Whidbey Island, located in northern Puget Sound continues to benefit from technology industry expansions, following a lot of agony over “telecoms” and “dot.coms” employment contraction. The “mainland” areas of Mukilteo, Everett, and Seattle have, during the last few decades, attracted large numbers of “high technology” businesses. You may want to take a look at the following video about Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island:
Though the Boeing Company’s large-plane plant in Everett has been struggling somewhat with what they see as “unfair” sales competition from the European “Airbus Industries”, the company’s new “Dreamliner” is doing absolutely well. If Boeing were totally independent, it would still be the largest airplane manufacturer in the world.
This activity combined with the attractive, casual lifestyle of the Pacific Northwest, makes Whidbey Island, only three miles away, an accessible place with still reasonable property values. In reality, each year Boeing Everett has a smaller impact on Whidbey Island as fewer and fewer employees are needed to manufacture aircraft.
The traditional industries of Whidbey Island have been forestry and agriculture, but employment since the 1940s is government-related, with the U. S. Navy at Oak Harbor the largest single employer. In 2016, traditional industries employed a mere two percent of the total local labor force; government and public schools employed approximately 60 percent of “on-island” employment. You might get inspired by the Island’s sustainable industry that is working hard to preserve the area’s delicate ecological system.
North Whidbey has the only local economic base; this dominated by the activities of the Naval Air Station at Oak Harbor. The internal economy of the island is weak, as most high-paying jobs require commuting to the “mainland” daily. Even the short 15-minute ferry ride may be somewhat inconvenient for daily commuters, limiting future growth to an increasing proportion of retirees. See also this “Tour of Whidbey Island.”
Whidbey Island Facts
Only about 40 minutes from Seattle, Whidbey Island and it’s sister islands constitute the northern edge of beautiful Puget Sound. About 60,000 people call Whidbey their home. The largest island in Washington is beautiful year-round; once you visit, it’s hard to imagine leaving.
The mild Pacific Northwest climate brings cool summers and warm winters to Whidbey Island. There is modest rainfall and the area offers the most stunning scenery with whales and eagles. In fact, on Whidbey Island, you’re just an hour’s drive from the metropolitan Seattle area but you’ll get the feeling of being light years away.
To get to this wonderful place, you’ll need to take a short ferry trip that will bring you to this relaxed countryside full of fir forests, friendly neighbors, snow-capped mountains in winter, and beautiful beaches. Whidbey Island’s unpolluted water, pristine air quality, good schools, low crime, and the absence of state income tax make this a wonderful place to live or spend some time for a great vacation.
Camano Island’s natural beauty is evident, and it’s a short drive from Interstate-5, but feels like a world apart. Relax and enjoy the best that the natural world has to offer and you won’t even have to take a ferry.
Clinton has great beaches, an excellent cycling community, family-friendly farms, and great shopping for the whole family.
Coupeville is part of Central Whidbey Island. It’s like like stepping back in time. Experience what Whidbey was like when the region’s first English explorers arrived! See also this post that shows you part of Whidbey’s island history.
If you love antique shops and small-town artisans, Freeland is a delight.
Langley is also known as “The Village by the Sea”. With streets lined with historic buildings, fascinating bookshops, antiquing, boutiques, and more…
Oak Harbor is a bit more modern. If you’re looking for a bit more of a nightlife, you’ll want to check out Oak Harbor.