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Travel Talk: Bainbridge Island – Pleasant Beach and The Bloedel Reserve

Pleasant Beach Washington

On one of our mornings on Bainbridge Island we headed over to one of the prettiest neighborhoods there – Pleasant Beach with its Tudor style architecture.  That particular style was used there with a home, several shops, and Lynwood Center all built by Emanuel and Edna Olson back in the 1930’s.  The Tudor style was a favorite of Edna’s.

Lynwood Center Bainbridge Island in the 1950ssource

Lynwood Center still stands today and is an operating theater.  Back in 2009 a company tried to build a new development there in the area, but it ran into much financial debt and the property for the new development was finally sold to John Jacobi in 2011.  He and several family members then began to work to make the neighborhood into the walkable village of Pleasant Beach – while still staying true to the original architectural style of Lynwood Center.  Just take a look at the cute street of shops there!

Pleasant Beach shops

Pleasant Beach WA shopsBesides the charming architecture, there is also some unusual sculpture scattered about.

Pleasant Beach Washington garden

And of course there is the lush landscaping like you see all over the island.

Pleasant Beach WA landscapingThere were several places with water features in the village – all with mice sculptures!

Pleasant Beach WA fountain

Pleasant Beach fountain

We had considered staying at the one inn located there  – The Inn at Pleasant Beach.

The Inn and Restaurant at Pleasant BeachUnfortunately, they did not have an availability for us at the time we needed it. I really liked the cheerful blue and yellow color scheme they used in most of the rooms.  I thought they looked more east-coast than northwest in style – which would have been perfectly fine with me. 🙂

Inn at Pleasant Beach WA suite 3source

Inn at Pleasant Beach WA suite 3 bathroom


Inn at Pleasant Beach WA suite 4source

I mentioned that the Tudor style started there with a home built by the Olsons back in the 1930s.  That home is now the village’s Manor House Restaurant,

Manor House restaurant Pleasant Beach WA


and here is a sampling of their menu.

Manor House resturaunt menu Bainbridge Islandsource

It was early in the day when we were visiting that area, so we did not have an opportunity to dine there.  After we looked around the cute shops and other places in Pleasant Beach, (complete list of merchants here) we drove to a wooded area called The Grand Forest and spent an hour hiking there.  It was not easy to find, but once inside that forest, it really was beautiful.

Grand Forest on Bainbridge Island WA

We had lunch back in Eagle Harbor, and then we drove to the magnificent Bloedel Reserve, a 150 acre public garden.  After parking you enter the gatekeeper’s cottage to purchase your tickets, and then you are free to walk the property at your own pace.

Bloedel Reserve entrance buildingHere is a gift shop located inside the gatekeeper’s cottage.

Bloedel Reserve gift shop

There are not a lot of flower beds in this garden, but numerous trees, shrubs, and ponds provide places of beauty.

Bloedel Reserve pond Bainbridge Island WA

Bloedel Reserve WA benchThis formal reflecting pool was a delightful surprise in the middle of the forest.

Bloedel Reserve reflecting poolPaths are dirt or gravel or raised walkways.

Bloedel Reserve Bainbridge Island WA walkwayAnd then there is the actual Bloedel estate home to tour.

Bloedel Reserve estate home WANotice the view out to the water framed by the front and back doors.

Bloedel Reserve WA estate home entranceMrs. Bloedel loved formal furnishings as you can see from the parlor here.

Bloedel Reserve parlorI liked the more casual library area.

Bloedel Reserve libraryAgain, you can see the formality in the chandelier and furnishings of the dining room.

Bloedel Reserve dining roomThis was one of the views from the yard behind the house.

Bloedel Reserve water viewMr. Bloedel was the one with the vision for all of the gardens.  He would consult with professional landscape designers, but in the end he would always have the final say in the design.  Among the areas of the estate he designed was a Japanese garden.

Bloedel Reserve Japanese gardenThe Zen garden in front of the guest house here was once a swimming pool enjoyed by the Bloedel’s grandchildren.  It was filled in some time in the 1980’s.

Bloedel Reserve Japanese garden buildingThere is also a moss garden within the reserve.

Bloedel Reserve moss garden

There is much much more to see of the wonderful Bloedel Reserve, but if you can’t visit it in person, then you might enjoy watching this very peaceful video of the gardens there…from a very different perspective.

Thank you so much for following us as we have traveled through this part of the United States.  Up next will be the beginning of our tour through Washington’s Olympic Peninsula – the favorite of my husband and our son. (I liked it too, just not as much as they did. 🙂 )

Until next time…

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vickie - June 21, 2016 - 8:18 pm

Thank you for taking us along on your fabulous vacation(s)!!!
Thank you for stopping by to read the posts Vickie! 🙂

Gracia @ Gracious Offering - June 21, 2016 - 9:53 pm

Kelly, haven’t been to Bainbridge for a few years. Guess it’s time to go back! Thanks for the inspiration. You know how it is…when you live nearby these sites, you don’t always visit them until company comes. Sure would have been fun to meet up in person when you were so close! There’s always to much to see and do…and so little time!

bev - June 21, 2016 - 10:01 pm

Love your photos. I visited the Island about 7 years ago as part of a conference to learn about Islandwood Camp. I was so impressed with the facility and the vision for educating children about the ecology of the bay area.

It was fun to see the Island’s other beautiful sites. And I am with you – the yellow and blue bedroom is wonderful!
Thank you Bev. 🙂 What a great place to go for a conference!
Yes, that yellow and blue bedroom was beautifully done…and quite different from all the other places I looked at staying there in the Pacific Northwest.

Rosemary - June 22, 2016 - 7:06 am

I’m really enjoying this trip Kelly! Thanks for taking us all along with you 🙂
It really does seem an almost perfect place to visit ….I can imagine just strolling through the gardens, wandering around the shops …then off for a delicious meal. The mice water features are really adorable and the view to the water through the doorway is just begging us to walk through it! I took a similar photograph when we visited Watch Hill . I really wished I could just walk down to the water!!
It was a great place to visit. You need to make a trip there Rosemary, and I know you would enjoy it. 🙂 (And we need to make a trip to Watch Hill!)

Garden, Home and Party - June 22, 2016 - 11:29 am

What a fun trip. I loved your research on each area you visited. We’re just now cooling down from some major heat here in SoCal and your photographs made me feel much cooler just remembering the comfortable weather we have encountered with each visit.
Glad I could help you endure the heat – even if only virtually! You need to be back there now to escape the heat. We had a heat index of 107 last week, while our Seattle son said they were in the 80’s. Jealous here!

Dawn - June 22, 2016 - 11:45 am


This estate is just lovely. I wonder why they filled in the pool? The lush gardens look like a great way to spend the day. Thanks for sharing!
It was lovely Dawn. I think they filled in the pool after the grandchildren no longer used it for recreation. We could use one in our yard today with this oppressive heat and humidity!

Leslie Anne Tarabella - June 23, 2016 - 12:03 am

Built in bookcases and formal dining rooms make my heart sing. Such a pretty place, and I know you must have had a wonderful time.
Well your heart would have been singing with that house Leslie Anne! 🙂 It was definitely pretty with pretty views as well. The trip was amazing.

Gina - June 23, 2016 - 1:27 pm

What a peaceful tranquil garden to meander through. 🙂 And the view from the home is just gorgeous!! Looks like you had some beautiful weather!
Yes, it was. I cannot begin to imagine how much work went into making a garden like that. It was simply gorgeous, and we are lucky that the family decided to open it up for the public to enjoy. The weather was good that day. Sunny days were a real blessing on that trip!

Barbara Livdahl - June 23, 2016 - 9:03 pm

Kelly!! The company my husband works for built the newest Lynnwood Center/Pleasant Beach Village! Isn’t it beautiful? AND, you drove right by our home to get to the Blodel Reserve!!!! We live on Dolphin Drive. Our boys used to Trick-or-Treat at the Reserve. So creepy driving past the pond to the mansion. I drive by the Grand Forest often but have not ever hiked it. Thanks for sharing my home area with your readers.
That is amazing Barbara! Yes, Pleasant Beach Village was WONDERFUL! I loved that area, and they did a fabulous job with it. I can’t believe we went right past your house! What a small small world. Trick or treating at Bloedel would have been great, but I agree that the pond would have been quite spooky.
Thank you for reading and commenting. Glad to share your beautiful area of our country.

Travel Talk: Bainbridge Island – A Few Houses and The Eagle Harbor Inn

Eagle Harbor Bainbridge IslandThis is beautiful Eagle Harbor on Bainbridge Island, Washington.  Wouldn’t you like to be sitting on that bench there enjoying the sunshine and that view??

Sooo very peaceful…

Eagle Harbor Waterfront Park Bainbridge IslandWe spent a morning following that trail as it wandered though the park….

Eagle Harbor trail

past the waterfront….Eagle Harborand in and out of neighborhoods with cute homes.

Eagle Harbor waterfront trailDoesn’t this little stone one remind you of Iris’ cottage in The Holiday? 🙂

Bainbridge Island stone cottageMy photo does not do this next lovely shingled one justice.

Bainbridge Island house cedar shake exteriorIt even had a free library by its driveway.
(I thought that was wonderful!)

Bainbridge Island free little libraryA little further down the road was this one…

Bainbridge Island gray houseand then this one.
The landscaping with stones out front was beautiful.

Bainbridge Island landscaping

And just look at the natural landscaping here.
You’d never have to mow the lawn!Bainbridge Island home landscaping

The waterfront path took us past community vegetable gardens.  Everything was so lush and green there.  It is obvious they get a lot of rain in that area of the country.

Bainbridge Island vegetable gardenWalking on, we came to this charming church…

Bainbridge Island churchand then…this cottage with its very cute flowerbed.

Bainbridge Island residenceIt was located right next to The Eagle Harbor Inn, the inn where we were staying. 🙂

Eagle Harbor Inn Bainbridge IslandThis was the gorgeous view from the inn.
(Obviously it is located right next to the waterfront,
and that is their boat you see there in the middle.)

Eagle Harbor Inn Happy Hour boatThe inn has kind of a different set-up.  It is a series of buildings around a few small courtyards.

Eagle Harbor Inn courtyardThere is no “front desk” for you to check in.  You make your reservation, and they send you information on how to get into your room using a key pad entry when it is time for you to arrive.

Eagle Harbor Inn view Bainbridge IslandAnd although there is no real office for the inn, there is a small common area with supplies for coffee.

Eagle Harbor Inn common areaMy husband, our son, and I stayed in the spacious Harbor suite.

Eagle Harbor Inn room Bainbridge IslandHow do you like the model ships on the headboard?
I thought they were a unique accent for a room in an inn,
(but quite fitting for an inn by a harbor. 🙂 )

Eagle Harbor Inn bed Bainbridge IslandThe sofa folds out into a sofa bed, and extra linens are kept in the trunk there.

Eagle Harbor Inn room Bainbridge Island WA

Eagle Harbor Inn room storage Bainbridge islandThe bathroom was also large (although I could not find an angle that would work for photographing the entire room. 🙁 )  The shower was a generous size.

Eagle Harbor Inn Bainbridge Island bathroomAnd that is almost all I have time to share with you today.  Before we take off exploring the Olympic Peninsula, I do have one more post about two neat places we toured on Bainbridge Island.  So I will leave you with a sneak peek of them.

(They really were pretty, and I think you are going to love seeing them. 🙂 )

Bainbridge Island WA

And because it is Father’s Day I am going to leave you with something entirely for my father.  He loves classical music and bluegrass (and his brother worked for the railroad!) so I think he will enjoy this piece of music.  I hope it keeps your toes tapping! 🙂

Until next time…

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Ruth - June 20, 2016 - 1:27 am

That stone cottage is the house of my dreams! Might have to make a wall poster from that photo! Am so enjoying your trip! Almost as good as going, myself… Almost. :-/
Wasn’t that one just precious?! I am glad you are enjoying the posts about the trip Ruth. More to come (and there is a MAJOR cute village for you to see after we explore the Olympic Peninsula…made me want to move there!)
Have a great week!

Leslie Anne Tarabella - June 20, 2016 - 7:49 am

Absolutely lovely and totally relaxing, I would think! And to finish with The Orange Blossom Special . . . always a good time on your blog!
Of course Bainbridge and The Orange Blossom Special were totally unrelated, but I just had to get that musical performance in for Father’s Day – travel post or not. 🙂 I am glad you appreciate the variety of cultural experiences here at Talk of the House, Leslie Anne. LOL
Thanks for dropping by to visit!

Cheri - June 20, 2016 - 7:59 am

We never got to Bainbridge Island when we were there but it looks gorgeous. When our daughter rented a small home in Fayetteville,NC her neighbor had one of those library houses and our granddaughter would get books there. Such a cute idea. There is a web site on them. Have a good time while there.
How fun for your granddaughter Cheri! I will look for that website. Thanks for the info on it!

mari1017 - June 20, 2016 - 8:26 am

That was FABULOUS!!! I just loved the music and the homes. I’ve never been that far up the west coast, but through your eyes and lens and words, I enjoyed the ride! Glad all had a Happy Father’s Day, and Happy Summer!!!
I’m so glad you loved it Mari! That piece of music is such a fun one. 🙂
Happy Summer to you too!

Donnamae - June 20, 2016 - 8:54 am

So enjoyed that song! And, I am loving this trip! Thanks for the tour…cute homes. And everything is so lush! 😉
I’m so glad you did Donnamae! Wish we could have taken all of you along with us on the trip. You should make a trip to the island and see it in person. 🙂

Cindy T - June 20, 2016 - 9:52 am

This could so be my happy place! Loved the music… Listened to it as is enjoying your blog!
It could be mine too Cindy! I’m happy you enjoyed the music on the post. Not quite my normal Piano Guys selection but a fun piece to listen to. 🙂

anita - June 20, 2016 - 10:33 am

Even the name has a special ring to it! Looks like its a very peaceful place to visit/live!
The stone cottage is adorable!
Yes, it does! Our son preferred the “nature” leg of our trip (coming up soon) but I really really liked Bainbridge. I think we would all like to have a stone cottage like that one.

Gina - June 20, 2016 - 11:47 am

So pretty! The homes were gorgeous and I can just imagine the beautiful gardens in their climate. 🙂 There’s nothing like a harbor shot with boats on the water. So so lovely!! Looks like a fun trip. 🙂
It was a fun trip! And the gardens were beyond beautiful. If you like gardens Gina, you will love the next post. 🙂

Garden, Home and Party - June 20, 2016 - 1:13 pm


The Inn looks lovely. If we ever need a place to stay during one of our visits, I’ll definitely plan on staying there. Linda always has us stay with her and Tom, which is very nice.
I took pictures of 2 of the houses you’ve shared. The house fronts are what caught my eye. Such a beautiful feel to the houses on the island.
How wonderful that you have friends to stay with there, and that is so funny that you had photographed 2 of the houses! Great minds think alike. 🙂

Dawn - June 20, 2016 - 1:18 pm


You always stay at the neatest places. I love exploring with you via e-trip. Thanks for sharing! Take care.
Thank you for coming along with us (virtually of course) Dawn. I usually do a ton of research to find good places to stay. (Although we have an upcoming trip where we are just “Holiday Inn-ing” it all the way soon.)
Thanks for reading!

Shirley@Housepitality Designs - June 22, 2016 - 5:48 pm

Always wanted to go to Bainbridge Island….I know someone who used to have a B&B and antique shop on the island….so gorgeous!
You should go Shirley! How fun to own both of those, and how great that they were in such a beautiful place!

Barbara Livdahl - June 24, 2016 - 2:24 pm

I just now spotted this post on your travel talk so, of course, I have another comment. Your accommodations were kitty-corner from my hubby’s office. Did you happen to notice Fairbank Construction? Small world!
Oh my goodness. Definitely a small world! I believe Fairbank’s office was right up the street towards town – near the Gelato place. I just loved Bainbridge Island. You are in such a wonderful part of our country!

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