Photo: This American Mouth
Photo: Case Yee
Photo: Mike McCune
Photo: Michael W. Murphy
Photo: Chris Huggins
Photo: Jean Etienne Min-Duy Porrier
Photo: Michael W. Murphy
Photo: Clemens Vasters


Two communities, each just ferry ride away from downtown—but they each feel like a whole other world.

By Allison Williams
Two children playing together with colorful pieces on a rug in the Kids Discovery Museum. Courtesy Kids Discovery Museum

Just a scenic ferry ride from downtown Seattle, this peaceful and pastoral island offers distinctive shops, wineries, restaurants, and gardens.


A short walk from the ferry terminal, the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (550 Winslow Way E) has free admission and occupies a strikingly beautiful building full of contemporary works. Nearby, the Kids Discovery Museum (301 Ravine Ln NE) has hands-on exhibits for children up to 10 years old. Farther afield, the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial (4195 Eagle Harbor Dr NE) uses gorgeous gardens and signs sharing triumphant personal stories to shine a light on a traumatic part of World War II history. Parks dot the whole island, from Fort Ward (2241 Pleasant Beach Dr NE) on the south end with its historic military battery tucked into a forested shoreline, to Fay Bainbridge Park (15446 Sunrise Drive NE), with its sandy beach. Breathtakingly beautiful Bloedel Reserve (7571 NE Dolphin Dr) is a delight for hiking and admiring local flora.

Eat and Drink

Chef Brandon McGill packs a one-two punch with his casually upscale Café Hitchcock (129 Winslow Way E) and fine-dining seafood restaurant Seabird (133 Winslow Way E), where you can sup on tender halibut and locally harvested geoduck clams. The classic Harbour Public House (231 Parfitt Way SW) dishes kimchi poutine and fresh fish and chips on the waterfront, while Emma and Otto’s Ice Cream (488 Winslow Way E) dispenses what every island getaway needs: delicious homemade scoops.


Longtime independent bookseller Eagle Harbor Book Company (157 Winslow Way E) anchors the lively downtown shopping district on Winslow Way, close to the ferry. Calico Toy Shoppe (290 Winslow Way E) is an old-timey emporium specializing in puzzles and games for kids, while Wildernest (310 Winslow Way E) is more of a grown-up treasure trove, selling the kind of outdoorsy clothes and hiking gear that inspires great Northwest adventures.

A photo of the USS Turner Joy docked in the water. The USS Turner Joy is a former naval destroyer ship turned museum. USS Turner Joy Refrina / Shutterstock

It’s a joy taking the scenic 30-minute ferry ride from Seattle to this friendly Navy town.


Get to know Bremerton’s vibrant seafaring heritage by viewing the fascinating displays at the Puget Sound Navy Museum (251 First St) and the impressive USS Turner Joy (300 Washington Beach Ave), a former naval destroyer that served in the Vietnam War and now operates as a waterfront museum. Younger visitors enjoy scampering amid the water features in beautiful Harborside Fountain Park (251 First St) and exploring the unique Valentinetti Puppet Museum (280 Fourth St).

Eat and Drink

Take in splendid water views while devouring fresh-caught local seafood at Anthony’s at Sinclair Inlet (20 Washington Ave), and try one of the flavorful Hawaiian-style plate lunches—such as chicken katsu with curry, Spam moco loco, and kalua pork—at Kama’Aina Grill (208 First St). Across the historic Manette Bridge from downtown, Khao Soi (2003 E 11th St) serves first-rate Thai specialties and James Beard–nominated Saboteur Bakery (2110 E 11th St) turns out enticing almond brioches, herb quiche, and ham-and-cheese croissants.


Downtown Bremerton offers an array of interesting shops, including Collective Visions Gallery (331 Pacific Ave), where you can buy works by more than 20 Puget Sound artists. Bremerton Vintage Flea (816 Pacific Ave) is held Saturdays and offers antiques, upcycled goods, and vintage treasures; there are food trucks too. A few doors down, shop for local balms, goat’s milk soaps, and other natural products at F.R.O.G. Soap (707 Pacific Ave).

Bainbridge/Bremerton Partners

USS Turner Joy DD-951 – Bremerton Historic Ships Association Bainbridge/Bremerton

USS Turner Joy DD-951 – Bremerton Historic Ships Association

  • Address 300 Washington Beach Ave, Bremerton, WA 98337
  • Phone (360) 792-2457
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Wineries of Bainbridge Island Bainbridge/Bremerton

Wineries of Bainbridge Island

  • Address All Seven Bainbridge Island Wineries, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
  • Phone 206.200.8751
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Bainbridge Island Museum of Art Bainbridge/Bremerton

Bainbridge Island Museum of Art

  • Address 550 Winslow Way E, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
  • Phone (206) 842-4451
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Kids Discovery Museum Bainbridge/Bremerton

Kids Discovery Museum

  • Address 301 Ravine Ln NE, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
  • Phone (206) 855-4650
  • Connect


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