Bloedel Reserve ~ Bainbridge Island, Washington

Catch the ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge Island, browse the shops and peruse the local restaurants. For walk-on ferry passengers, take Kitsap Transit’s “BI Ride” from the ferry to Bloedel Reserve where you can easily spend several hours exploring the 150 acre public garden and forest preserve.

The bus leaves you at the gate house / gift shop entrance where you start your adventure. Knowledgeable staff will review your Bloedel Reserve map and answer your questions. The map is easy to follow and if time is an issue, you can choose several key spots to explore and leave the full walk for your next visit.

Highlights of your visit to Bloedel Reserve include the serene Japanese gardens (comprised of traditional Japanese gardens, a Sand and Stone Garden and a Japanese Guest House), wild Moss gardens, a waterfall overlook, a boardwalk over wetlands, the bird marsh, maple lane, a reflection pool, camellia walk and the former residence, now the visitor center.

At the visitor center a docent will answer your questions. The library has a collection of 1,400 horticultural and botanical books, available for reading and research on-site. Explore the living and dining rooms on the first floor, check out the plaques on a hallway wall containing a brief history of the reserve, including a quote by Prentice Bloedel, the original owner: “Nature can live without man, but man cannot live without nature.”

Read more