Looking for a fun day trip getaway on Bainbridge Island? If so, you have come to the right place.
From amazing places to craft beer to locations with a beautiful forest setting, Bainbridge Island is the fresh air destination you need to visit to forget about the demands of modern life.
There are several vacation rentals and places to stay at Bainbridge Island, but what if you just want to take a day trip and explore the island without a car?
In this guide, I’ll share with you my personal experience to guide you through the best 9 things to do on Bainbridge Island without a car.
How to Get to Bainbridge Island Without A Car
In order to get to Bainbridge Island without a car, you’ll need to head to the Seattle Ferry Terminal at Colman Dock to catch the Bainbridge Ferry, operated by Washington State Ferries (WSF), a division of the Washington State Department of Transportation.
The ferry from Seattle and Bainbridge Island will take you on an unforgettable trip through Puget Sound in the Pacific Northwest.
Since you are not taking a car with you, this is the most convenient method for taking a day trip to Bainbridge Island – you can even take a bike with you or find bike rentals near the ferry terminal on the island.
In my opinion, a Bainbridge Island day trip is plenty of time explore many of the great things the island has to offer.
WSF vessels leave at 45 to 60-minute intervals every day. The length of the trip is, on average, 35 minutes.
Adults (from 19 to 64 years old) pay $9.45, senior citizens (64+ years old) pay $4.70, and young passengers (18 and younger) are free of charge.
How to Get Around Bainbridge Island Without a Car
To get around Bainbridge Island during your day trip, you have three options:
- Walk: Many of the great things to do on Bainbridge Island are within walking distance of the ferry terminal. You can simply walk from one point to another, unless you want to explore a destination located far away.
- Bus: The public bus system on Bainbridge Island is phenomenal, and it is a great way for any walk-on passenger on the ferry to explore some of the fun locations of the island.
- Bikes: Bike rentals can be spotted near the terminal right after disembarking from the ferry. For example, the Bike Barn Rental offers different rental rates for road, electric, and hybrid bikes. Likewise, it is possible to bring your own bike with you on all Washington State ferries free of charge.
9 Things to Do on Bainbridge Island Without a Car
The trip between Seattle and Bainbridge Island is one of the best ferry rides in Seattle. From Grand Forest to lovely beach settings, the natural and historical wonders of this island will keep you entertained all day long.
Let’s discover the absolute best things to do in Bainbridge Island, even if you can’t take a car with you!
1. Enjoy the Ferry Ride from Seattle to Bainbridge Island
The first wonderful experience that you’ll have will take place before you arrive at Bainbridge Island.
The ferry ride from downtown Seattle to the island is a magical experience that is worth witnessing.
Enjoy the views of the Olympic Mountains and the mind-blowing Seattle skyline while you go. I recommend you leave early in the morning (check ferry schedules) so you can make the best out of your trip when you visit Bainbridge Island.
2. Explore the Winslow Way
Winslow is one of the artsiest, most charming, and most original towns that you’ll see. Winslow Way is Bainbridge Island’s main business point (check out the Winslow Way Map here).
Here you will find charming shops, great restaurants, and a few blocks of interesting things to explore that will make you want to never leave Bainbridge Island.
My recommendation is to go to Blackbird Bakery if you want to have a sweet treat and nice coffee. Or, if you want to eat proper fish, then go to Proper Fish (straight-to-the-point name, isn’t it?). There, you will find delicious food and lovely people ready to serve you.
3. Go to Wineries or Breweries On Bainbridge Island
I absolutely love wine and beer, and there are a couple of great tasting rooms on Bainbridge Island that you can’t miss.
If you are into beer or wine tasting like me, then you can’t miss the opportunity to visit any of these four places:
- Fletcher Bay Winery: Here you have two options. You can do a tour and tasting at Coppertop Winery where Fletcher Bay Winery makes their wines or, if you only want to taste, you can visit their Winslow Tasting Room, the closest wine tasting room from the ferry dock.
- Eagle Harbor Winery: At Eagle Harbor, you can walk the beautiful waterfront trail in front of the winery, or you can sit and people watch while enjoying a glass of their small batch wine on their covered outdoor patio.
- Bainbridge Brewing: The iconic Bainbridge Brewing is a must stop on for beer lovers visiting Bainbridge Island. You can visit their brewery and taproom at Coppertop Park or enjoy a bite and brew at the Bainbridge Brewing Alehouse in downtown Winslow.
- Eleven Winery: Stop by the Eleven Winery tasting room, located in downtown Winslow and a 10 minute walk from the ferry, and try a flight or a glass of their delicious wines.
4. Explore Gazzam Lake Nature Preserve
Endless natural landscapes and beautiful walking trails are waiting for you at Gazzam Lake Nature Preserve.
The Gazzam Lake is just 1.4 miles around, so you can quickly explore it before continuing your journey.
Keep in mind that wildlife inside the preserve, such as owls and other animals, should be respected at all times.
This place is beautiful and living proof that you don’t need a car to enjoy Bainbridge Island.
5. Go to the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art
The Bainbridge Island Museum of Art is a must-go place located right next to the ferry terminal.
At this small museum, you will see many art pieces that evoke old feelings from American history. It has unique exhibits from local artists, and the best part is that admission to the museum is entirely free.
6. Hike Through the Fay Bainbridge Park
The Fay Bainbridge Park is a must-explore public recreation area at the northeast tip of Bainbridge Island. Here you can hike and enjoy the shoreline of Puget Sound.
The park’s rocky beach is beautiful, and although you can’t see the sunset because the park faces east, there are still great things to witness.
For instance, you can see part of downtown Seattle and the magnificent Mt. Rainier rising above the landscape from many spots in the park.
7. Go to Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial
In 1942, a horrible event took place on Bainbridge Island – Japanese families were forced to leave the island just because they had Japanese ancestry.
This unfortunate moment in US history is remembered with shame, and although the Japanese people have forgiven the Americans, they will most likely never forget it.
The Japanese American Exclusion Memorial is a place that educates people regarding this dark subject of our history.
The Japanese American Exclusion Memorial is located 3.8 miles from the Ferry Terminal, so you’ll probably want to take the bus to get there.
8. Discover the Bloedel Reserve
The Bloedel Reserve is a 150-acre wonder of nature that expresses the history and ancestry of Bainbridge Island.
The area is considered a sacred ancestral territory that only a few can explore – daily availability is limited, and you must make reservations if you want to visit the reserve.
Tickets to visit the Bloedel Reserve range from $5 for children to $22 for adults.
9. Go Hiking at Fort Ward Park
This list ends with a marine park that everyone who visits Bainbridge Island should go to – Fort Ward Park.
Here, scuba divers, hikers, and outdoor lovers will have a lot of fun exploring everything the park has to offer.
Camping at Fort Ward Park is allowed, but keep in mind campsites are offered on a first come, first serve basis and for paddle craft users only.
Our adventure is coming to an end – Bainbridge Island has several worth-exploring locations that everyone can enjoy, even if you don’t have a car!
Fortunately, moving around with a bike, by walking, or by using the bus system on Bainbridge Island is as easy as it gets.