February is the month of romance, which has us reflecting on some of the top reasons why we fell in love with Bainbridge Island. From amazing recreation opportunities and natural splendor, to cafés, shops and art destinations, discover 10 things we absolutely love about the Island life.
Whether it’s a fun weekend adventure or a daily commute, the fun of the Island begins or ends with an unforgettable ferry ride. The short ride between Seattle and Bainbridge Island offers a moment of respite, with the opportunity to grab a quick bite or read a favorite novel amidst the backdrop of the Pacific Northwest’s iconic beauty.
Built in June 2013, the Bainbridge Island Art Museum is a fun destination for residents and visitors. The museum is open daily from 10am to 6pm, and offers free admission as part of its mission to engage a diverse population and share contemporary arts and crafts. The LEED Gold Certified building is an artwork in its own right, and visitors are treated to fun eco-friendly flair, including pencils made from recycled blue jeans (which also insulate its walls). Rotating exhibitions are complemented by events including trunk shows, films, opportunities to meet the artists, and more.
A stellar combination of trails and formal gardens, Bloedel Reserve offers visitors a chance to step into the vibrancy of the Island’s nature and stunning vistas. Popular natural destinations within the Reserve include a Japanese garden with a 150-year-old maple, a moss garden boasting 275,000 Irish moss starts, and a bird marsh. Architectural features include the original home of Prentice and Virginia Bloedel, a Japanese guest house, and the sheep sheds, which formerly housed livestock but are now host to spring and summer outdoor concerts.
It’s no secret that the winery scene on Bainbridge Island is thriving, and Eleven Winery is hands down a local favorite. Their quaint tasting room near the ferry is great for a quick tasting to wet your palette. On the weekend, try taking a tour of the full winery, or sipping into live music on Saturday nights. The wines produced at Eleven vary, and we recommend the Malbec, Syrah, or Viognier.
For those that prefer hops to grapes, the Bainbridge Brewing Taproom draws residents and visitors to experience craft beers produced using local ingredients whenever available. We recommend testing a seasonal favorite, such as the Nude Doppelganger (a Belgian-inspired IPA) or a tried-and-true favorite such as the German-Style Kommuter Kolsch or the Eagle Harbor IPA. The Taproom is kid and pet friendly, offering a selection of local hard ciders, soft drinks, and snacks that pair perfectly with a cold pint. Some of the region’s top-rated food trucks also make the occasional appearance, providing even more delicious food to enjoy while visiting the microbrewery.
If you’re the occasional biker or are just visiting the Island, there are lots of excellent paths for getting out on two wheels. For those that don’t already own a bike, renting one at Classic Cycle (near the ferry) is a breeze, and they’ll provide you with some great starting points. The annual “Chilly Hilly” ride draws hundreds of cyclists to take in the Island’s beauty in February, while rides to Fay Bainbridge Park and Port Madison prove fun no matter the season.
7. Café Nola
A European style café that has been featured on Food Network, Café Nola is a charming eatery where delectable plates incorporating seasonal ingredients meet craft cocktails and local beer and wines. You haven’t had brunch until you try it at Café Nola on the weekends! In the warmer months, the restaurant opens their patio to provide an unparalleled fresh air dining experience.
8. The Bainbridge Golf Scene
The Island offers a couple of options for the avid golfer, with courses at Wing Point and Meadowmeer. Wing Point offers a well-maintained 18-hole course in addition to kids and family activities, golfing, and tennis. Though Meadowmeer is a smaller 9-hole course, many take advantage of additional tee boxes that provide a full 18-hole experience.
Those with a sweet tooth should look no further than Bon Bon Candies, a specialty candy store that offers freshly made fudge, local truffles and specialty chocolates, nostalgic treats, and more. Open for over a decade, Bon Bon is as much fun for adults as it is for kids, and it’s always fun to visit and discover their featured fudge flavor of the month.
10. Harbour Marina
Ending a day on Bainbridge Island doesn’t get any better than an oceanfront sunset at Harbour Marina. Have a delicious dinner at the Harbour Public House or walk the waterfront trail between the ferry terminal all the way through Winslow Way.