You may be just settling into Seattle, but no holiday here would be complete without discovering a few of the many great day trips from Seattle. One of the most popular local excursions can be experienced via a 35-minute journey on a Washington State Ferry across Puget Sound to Bainbridge Island. No other tour can match the views from the super ferries. Disembark in Winslow for a respite at Blackbird Bakery or just sail right back over to catch unmatched vistas of the Emerald City, Mt. Rainier and Cascade Mountains.
Bainbridge Island possesses many surprises, but its best-kept secret resides a few miles from the ferry terminal. The Bloedel Reserve sits on 150-acres of former forest, swamp and marshland. Shaped over five decades by lumber baron heir Prentice Bloedel, you can wander the Reserve for hours, stepping through the moss garden, reflecting by the Rhododendron Glen or in the meadow overlooking Puget Sound. It’s an easy drive to Bloedel or, as of 7th June 2014, the public Kitsap County shuttle will take passengers from the ferry to the Reserve during the summer months.
The ferry town of Winslow is as picturesque as Bloedel’s Camellia Grove, possessing Eagle Harbor Book Co., one of the region’s best bakeries and a dozen tasteful boutiques, all framed by a white steeple from the local congregational church. Blackbird’s lemon blueberry scones may be the best in the state, but there are many other bakeries to try on the five-block Winslow Way East. Pegasus Coffee House offers baked goods and a great all day breakfast menu.
It’s no surprise that a village as quaint as Winslow would draw top foodies in search of a simpler life within 35-minutes of Seattle. Look no further than the Intentional Table for proof. Intentional Table provides “table related experiences” that range from cooking classes to cooking utensils, books and wine. The Hitchcock Delicatessen and Charcuterie, as well as The Madison Diner, capture more of the culinary trends.
The Four Swallows pioneered the farm-to-table movement in the Puget Sound region, and sampling the rustic Italian menu from the front porch on a summer evening is a favourite pastime for local residents. Restaurant Marché adds a French twist to the countryside culinary celebration.
But the Winslow aesthetic soars beyond ambience, shopping and cuisine. The Bainbridge Island Museum of Art features exhibits that reflect the surrounding environment. The recently opened museum blends seamlessly into its own physical environment, from the ship’s bow curve of the exterior to the George and David Lewis Roof Garden.
The visit somehow improves when you depart. Catch an evening ferry back and you’re likely to see the sun ignite the Seattle skyline as Mount Rainier also glows in the background
Header photo © Lowe Stock/ThinkStock/iStock
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Have you visited Bainbridge Island? Have you been on any other day trips from Seattle? Let us know in the comments section below.
Written by Written by Crai Bower
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About the author: CraiSBowerCrai S Bower
Award winning travel writer, photographer and broadcaster Crai S Bower contributes scores of articles annually to more than 25 publications and online outlets including National Geographic Traveler, Journey, American Way magazines and T+L Digital. www.FlowingStreamWriting.net www.Twitter.com/craisbower