Getting to Bainbridge Island

There are two ways to get to Bainbridge Island, if you don’t count swimming or float plane and you don’t have a friend with a sail or motorboat.

1. Driving
2. Washington State Ferry (“the boat”)

Driving to Bainbridge Island
Google Maps has accurate directions to get you from any location to downtown Winslow, Bainbridge Island, WA. A bridge connects Bainbridge Island to the mainland, and if driving from Seattle you will drive around Puget Sound. Approximate time from Seattle to Bainbridge Island by car: 1 hour 43 mins (92.1 miles).

Washington State Ferry
Drive down to the waterfront in Seattle and take a ferry across to Bainbridge Island. You can park your car under the Alaskan Way Viaduct and just “walk across” on the ferry. It costs to go from Seattle to Bainbridge Island, but the return is free. Once you get to Bainbridge Island, just walk up the hill into town for lunch or activities. That ferry ride has some of the best views you’ll find of the Seattle city skyline.

You will want to take the “Bainbridge Island ferry” to get to Bainbridge Island, of course. Be aware that the Bremerton boat loads adjacent to the Bainbridge Island boat, and it can often be confusing. The Bainbridge Island ferry leave almost every hour; exact schedule here.

To take the Bainbridge Island ferry, you will need to leave from the Washington State Ferry Terminal:
801 Alaskan Way Pier 52
Seattle, WA 98104

(click to open Google Maps in new window)

From: I-5 Northbound exit 164B. This is the Edgar Martinez Drive S. exit. At the end of the ramp turn right onto Edgar Martinez Drive S and drive west toward the waterfront. Turn right onto First Avenue S., travel one block and turn left at S. Royal Brougham Way. Turn right and travel north in the lanes under the viaduct. Turn right onto Alaskan Way S. WSF is about 1/3 of a mile north. Look for overhead signage. There is a special left hand turn lane specifically for vehicle traffic into the toll plaza. NO DROP OFF at the toll plaza. It is strictly for vehicles and occupants boarding the ferry.

From: I-5 Southbound exit 164. This is the 4th Avenue S. and Safeco field exit. At the end of the ramp turn right onto Fourth Avenue S. At S. Royal Brougham Way take the ramp to Edgar Martinez Drive S. Turn right onto Edgar Martinez Drive and travel west toward the waterfront. Turn right onto First Avenue S., travel one block and turn left at S. Royal Brougham Way. Turn right and travel north in the lanes under the viaduct. Turn right onto Alaskan Way S. WSF is about 1/3 of a mile north. Look for overhead signage. There is a special left hand turn lane specifically for vehicle traffic into the toll plaza. NO DROP OFF at the toll plaza. It is strictly for vehicles and occupants boarding the ferry.

There is plenty of parking around the Seattle Ferry Terminal.

If you prefer to drive onboard, make sure you take queue time into account. The peak commute hours usually begin with the 3:00 p.m. departure through approximately 7:00 p.m. The suggested advance arrival time for vehicle traffic is 30-60 minutes ahead of the scheduled departure. For non-peak travel, a minimum of 30 minutes in advance is recommended.Walk-on passengers should arrive at least 15 minutes prior to sailing.

The current fares for passengers, automobiles and motorcycles are online (PDF).