Perhaps it is my San Diego roots, but I am just naturally drawn to anything near the sea (or, in this case, the sound). Bainbridge Island is a quiet haven just west of Seattle, and only thirty-five minutes from downtown via ferry. I have visited Bainbridge many times, but I saw it with new eyes on this latest trip. If you haven’t made the voyage recently, I recommend checking it out. Many new restaurants, shops and bars have opened up—along with the Bainbridge Museum of Art, which turns two on June 14.
On this day, the weather was perfect, so we decided to walk onto the ferry. The unadulterated view of the Seattle skyline (and a peek at Rainier on a clear day) makes for a spectacular start to the trip. We perused the main thoroughfare, Winslow Way, for about three hours before heading back into the city. It was a great chance to enjoy the sunshine in a different locale.
Shop: Salt House Mercantile
The interior of Salt House Mercantile is beautifully designed and merchandised, austere and light-filled. Simple white walls and floors allow the eye to focus on the beautiful products, ranging from home goods to food to children’s toys. I loved their collection of burlap bags, especially the one with the outline of Washington. The leather handle makes it a perfect choice for the farmer’s market or the grocery store.
Shop: Petit and Olson
This cozy shop with its exposed brick offers upscale clothing labels alongside French and Swedish antiques. Armoires and seating give the space a classic and homey feel. Petit and Olson features one of my favorite brands, WILL Leather Goods—a family-owned lifestyle brand based in Eugene, Oregon. They have a variety of WILL bags on display, but the Opal Zip Pouch really caught my eye. I also loved the Calaxini sandals. With warmer days approaching, these shoes would be great to throw on with shorts or jeans.
Shop: Eagle Harbor Book Co.
This corner bookstore is always my favorite, and first, stop on Bainbridge Island. It has a wonderful selection of books, arranged in a cozy and comforting environment. But what makes this store a truly worthy selection is its wall of “Staff Picks.” The wall to the right of the entrance is filled with options chosen by the employees, and they are always fantastic picks. This is the store where I picked up Shantaram and The Goldfinch (before it reached its Pulitzer Prize fame). If you’re looking for a good book, Eagle Harbor Book Co. is the place to go.
Eat: Fork & Spoon
Fork & Spoon is the sister restaurant to Blackbird Bakery, located just around the corner, and offers affordable and delicious sandwiches and soups. The atmosphere is welcoming and the service straightforward, allowing a quick, satisfying bite as you explore the island—but if you want to relax for a little longer, the outdoor patio will be perfect for the sunny weather in the upcoming months (fingers crossed). I’d recommend the Happy Hummus sandwich, which is filled with lots of delicious veggies and has the perfect crunch.
Treat: Mora Iced Creamery
It seems you can not have a trip to Bainbridge Island without a visit to Mora. The line was out the door when we arrived, but it was well worth the wait. Everything at Mora is “handmade from scratch on Bainbridge Island, using an old world, artisanal process. This process allows our ingredients to marry into intense, rich flavors with a sensual, velvety, smooth texture.” Mora yet manages to include less butterfat than most ice creams, which helps to curb the guilt a bit. My partner-in-crime for the day, Dwayne Paul Cullen, agreed that it was some of the best ice cream he’d ever had, stating that the chocolate was “heartier” than most. End your day with a scoop as a reward for all that walking. We caught the ferry back to Seattle with cones in hand.