Yes, just about an hour or so out of Seattle you can find Whidbey Island – the great Northwest’s best-kept secrets. You may have never heard about it. Until now…
And some people are lucky enough to live here! Who better than someone who lives here to tell you about all the wonderful activities, things to see, food to eat, places to stay, beautiful beaches, local services and everything that Whidbey Island has to offer?
Take a few minutes out of your day, and join us while we explore Whidbey Island.
Situated in Puget Sound, and accessible from the north by the stunning Deception Pass Bridge, and from the south by ferry service only, Whidbey Island boasts more coastline than most other US islands, more than enough bays and coves to give you something new to explore every time you visit, and is one of the few islands in the world to have its own freshwater lakes as well.
It is almost a throwback to another time, before urban sprawl and traffic congestion. And a unique place, where nature still reigns supreme and doesn’t take a back seat to “progress”.
Whidbey Island still has the stunning panoramas and vistas that first attracted visitors more than a century ago…
The forests and tree lines that soar up to meet the clear blue skies… Both on Whidbey and Camano Island... You will see stands of pines, birch and oak trees. Many are 100 years old or more. This natural “skyline” also provides a home to a variety of eagles, hawks, and owls. Not to mention a spectacular backdrop for the rest of the natural scenery.
Even in our neighborhood, great people abound, we’re lucky enough to see bald eagles and hawks soaring above and “wild” bunnies and raccoons playing in front yards! But stay away from those raccoons, they can be pretty mean…
Rolling meadows that whisper your name and urge you to take an afternoon stroll amongst the wildflowers. Nature is the only architect capable of creating such an inviting, luscious vista in such an agreeable climate. Add the rustic, century-old farmhouses and barns that dot the landscape, and your compass now points the way to a bygone era.
Whidbey Island is that place you have longed to journey to, but could never seem to find on your own…
Pristine beaches dotted with colonies of driftwood, that beckon you to take off your shoes, and walk along the waters’ edge or take a tour... Mother Nature is constantly creating beautiful things on her canvas here, the water color changes as the clouds roll in, then out, and as the sun rises and sets. It is an endless inspiration.
With the total island population at around 74,000 people, there are still plenty of wide open spaces, an abundance of wildlife, and breathtaking scenery that is guaranteed to cause your jaw to drop, daily.
If you are looking for the best place on this planet to rest, recharge, recoup, or relocate to, your search is over.
Whidbey Island’s Nature
Whidbey Island, steeped in history, tumbles from rocky cliff at the north end to sandy loam at the south. In between hills roll, prairies stretch and forests tower, all bordered by miles and miles of seashore.
Whitetail deer frequent Whidbey’s roads and highways, crows, rabbits, and robins are daily visitors to most island homes. Seagulls, well just go a day without seeing a seagull. Less often seen, but often heard, coyotes and frogs let their presence be known. That squeaky wheelbarrow sound might actually be a bald eagle – or maybe a squeaky wheelbarrow.
Osprey, accepting technology, nest on cell towers and light poles, cormorants balance on floats and spread their wings to dry in the wind. The haunting call of the loon and the V of migrating Canada geese are signs of the seasons. Rufous and Anna’s hummingbirds zip through annually, staking claim to bottles of bright nectar.
At the beach, sand fleas hop wildly, while limpets and starfish, a bit more sedate, cling to rocks and sea cucumbers loll about in the shallows. Clams, mussels, and oysters are the preferred food of our river otters and also of a lot of people in rubber boots. These are the treasures of the tide flats. Salmon toy with fishermen, sea lions keep us awake on spring nights. Octopi hide in their deep, inky dens.
Ferries make convenient orca viewing platforms, and ferry captains good whale watching guides. Gray whales migrate along the Washington coast in April and May and often take a side trip through Puget Sound, feeding along sandy shores. Saratoga Passage is a good place to spot them.
Whidbey Style – A dictionary definition of style ranges from the stuffy “The combination of distinctive features of expression or execution characterizing a particular person, group, or era” to the stark “A comfortable and elegant mode of existence.”
Whether style begins in minimalism or flamboyance, on Whidbey it will eventually involve sand. When you live on an island, it’s a good idea to plan for sand, whatever you’re doing and every grain and every seed is telling a story. From the comfortable and elegant feel of the beach between the toes to the gritty task of hosing down the kids’ clam digging boots, sand it a fact of Whidbey life.
Redecorating the bathroom, choosing new shoes, getting a haircut, putting in new carpet, all trigger more thoughts of maintenance the closer one lives to the beach.
The subtle colors of sand play into the decor of island houses because sand will always come home on a teenager’s skim board, and the dog’s feet and that piece of curiously gnarled driftwood to add to the mystique of life beside the sea.