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Whidbey Scenic Isle Way

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 the park's 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 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, and 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.

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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.

Plan Your Whidbey Island Adventure
Meerkerk Gardens
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EV Charging Stations
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Side Trip: Camano Island
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Wildlife
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Penn Cove Mussels
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Amazing Food
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Earth Sanctuary
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Whidbey Island Kayaking
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Beach Combing
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Hiking
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Langley Mystery Weekend
Identifying Raptors on the Cascade Loop
It’s a bird .. it’s a plane … what exactly is that in the sky? As you travel around the Cascade Loop you will likely see a variety of wildlife, including some very large birds that live in our region. This article will help you to accurately identify some of the most common of our raptors: osprey, bald and golden eagles, red-tail hawks and turkey vultures. The time of year you travel will affect your chances of seeing some of these incredible birds. Read More >>>>
Three Delightful Wagons Straight Out of a Fairyland--Now on Whidbey Island!
A bit of European history has found its way onto Whidbey Island.  And, if the woman responsible for bringing them here has her way, you’ll soon be able to see them.  But first, Carol Kildow has the job of restoring them to their original splendor.Two belonged to the nomadic Romani people of England, while the third was commissioned by the Church of England. She discovered them in Wales and lived in one for two years as a student.“I fell in love with the lifestyle. I fell in love with the… Read More >>>>
The Women behind the boom: How Wenatchee celebrates the Fourth
Written by Candice ReedAs multicolored peonies, chrysanthemums and willows bloom across the night sky this 4th of July, you might wonder what goes into a firework display from the unseen pyrotechnician and event planner who have choreographed the fun somewhere out there in the dark.“There was a year that Wenatchee didn’t have a firework display and it was kind of uneventful,” said Kelley Kennedy, CEO/Founder of Impact! Events, Inc.  “Mayor Frank Kuntz asked me if I wanted to see if I could get the fireworks back into the program and that… Read More >>>>
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