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Bainbridge Island’s Delightful South End

Bainbridge Island’s south end was once a bustling hub, busier than Winslow with economic centers at Lynwood Center and Port Blakely and protective military base at Fort Ward. Now, the peaceful avenues, sheltered coves, and local watering holes are ideal places for idyllic vacations.

On a rise above the protected southwestern shoreline of Bainbridge Island lies the Bainbridge Island Beach Cottage, overlooking Rich Passage. The well-appointed cottage is a stroll away from the turn-of-the-twentieth-century holiday hub at Lynwood Center where day-trippers and holiday-makers once would dine at the Lynwood Cafeteria, enjoy ball games and plays and theater. Book early and take advantage of seasonal specials.

Lynwood Centre is now home of the historic Lynwood Theatre, a wonderful new bakery and deli called Pane d’Amore (try their croissant-based bread pudding for a slice of heaven), and Tree House Cafe and Billiards (we recommend 3-T Pizza and Spinach Salad), and Bay Massage and Skin Care. Not much farther afield are two more island restaurants and Walt’s Grocery. For a lovely flat bike ride (rare on Bainbridge Island) or a stroll, go south along the waterfront to Ft. Ward Park.

On the southeastern side of Bainbridge Island is another experience entirely. Tucked into the forest and a short walk away from the waterfront at Rockaway Beach is the Guesthouse at Wacky Nut Farm Equestrian Center. The Guesthouse not only serves the environmentally-friendly 20-acre equestrian center, but also welcomes guests who love the proximity of woods and sea as well as beautifully groomed grounds and thoughtfully-designed facilities.

Every detail is specifically designed at Wacky Nut Farm Equestrian Center for the health of the horses, equestrians, guests, and environment.  Attend riding clinics in the covered arena with state-of-the-art footing, ride trails, take lessons, or just enjoy walks on the miles of trails through the forest. The guesthouse may be rented by the room or in its entirety.  Equestrians will want to check their clinic schedule at their website (see below).

Enjoy the beauty of Bainbridge Island’s southern reaches – ideal for bike riding, hiking, riding, leisurely walking and incredible vistas.

• For more information on Bainbridge Island Beach Cottage, call (206) 999-9655 or email:  bibeachcottage@gmail.com.

• For more information about the Guesthouse at Wacky Nut Farm Equestrian Center, call (206) 780-1617 or email: guesthouse@wackynutfarm.com.

Reference: Walks on Bainbridge by Alice and Dave Shorett, available at Eagle Harbor Books on Winslow Way, Bainbridge Island.

The Bainbridge Island Lodging Association is a group of more than 20 lodges, inns, guesthouses, suites, boutique hotels, cottages, and B&B’s on Bainbridge Island, WA. BILA is dedicated to bringing you quality accommodation on a beautiful island. Visit our website for events and experiences, and of course, for your vacation rentals.

Chautauqua at Skiff Point on Bainbridge Island

Once the site of a glamorous hotel and as well as host for entertainments, lectures, and adult education in the turn-of-the-twentieth-century chautauqua style, the Skiff Point area was an important destination.

People arrived by one of the Mosquito Fleet* ferries or by steamer as island roads were rudimentary. Later the hotel’s expansive property facing Manitou Beach, north of Skiff point, became a private school, then a naval-themed prep academy, and finally was converted to its present use – a nursing home.

Skiff Point marks the northern point of Murden Cove, site of a World War I gun emplacement and home to thousands of sand dollars and moon snails. Walk the shallow cove carefully at low tide as the delicate sand dollars sit on their edge, covered with tiny purple tentacles to filter the tide for food. “When the hops were grown in Duwamish Valley,” writes Dave and Alice Shorett, “tribes came from as far as Canada to harvest hops, using Skiff Point as one of their stopping points.”

The community of Rolling Bay, a local hub for the Sunrise, Skiff Point and Manitou Beach area, holds one of the island’s most delightful stores, Bay Hay and Feed. Housed next to what was, and still is, the post office and located at the corner of Valley Road and Sunrise Drive, Bay Hay has preserved its historic nature while maintaining an eclectic inventory in their country store worthy of a special trip.

Stop in at Bay Hay to purchase feed for your goats or buy chicks in the spring, browse for shoes and clothing, or housewares and gifts. Pick up one of their iconic tee-shirts or sweatshirts, a sure sign you are an islander at heart, and stroll through their nursery with coffee and a sandwich in hand. Friends from off-island always request a stop at fascinating Bay Hay when they visit.

Lodging resources in the Rolling Bay area include these amazing vacation rentals:

Skiff Point Guesthouse and Retreat with two charming self-contained units with Puget Sound views and loft sleeping as well as a convenient separate meeting room for up to 20.

Eagle’s Perch Guesthouse farther north along Sunrise Drive with stunning views of Puget Sound from Mt. Baker to Mt. Rainier, perfect for a family reunion or girl’s weekend with 3 bedrooms, a hot tub on the deck and a large living room for great conversation.

Kellerman Creek, a delightful self-catering Hawaiian-themed studio as well as access to one of the best breakfast cooks on the island – your host Jean Kellerman.

Information Resources:

  • *Mosquito Fleet:  passenger ferries that plied the Puget Sound during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  Each shoreline community on Bainbridge Island had a store and ferry dock.  Water travel was much easier than overland on slippery, muddy island roads.
  • Walks on Bainbridge by Dave & Alice Shorett, p. 46.
  • Picture Bainbridge, Bainbridge Island Historical Society, p. 139-146
The Bainbridge Island Lodging Association is a group of more than 20 lodges, inns, guesthouses, suites, boutique hotels, cottages, and B&B’s on Bainbridge Island, WA. BILA is dedicated to bringing you quality accommodation on a beautiful island. Visit our website for events and experiences, and of course, for your vacation rentals.

Enjoying Dusk on Puget Sound

What can be more beautiful than watching the low winter light on the Puget Sound? The exquisite gloaming that comes early this time of year just begs for us to stop, have a cup of tea or glass of wine and watch nature’s miracle.

The gradual shift from crisp illumination with a pink sunset tinge into a warm blue hazy scrim obscures imperfection and shrouds our differences with in dusk that reminds us we are in the Pacific Northwest. Observed, that view offers the peaceful thought that night shrouds our differences and within our space, light inside that serves as the campfire that becomes a place of security and communion.

Down a long winding country lane on Bainbridge Island’s eastern shore is Eagle’s Perch Guest Retreat. It’s spectacular view is hidden, revealed only as you walk into the great-room and kitchen. If you are lucky and “the mountain is out,” you will have a breathtaking view of Mt. Rainier. Turn to the left, and Mt. Baker, the next volcano north, shows its snow-cap above the Cascades. The property is aptly named as an eagle family nests to the left of the deck and scans the boating traffic on Sound from a tree on the right – offering us a hint of nature’s grace.  Eagle’s Perch Guest Retreat includes three bedrooms, a full kitchen and laundry, beautiful great-room for extended family visits to the island, for writing groups and class reunions. Space to gather and space to retreat.  For winter stalwarts and summer celebrants, the deck sports a large hot tub. A BBQ, plenty of seating, and the stunning view of the Cascade Mountains and the shipping lanes of the Puget Sound top off this lovely high-bank waterfront property.

For the more gregarious, Kellerman Creek reflects the warm nature of its hostess, Jean Kellerman. A complete catered breakfast from Jean’s dining room overlooking Puget Sound is the perfect way to get a great start on the day, and to get to know Bainbridge Island as well as Jean’s links to other islands where she has lived. A long-time resident of Hawaii, Jean’s studio guesthouse reflects that connection with gorgeous Hawaiian quilts, prints, and gracious ambiance. Kellerman Creek guesthouse is a perfect couple’s intimate get-away — warm, gracious, and welcoming.

Working our way south towards Winslow, Skiff Point Guesthouse and Retreat is one of the few properties that offers both accommodation and a separate meeting room. Skiff Point includes two guesthouses, each with a cozy loft bedroom, beautiful and thoughtful appointments, and stunning high-bank views of the Puget Sound. Sunsets on Mt. Baker will add golden light to the already golden atmosphere of Skiff Point Guesthouse and Retreat. Skiff Point’s meeting room is suitable for executive retreats and workshops, making the package offered at Skiff Point Guesthouse and Retreat unique among privately-owned and owner-operated accommodation on Bainbridge Island. Skiff Point is close enough to town for excursions and wine tasting, but far enough away to enjoy the intimacy of the shipping lane on Puget Sound view. What a perfect way to work through stress-inducing issues that executive retreats entail in a peace-inducing setting and after-work ambiance?

Feel the mantle of tranquility descend as you walk out on one of these the decks, a glass of exceptional wine from Bainbridge Island’s growing wine industry, and watch dusk descent on our little slice of Puget Sound. Welcome to Bainbridge Island.

The Bainbridge Island Lodging Association is a group of more than 20 lodges, inns, guesthouses, suites, boutique hotels, cottages, and B&B’s on Bainbridge Island, WA. BILA is dedicated to bringing you quality accommodation on a beautiful island. Visit our website for events and experiences, and of course, for your vacation rentals.

Welcoming Walk-ons to Bainbridge Island

“Walk-ons.”

That’s Bainbridge Island insider lingo for those who walk on the ferry rather than driving on in a car. Walking on the ferry from Seattle is a lovely option for visitors to Bainbridge Island. Why bother with a car when you have so many entertaining options within walking range from the ferry – whether you stay on Bainbridge for a couple of days or a week?

Downtown Winslow’s historic nature gives you many rich opportunities to check out downtown Winslow, once the little hamlet of Madrone. The name changed in 1903, but madrone trees are still scattered here and there, survivors of the three clear-cuts that changed the nature of Bainbridge Island view property over and over again.

One of these historic properties is Captain’s House. A traditional B&B, Captain’s House was built in 1906 by E.L. Franks who gained the honorary title of “captain” for linking Bainbridge Island to Seattle with his passenger steamer “Florence K.” Turn of the century charm at Captain’s House wouldn’t be complete without a four-poster bed and period furniture. Across the street from the historic Harbour Pub, Captain’s House has that old-world feel that makes memories.

Just steps around the corner from Captain’s House is a boutique Euro-hotel, The Eagle Harbor Inn. Built around a central courtyard, the Inn offers eight lodging alternatives, including rooms, suites, and townhomes, many with views of the harbor, the marina, and the soaring eagles that give the harbor its name. Each unit has a distinctive feel, embellished with art and artifacts from all around the Pacific Northwest.

Slightly farther afield but within walking distance of downtown Winslow are three more lodging options for guests afoot or on bicycles.

One of them,the Inn at Vineyard Lane is a small private accommodation, located north of the ferry terminal, about a 15 minute walk from downtown Winslow. Set in a former vineyard and tucked into a contemporary condominium complex, the rooms are stylish and comfortable. The Inn has meeting rooms as well as a catering service, and is surrounded by exquisite landscaping.

The second option, for those comfortable with walking, is just south of downtown Winslow, about a 10 minute walk. Down a secret footpath near the historic strawberry cannery dock is Nicholson Place. Its contemporary studio apartment lies in a quiet neighborhood, just a stone’s throw from downtown Winslow, but secluded and protected from late-night revelry. Walk through the gardens, and up the drive to your own private entrance. If your get-away is about togetherness, then Nicholson Place is an affordable self-contained studio to regenerate and reconnect. And just around the corner is a beach access at the old strawberry processing plant to explore, now a community park.

The third lies two blocks west of downtown, up Madison Avenue. The Madison Townhouses – East and West, are located in a contemporary townhouse complex. Stylishly furnished and spacious, they can accommodate a family or together, a group. Their location, close to the library, to the high school, and to the cinema complex, give them another dimension in proximity to businesses and shopping on High School Road as well as a downhill stroll into Winslow.

The Bainbridge Island Lodging Association is a group of more than 20 lodges, inns, guesthouses, suites, boutique hotels, cottages, and B&B’s on Bainbridge Island, WA. BILA is dedicated to bringing you quality accommodation on a beautiful island. Visit our website for events and experiences, and of course, for your vacation rentals.

Artists on Bainbridge Island – Part I

Somewhere in each of us is a creative impulse, a need to express ourselves. It shows up in the way we speak, dress and arrange our living spaces, in the music we listen to and the way we dance when we’re alone. We sing, we take photos, we draw, paint, and laugh with friends on Facebook. Bainbridge Island draws its fair share of creative types – and then some.

Among our innkeepers at the Bainbridge Island Lodging Association are musicians and architects, artists and writers, gardeners and culinary artisans. As the maples turn red and the sunbreaks grab at the heart, why not take a weekend out of time to tuck in at a place where the creative spirit thrives?

Check out these artful accommodations: Artist’s Studio on the north end of the island full of graceful color and artifacts; Holly Lane Gardens at mid-island where the innkeeper farms and creates delicious goods for the Farmers Market; or Harbor View Guesthouse, a stylish former artist’s studio across Eagle Harbor from downtown Winslow – each with a slightly different slant on the creative spirit.

Come stay and relax with us and let your creative spirit soar – on an island.

The Bainbridge Island Lodging Association is a group of more than 20 lodges, inns, guesthouses, suites, boutique hotels, cottages, and B&B’s on Bainbridge Island, WA. BILA is dedicated to bringing you quality accommodation on a beautiful island. Visit our website for events and experiences, and of course, for your vacation rentals.
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