How to Explore Seattle and Bainbridge Island
Seattle and Bainbridge Island connection
As I am building this blog, I want to share with you some of the places I know and love well, or that are close to home.
Seattle is not close to home, but always feels like a second home. My mother grew up on Bainbridge Island, and our annual family trip was always to spend some weeks of the summer on Bainbridge with Grandpa, Grandma, Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins. As an adult, I only get back there every few years. Iâve never been there for more than weeks at a time, but it will always feel like home.
Today Iâll share a few must-see items with you, but I suspect Seattle and Bainbridge Island will show up in more detail in further posts. Please let me know what youâd like to hear more about!
Seattle must-see items
Seattle is on Puget Sound, which leads to many waterside adventures.Â Â If I were to pick the top two things to do and see in Seattle, it would be to go to Pike Place Market, and to take a ferry somewhere and explore that island. Iâll tell you about Bainbridge Island, as that is what I know best.
Of course, there are many other fantastic activities in Seattle. You can walk along the water, enjoy the many small cafes and restaurants in the downtown area, or ride the ferris wheel on the waterfront, or check out the flagship REI store and climb the rock wall. And then there is the Seattle Science center, great for a rainy afternoon with kids, or a ride up the Space Needle.
With all these options, I thought to share my top two activities.
Pike Place Market
Pike Place Market is a large, covered farmerâs market, with vendors selling everything from fish – which they throw enthusiastically in the air – to wildflower honey and blackberry honey, fresh fruits, veggies, and juices, as well as clothes and Pacific Northwest souvenirs. It is paradise for those with a kitchen who love healthy eating, or for those in need of some PNW memorabilia.
For me, the highlight of Pike Place Market is walking along the rows and rows of flower sellers with beautiful fresh bouquets that include a mix of local blooms, wildflowers, and classic floral elements. Pick up a large bouquet for $10-15 and enjoy them for a week, or give them to your host and enjoy everyoneâs delight.
There is also a blackberry honey blend that is unbelievably delicious. I cannot find it on the internet, but locals will tell you it is there, and it is worth finding. It is somewhere between honey and jam, but better than either. It is a perfect example of sometimes, more is more. Iâve never tasted anything quite like it.
And there are many traditional Pacific Northwest crafts, like small clay turtle necklaces, indigenous crafts, and rocker t-shirts.
Seattle-Bainbridge Island Ferries
From the airport, you can get to the downtown ferry terminal with ferries that run to Bainbridge and Bremerton either by taxi or with the light rail service from the airport. You can just hop off at Pioneer Square and walk the few blocks downhill to the ferry terminal. Be prepared with a light bag or rolling luggage. The hills in downtown Seattle are steep!
The ferry is primarily used for transportation between the islands for visitors and commuters. But, the ferry experience is in itself worth having.
You will have a picturesque view of the Seattle skyline as you pull away, and wonderful views of Puget Sound and the blue water. It can get cold and windy, but it is worth even a few moments on the top deck for the view. I will always remember how alive and full of joy of living I feel when standing on the deck of a ferry with the frigid wind in my face.
Sometimes, you can see dolphins or whales. The captain will usually announce it over the speaker when they are visible.
If the cold wind is too much for you, you can sit inside and sip a cup of coffee. There is a cafe with various snacks, and you can get some traditional – and famous – Ivarâs clam chowder. There are comfortable benches and tables to sit and watch the water or read a book. I recommend looking out into the clear water as you will often see jelly fish or other wildlife floating by.
If you are hungry before getting on the ferry from the Seattle terminal, be sure not to miss the Mexican food in the terminal. It looks like standard fast-food Mexican food, but always tastes fresh. They are always willing to add extra vegetables or guacamole.
Bainbridge Island Introduction
Once you land on Bainbridge Island, you will be in downtown Winslow. You can easily pass an enjoyable day wandering around the little shops, eating at one of the many upscale and healthy restaurants. Or you can take an uber to check out the local brewery, Bainbridge Island Brewing company. Winslow is filled with lots of small town charm and is like stepping back in time.
There are a few parks for kids to play in Winslow, but I recommend just going down to the water to walk along the beach. The kids can explore tide pools, search for crabs or star fish, and skip rocks.
For those alone or with kids, the endless search for the perfect pebble is like a spiritual experience in simplicity.
An afternoon in Bainbridge is absolutely magical â take the trip and see what you discover! Iâd love to hear: have you been to Seattle or Bainbridge Island? What was your favorite part?
Thank you for reading Pannali Travels. If you enjoyed this post, please share, comment, and subscribe! I love hearing from you!