One of the most popular attractions on Bainbridge Island is the Bloedel Reserve, a stunning 150-acre garden woodland with curated spaces resembling an outdoor museum with works of art in nature. It’s no wonder that a visit to Bloedel Reserve holds the number one spot on TripAdvisor for the best things to do on Bainbridge Island, and of the nearly 500 five-star reviews, they all call to the space being tranquil, calming, and peaceful.
Bloedel Reserve is located on the Northend of the Island, just a quick under ten-minute drive up highway 305 from downtown Winslow. It’s the perfect addition to a romantic getaway or family-focused vacation in the Northwest. There are 23 distinct areas at Bloedel Reserve, and each stands out for its unique scene, whether bright Rhodendron blooms, stunning Japanese Maples, or the fairytale-like Birtch Garden.
Before you get your tickets for Bloedel Reserve (which are required), you’ll want to book your Bainbridge Island lodging, and our boutique hotel in downtown Winslow is the best choice. We offer an array of room styles and larger accommodations, and each is beautifully appointed and has everything you’ll need for a restful and comfortable stay. Head over to our availability calendar and get your reservation set up today!
Contemplation and Peaceful Strolls at Bloedel Reserve
Bloedel Reserve was initially designed by Prentice Bloedel, who wanted to “create a deeply intimate experience with the self.” As you’ll see on your tour here, each garden leads to the next, immersing each guest in the beauty and stillness of undisturbed nature. As you enter the reserve, you’ll first come to the Arrival Garden, the park’s newest and most recent addition. Constructed from 2019-2022, this unique area offers beds with bright blooms and serves as beautiful welcoming grounds.
Guests, on average, spend about two hours at Bloedel, but you could easily take more time. The two-mile loop is well-maintained with gravel, bark, and paved sections, and this path weaves through the distinct garden areas. You’ll begin in the Buxton Bird Marsh and Meadow (this section of the park received an Award for Environmental Excellence from the WA Nursery & Landscape Association in 2019), a site dedicated to the conservation and protection of the local wildlife.
Listen to the birdsong through the trees and head on to the Japanese Garden and Guest House. This garden is one of the oldest in the Bloedel Reserve—you’ll see some of the most ancient trees on the property. Perhaps one of the most peaceful areas of the reserve, guests often spend a bit of time here, reflecting and peeking in the windows of the traditional Japanese Guest House constructed of forest wood and recycled teak.
The trail takes you through many other distinct garden areas, including the Moss Garden, Rhododendron Glen, Sand and Stone Garden, and the Trestle Bridge. One of the favorite landmarks is the Reflection Pool (pictured above). This area has a secret garden quality, as the pool is tucked behind hedges and the paths are secluded and shaded—plan on spending a bit of extra time here to meditate and take in the picturesque scenery.
Elegant Island Lodging at Eagle Harbor Inn
After you’ve recentered yourself at Bloedel Reserve, retreat back to our Inn for an afternoon reprieve. Whether you’ve chosen a cozy room for two or one of our spacious townhome options, you’ll find our rooms meticulously cleaned, beautifully decorated, and fully equipped for a relaxing stay. These spaces are designed to put your mind at ease and transport you to island living. Listen for the ferry horn off in the distance, and watch as the sailboats glide in and out of the Marina.