Author Lisa K. Fann Photography Todd Pearson
DAY TWO / Rise early and ride the Waterfront Streetcar to Pier 52, where you’ll catch the Bainbridge Island ferry. Crossing “the moat,” as islanders call it, takes 35 minutes and offers gorgeous views of the Seattle skyline and Mount Rainier. When the ferry docks, walk up the street and turn left on Winslow Way. Breakfast is at Streamliner Diner, a Bainbridge Island institution with plastic red and white–checked tablecloths and delicious food.
After a hearty breakfast, catch a taxi to Bloedel Reserve for your 10 a.m. reservations. The trails through the 150 acres meander across a field of tall grasses and explore a dense Northwest forest of evergreens, ferns, and mosses. Farther along the trail, you’ll see gardens—Japanese, moss, and reflection—and the Bloedel house sitting on a hill overlooking the Puget Sound. Drink in the tranquil surroundings; then taxi back to Winslow Way, where small shops tempt you with artistic wares.
For lunch, retrace your steps back to Pike Place Market and duck into the cozy 94 Stewart. The menu changes constantly, depending on what is freshest. Try the summer salmon salad with cantaloupe and champagne dill vinaigrette. Chef Celinda Norton also can concoct something delightful out of ingredients of your choice. Despite the upscale food, the restaurant doesn’t take itself too seriously. Afterward, stop by The Confectional in the market for a mini cheesecake, choosing Kahlúa white chocolate, Mexican chocolate, or one of the other dangerously decadent flavors.
Dab the chocolate from your lips and walk a few blocks south to the Seattle Art Museum. A recent expansion doubled its size, and holdings include ancient and modern art from across cultures. You reserved tickets for Inspiring Impressionism, which explores the links between the impressionists and the major European art movements that preceded them.
By now the shopping bug has bitten, so make your way to Pacific Place, with its selection of chi-chi shops—Barneys New York, MaxMara, Cartier. Or, if you prefer carabiners over carats, make a pilgrimage to REI’s flagship adventure cooperative with its climbing wall, mountain-bike test trail, and mother lode of outdoor gear perfect for the lifestyle led by locals. From the street, you’ll walk wooded trails past a waterfall just to get to the store. You’ll almost forget you are in downtown Seattle.
After your excursion, it’s back to the inn to dress for dinner at Teatro ZinZanni. If you have a top hat or boa, this is definitely the time to wear it. You also can purchase something festive in the boutique before the show. The five-course dinner designed by celebrated chef Tom Douglas shares the stage with cirque, comedy, music, and dance performed above and around you as you dine.
After the zany whirlwind of ZinZanni, decompress with a glass of wine at Purple Café and Wine Bar. A two-story cylinder of shelves in the middle of the room shows off the global wine collection.