10 miles W of Seattle (by ferry), 35 miles NE of Bremerton, 46 miles SE of Port Townsend

Bainbridge Island, popular for its miles of waterfront, sound-and-mountain views, and rural feel, is for the most part an affluent bedroom community for Seattle. However, with its bustling little downtown area (reminiscent of tony towns in the San Francisco Bay area), excellent restaurants and B&Bs, many parks, and good bicycling and sea kayaking, it's also a great spot for a quick getaway.

Roughly 10 miles long and 3 1/2 miles wide, Bainbridge Island had long been home to the Suquamish Indians when the island was first charted by Capt. George Vancouver in 1792. Within less than a century after Vancouver's visit, the island had become the site of the world's largest lumber mill (though this is now long gone). The island's early settlement centered around the ferry docks of what was known as the mosquito fleet, though eventually, when car ferries began using the community of Winslow (now known as downtown Bainbridge Island), that community became the island's business center. The island was not linked by bridge to the mainland of the Kitsap Peninsula until the Agate Pass Bridge was opened in 1950.