Recently we took a mini-vacation to the charming Bainbridge Island just west of Seattle. The island feels like a small town and has breathtaking views of Seattle along its shores, as well as on the ferry ride over.
The main shopping and restaurants are on Winslow Way, a short distance from the ferry terminal. If you choose to come for a day you could probably get away with not taking your car and just walking to the cute local shops. I really liked Parrafin, a candle store, that sold all colors and sizes of candles in a variety of shapes. They carry a lot of seasonal goodies too. There are also a ton of home decor stores, boutiques and the like. We grabbed a snack/latte at Blackbird Bakery, make sure you bring cash as they don’t take credit cards, but it is really delicious, check out the foam art on your latte too! The one place I really wanted to try was Mora Ice Cream, my friend told me it was great, it’s on the list for next time.
Then, there is Bloedel Reserve. This former home is now open to the public for tours of the beautiful gardens. The property is 150-acres but the path takes you through only a small portion of the grounds. I loved seeing the variety of trees, flowers and water features. It was so serene walking through the gardens, it was the perfect way to relax on a weekend getaway.
Another great thing to do on Bainbridge: go wine tasting! There are 7 local wineries, some have tasting rooms on Winslow, and most have one at their winery tasting room on-site where they make wine. Once a month the wineries are all open for tastings. Since they are quite small it isn’t always possible for them to open every weekend for tastings. We went to Rolling Bay, where we sampled some great wines, and had an amazing view of Seattle on our drive there.
Most of these activities can be done in one day if you get an early start. But if you are staying for the weekend I suggest Inn at Vineyard Lane. This bed & Breakfast is anything but what I envision B&Bs are. The inn consists of four rooms in an upscale complex. The rooms are next to each other but feels more private then sleeping in a house since each has its own entrance. Breakfast is served in the common area in the middle of the gardens of the complex. The menu changes daily but everything from the homemade granola to baked french toast was delicious.
Let me know if you head out to Bainbridge Island! I hope to go back and check out some more wineries and the ice cream shop. (Read my article for the Northwest Guardian–Weekend Pass: Bainbridge Island)