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A day on Bainbridge Island

Walkable town makes for a great day of exploring

The award-winning fish and chips at the Harbour Public House on Bainbridge Island. Photo credit: Marguerite Cleveland

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Bainbridge Island is a fun and easy day trip from Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The walkable town is filled with restaurants, shops, museums and tasting rooms. You can easily fill a day or more with activities.

First stop is the Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce for visitors' information. It has informative brochures with ideas about how to spend your day. There is even one handout that lists all the public restrooms in the downtown area, which is useful knowledge when the crowds come in on the ferry.

Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Friday; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday; closed Sunday, 395 Winslow Way E., Bainbridge Island, 206.842.3700,

Winslow Way is the main road through town, and it is lined with tons to do. Besides museums, there are plenty of interesting shops that have something for everyone. Tucked into side roads are courtyards with more to discover. Here are some of my favorites:

The Traveler: Owned by two well-traveled locals, this travel store is for those who "travel across the Sound and across the world." It carries luggage, travel accessories, clothing, guides and more.  Insider Tip: Make sure to peruse the website for great travel tips.

The Traveler, 9:30 a.m. to 6 :30 p.m., Monday-Saturday; 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Sunday, 256 Winslow Way E., Bainbridge Island, 206.842.4578,

Mora Iced Creamery: Here, they make ice cream the old-fashioned way: in small batches with fresh milk, cane sugar and real eggs. Other ingredients can be fresh fruit, Belgian chocolate or in-house roasted nuts. The creamery has developed more than 70 flavors, with 48 available every day. It really is good and merits all the accolades it has received.

Mora Iced Creamery, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Sunday-Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday, 139 Madrone Ln. N.,  Bainbridge Island, 206.347.0740,

Island Tasting Room Gallery Café: This interesting stop is the Amelia Wynn Winery's Tasting Room and is an art gallery that represents regional artists. On my visit, the name drew me in -- a tasting room, gallery and café all in one? The owners put quite a bit in its tiny space. People and pet-friendly, it is a nice stop for a spot of local wines and a good place to enjoy some beautiful art.

Island Tasting Room Gallery Café, 1-6 p.m., Monday-Thursday; noon-8 p.m., Friday-Saturday; noon-6 p.m., Sunday, 450 Winslow Way E., Bainbridge Island, 206.451.4998,

When it comes time for lunch, head down to the waterfront. There are plenty of options, but my favorite is Harbour Public House. This tavern is in a renovated historic home and serves locally sourced food. The menu is printed like a newspaper with interesting stories in it. Note: no one under age 21 is allowed.  Insider Tip: The Sunday menu features a traditional Sunday roast with meat, potatoes, vegetables and gravy.

Harbour Public House, 11 a.m. to midnight, daily, 231 Parfitt Way SW, Bainbridge Island, 206.842.0969,

It is no wonder Bainbridge Island is such a popular day trip from Seattle. If you have the time, take a roundtrip on the ferry to Seattle. It makes for an inexpensive harbor cruise with spectacular views of Seattle.

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