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Port Townsend or Bainbridge Island?

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California
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Port Townsend or Bainbridge Island?

Hello Seattle! :)

We'll be driving up and around the Olympic Peninsula coming from the Oregon Coast.

We'll most likely be spending the night in Port Angeles after a few days in the ONP, then will have a day for sightseeing before getting on a Ferry to Seattle in the evening. Trying to decide between

Port Townsend or Bainbridge Island. Are they pretty similar? I hear you can rent bikes on Bainbridge... same for Port Townsend? Just looking for a pleasant day to have lunch and poke around a little... would there be time to do both?

I'm asking here on the Seattle forum thinking the locals or experienced Seattle travelers have been to both places for weekend getaways or day trips.

Thanks in advance for your advice! :)

Seattle, Washington
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1. Re: Port Townsend or Bainbridge Island?

You should be able to do both. Both will give you a couple of hours worth of poking around and Port Townsend isn't that far out of the way from Port Angeles. You add 40 minutes by heading to PT, round trip. In PT, there is the main downtown, some nice older areas, and Fort Worden (if you have kids/are military buffs, this is a neat stop. It's an old fortification that was meant to protect the Sound. It with two other forts could provided a "triangle of fire" on any would be ne'er-do-wells looking to plunder Seattle). Bainbridge Island is walkable and will probably take an hour or so to do. On the way, there is also Poulsbo, which has a cute downtown area and the Blodel reserve is also on the way. Check them out.

Amsterdam, The...
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2. Re: Port Townsend or Bainbridge Island?

You can rent bikes in PT downtown at the Broken Spoke or PT Cyclery.

Both are out of your way on the way to PA from the Oregon coast. Have look at a map to see. Bainbridge is quite a bit more out of the way. I'd say there's not enough there to drag you that far off HWY 101.

Port Townsend is a lovely small town. Bainbridge is a good sized, lightly populated, suburban area.

Gig Harbor...
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3. Re: Port Townsend or Bainbridge Island?

Instead of over-nighting in Port Angeles, you might consider staying in Port Townsend. It's not that much farther and Port Townsend has lots of nice B and B's, some restaurants, and "Victorian house" neighborhoods for an evening or early morning walk. Next day, take the ferry to Whidbey Island, stop at Langley (slightly out of the way) and / or Coupeville, drive north across Deception pass, head east to La Conner for a brief stop, then drive down I-5 to Seattle. Or you could just go as far as Deception Pass, back-track to Clinton, and take that ferry heading towards Seattle. Whidbey is much more rural than Bainbridge Island and has several state parks to poke around in.

California
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4. Re: Port Townsend or Bainbridge Island?

Thanks for the advice everyone...

I was thinking too about spending the night in Port Townsend instead. It appears to be about an hour's drive from Port Angeles, and then we'd already be there hungry for breakfast! :)

I will look into the bike rental there. Looks like both places are very bike friendly.

Thank you! :)

California
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5. Re: Port Townsend or Bainbridge Island?

Historyteacher, you present a very interesting alternative. It looks like your route would take us on a very nice sightseeing tour of that area. I remember coming across pictures of La Conner and the Tulips early in my research and it looks beautiful! Is there a very short window to see the tulips? (I hear they're very delicate) We'll be there in early June.

I also read that the view of Seattle coming in from Bainbridge Island on the ferry, especially in the evening, is really nice, and that is primarily why I was aiming for Bainbridge, (if even just to take the ferry from there) Thoughts?

Thanks for your time! :)

Amsterdam, The...
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6. Re: Port Townsend or Bainbridge Island?

Tulips are Spring flowers here just like everywhere else in the world. June is too late.

If spend the night in PT then I encourage you to have breakfast at The Oak Table in Sequim. You will thank me later. ;-)

Gig Harbor...
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7. Re: Port Townsend or Bainbridge Island?

The tulips are an April event, but La Conner is an enjoyable little town anytime. You might enjoy the quilt museum in a beautiful old mansion, there is also an art museum on the main street. Anacortes is also a good stop for lunch - we enjoyed Gere-a-Deli and there are several fun shops in the historic downtown.....You could do the Bainbridge ferry while you are in Seattle. The terminal is at the south end of the waterfront, the ride is 30 minutes each way, and Bainbridge has a little town with shops and restaurants (Winslow) only a few blocks from the terminal....Or if you just want the scenic ferry ride, the Bremerton ferry is an hour each way, but not much to attract the tourist once you get there. Bloedel reserve is lovely but several miles from the ferry port - you would need to take your car on the ferry if you wanted to visit it.

Poulsbo, Washington
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8. Re: Port Townsend or Bainbridge Island?

Chuck I ate at the Oak Table on Friday and Thursday the week before. By far my favorite breakfast place in Washington. Did you know there is one in Kingston?

Edited: 13 May 2013, 17:19
Amsterdam, The...
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9. Re: Port Townsend or Bainbridge Island?

Yes I knew, but I've never been to the Kingston one.

Funny story, my friend is a journalist and she got the assignment to update Fodor's Washington guide. So while she was out this way doing research we sent her to the Oak Table. They started her off with the apple pancake, but then they proceeded to bring her almost the entire menu. She and her boyfriend rolled out of there and they were unable to continue with their research. They came back to PT and we spent the afternoon drinking at the Pourhouse while they moaned an held their full bellies.

Hee he..

Poulsbo, Washington
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10. Re: Port Townsend or Bainbridge Island?

Good story. The Kingston restaurant is nice, but always crowded and has a different feel. I have been going there since they opened. Many of the servers have been there forever. That along with the fact that Sequim is further from the big city makes a difference. The food is just as good. If you have never had it try the Mexican Omlette. My friend from Mill Creek refers to it as the Oak Veneer Table.

Edited: 13 May 2013, 18:04