Rockaway Beach and Bill Point, Bainbridge Island
When you take the ferry to Bainbridge Island, the first two communities you’ll see are Rockaway Beach and Bill Point. Rockaway Beach covers the row of homes at sea level and Bill Point is the neighborhood on the hill above. Key features of both the Rockaway and Bill Point neighborhoods are their amazing views of Downtown and greater Seattle as well as their dynamic views of marine traffic and ferries.
Getting to Rockaway Beach. If you’re planning to visit Rockaway Beach, you’re going to need to drive or bike over; it looks close to the ferry terminal on a map but it’s a bit of a hoof to get there on foot. Another option, if you’re game and the weather is nice, would be to kayak over to Rockaway Beach. Exotic Aquatics rents kayaks / paddle boards from waterfront park which is walking distance from the Bainbridge ferry dock. Whichever mode you choose, be sure to pack in what you’ll need for your day. There are no restaurants or stores and my recommendation would be to make a stop right off the ferry at the T&C Market to stock up first.
What to do at Rockaway Beach. A good first stop is a tour of the Japanese-American Internment Memorial at Pritchard Park. The memorial ‘recreates the 1942 walk that 272 Japanese-American Bainbridge Islanders’ would take as part of their forced relocation to Manzanar CA, and eventual internment at the Minidoka Camp in Idaho.
After touring the memorial, you can follow the paths down to Pritchard Park. The beach at Pritchard is one of the only ‘unnaturally’ sandy beaches on Bainbridge Island. Brought in to help contain and cap years of creosote contamination, the sand / sandy beach is a great hangout spot and place to watch the ferries come and go. Pritchard Park is also the most popular viewing spot for Bainbridge Island’s Grand Old 4th fireworks show.
Additional Points of Interest