What’s it Like to Retire on Bainbridge Island?

Bainbridge Island lets retirees enjoy the best of multiple worlds. The picturesque settings are dotted with welcoming shops and eateries, and a population of just over 24,000 protects the small-town feel while ensuring access to important amenities like health care. Plus, seniors who can’t find everything they need during retirement on the lovely island can hop a ferry to Seattle for big-city choices. Here are just a few reasons seniors might want to make a home on Bainbridge Island.

Safety and Security

Bainbridge Island has a low crime rate and is statistically safer than 72 percent of the cities in the nation. Seniors making a home here only have a 1 in 70 risk of experiencing crime, which compares very favorably with the 1 in 17 risk you run in Seattle. And while life on the island is slightly more expensive than in Seattle — that includes average home prices — seniors who enjoy the Pacific Northwest and want the benefit of having Seattle nearby may consider the uptick in security worth the slightly higher cost of living. Plus, since Washington state doesn’t have an income tax, your retirement disbursements go that much farther.


Seniors can easily get around (and off) the island even if they no longer drive. Bainbridge Island has a commuter service for seniors who want to keep a regular schedule or work during retirement, and the Washington State Department of Transportation runs ferry service to and from the island. Seniors age 65 plus or anyone with a Medicare card can access half-price ferry fares, making a trip to Seattle affordable.

Ample Amenities

Seniors who enjoy the outdoors will find plenty to do during retirement on Bainbridge Island. A visit to Bloedel Reserve lets you enjoy the flora and fauna of the area as well as more exotic options. The 150-acre reserve has enough to see that seniors can spend multiple visits here. A paved road lets those with limited mobility enjoy the natural surroundings, and the reserve offers wheelchairs for use on site. Seniors get a discount on admission, and if you want to bring your grandkids, children 4 and under are free while tickets for those age 6 to 12 only cost $6.

Other amenities on the island include an art museum, Japanese American Exclusion Memorial and a historical museum. Seniors may also enjoy numerous shopping areas, unique restaurants and green spaces and parks.

Health Care Providers

Seniors with chronic health conditions may want to settle in a neighborhood where health care options are nearby. While Bainbridge Island doesn’t have a hospital, seniors can seek preventative and urgent care at a variety of clinics and doctor’s offices. Seattle’s highly rated Virginia Mason Medical Center has a campus on the island — The Virginia Mason Bainbridge Island Medical Center.

The Center offers general care as well as specialty care for oncology, neurology, cardiology and other niches important for seniors. The center is open for some evening and weekend hours in addition to regular daily hours, making it easier for seniors to get appointments when needed.

Seniors who want to live on the island but need more assurance of fast access to medical care may want to consider retirement in one of the available assisted living communities.

From the Kitsap Regional Library branch located right in the heart of town to the Ted Olsen Nature Preserve in the north, the area in and around Bainbridge is unique, beautiful and a great place for retirement. Seniors can work with an experienced real estate agent to find the right home on the island or sell their Seattle property to downsize to island living.

If your interested in our Beautiful Island give me a call, or visit SonjaJones.com.  Let’s bring you home!