North Cascades Highway is open for 2024 Season -- Click Here for Travel Alerts
Free Travel Guide
Sign Up for
Our Newsletter

Whidbey Scenic Isle Way & Camano Island

Family Fun
Read More >>>>
Photo Ops
Read More >>>>
Garden Delights
Read More >>>>
Fresh Seafood
Read More >>>>
Beautiful Beaches
Read More >>>>
Watchable Wildlife
Read More >>>>

Start your Whidbey Scenic Isle Way adventure as you drive across the truly jaw-dropping Deception Pass Bridge. Park your car so you can traverse the bridge on foot and snap some amazing photos. Watch closely for pedestrians and vehicles entering and exiting the roadway here — this is a hugely popular photography spot for guests from all over the world!

Travel south down the 55-mile, nationally recognized scenic byway located on the Cascade Loop. Locals dub the island “The Shortest Distance to Far Away®” because of its mellow pace, natural beauty and easy proximity to Seattle. Driving along the Whidbey Scenic Isle Way will take you to the island’s largest town, Oak Harbor. This patriotic community is home to the top-rated U.S. Naval Air Station in the country. Explore the PBY Naval Museum and historic shopping district on Pioneer Way. Check out the nearby marina and just-remodeled Windjammer Park, with miles of waterfront walkways. You might see and hear naval jets while you’re on the island — don’t worry — this is all part of the local color!

Coupeville is the next community you’ll encounter, and it happens to be the second-oldest town in Washington state, with more than 100 of its buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. The town is home to famously delicious Penn Cove mussels, a historic wharf, art galleries, charming water-view restaurants, shops and the Island County Historical Museum. Stretch your legs with a walk along the waterfront or neighboring trails. Also, be sure to visit Fort Casey State Park, an immaculately preserved military installation that once protected the entrance to Puget Sound. The Admiralty Head Lighthouse is also on park grounds and is a photographer’s favorite at sunset!

Continue south on Highway 525, and glimpse saltwater passages to the east and west at Greenbank, the narrowest point of the island. Views of the Olympic Mountains and Cascade Range can be seen in either direction. Stop for a tour of Greenbank Farm, with art galleries, shops, homemade pies, wine-tasting, and it is home to an off-leash dog park. South of Greenbank, explore stunning Meerkerk Rhododendron Gardens. Visit this garden year-round and find many blossoming woodland plants beyond the “rhodies” that bloom in the spring.

After the gardens, continue south to Freeland where its Main Street is the service and shopping center for south Whidbey. Includes antique, art and thrift shops, and an off-leash beach. Next, check out Bayview with its shops and world-class farmers market, one of several on the island. Then travel to the “Village by the Sea,” the charming town of Langley. Overlooking the Saratoga Passage and the Cascade Range, its streets are lined with historic buildings, pretty shops, flower-filled walkways and parks. Langley is also home to some amazing seafood, a whale museum, spas, galleries and the Clyde Theater, which opened in 1937. Whidbey Island Kayaking can get you out on Puget Sound with small-group kayak tours and full-service kayak and paddleboard rentals.  

The final stop on Whidbey Island is Clinton. Before catching the beautiful ferry that crosses from Clinton to Mukilteo, visit the Port of Clinton shops or enjoy the seaside park and playground near the ferry dock. Washington state ferries leave every half hour to the “mainland” and the town of Mukilteo, and Seattle NorthCountry.

Whidbey Scenic Isle Way Visitor Services

Current Conditions

WSDOT Traffic Cameras


Plan Your Whidbey Island Adventure

Wildlife & Birding
Read More >>>>
Meerkerk Gardens
Read More >>>>
Side Trip: Camano Island
Read More >>>>
Penn Cove Mussels
Read More >>>>
Amazing Food
Read More >>>>
Whidbey Island Kayaking
Read More >>>>
Beach Combing
Read More >>>>
Read More >>>>

Heritage & History

Whidbey Island is the largest island in Puget Sound. Its landscapes are a combination of open prairie, wetlands, farmlands and upland forests. Coastal Salish people lived here for thousands of years and subsisted on fish, shellfish and wild game, as well as roots and berries. In the late 1700s-1800s, the tribes were nearly decimated by disease transmitted through contact with Euro-American explorers. Following the Point Elliot Treaty in 1855, many Salish people were placed on the Tulalip reservation.

Whidbey Island was named in 1792 by British Captain George Vancouver for Joseph Whidbey, Master of the HMS Discovery. Whidbey proved it was an island by discovering Deception Pass and was the first documented non-native man to set foot on the island. He landed at Penn Cove, which later became Coupeville. Settlers planted the rich, loam soil with wheat, oats and potatoes. Agriculture is still a driver in the local economy and culture.

Images from Whidbey Isle

Click the Boxes Below to Build Your Personalized Itinerary
+ Destinations
      Lake Chelan Valley
      Leavenworth Cascade Foothills
      Methow Valley
      North Cascades
      Seattle Northcountry
      Skagit Valley & Fidalgo Island
      Stevens Pass Greenway
      Wenatchee Columbia River Valley
      Whidbey Scenic Isle Way
+ Accommodations
     Bed & Breakfasts / Country Inns
     Camping & Glamping
     Farm Stay
     Hotels & Motels
     Large Group Venues
     Lodges & Resorts
     Pet Friendly
+ Dining & Wineries
     Beer, Breweries & Distilleries
      + Farms Stands
      + Wineries & Vineyards
+ Indoor Activities
     Art Galleries & Studios
     Performing Arts
      + Shopping
+ The Great Outdoors
     Aerial Adventures
     Boat Tours
     Car/Boat Show
     Cycling-Mountain Biking
     Disc Golf
     Farms & Barns
     Fishing & Hunting
     Gardens & Outdoor Art
     Gear Rentals
     Horseback Riding
     National Parks, Forests & Recreation Areas
     Pet Friendly Activities
     Photo Tours & Lessons
     Scenic View Points
     State & Local Parks
     Water Activities
     White Water
     Wildlife Viewing
      + Winter Fun
+ Travel Guide Distributor
+ Visitor Info/Services
     National Forest Ranger Stations
     Scenic Byways along the Loop
     Traveler Services: Gas, Snacks, Auto Repair
      + Visitor Centers, Tourism Bureaus, Chambers
     Washington State Resources
Load More...
Whale of a Tail
There are few animals in the wild as thrilling to see as a whale. Here in Washington state, we are fortunate enough to be on the migration route for several… Read More >>>>
Photographers Paradise
The Cascade Loop Scenic Byway spans the east and west sides of Washington State's Cascade Mountain Range, and photo opportunities along the route are varied and spectacular, covering all interests… Read More >>>>
Geocache Your Way Around The Loop!
Geocaching is kinda like a family-friendly treasure hunt! There are a variety of types of Geocaches from large containers like ammo cans or plastic containers (snap-lock-type) to small magnets stuck… Read More >>>>
Read All Our Blogs