Spring at the Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island
From the first day we moved to Suquamish, Washington we had friends telling us about the Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island. Always being busy and never being bored, we’d never carved out time to visit. Well, we finally did and it was amazing!
We’re going to keep it brief because the best way to explain the Bloedel Reserve and how incredible it is is by sharing, for lack of a better word, a photo essay with you. If you don’t like beautiful pictures, just stop reading in a moment, but know that we were so wowed with our visit that we bought a family annual membership before we left.
What you'll find...
What makes the Bloedel Reserve incredible
If you’ve been to the Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia you know how amazing and calming a grand, well maintained garden is. Take that concept and put it into the Seattle area… which is totally laid back and all about keeping the world green and natural. The Bloedel Reserve is the perfect blend of natural landscape with native plants and carefully crafted gardens, varying in style and theme.
We love the Butchart Gardens, like, really love them a lot, but upon driving away from the Bloedel Reserve we all said that we much preferred that experience to the more well know Canadian Butcharts. Agh, enough talking. Now for our photo essay of a spring day at the Bloedel Reserve.
The Meadow and Deciduous Forest
The Bird Refuge
And because it’s nice to see what it sounds like and looks like when things move…
The Pacific Northwest Woods
The Bloedel Residence
The Bloedel Residence is a beautiful house built on or around 1928 (so mysterious). You can tour the main floor and peek just a bit up the grand staircase to the upstairs. The walls are home to some beautiful family paintings and art collection, as well as rotational local artists on the main level.
The Japanese Garden
The Moss Garden
As you can see, we were beyond taken with the Bloedel Reserve. It’s a practically unknown gem on Bainbridge Island.
Fun for kids at the Bloedel Reserve
It doesn’t take much for us all to have fun, but something great at the Bloedel Reserve is the Eye Spy scavenger hunt. When you first arrive and get your map of the reserve, they’ll also give you a four page scavenger hunt to get your kids (or adults) excited and involved in the Reserve experience. While we were successful at finding all of the items on the guide, there were a few that were challenging for the kids. It made the day a continual process and really held the kids’ interest.
Tip: if you’re touring a conservatory, large garden or even museum, check with the desk to see if there is a scavenger hunt to share with your kids. It’s a fun way to make learning happen without telling your kids… if you’re sneaky like we are…
Getting to the Bloedel Reserve
If you’re in the Seattle area, it’s easy to get to the Bloedel Reserve. You can take the ferry from downtown Seattle across to Bainbridge Island. It’s a half hour boat ride and well, who doesn’t love to get out on the water? You can also take a ferry to Kingston from Edmonds, and then you’ll drive a half hour south to the Reserve. If you’re visiting from the south, such as Tacoma, you can drive about an hour to the westernmost tip of Bainbridge Island. The Bloedel Reserve is close to Suquamish, Kingston and Poulsbo, so there are plenty of other reasons to be in the area too.
Rob Taylor is the founder of 2TravelDads, the original LGBT Family Travel blog. Focusing on ecotourism and education, 2TravelDads inspires LGBT families (and traditional families also) to go beyond their usual getaways and use travel to learn about and be part of a bigger world. “Traveling the globe and giving the kids a broad worldview.”