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Seattle/Bainbridge/Whidbey Memorial Day weekend 2014

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Los Angeles...
posts: 6
Seattle/Bainbridge/Whidbey Memorial Day weekend 2014

My husband and I are planning a visit to Seattle over Memorial Day weekend this year. Flying into Seattle Friday, the back home Tuesday morning. We'd like to spend Friday night in Seattle (we've been there before, so we only go see a few sights), then we'd like to see Bainbridge Island, and Whidbey. Any advice? Do we need reservations for the ferry? We'll be renting a car. Bainbridge first, then Whidbey, or reverse?

Thanks-

Nancy

16 replies to this topic
Los Angeles...
posts: 6
1. Re: Seattle/Bainbridge/Whidbey Memorial Day weekend 2014

Oops! Forgot to state that any recommendations as far as places to stay on Whidbey and bainbridge are appreciated!

Port Angeles, WA
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
posts: 6,183
reviews: 6
2. Re: Seattle/Bainbridge/Whidbey Memorial Day weekend 2014

Before offering any advice, may I ask what it is you hope to see and do during your visits to Bainbridge Island, Whidbey Island, and Seattle? Why did you pick WI and BI? I understand that, since you have visited Seattle before, you would like to branch out.

Los Angeles...
posts: 6
3. Re: Seattle/Bainbridge/Whidbey Memorial Day weekend 2014

I've heard through friends that both islands are really pretty. Just looking to do some light hiking, biking, and just soak up some nature! Thanks for your help.....

Poulsbo, Washington
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
posts: 4,837
reviews: 4
4. Re: Seattle/Bainbridge/Whidbey Memorial Day weekend 2014

There is far more to see and do on Whidbey. Spend both days there. Wit h Whidbey you can drive by way of Deception Pass and avoid the long ferry lines at least leaving the Island. The ferries will be very crowded that weekend.

Port Angeles, WA
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
posts: 6,183
reviews: 6
5. Re: Seattle/Bainbridge/Whidbey Memorial Day weekend 2014

You only have 3 days; I would think that you would want to make the most of your limited time. BI is not what you think it is. WI, on the other hand, will provide you with the light hiking, biking, and soaking up nature you seek. There has long been controversy about Bainbridge Island in this forum. People who do not know the region hear the word "island" and imagine an unspoiled place of natural beauty with beaches, etc... BI is a very pleasant, attractive bedroom community of Seattle.It is not what most people envision when they think of an island. It does have some semi-rural charms with several small wineries, a garden preserve, and a charming waterfront area. However, it is a developed area with more of a suburban than rural character. Some people on this forum love it, and if Western Washington did not have so many remarkable scenic destinations in and around Seattle, I would, too. As it is, it pales in comparison to other accessible destinations, Whidbey Island among them. I think BI makes for a pleasant 35 minute ferry ride and a nice day trip if you lack the time or the transportation to see any of the much more scenic possibilities in the area.

Whidbey Island also has some development, but it possesses the kind of stunning scenery that Bainbridge Island lacks. Deception Pass, for example, is one of the more dramatic sites in Western Washington. You will enjoy your time there.

Seattle, Washington
posts: 703
reviews: 12
6. Re: Seattle/Bainbridge/Whidbey Memorial Day weekend 2014

There's not a lot to see or do on Bainbridge Island. The main attraction is the ferry ride over. There are a few shops and restaurants near the Bainbridge ferry terminal that are worth a short perusal.

You could however make a nice loop out of your weekend. Drive over to Bainbridge, then up to Port Townsend. Overnight. Then take ferry to Whidbey (reserve in advance), explore the main attractions (Forts Ebey and Casey, and Ebey Landing National Historic Reserve), plus the nice waterfront village at Coupeville. Overnight there or in Friday Harbor.

Then on the final day, visit Deception Pass before returning to Seattle on I-5 (possibly via La Conner).

Poulsbo, Washington
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
posts: 4,837
reviews: 4
7. Re: Seattle/Bainbridge/Whidbey Memorial Day weekend 2014

amoose I do not think you meant Friday Harbor.

Vancouver, Canada
posts: 15,014
reviews: 46
8. Re: Seattle/Bainbridge/Whidbey Memorial Day weekend 2014

I second the suggestion in post 6. I'm sure Oak Harbour was the intended suggestion, Friday Harbour is in the San Juans. I've been warned here about a significant increase in aircraft noise from the Oak Harbour Navy base. The planes are impressive to watch - we've watched them from the campground at Deception Pass, but if they are now doing night flights as well, I think that could be quite disruptive to a stay in the Oak Harbour area.

I like the suggestion of going to Bainbridge for a few hours, then continuing to Port Townsend. Head to La Conner for your second night, very cute little town.

Seattle, Washington
posts: 703
reviews: 12
9. Re: Seattle/Bainbridge/Whidbey Memorial Day weekend 2014

Thanks for the correction, I certainly did mean Oak Harbor.

I've stayed in Oak Harbor (and Coupeville) quite a few times, and never noticed any jet noise. I normally stay on Fri and/or Sat evenings. I don't know whether they don't fly at the weekends or I've just been lucky so far!

Port Townsend...
posts: 213
reviews: 45
10. Re: Seattle/Bainbridge/Whidbey Memorial Day weekend 2014

I would stay both saturday and sunday nights in Port Townsend. You can make a day trip over to Whidbey. (Reserve both ends of the ferry trip.) Port Gamble is fun. You could spend a day in ONP from here. Or just spend a day hanging around PT.

Assuming your flight on Tuesday is early, you can head over to the airport Monday evening. The drive from here to the airport is 2 hours and doesn't involve a ferry which might be a good thing on the Monday evening of a major holiday weekend.

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