The state’s busiest route goes to the heart of Bainbridge Island. Browse the selection at Eagle Harbor Book Co., admire works from local artists in the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art or sample the ice cream at Mora.

A navy town that’s worked hard to revitalize its city core, Bremerton is a picturesque spot for art and history buffs. Don’t miss the vibrant paintings inside the Amy Burnett Fine Art Gallery—there’s a kitschy-cool Pyrex Museum downstairs—or a tour of the USS Turner Joy navy destroyer, which played an important role in the Vietnam War.

From West Seattle, the ferry cruises to rural Vashon Island, which is admired for its natural beauty. Check out Point Robinson Park to explore a driftwood-strewn beach.

The ferry provides access to Whidbey Island, the state’s largest. Find succulent mussels and oysters from Penn Cove Shellfish on restaurant menus around town—they’re worth it for seafood that’s as fresh as it gets.

This spectacular ferry route is the gateway to the San Juan Islands. On Saturdays, shop for local produce at the Anacortes Farmer’s Market. From Friday Harbor you can island-hop to Orcas, Lopez and Shaw islands. See Humpbacks and Orca whales while whale watching with San Juan Safaris.