Bloedel Reserve Garden on Bainbridge Island

Two weeks ago, we went for the first time to the Bloedel Reserve Garden on Bainbridge Island. This is a short ferry ride from Seattle followed by a 15-minute drive.

We did not know what to expect, all we heard was that it was a nice garden. At first, we were surprised by its size. This is a 140-acre garden where you can spend plenty of time. The paths and trails are well designed and it is easy to walk around.
You never get bored, as the landscape is really diverse, with different areas such as a meadow, ponds, a Japanese garden, and a reflection pool. There is also a forest wetland where we saw five deer from only 30 feet away. A residence sits in a beautiful park with a phenomenal full view on the Puget Sound and Mount Baker in the back.
The entire family can enjoy it.

— A few things to know before you go:
– The admission is $15 per person (which is rather pricy) so be sure to get there somewhat early so you have enough time to enjoy the different areas.
– Open from 10am to 4pm
– There is no coffee shop, restaurant, or picnic area and no food is allowed in the garden.

Bloedel Reserve 7571 NE Dolphin Drive, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110


Parklets: for people to sit, and enjoy the city

You may have seen little decks around the city, installed along the streets like sidewalk extensions, using several parking spaces. They are called parklets. Different from the restaurants terraces, they are public and everybody can enjoy them. They are owned and managed by the city of Seattle.

I like the parklets because they provide something convivial to each community or neighborhood. They may be decorated with plants or art, and there are benches or chairs where you can rest. I saw most of them this winter so they were not often used but I can’t wait to see them during summer time!

There are around 15 parklets all over the city but there are plans to create more. I am not sure they can install any downtown or around south lake union where parking spots are already so difficult to find.

Here are the ones I have seen and pictured: Montana Bar (Capitol Hill) close to Crumble and Flake, Cortona Café (Central District) with painted glass mosaic made by the community, and Oasis Tea Zone (intl district, china town)

Here is the list:

  • City Hostel Seattle in Belltown (2327 2nd Ave)
  • Harbour Pointe Coffeehouse in Madison Valley (2818 E Madison St)
  • Equilibrium Fitness in West Seattle (3270 California Ave SW)
  • Tin Umbrella Coffee Roasters in Hillman City (5600 Rainier Ave S)
  • Bottlehouse and Hi Spot Café in Madrona (1416 34th Ave)
  • Lost Lake Lounge and Comet Tavern in Capitol Hill (10th Ave and Pike St)
  • Seattle Children’s Research Institute in Denny Triangle (1915 Terry Ave)
  • U District Advocates in the University District (1316 NE 43rd St)
  • Delancey in Ballard (1415 NW 70th St)
  • Community Arts Create, 4248 S Orcas St
  • Mighty-O Donuts, 1550 NW Market St
  • Sugar Plum, 324 15th Ave



Japanese Garden of the Seattle Arboretum

The Seattle Japanese Garden is located in the Madison Park neighborhood of Seattle on Lake Washington Boulevard East, close to the Arboretum.

Built in 1959, it was the earliest postwar public construction of a Japanese-style garden on the West Coast.

A lot of Japanese cultural events take place here, check the website.

Japanese Garden, 1075 Lake Washington Blvd E