become a cherished Bainbridge Island landmark (with its ladybug friend added a few years later).
Bainbridge Island Downtown Association eventually hosted a fundraiser and art project that brought many more artistically decorated frogs to the island. Now, there are tons of decorated frogs, recreations of the original frog rock (including one near the playground at Battle Point Park), and, of course, the original Frog Rock, which can be found at the intersection of Spargur, Phelps, and Madison. Go for a fun photo op!
Splurge on a fresh, farm-to-table meal in an intimate farmhouse
📍 Google Maps | Phone: (206) 201-1770 | Hours (farmhouse dinners): 4:30 pm – 9:30 pm Thursday-Friday, Closed Sunday-Wednesday
People enjoying Bainbridge Island on a date should check out HeyDay Farm. It’s one of the best things to do on Bainbridge Island if you want to splurge on a nice meal, and a great way to support Bainbridge Island farmers.
Make a reservation for a Thursday or Friday night dinner and prepare to be wowed. The restaurant is in the farmhouse, and the setting is both cozy and romantic. The menu changes seasonally, but the ingredients they use are all fresh and local, and many are sourced from their garden. The chef doesn’t hold back with the meals he prepares and always makes flavorful, creative dishes.
In addition to dining at the restaurant, you can also visit the HeyDay farm store (open daily), where they sell baked goods, merchandise, and some of the best sandwiches on Bainbridge Island.
Fay Bainbridge Park
Visit or camp in a family-friendly beach park with pretty mountain views
If you’re set on getting outdoors when on Bainbridge Island, then Fay Bainbridge Park is a good destination. Take a day trip to this park on the north side of the island, or book a campsite to enjoy it for a weekend. The park amenities and picnic shelters are great for both large and small groups.
Unlike many PNW beaches, Fay Bainbridge Park has a sandy beach. Wander around all the driftwood “sculptures,” and soak up views of the cascade mountains, Mount Rainier, and Mount Baker on a clear day. You’ll spot a lot of marine life while wandering the beach at low tide like sand dollars and teeny crabs. The waterfront park is also especially pretty at sunset and sunrise.
This is a family-friendly spot, and kids will love the giant pirate ship playground structure. Dogs are also welcome both on the trails and the beach.
Japanese American Exclusion Memorial
Visit a somber memorial detailing the history of the island’s Japanese American residents
The Japanese American Exclusion Memorial is a somber yet beautiful destination on Bainbridge Island. This outdoor exhibit tells the story of the Japanese Americans who were forced into internment camps during World War II through a series of wood panels.
The memorial winds along a path leading to the Eagle Harbor viewpoint, and features plaques throughout with the stories, names, and quotes from the Japanese Americans forced to leave their homes. You’ll see origami paper cranes strung throughout and can leave some of your own as well.
Entry to the memorial is free year-round, so you can come at any point. However, the most beautiful time to visit is when all of the cherry blossoms planted throughout the grounds are in full bloom in late March through early April.
Hike through a peaceful, old-growth forest on beginner-friendly trails
The Grand Forest is the best place to hike on Bainbridge Island. Grand Forest has about 8 miles of hiking trails that extend through three parcels of land.
There are loop trails and ones that lead from one parcel to the next. One trail connects Battle Point Park to West Grand Forest, and others connect the West and East Grand Forest. All the different trail options make it easy to choose the length of the trail you want to tackle.
This is a great hike for beginners since the trails are mostly flat and are well-maintained. The hike will take you through a gorgeous Pacific Northwest old-growth forest, where you’ll be surrounded by firs, cedars, and other moss-covered trees. Dogs are allowed on the trails, and this is a good hike for kids.
Try a variety of craft beers at Bainbridge Island’s stand-out brewery
Beer-lovers should make their way to Bainbridge Brewing to sample some seriously good beer. This independent craft brewery has two locations on the island. Their brewery and taproom are in Coppertop Park, an area north of Winslow with a few other businesses. Their other location is an alehouse in Winslow, not far from the ferry terminal.
Go to the brewery and taproom if you’re able to spend some leisurely time on the island. It’s a decent-sized brewery with pinball and video games on the top floor and food trucks available outside. There are also several other businesses near this location, including a winery, distillery, and climbing gym.
Go to Bainbridge Brewing Alehouse if your time is limited. The alehouse is only open to those 21 and over, and is dog-friendly with board games and light food offerings.
Whichever spot you choose, you’re guaranteed the same things at Bainbridge Island Brewing: delicious, cold brews and a laid back, friendly atmosphere.
🛎️ Need a Hotel? Since Winslow is the heart of all the activity on Bainbridge Island, I recommend booking a stay at Eagle Harbor Inn for a Bainbridge Island overnight stay. It’s within walking distance to Bainbridge Brewing Alehouse, wineries, museums, shops, and great dining, and the inn itself is charming and cozy with pretty water views.
Kids Discovery Museum
Take kids to an interactive museum for hours of play
📍 Google Maps | Phone: (206) 855-4650 | Website | Hours: 9 am – 4 pm, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday-Sunday, 1 pm – 5 pm Monday & Friday, Closed Wednesdays | Entrance: $9, adults and children, free, infants under 12 months
Taking a family trip with young kids to Bainbridge Island? The Kids Discovery Museum is one place you’ll want to visit. This interactive and discovery-focused museum is on the small side, but it makes up for it by being packed with different experiences that kids 7 and under will thoroughly enjoy.
They have different themed rooms (the store and the bank are both popular with kids), and the museum has free, themed art nights on the 1st Friday of the month for Artwalk. Because KiDiMu is close to the ferry terminal, it’s also a good place to go on a Bainbridge Island day trip as a way to get kids out of the house on a rainy day.
The Labyrinth Mosiac and Halls Hill Lookout
Reflect and meditate at a small park full of public art
Visit this little Bainbridge Island gem for a quick, but peaceful excursion. The Labyrinth Mosaic and Halls Hill Lookout is a small outdoor space that overlooks Blakely Harbor. It features a variety of public art created by different artists and is meant to inspire peace and reflection.
The most well-known of these art pieces is the labyrinth maze, which was created from stones the artist found on the island’s beaches. There is also a prayer wheel, carved fence posts, a covered wood swing, and several other outdoor art pieces for the public to enjoy.
Bainbridge Organic Distillery
Savor a tasty flight of organic spirits at a family-run distillery
Bainbridge Organic Distillery is a small, family-owned business that makes a variety of incredible spirits. Serious spirit-lovers should make a stop here.
Visit their tasting room in the Coppertop Park plaza and try a flight of gin, whiskey, and vodka. All of their spirits are prepared onsite and are 100% organic, which helps enhance the taste.
After tasting, you can grab a bottle of your favorite drinks (the whiskey is particularly popular). The staff is both knowledgeable and friendly and willing to talk at length about their process.
What to explore beyond Bainbridge Island? Bookmark some of my other Washington guides on things to do in other cities next:
- Things to Do in Seattle
- Things to Do in Washington State
- Things to do in Tacoma
- Things to do in Bellevue
FAQs About What to Do on Bainbridge Island
How do I spend a day on Bainbridge Island?
You can spend a day in Bainbridge Island in downtown Winslow, exploring shops and restaurants and hanging out with the locals. You can also head north to check out the Bloedel Reserve or spend time in popular parks like Fay Bainbridge or Fort Ward to enjoy leisurely walks and Puget Sound, Olympic Mountains, or Mount Rainier views.
What can you enjoy at Bainbridge Island?
There are a lot of things you can enjoy on Bainbridge Island. There are parks with accessible hiking trails, art, history, and kid-friendly museums, unique local stores for shopping, wineries, and a good mix of restaurants and cafes on Bainbridge Island.
Can you walk around Bainbridge Island?
You can walk around Bainbridge Island, specifically in downtown Winslow, the town closest to the ferry terminal. For further exploration of the parks, some wineries, and other sights, you’ll want to bring a car for your Bainbridge Island trip.
How long is the ferry ride from Seattle to Bainbridge Island?
The ferry ride from downtown Seattle to Bainbridge Island takes around 35 minutes.
Now you’re ready to hop on the Bainbridge Island ferry, soak up those Olympic Mountain views on the ride, and explore one of the best places in Washington State! What are you most looking forward to when you visit Bainbridge Island? Let me know in the comments.
I hope I’ve helped you discover some of the best things to do on Bainbridge Island!
Help us help you travel better!
Your feedback really helps ...
What did you like about this post? Or how can we improve it to help you travel better?