If you’ve glanced at our pages, you’ve seen that Bainbridge Island is a unique place to live. For newcomers considering Bainbridge, many ask where else did islanders look before choosing Bainbridge. What other desirable residential areas are in Puget Sound?
Here are a few, nearby locations:
This island sits in Lake Washington with I-90 connecting it to downtown Seattle to the west and Bellevue to the east. More of a bedroom community (pop. 23,154), Mercer Island consistently has high ranking, awarding-winning schools in its district.
Also situated on the Eastside, Microsoft’s growth has spelled large growth for this suburban community, including an extensive, high-end shopping center and highrise office buildings in downtown Bellevue and an expanded variety of restaurants, hotels, entertainment options and a botanical garden.
Farther east down I-90, you’ll find Issaquah. Closer to hiking trails on Cougar and Tiger Mountains, residents enjoy the outdoor recreational opportunities in the backyard of this Seattle suburb nestled in the Cascades’ foothills, while still appreciating small-town charms, an arts community and high quality residential amenities.
Sitting on the northeast corner of Lake Washington, Kirkland has developed a distinct community personality (pop. 50,000) with its unique downtown waterfront, historical buildings, restaurants, beaches and nearby wineries.
Drive across Bainbridge Island and you’ll land in Poulsbo on Liberty Bay. With its rejuvenated “Little Norway” style downtown area, Norwegian bakeries and galleries, this town has become a bustling tourist attraction in the summer months (don’t miss the Viking Fest!). Offering more commercial shopping options recently, many residents of nearby towns visit Poulsbo.
A Washington State ferry port (to Kingston, WA), Edmonds is only 18 miles north of Seattle but offers a cheerful, small town downtown area and al fresco cafes. Activities abound with numerous parks, restaurants, a beach dog park and a new arts center (2006).
For those wanting a rural island experience but stay close to Seattle, Vashon fits the bill. Just 37 square miles and a population of 10,000, Vashon has a true small town feel. Many residents commute (the island has 4 ferry options) while others have mom and pop businesses on the island.
A picturesque green area, Gig Harbor sits north of the Tacoma Narrows in Pierce County. Easy access to the Olympic National Park, a historic waterfront area and convenience to Tacoma attract many to this maritime village (pop. 7,000). For being a small community, several large annual events take place here, such as a beer festival, outdoor concert series, wine and food fest and outdoor movies.
Farthest from Seattle, Port Townsend (pop. 9,000) is a scenic, waterfront town known for its historical Victorian buildings (downtown is a National Historic Landmark), annual wooden boat and jazz festivals and thriving arts community. Its ferry travels several times a day to Whidbey Island, and many boat-owning locals thrive living in this Strait of Juan de Fuca seaport.