Bainbridge Island for Couples
Bainbridge Island, located in the heart of Puget Sound, is known for its iconic Pacific Northwest beauty and rustic charm. In fact, Bainbridge Island has earned a reputation for couples looking for a getaway. The journey begins with a 35-minute cruise across the Puget Sound, offering spectacular views of the Seattle skyline as you go. There’s wine and beer aboard the ferries. As you approach Bainbridge Island by ferry, you’ll begin to see what all the press is about. Your first glimpse of the quiet harbors, the densely forest hillsides, the homes lining the rocky shoreline, and the rugged peaks of the Olympic Mountains in the background, will be an image forever seared into your mind. After that, the real adventure begins.
Day 1: Get Acquainted with Winslow
Whether you choose to come to Bainbridge via foot, bike, or car, there’s plenty to see and do. As you make your way into downtown Bainbridge, one of the first things you’ll see is the beautiful new Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (BIMA). A showpiece in and of itself, BIMA has a fantastic collection of local, contemporary art from artists in the Kitsap, Puget Sound, and Olympic Peninsula regions. Admission is free, and is definitely worth your time. When you’re done exploring BIMA, continue into downtown Bainbridge. It’s a charming town, well known for its cozy ambiance, quality shops, art galleries, and incredible restaurants. If you liked what you saw at BIMA, make sure to stop in the Bainbridge Arts & Crafts Co-op. It represents the work of more than 250 local artists. It’s a beautiful space to explore, and the backroom exhibit changes monthly.
If the weather is cooperating, we recommend an afternoon on Bainbridge Island’s waterways. Olympic Outdoor Center or Exotic Aquatics rent kayaks and stand-up paddle boards. The gentle waters of Eagle Harbor are an excellent place to start. If the rain gets in your way, you have options. Island Rock Gym is a fantastically fun place to spend an afternoon, and a great place to challenge each other to a little climbing competition. As an added bonus, the rock gym also happens to be right by the island’s micro-brewery, Bainbridge Island Brewing. Stop there for a cold beer afterwards.
When you’re ready to unwind for the evening, grab a beer, a glass of wine, or a cocktail at the Harbour Public House. It’s one of Bainbridge Island’s few establishments for those 21+, and is extremely popular with the locals. You can’t make reservations ahead of time, but they do use the NoWait app — something we recommend, especially on busy summer nights. They also serve up some really great pub food, locally sourced and organic whenever possible.
Day 2: Island Wine Tasting
Start your morning with a leisurely walk on the beach. There are a lot to choose from, but one of the best views of Seattle is from Murden Cove Beach along Manitou Beach Road. There are three dedicated parking spots for beach visitors, so make sure you get there early on weekend mornings. Another popular place for beach walkers, especially at low tide, is Fay Bainbridge Park. Except for the state parks, you’ll need to check the tide tables before you go, and make sure to check the rules for beach walks with your lodging host. Your afternoon will be filled with wine tasting and sightseeing, so take the time to soak up the luxury of a gentle stroll along the beach in the morning hours. It’s a luxury easily taken for granted!
After lunch, it’s time to go wine tasting. Bainbridge Island is home to seven artisanal wineries. Moving from one to the next offers a perfect (and tasty) way to explore the Island. It’s easiest to start from downtown, and work your way around the Island from there. There are three wineries that offer tasting rooms within walking distance of the ferry: Eleven Winery, and Eagle Harbor Wine Company, and Island Vintners, which is both the tasting room for the Amelia Wynn Winery, and an incredible art gallery & cafe worth visiting. The remaining wineries include Rolling Bay Winery, Perennial Vintners, Bainbridge Vineyards, Fletcher Bay Winery, and the south end’s Amelia Wynn Winery. Your tasting adventure wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Bainbridge Island Organic Distillers. It’s home to the World’s Best Vodka, and North America’s Best Wheat Whiskey from 2014. Having the best ingredients makes for the best cocktails. You may want to take a bottle or two home with you for your next cocktail party!
This is a good night to check out Bainbridge Island’s other major neighborhood, Lynwood Center on the south end of the Island. Lynwood Center is anchored by the historic Lynwood Theater, which specializes in indie and foreign films. Next door is Treehouse Café, another Bainbridge staple that has been serving up gourmet pizzas for years. You can also play a game of pool or darts, or order a drink in their bar. They have also become a popular destination for live music, especially during the summer months. Across the street from Treehouse is the Suzanne Maurice Wine Bar, a cozy romantic spot to share glass of wine, or upstairs the beautiful Beach House Bar. From their patio, you’ll enjoy an exquisite view of Rich Passage.
Day 3: Moving Beyond Bainbridge
You can’t experience all that Bainbridge Island has to offer in just two days. However, if you want to head farther afield, there’s also plenty waiting for you beyond the Agate Pass Bridge. Before you leave the Island, there are a couple additional stops you should make. Bloedel Reserve, a 150-acre nature preserve and wildlife sanctuary, is a beautiful place to take a walk. The reserve houses a luxurious estate, a stunning Japanese Garden, a Rhododendron glen, and a native plant garden. Afterwards, track down Bainbridge Island’s famous Frog Rock. It’s nearby, and you won’t want to miss your chance to take a selfie with this local legend.
As you leave the Island, make your way to the historic Norwegian town of Poulsbo. Downtown Poulsbo has a great waterfront to explore, and plenty of boutique shops and art galleries to browse. Grab lunch at the Slippery Pig Brewery, which has a yummy menu and plenty of cold brews to wash it all down. Afterwards, make the 45-minute drive to the Victorian Seaport of Port Townsend for the remainder of the day. There, you can explore wooden boats at the Northwest Maritime Center, take in a show at the Rose Theater, take a hike and explore the beaches and old army installations near Fort Worden State Park, or just enjoy drinks and the view at Pourhouse before heading out to dinner at one of the many great restaurants in town.
The adventure begins when you sail away from Seattle. Bainbridge Island is waiting!