At five miles wide and ten miles long, Bainbridge Island is one of the largest islands in Puget Sound and a great day trip from either downtown Seattle or the Olympic Peninsula. Catching the pet friendly ferry in Seattle for a quick 30-minute cruise across the Sound is part of the fun, and leashed pets accompanying walk-on passengers to Bainbridge Island are allowed in the terminal and in the exterior passenger areas of the ferry. If you’re coming from the Olympic Peninsula side, the Hwy 305 bridge brings you onto the island and from there you can follow signs to downtown.
For Buster and Ty it’s always better if we can find a place for them to burn off a little energy before hitting some of the more popular spots. On Bainbridge, we hit the jackpot right away … the waterfront loop trail is well marked and easy enough to do in flip-flops.
The eastern loop (1.5 miles) passes through a residential neighborhood and then along the beach at Hawley Cove. The western loop (2 miles) meanders through parks, marinas, and past some of the island’s historic structures and trees. Pick up the trail guide at the kiosk near the ferry terminal for a map and a guide to the sites along the way. Though they’re not noted on the trail guide, we throughly enjoyed the whimsical rock sculptures by the path.
There was plenty of stuff for the boys to sniff, especially out at Strawberry Plant Park, and we only met one other couple using the trail!
The loop brought us back around to Winslow Way, which is where the shops and restaurants are concentrated. It’s a quaint main street where you could easily while away an afternoon perusing the boutiques and galleries. They even have a lovely mall area with shady places to sit and sip a coffee … or cool your paws while your peeps do a little browsing. Our favorite shop was BI-Cycle (I should have taken a picture of their sign, darn it!) – cleverly named, wouldn’t you agree?
We saw several restaurants with outdoor seating areas that looked inviting. The patio at The Madison Diner had dog bowls outside … a sure sign that your pooch would be welcome to join you!
If you’re looking for a hotel on Bainbridge Island, or more fun things to do, you won’t be disappointed. There are three decent hotels to choose from, a state park to explore, several pet friendly restaurants, and a winery to visit … all within easy striking distance of downtown Seattle.
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