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Bainbridge Island offers fine foods, outdoor activities

From wine tasting to hiking, spend the day or more

The Harbour Public House, a revitalized and rebuilt restaurant and pub set in a house originally constructed in 1881, is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. /Melissa Renahan

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The 28-square mile island of Bainbridge, located west of Seattle, has a population of 20,000 ... and a thriving tourism industry thanks to all there is to do.

The town of Winslow, which encompasses the downtown area, is full of unique shops and storefronts, from vintage bookstores to hip clothing purveyors, and restaurants range from the small, gourmet Four Swallows to the more mainstream Streamliner Diner.

From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., every Saturday from now through the end of August, the Bainbridge Farmers Market, held in the Town Square at City Park, is open and full of vendors selling flowers, produce, foods, crafts and more.

With seven artisanal wineries located on the island, wine tasting is a popular pastime. Three of them, Eagle Harbour Wine Company, Eleven Winery and Island Vintners, run tasting rooms that are open regular hours every day. However, on certain summer weekends (with the next two coming up on August 6 and 7, as well as Labor Day weekend in September) all of the wineries are open for tastings and tours. To download a map of all of the wineries, visit http://bainbridgewineries.com.

Outdoor enthusiasts can also kayak, bike the island's many trails or hike the 150-acre Bloedel Reserve, a mix of natural forest and creative gardens.

If it seems that a day just won't be long enough, there are a variety of Bed & Breakfasts, vacation rentals and hotels on the island, all of which can be found at www.bainbridgelodging.com.

Ferries run seven days a week, leaving from Seattle, upwards of 15 times a day (www.wsdot.com/ferries/schedule). The ride, which takes approximately 35 minutes, is the better option if you don't want to drive over an hour to cross the Agate Pass Bridge from the Kitsap Peninsula.

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