Ports of Call: Eagle Harbor

Eagle Harbor of Bainbridge Island offers more to the boater than just the Winslow Way boutiques that are often full of tourists fresh off the ferry from Seattle. This harborage is protected from the wind on all sides with free anchoring, affordable (but limited) public docking and mooring buoys, and private slips of all sizes. Additionally, the array of restaurants, parks, recreation, and more make dropping the hook in Eagle Harbor an entire weekend affair if you have a little insider knowledge. A bicycle or kayak, both available for rent, can go a long way for those who wish to explore.

The warm, calm summers bring stunning Olympic Mountain views to the west and hoards of tourists from the east. The brooding, misty winters transform Bainbridge into a quiet community of locals, ranging from the sea salts of a bygone past that invoke imagery from Snow Falling on Cedars to tomorrow’s yuppie tech families. Whether you’re coming in from afar and want to take a rejuvenating break before continuing on an extended cruise or you need an escape from the Seattle hustle and bustle, Eagle Harbor is there for refuge.

Boaters should take notice of Eagle Harbor’s relatively narrow entrance between Wing Point and Bill Point, for it is shared with the ferry that must be respected. Once in the harbor, one should consider Puget Sound’s dramatic tides, for great swaths of Eagle Harbor are reduced to wading depths and mud flats at low tide. Mind the anchoring restrictions (described later) and the Markers, especially Marker 3 and Marker 5 off Pritchard Park as you exit Eagle Harbor (it gets shallow in there at low tide). Cruisers also need to be aware that there are no fuel docks in Eagle Harbor, so plan accordingly.

Read our Eagle Harbor Guide on Issuu