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:
- 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.
From I-5 Northbound: Head north on 15th Ave S toward S Oregon St. Use any lane to turn left onto S Columbian Way. Continue onto 15th Ave S for 0.3 mi. Use the left 2 lanes to turn slightly left onto S Columbian Way. Keep left at the fork, follow signs for I-5 N/Vancouver and merge onto I-5 N for 1.3 mi. Take exit 164B for Edgar Martinez Drive S for 0.7 mi. Use any lane to turn right onto Edgar Martinez Dr S. Turn right onto 1st Ave S/Dave Niehaus Way S. Continue to follow 1st Ave S for 0.6 mi. Turn left onto S Jackson St. Continue straight onto Ferry Waiting Zone. Ferry Waiting Zone turns left and becomes Seattle Ferry Terminal.
From I-5 Southbound: Follow I-5 S to 6th Ave. Take exit 165A toward James St. Continue on 6th Ave. Take S Jackson St to Seattle Ferry Terminal. Use the right lane to merge onto 6th Ave. Keep right to stay on 6th Ave. Turn right onto S Jackson St. Continue straight onto Ferry Waiting Zone. Ferry Waiting Zone turns left and becomes 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.