A true Washington experience is not complete without a jaunt to the beautiful and serene Whidbey Island. The dreamy and diverse landscape of Whidbey is just one of the perks of visiting the largest island in the Puget Sound. It also holds a vast and interesting history, an amplitude of outdoor recreation opportunities, state parks and beaches to explore, local art to bask in and incredible dining experiences – thanks to the abundance of farmland that provides fresh crops year-round. If you find yourself looking for things to do on Whidbey Island, our Innsiders have compiled a list of activities to help you explore like a local and leave feeling refreshed and rejuvenated by the special community that inhabits the region.
North Whidbey Island
Whidbey Island is a breathtakingly beautiful stretch of winding roads with views of wildlife, PNW farmland, nature reserves and historical sites. If you drive onto the island from the north end, the Deception Pass bridge will connect you from Fidalgo Island to Whidbey. If Deception Pass State Park is your destination, there are numerous must-see attractions along the way. Washington Innsiders has compiled a list of exciting adventures in this article.
As you progress southward, you’ll pass through Coupeville and Greenbank. Coupeville, the second oldest town in Washington State, holds a history you can immerse yourself in before you indulge in the local restaurants there in Penn Cove – yes, home of the famously celebrated Penn Cove mussels. Here, Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve is a remarkable preservation of the incredible and unique landscape of Washington. Learn about the rich history you walk on while taking in the stunning 360-degree views. Front Street is home to charming local restaurants and shops as well as a wharf that could entertain an entire afternoon.
All of these communities offer endless possibilities as you explore Whidbey Island, including hiking, parks, farms, dining and much more. Due to Whidbey Island’s expansive hand in agriculture, you cannot miss out on the many farms, gardens and nurseries across the region. Meerkerk Rhododendron Gardens is famous for its flowers and other lush plantings. Afterward, treat yourself to Whidbey Pie’s homemade goods from Old Spots Bistro at the historic Greenbank Farm. Additionally, TripSavvy recommends that you “shop and admire the lavender at the nearby Lavender Wind Farm.”
South Whidbey Island Adventure
As you encounter the south end of the island, you’ll find Freeland, Langley and Clinton. Near Freeland, Mutiny Bay beach is the ultimate destination for watching the sunset. Sit on the sandy shore or in the large and accommodating picnic area. South of Mutiny Bay, you’ll reach Double Bluff Beach, which is the largest waterfront park in the Freeland area – 24,354 feet actually! With ample room for recreation, explore the beach forts, bring your dog to the off-leash area or just relax on the beach and whale watch.
If you decide to take your Whidbey Island adventure further, head toward Langley. No day trip is complete without exploring the local shops where the art, handcrafted goods and food reflect the history of the island and the incredible people who keep its ethos alive.
As you explore the charming south island town, some other local favorites are Foamy Wader for sustainable handmade jewelry and Ultra House on Second St. for a comforting bowl of ramen. If you enjoy wine and spirits, you can’t miss the acclaimed Whidbey Island Distillery or one of the island’s small family wineries for quality products and services. Comforts Of Whidbey Winery is a magical, locally owned establishment overlooking the Puget Sound. Visit here for a glass of local wine or stay at their bed & breakfast for a weekend of relaxation on their gorgeous 22 acres. Clyde Theater is also a locally-loved business as well as the historic Star Market. The soothing and artsy atmosphere of Langley will leave you planning your next visit before you even leave.
If outdoor activities are more your style, many travel to the islands for a tranquil excursion on the water. Goss Lake is perfect for paddle boarding or kayaking. Finish your evening with dinner at the popular Village Pizzeria – a local waterfront establishment with incredible views and a mouthwatering menu.
Traveling To Whidbey Island
Visit the island for the incredible landscape, sweeping views of the Cascades and proximity to gorgeous Pacific Northwest beaches, but stay for the vibrant community and amplitude of things to do on the island. The Mukilteo ferry terminal sits approximately 30 miles north of Seattle, where visitors can take a short 20-minute ferry ride to Clinton on the south end of the island. It makes the perfect escape from city life and holds an abundance of natural beauty and recreation for all to enjoy. Whidbey is also the gateway to the Olympic Peninsula from the west via Coupeville’s ferry to Port Townsend, creating more opportunities to explore the beautiful PNW. To make the most of your getaway, stay at one of the incredible inns on Whidbey Island.