Now you might be looking at the title and asking yourself, “How on earth could I take a scenic drive to an island?” Why, on the Washington State Ferries, of course! Our ferry system crisscrosses the Puget Sound in multiple places, making it much easier to access islands and remote peninsulas. You can drive your car right onto the ferries, making a drive to any of the destinations they serve a breeze. Plus, the view from the deck of a ferry is absolutely stunning, so it definitely qualifies as scenic!

Bainbridge Island Ferry

Ferry docked at Bainbridge Island
The ferry docking at Bainbridge Island.

Starting in Seattle Southside, take 99 North for a more scenic route to Seattle with views of the Duwamish River and the Port of Seattle, as well as our Stadium District, SoDo. You’ll start to see signs for the ferry terminal as you near downtown. At the Ferry Terminal, follow signs for the Bainbridge Ferry – there are two different ferries from this terminal so make sure you’re taking the right one!

Once you’ve parked on the ferry, you can get out and enjoy the approximately 35-minute ferry ride with stunning views from the decks, or if it’s a bit windy you can choose to sit in the indoor seating area. Galley service has returned to some of the ferries after a temporary closure during the pandemic, and all ferries have vending machines available for snacks if you need something to eat during your ride. Be sure to keep an ear open for P.A. announcements so that you can hear when you need to return to your car prior to docking.

Bainbridge Island Scenic Drive

Rock statue near marina on Bainbridge Island
You can spot this fun rock sculpture at the Bainbridge Marina!

After you get off the ferry, explore the beautiful environs around Bainbridge Island, which we’ve gone into greater detail on in our Bainbridge Island Day Trip post. You can make a loop of some of the highlights of Bainbridge’s attractions by taking a left on Winslow Way after you disembark, which will take you past the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art and the historical Town & Country Market. Turn right up Madison to cruise past City Hall, then turn left on Wyatt. Wyatt will become Eagle Harbor Drive, which forms a loop past the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial, Pritchard Park, Rockaway Beach, and Blakely Harbor. The road changes names to Blakely Avenue after the harbor and turns back northward through beautiful wooded environs. Hang a left onto Bucklin Hill, then right onto Fletcher Bay Road. This road, which later becomes Miller Road, takes you through the heart of the countryside past farms and gardens, including historic Bainbridge Gardens.

Miller Road eventually will take you to State Highway 305. Going southbound will return you to the city of Bainbridge and the Bainbridge Ferry for a return trip to Seattle. If you want a longer adventure, you can take the highway north, eventually crossing Agate Pass Bridge to the Kitsap Peninsula, which has many beautiful sights of its own. That’s a scenic drive for another day, however, as we leave Bainbridge Island in our rearview mirror.