This was originally a discussion of a very large area—Bainbridge Island, Vashon Island, and the entire Kitsap Peninsula—this is an admittedly ambitious post. I mean, seriously, is it possible to define in a few hundred words this entire region lying west of Seattle? Well, no, it’s not, so we broke it up into a series of posts so it’s easier to digest. Hopefully, however, we’ll be able to give you a taste of the many pleasures people find living in this green, saltwater-lapped domain of the Great Northwest.
First up, Bainbridge Island
Known for its ferryboat commuters, upscale lifestyle, and some very beautiful homes. In 1993, the entire isle, which is about five miles wide and ten miles long, was incorporated as the City of Bainbridge Island. The current population is around 23,000. You can reach Bainbridge by a pleasant 35-minute ferry ride from Downtown Seattle, or via Agate Pass Bridge (at the north end of the island), which connects with the Kitsap Peninsula.
Bainbridge Island is gorgeous year round. There are public parks and saltwater beaches, one-of-a-kind boutiques and restaurants, seven independent wineries (four tasting rooms), and a thriving arts community. There’s also the fun, challenging annual Chilly Hilly Bike Ride (coming up February 26, 2012). And not to be missed is the exquisite 150-acre Bloedel Reserve with its public gardens, former manor house, and—of particular interest to mid-century Modern fans—the Japanese-influenced guest house designed in the early 1960s by celebrated “Northwest School” architect Paul Hayden Kirk.
Notable Northwest architects who designed mid-century Modern homes on Bainbridge Island include Ira Cummings and Gene Zema. 360 Modern team member Mark Lowder specializes in homes on Bainbridge and throughout the West Sound area. One of Mark’s current listings offers classic Bainbridge living: an impressive Contemporary Modern sited on two-and-a-half wooded acres in the island’s picturesque Rolling Bay community.