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Whidbey Scenic Isle Way & Camano Island

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!

Plan Your Whidbey Island Adventure

Wildlife & Birding
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Meerkerk Gardens
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EV Charging Stations
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Side Trip: Camano Island
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Penn Cove Mussels
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Amazing Food
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Whidbey Island Kayaking
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Beach Combing
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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

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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

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+ 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
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     Scenic Byways along the Loop
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Watchable Wildlife - Blue Heron
As you are driving along the waterways of the Cascade Loop, be on the lookout for the majestic Great Blue Heron. They are regularly spotted wading in shallow water, patiently watching for small fish or frogs, their most common meals. Read More >>>>
Top 10 Fall Color Corridors on the Cascade Loop
The thing that folks love most about the Cascade Loop is its diversity of views throughout the byway, and fall colors are no exception. The colors are wild and vibrant and showcase a range of colors and textures as you explore the route. Travel counter-clockwise for the best views and know that as always, Mother Nature sets the schedule for when and how the colors change. Typically however, travelers can expect peak colors from the last week of September through mid-October. Special note: due to COVID-19 most Autumn public events… Read More >>>>
A 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 species of whale as they travel from Alaska to warmer southern waters to breed, then back again to Alaska to feed on the colder ocean’s bounty. The most common whale sightings are of Orca and Gray whales, some of whom find the Puget Sound and the Salish Sea such a beautiful area that they decide to stick around all year. That… Read More >>>>
Ten Treks To Take--Winter on the Cascade Loop
Looking for some fresh air, space to move freely and get that heart a pumpin'? Look no more! The Cascade Loop has all manner of outdoor activities to keep you busy, happy and health this winter! Read More >>>>
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