Now, more than ever, Windermere Bainbridge fiercely supports our beloved Bainbridge Island businesses – and we’re asking you to join us. We’re all experiencing some of the most challenging, unprecedented changes to what we know as normal life. We are grateful for a resilient real estate market on our beautiful island. But our hearts and actions support our vital, local-business culture. It’s a large part of what makes our island so unique, and it needs support from all of us – right now.
The Bainbridge Chamber of Commerce has teamed up with the Bainbridge Island Downtown Association to create SOS Bainbridge Island. This informative community effort aims to save our stores and businesses. Its website includes updates on how you can safely shop, dine, and support local merchants. Windermere Bainbridge Broker, Jackie Syvertsen notes, “I love how Bainbridge businesses have evolved to stay open through the Covid crisis. They’re happily creating distancing and extra safety features to accommodate.”
According to the Bainbridge Chamber of Commerce, many businesses, especially on Winslow Way, rely on summer visitors and tourism to help them survive through the rest of the year. Since this year’s visitor season was significantly quiet, we can all help now by shopping, dining, and supporting Bainbridge Island businesses.
Local Windermere Broker, Susan Grosten brings to light that “most of our businesses are owned by our own Bainbridge neighbors and friends, all who regularly add back to the community as locals. I’ve enjoyed so many of them, for 31 years and counting!”
Since 2005, a portion of every Windermere Bainbridge agent’s commission is donated to the Windermere Foundation of Bainbridge Island. Each year, the foundation donates funds and provides scholarships and support to essential community service organizations on Bainbridge Island.
Additionally, we are passionate locals who regularly shop, dine, and support merchants within our community. Our Broker, Shannon Dierickx says, “I have so many great experiences with local shopping and dining. I’m an original island girl who loves to keep our local businesses thriving!” Broker Cheryl Mauer adds, “I love stopping in at Covet Boutique to pick up a special gift, or to find myself the perfect outfit or jewelry.”
For our Bainbridge treats and dining favorites, the list is endless. Our marketing team notes a gamut including Bene Pizza, Streamliner Diner, Hitchcock, Treehouse Cafe, Sawatdy Thai Cuisine, Doc’s Marina Grill, and so many more. We all have many dear, personal favorites on the island, and now is the time to support them all.
In addition to listing current updates on how restaurants and cafes have adjusted to serve the community, SOS Bainbridge Island’s website also includes information on how many other businesses and services have shifted.
“One of my very favorite businesses on Bainbridge is Barrecor! Owner Emiliana and her wonderful instructors are offering their amazing classes online,” raves our Broker, Susan Grosten. Another business that stands out to our team is the local non-profit, Bainbridge Island Saddle Club. The organization aims to promote good horsemanship and foster equestrian sports locally. Windermere Broker, Maureen Buckley appreciates its programs and favors that “it’s an old-fashioned horse club for local kids to adults.”
We are truly all in this together. The more we all support the Bainbridge Island businesses we love, the more we’ll endure these trying times as a community.
Bainbridge Island’s allure includes the peace and adventure it offers in every season, making it a great Labor Day destination, even amidst social distancing. While large gatherings are still on hold, below are some creative ways to say goodbye to summer while staying safe this Labor Day weekend.
Support Bainbridge Island Businesses
Bainbridge is home to many locally-owned shops and restaurants. Many are open and need support now more than ever. According to the Bainbridge Chamber of Commerce, many businesses rely on visitors from April through September to help them succeed. Since this year’s visitor season has been significantly quiet, the Chamber and the Bainbridge Island Downtown Association have developed SOS Bainbridge Island, in an effort to Save our Stores and Businesses. Their website includes updates on how you can safely shop, dine, and support local merchants.
Host a Backyard Movie Night
Upon publishing this post, Kitsap County is in Phase 2 of reopening. For safe Labor Day social distancing, outdoor recreation can include up to five people outside your household. This happens to be a delightful headcount for a DIY outdoor theater. Project a classic, favorite film in the comfort of your own yard. Have a catered, intimate event using a local favorite such as Via Rosa 11 or Bainbridge Island BBQ.
Choose your Own Labor Day Adventure
Stretch the summer spirit with all that Bainbridge has to offer this Labor Day weekend. From water sports to hiking, to exploring the Bloedel Reserve – everyone can partake in fun holiday-weekend activities. Just be sure to check out the latest safety updates before venturing out.
Savor Summer Favorites
Say so long to summer while savoring seasonal favorites. Enjoy zucchini walnut bread from Blackbird Bakery or watermelon sorbet from Mora Iced Creamery. Craving one last crab feast of the year? The season runs through Labor Day, so be sure to obtain a license and discover the best spots here.
We wish you all a safe and joyous holiday weekend!
The charm of Bainbridge Island, Washington offers an escape during tourist season to those from near and far. But locals know that Bainbridge Island living offers adventure, beauty, and serenity all year long. Vogue Magazine once coined it the Nantucket of the Pacific Northwest. Learn how its allure can easily convince any visitor to imagine Bainbridge Island as ‘home’.
Bainbridge Island living offers small-town life and adventure, just 9 miles from Seattle.
Bainbridge Island’s footprint is similar in size to Manhattan but hosts a population currently under 25,000. Slower-paced and sophisticated, it’s also home to 65 miles of hiking trails, dozens of public parks and beaches, and the famous Bloedel Reserve. The 150-acre attraction is regularly named one of the Top-10 Botanical Gardens in the US (its distinguished Japanese Garden is considered one of the best in North America.)
The adventurous landscape of Bainbridge Island is served regularly by ferry from Seattle, the route that many island locals make their daily work commute. A 35-minute ride allows time for breakfast, phone calls, and even a jump-start on emails, all with serene views. It’s quite the opposite experience of sitting in Seattle traffic.
The quaint, engaged community of Bainbridge Island is an ideal place to raise a family. Safewise ranks Bainbridge Washington’s 6th safest city in 2020. The community also actively supports its highly-regarded public school system. Bainbridge Island School District includes Bainbridge High School, which often ranks high locally and nationally by US News and World Report. It also includes Captain Johnston Blakely and Ordway elementary schools; GreatSchools.org lists both in Washington’s top-10. Islandwood, a non-profit environmental learning center, also serves thousands of students each year from its 250-acre Bainbridge Island campus. Its alternative programs have gained national recognition.
Full-time island life doesn’t mean leaving behind fine dining or the arts. From regionally-sourced and James-Beard-awarded Hitchcock, to long-time Kitsap County favorite, Agate Restaurant – the island’s local cuisine is often renowned beyond the region.
Bainbridge Brewing and Bainbridge Organic Distillers keep spirits cheering year-round. Locals and tourists alike can find their coffee fix all around the island. The iconic Pegasus Coffee and the adorable carly’s Rolling Bay Cafe are just a couple of favorites.
The artist community of Bainbridge Island is abundant. The BARN (Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network) keeps local artists and makers connected and inspired. Bainbridge Museum of Art and Bainbridge Performing Arts continuously feature local and indigenous works for all to enjoy, while galleries and studios dot the island throughout.
Bainbridge is a Pacific Northwest gem with so much to offer. And, now is a great time to make island living a reality. The local real estate market has fared well through the uncertainties of 2020 thus far. Plus, our Windermere Bainbridge agents are all active community members and highly-skilled experts. Our team has an average of over 16 years in the real estate industry (the range spans from 4 – 37 years). We are passionate locals, and we’re honored to work with nearly half of the market on the island.
Looking to get away from the crowds, but still be close to adventure and city excitement? Bainbridge Island’s 53 miles of shoreline with thousands of waterfront properties awaits. Let Windermere Bainbridge help you find your island home.
Labor Day plans in the works?
This article has inspiring ideas!
We have recently awarded our Windermere Foundation Scholarship to two incredible graduates from Bainbridge High School’s Class of 2020. There were many talented applicants and it was difficult to choose only two recipients. However, the two students we selected are remarkable individuals. Congratulations to Shea Dephinedae and Libby Clements Hall! Read on to find out more about our scholarship and these well-deserving recipients.
The Scholarship & Our History
Every year, Windermere Bainbridge offers two to three scholarships to invest in Bainbridge Island’s youth. We award the Windermere Foundation scholarships to students based on a variety of their community service involvement and scholastic achievements.
Community service is our primary focus since we pride ourselves on our own community involvement. You will often find our agents and staff volunteering and supporting local organizations. Giving back is a big part of who we are. For the past 15 years, a portion of every agent’s commission has been donated to the Windermere Foundation of Bainbridge Island. All agents participate, and with this common purpose, we collectively show how much our community means to us.
We’re also proud to be part of the broader Windermere Foundation. It impacts communities across 10 states and has raised over $41 million for programs that provide shelter, food, children’s programs, and more.
Scholarship Winner Shea Dephinedae
Shea was an active member of cheer throughout high school and participated in basketball, arts, and community service activities. Also, Shea enjoys cartooning, sculpting, and writing poetry.
When describing community service experiences, Shea said one particular moment that stood out was when they helped senior citizens with technology. “[We] visited a nursing home and helped them to use their phones and tablets. It was always so pleasant to see such kind-hearted people be able to use their phones more effectively and communicate with their families easier.”
A highly active student, Shea was also a member of the National Honors Society for all four years. Additionally, Shea worked for Bainbridge Gardens and still managed to maintain a high GPA.
Now that Shea has graduated, he plans to attend the University of Washington and major in Sculpting. After receiving the Windermere Foundation scholarship, Shea said, “I would just like to say thank you. Windermere’s incredibly generous scholarship was such an amazing and exciting surprise during a rough time. I know this money will greatly benefit me and I hope to one day give back to my community just as you all have.”
Scholarship Winner Elizabeth “Libby” Clements Hall
Throughout high school, Libby was an active member of band and theater, participating in Les Miserables, Radium Girls, Glee voice, and dance. A performing arts enthusiast, Libby has been doing theater since she was three.
Regarding community service, Libby was an assistant in ILC, a special education classroom at Bainbridge High School. Libby said that experience was the highlight of senior year.
A very active student, Libby also volunteered as a BPA main stage volunteer, Island Theater volunteer, NAACP member, and a Bainbridge Pride Volunteer. Libby also maintained a high GPA and received awards and recognition: the Silver Presidential Service Award and honors in theater. Additionally, Libby lettered in band, theater, and winter guard and was an officer of the International Thespian Society.
Libby plans to attend Seattle University, majoring in History, English, and Interdisciplinary Arts with a focus on Music and Theater. “I plan to get a master’s degree in education and become a special education teacher.” Libby was excited to receive our scholarship and said, “Thank you for this awesome opportunity!”
Here at Windermere, we strive to make a difference, big and small and it’s an honor to support Shea and Libby through the Windermere Foundation scholarship. Please join us in wishing them the very best! We know they will make our community very proud.
There’s something magical about Bainbridge Island in the summer. It’s no wonder it’s such a popular tourist destination. While it’s nice to know what tourists enjoyed about the area, it’s even better to get the inside scoop from locals. And, many of our real estate agents are 2nd and 3rd generation islanders. So we are happy to share our agents’ favorite Bainbridge Island summer activities.
If you are planning on visiting or partaking in these activities, please make sure to brush up on the most recent Bainbridge Island Covid-19 rules to make sure you are prepared. Also, look at businesses’ websites or Facebook pages before visiting in person so that you have all the latest information regarding their current operating hours and the protocol they’re following.
Enjoy the Island by Water
What better way to experience island life than by water? After all, we are surrounded by it. Many of our agents are avid kayakers and sailors.
If you are itching for some classic summer fun, Kayaking in the Puget Sound is a wonderful activity. Our local SCUBA and kayaking center, Exotic Aquatics has kayak rentals and guided tours at their kayak dock at Waterfront park. Exotic Aquatic will also deliver kayaks to your location, and they also have kayaks for purchase at their store on Madison.
Our Managing Broker, Patti Shannon is an avid kayaker. Keep your eye on the water for a chance to say hi!
- Looking for a chartered sailing adventure? Check out Sail Bainbridge or Dreamboat Adventure Sailing. If you have children who want to learn how to sail,
Bainbridge has a great sailing camp. Courses are taught by certified instructors. For more information, check out the sailing section on Bainbridge Island Parks’ website.
- Looking for a chartered sailing adventure? Check out Sail Bainbridge or Dreamboat Adventure Sailing. If you have children who want to learn how to sail,
Low Tide Beachcombing
If you aren’t familiar with our area, we have incredible swing tides. The beaches double and triple in size, showing off all the wonders hidden by the Puget Sound. Seaglass, shells, and hidden secrets hide beneath our high tides. Don’t forget to skip a rock or two.
Fishing and Crabbing
There’s nothing like a feast of crab and freshly caught fish to show you’re savoring summer on Bainbridge Island. Whether you want to fish or crab with or without a boat is up to you, but always make sure you have a license. Check out more about the optimal times and places to go.
Explore on Your Own Two Feet
The Bloedel Reserve’s mission is “To enrich people’s lives through a premier public garden of natural and designed Pacific Northwest landscapes.” With 150 acres and beautiful trails that weave through forests, meadows, sculpted gardens, this will not disappoint. “Walking in Bloedel is special! It’s gorgeous and full of nature’s best and local history!” Says Broker, Diane Sugden.
Fort Ward Park
Looking to go on a nice stroll with a wide, open path free of cars? Fort Ward Park is an excellent spot. “I love the closed road at Fort Ward Park,” says Managing Broker, Susan Grosten. “No cars are allowed in and it is a level road. A lot of young kids practice their new bike riding skills there without fear of traffic. It is like ‘training wheels lane’!” Diane Sugden also recommends a visit to the park. “Walking or biking at Fort Ward is great. It’s fun because there are old wartime bunkers there and the kids love to explore. The beach there is rocky so it’s fun to turn the rocks over and find crabs.”
The Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial/Pritchard Park
“Our family, grandkids, and dogs especially like visiting Pritchard Park during the summer,” says Managing Brokers Maureen and Ed Buckley. “You can swim, sit on a sandy beach or a log, and have a beach fire or barbecue.”
“The Japanese Exclusion memorial at Pritchard Park is a beautiful tribute to the first Japanese American families removed from their homes and put into camps in World War II. In this time of inclusion awareness, this is a good reminder for everyone. It needs to be age-appropriate for the kids, as it is a difficult time in our history, but it is important,” says Susan Grosten.
Have Fun with the Kids
Kids Discovery Museum
There’s no better place for young children than Bainbridge Island’s museum for kids. The Kids Discovery Museum aims to spark children’s curiosity through experiential learning. Right now, they’re offering summer camps and a virtual art room to feature kids’ creations online. They also have at-home activities that promote STREAM (science, technology, reading, engineering, arts, and math).
Pick Fresh Berries
If you’re not from the PNW then you may be surprised to find that there are blackberries all over our island. Enjoy some free fun with the family by seeing who can pick the most and then use them to make delicious pies or jam.
There are also opportunities to pick other types of berries on the island like the strawberry patches at Suyematsu Farms. For the blueberry lovers in your family, visit Bainbridge Island Blueberry Company.
Inspire the Artist in You
BARN (Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network)
BARN’s mission is to “build and support an open, intergenerational community of artisans and makers who are dedicated to learning, teaching, sharing, and inspiring one another with creativity, craftsmanship and community service”. They are now offering a series of online classes and will be reopening when Kitsap County has entered into Phase 3 of Covid-19. Susan Grosten enjoys BARN and what it offers. “It is such a cool and creative place for artists and woodworkers. It was built with community funds. They have great classes including jewelry making, woodworking, writing, creating fabric arts, and using 3D printers.”
Eagledale Pottery Studio
Bainbridge Island is home to one of the best-kept secrets: the Eagledale Pottery Studio. A simple, WWII-era cinderblock building, this pottery studio houses a vibrant community of ceramic hobbyists of all ages and skill levels. They have classes for kids and adults, individuals, and school groups.
There are so many great summer activities here on Bainbridge Island. Whatever you decide to do, don’t forget to wear your mask, follow the Bainbridge Island COVID-19 rules, and take pictures of all the fun you’re sure to have. We hope you have a healthy, happy summer!