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Bainbridge Island activities

Chilly Hilly Kicks off the Cycling Season in the Pacific Northwest

Chilly Hilly Bicycle Classic Logo

Thousands of bicyclists will visit Bainbridge Island to take part in the annual Chilly Hilly Bicycle Classic on Sunday, February 24.

Bicycling Magazine even named the Chilly Hilly “One of Four Classic Rides” in the nation.

You can arrive via the scenic Seattle-Bainbridge Island Ferry the morning of the ride, or you can make a weekend of it.

Arrive on Friday after work and stay for two nights. You’ll enjoy a leisurely Saturday with lots of things to do.

While on Bainbridge Island, visit a wine tasting room, stroll unique shops in the quaint downtown Winslow, visit art galleries, enjoy a critically acclaimed meal at a chef-owned restaurant … or, for a more casual meal, fish and chips or a top-notch burger with Island-brewed beer.

Visit the Cascade Bicycle Club website for more info.

Photo courtesy of Gene Bisbee.

The Bainbridge Island Lodging Association (BILA) is comprised of 25 vacation rentals, guest houses, bed and breakfasts (B&B), boutique hotels, inns and cottages on Bainbridge Island, in Washington State. BILA is dedicated to bringing you quality accommodation on our beautiful island in the Pacific Northwest. Visit our website for Bainbridge Island events and attractions, and of course, for your vacation rentals.

Chilly Hilly Bicycle Classic on Bainbridge Island

Chilly Hilly Bicycle Classic Logo

Beyond its clever rhyme, the Chilly Hilly Bicycle Classic is the perfect name for what’s become the world-famous, 33-mile ride around Bainbridge Island. For over 40 years, thousands of cyclists have come to the Island in late February to brave the chilly (and typically damp) late winter in the Pacific Northwest. What’s more, Bainbridge Island’s topography provides many burning ascents and breezy descents.

Each year, the Chilly Hilly Bicycle Classic brings upwards of 6,000 bicycles to Bainbridge Island. Starting at about 7:55 am on a Sunday morning, the first wave of cyclists from Seattle disembark from a Washington State Ferry. From there they circumnavigate Bainbridge Island, a full 33-mile (53 km) journey that includes 2,675 feet of overall climbing!

Chilly Hilly Bicycle Classic on Bainbridge IslandLest you think the Chilly Hilly Bicycle Classic is too ambitious, keep in mind that past participants have ranged in age from under 2 to just shy of 80 years old. There’s also a festive, community aspect to the bicycle ride, with free baked goods and hot cider available for participants. If your stomach requires more sustenance after a long ride, a Finish Line Festival features a delicious chili feed to fill your gut and it benefits Island non-profits.

While the Seattle-Bainbridge Island ferry ride is a fun part of the overall Chilly Hilly experience, why not make a nice weekend of the event, and book a couple of nights at a local guest house, hotel or bed and breakfast? That way, your Chilly Hilly Bicycle Classic can be even more memorable.

The Bainbridge Island Lodging Association (BILA) is comprised of 25 vacation rentals, guest houses, bed and breakfasts (B&B), boutique hotels, inns and cottages on Bainbridge Island, in Washington State. BILA is dedicated to bringing you quality accommodation on our beautiful island in the Pacific Northwest. Visit our website for Bainbridge Island events and attractions, and of course, for your vacation rentals.

Visit the Award-Winning Rolling Bay Winery on Bainbridge Island

Rolling Bay WineryRolling Bay Winery will be open this Saturday and Sunday to celebrate the gold medal they won for their Bordeaux blends at the 2013 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Winemaker Alphonse de Klerk will be pouring his award-winning 2010 Manitou Red as well as some special new releases. Assorted hearty appetizers will also be available.

Seattle Met magazine named Rolling Bay Winery one of Washington’s top 22 tasting rooms citing their “Best Essence of Puget Sound.”  The tasting room is cozy and intimate. You’ll also be treated to spectacular views of Puget Sound. If you haven’t seen their tasting room yet, here’s a perfect excuse to visit. Warm up on a chilly weekend with a gold-medal red wine.

If you decide to spend a few nights as part of your wine tasting tour, there are several great guesthouses and rental cottages in the Rolling Bay area, including Kellerman Creek, Pierce Estate, the Rising Moon Beach House, Saxon Cottage and the Skiff Point Guest House and Retreat. Great wine and fantastic lodging make for a compelling way to spend a few days on 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.

Bainbridge Island Mochi Tsuki Festival

Bainbridge Island Mochi Tsuki FestivalAn annual, family-favorite event on Bainbridge Island is the Mochi Tsuki Festival at IslandWood. It’s this Sunday, January 6th from 11:00 am until 3:00 pm.

Making mochi is an ancient Japanese tradition that marks the New Year and provides a celebration across generations and with the community to wish for good health and prosperity.

For more info about this wonderful event, visit the event page.

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.

Where to Enjoy Gorgeous Views of Mt. Rainier

Locals know Wing Point, the north pillar of the entrance to Eagle Harbor, as the former home of a powerful former Senator from Washington State, Warren Magnuson.  The house on the tip of Wing Point still hugs the low the bluff in its prime location, facing the Sound, the Mountain, the sunrise, and the storms.

Inside Eagle Harbor, a stone’s throw from the senator’s former estate, the waterfront is lined with homes of current Bainbridge Island residents, including Abode on the Sea.  Abode on the Sea is an antiques-filled beach-front apartment, tucked in along the northern bank of Eagle Harbor, above the kayaks and seagrass.  With dinette and kitchen, fold-out sofa and queen bedroom, the cheery Abode on the Sea can accommodate a variety of family holiday options as well as longer-term stays.  In earlier days, the Harbor was alive with the clang of shipbuilding at Hall Brothers Shipyard, but now, Abode on the Sea is witness to local yachts and power boats and the hourly passage of the ferries — the island’s lifeline to nearby-by Seattle.

Just north of Wing Point on Bainbridge Island’s eastern shore is Yeomalt Point and the  Yeomalt Beach House.  Yeomalt Beach is Wing Point’s quieter neighbor, sitting in full view of the Cascade Mountains, the shipping lanes that bring goods from around the world to Seattle, and of the grain terminals that take Washington State wheat to far corners of the Pacific. The Yeomalt Beach House, a beautifully furnished 3-bedroom beach-front home, is perfect for the girls’ weekend, a writers’ group, or a place for the bride and her attendants to prepare for the grand event. Yeomalt Beach has an exquisite and expansive view of the Puget Sound from Mt. Baker to Mt. Rainier, and the contemporary atmosphere at Yeomalt Beach House lends itself to groups and multi-generational families — both practical and romantic at the same time.

If you choose Bainbridge Island as a destination after the clatter and clutter of the summer visitors have subsided, you cannot do better than late Autumn. The mid-Autumn weather lends itself to long beach walks into town, local fresh produce in a roast or salad, the art of local wine-makers and distillers, and sumptuous fires in the evening.  This is the season locals like to keep to themselves — the reward for patience, the light revealed, the Puget Sound at its best.

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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