A Whidbey Island Vacation
Seeking a Pacific Northwest Island getaway? How about a Whidbey Island vacation! Whidbey Island offers a peaceful and serene setting, and is only about 1-2 hours from Seattle.
There are a lot of activities on this island, and here are our recommendations on what to do, where to stay, dine & spa!
What to Do?
- Visit Coupeville, second oldest town in Washington. First up on our vacation list on Whidbey Island. Here you’ll find shops, art galleries and buildings on the National Historic Register, including turn of the century Victorian homes.
Stop by the enchanting Lavender Wind store, where you can shop for a wide range of home and health products infused with lavender from lavender honey, bundles of lavender, lavender oils, soaps, candles. In 1999, owner Sarah Richards bought a farm and started with 9 lavender plants. The purple fields normally bloom in June, when you can see the rows of purple lavender at Lavender Wind Farm, within Ebey’s Landing Historical Reserve.
2. Order a bucket of Penn Cove Mussels! Coupeville is located on Penn Cove, home of the famous Penn Cove Mussels and they are delicious. Dine at Oystercatcher and Front Street Grill where you can order Penn Cove Mussels.
3. Visit Langley, another charming town with historic buildings, shops, flower-lined walkways, bistros and art galleries. If you sight a whale out in the water, ring the whale bell!
4. Walk the beach and beach comb at low tide. We found driftwood, shells, rocks, and followed the ebb and flow of the tide along the waterfront at the Saratoga Passage.
5. Watch for Whales at high tide during late March to early June, and keep a lookout for Eagles & Otters! The Gray Whales make their way through the Saratoga Passage, and otters frolic in the water.
6. Kayak from Langley’s marina and take in the nature.
7. Hike Ebey’s Landing State Park and walk along the trail overlooking Strait of Juan de Fuca. On a clear day you can see the Olympic Mountains.
8. Visit Deception Pass State Park where you can cross the iconic bridge and park for incredible views, trails, beaches and bird watching, and go fishing in Cranberry Lake. This is a must for your vacation on Whidbey Island.
9. Bring your binoculars and bird watch – shore birds, herons & eagles!
10. Ride a bike around the villages, country roads and trails.
11. Explore a local farmers market – the Langley market is on Fridays, and at Bayview & Coupeville on Saturdays (May – October) – check the schedule with the local tourism office.
12. Check into a Spa and get rejuvenated – see our recommendation below.
Where to Stay?
This upscale waterfront inn is ideally located in Langley, and is one of the top hotels in the world, according to Travel + Leisure. Paul and Pam Schell were inspired to build this beautiful inn on a bluff overlooking the water. Pam shared with us, “There is the deep peace of watching water and the natural patience of island life that always sends guests back to the city renewed.”
With 28 guestrooms, cottages and master suites with epic 180-degree waterfront views. Guests enjoy these views from their private decks, and living room with fireplaces, and jetted tubs facing the water.
Unwind in your jetted tub with complimentary bath salts, and then lounge on your balcony wrapped in a blanket and experience the sights and sounds of nature. You can watch the sun rise over the Cascade Mountains and the sun set over the Saratoga Passage. Go on a paddle board or bring a yoga mat for an early morning sunrise session.
Blue Goose Inn: Check into this charming historic bed & breakfast in Coupeville. This restored Victorian home is filled with nostalgia and decorated in period style. Owners Becki & Dave ensure your stay is comfortable, and greet guests with a warm welcome and orientation to the inn and suites. Upon our arrival, there were even freshly baked chocolate chip cookies and a basket of snacks available for guests.
Each suite is well appointed and includes every modern amenity and a private bath. We stayed in the spacious Mt. Baker Suite, with its own fireplace, and had a peaceful slumber in the plush king-size beds and fine cotton sheets.
Photos courtesy of Blue Goose Inn
Good to note: For adults looking for a quiet getaway, this inn is completely smoke-free, pet-free and children free.
Located just a couple blocks to the main street of town, there’s plenty to explore and many places to relax.
Don’t Miss! Lovingly prepared by Becki, the hot gourmet breakfasts are made from scratch with fresh, local ingredients — including delicious french toast, omelettes. The table setting includes homemade syrups, jams and baked goods along with fresh ground coffee from local roasters, selection of teas and fresh juice of your choice.
Where to Dine?
Oystercatcher Looking for a fine dining experience on Whidbey Island? Book a reservation at Oystercatcher. Chef Tyler Hansen and his team create an exquisite farm-to-table menu presenting some of the best produce the Pacific Northwest provides. Tyler and his wife Sara manage the restaurant and work closely with local purveyors and farmers in the area. We ordered a variety of dishes for dinner including the Catch of the Day – Halibut with a mushroom, chevre & cauliflower tart, and the Butcher’s Cut with roasted carrot and a kale salad. The menu can change weekly depending on the season and produce available. Don’t Miss! The homemade breads.
Front Street Grill Dine on the main street at Front Street Grill with waterfront views of the historic wharf and Mount Baker. Enjoy a lively atmosphere and order a platter of Penn Cove Mussels – there are several variations to choose from and we went with the classic Coconut Green Curry Mussels. We also ordered freshly caught fish with chips. The menu offers local produce and seafood from the Pacific Northwest, burgers, sandwiches and pasta.
Christopher’s – Master Chef Andreas Wurzrainer has prepared meals in elegant European restaurants and at the Seattle Four Seasons Hotel, aboard luxury expedition ships in the Amazon, Arctic and Antarctic. After two decades, he and his wife Lisa decided to relocate their family to Whidbey Island, and create fresh Northwest cuisine like succulent bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin, the Penn Cove seafood stew, the raspberry barbecued salmon, the ever-popular daily specials, a delicious variety of salads and pasta dishes, or the mouth watering home made desserts.
Orchard Kitchen – Owner/Chef Vincent Nattress and his partner/wife Tyla moved from Napa to Langley to open Orchard Kitchen, a teaching kitchen and dining room on their five-acre organic farm in Langley. Chef Nattress grew up on Whidbey Island, and he and his wife Tyla returned to create a culinary destination of their own.
Opened in 2015, their dream has come true where guests enjoy meals in their beautifully designed intimate dining room and open kitchen. Their other venues – a barn, large field, can accommodate a variety of venues for events from weddings to family reunions. We hope to return for their cooking classes!
Inn at Langley – An unforgettable dining experience, according to many who have experienced the multi-course affair created by Chef Matt Costello. Each dish is a work of art and Chef Costello’s menu is inspired by the island’s freshest seasonal fare, and The Inn’s formal herb garden. The Chef begins the meal with an enlightening introduction to the menu. Dinners are a set menu, and reservations are required. Weekend evenings only.
Guests at The Inn enjoy a scrumptious complimentary breakfast including Chef’s recipe quiche, scones, and muffins, house made granola, seasonal fruit, and Northwest salmon lox and cheeses.
Where to Spa?
The Spa at The Inn at Langley is named “Ilā” (Sanskrit for Earth), “…reflecting the faith in the power of nature as the source of real wellness,” shares Spa Director Marilyn Strong. We were greeted with cold lavender scented towels and welcomed to this spa sanctuary located on the waterfront, and surrounded by the forest and the sea. Book a spa visit at spa@InnAtLangley.com.
Soothe your soul, and book a holistic getaway! Wellness Retreats are available at Ilā for three-nights, four-days, pairing spa treatments with spiritual and rejuvenating experiences unique to Whidbey Island.
For more information click here.
HOW TO GET HERE
How to Get Here?
By Ferry: Ferries depart every 30 minutes from Mukilteo to Clinton on Whidbey Island. Take I-5 north from Seattle to Exit 189, and follow signs to Mukilteo Ferry.
By Bridge: Further north on I-5, you can drive onto the island from the mainland. Take I-5, and follow signs to the Deception Pass Bridge, cross the bridge to Whidbey Island.
To learn more about what to do and where to go on Whidbey and Camano Islands, click here for events, festivals and more!
Global Adventuress would like to thank Blue Goose Inn, The Inn at Langley, Oystercatcher, Front St. Grill, Christopher’s, Orchard Kitchen for hosting us during our stay on Whidbey Island.
You missed the Coupeville Farmers Market, also on Saturdays, though it’s April through October. It’s my favorite market on the island!
48 hours is not enough! We definitely need to return to Whidbey Island. Thanks Sami!
OakHarbor is up and coming with its fun #PioneerWay. We have the up and coming Holland Happening and will stay busy all the way until New Years eve with Fireworks off of Bayshore.
You dine at Frasie’s Gormet Hideaway for dinner or the lovely Lotus Tea house for lunch and shop and the variety of stores along pioneer for everything from unique Boutiques to two very different vintage/antique shops to a unique paper store. We have something for everyone. Including a bike shop and the best candy shop ever.
Alright, OakHarbor is a must and soon! Sounds amazing, we love finding unique stops like you’ve mentioned. We’ll make sure to contact you when we are on our way!
Yes, Shawn is right! And the biggest and best July 4th celebration and on Labor Day week end the most fantastic FREE three day music festival held on historic downtown Pioneer Way. Oak Harbor gets blown off as the town with “big box” stores and Navy jets…well yes we can shop here at stores like Walmart and Home Depot etc. but also small town feel and great shops, coffee shops etc…people need to get off the main hi-way and get down town. Also OH hosts a huge sailboat regatta every July, from the large boat marina near downtown!! And more…..soooo much pride and community spirit in the people of Oak Harbor as well. The town was founded Jan 4, 1851, so is older then Coupeville by a year. Founded the same year as Seattle and Port Townsend were. Write to me, I have written the Arcadia Press photo history of Oak Harbor..I will send you a copy. Peggy
We would love it! Send it to email@example.com and thank you so much in advance!
Oak Harbor’s Old Downtown area is charming. If you are getting married, check out the Oak Harbor Yacht Club for your venue. It is the most beautiful setting on the water with views that are unsurpassed!
It would be well worth having an amazing meal at Frasers in Oak Harbor. Also, planning a wedding? Check out the Fireseed in Langley. Beautiful grounds, again, amazing food. The owners are great and pay attention to detail.
Second mention of Fraser’s in OakHarbor! We can’t wait to try!
Please add to your list: http://www.islandshakespearefest.org/ A “Pay What You Will” professional theater festival! Now in their 7th season a truly woderful experience to add to your time on the south end of Whidbey!
Yes, Amazing! We will add it and head back for a show soon!!
This is about the “South end” of Whidbey…with a touch of Central Coupeville. You totally left out North Whidbey, Oak Harbor and Deception Pass State Park and several other beautiful state parks….not even on your map…should change the name to “South Whidbey Island”…
Thanks Peggy for your comment, and we will be adding to this article, to cover more highlights on North Whidbey, Oak Harbor, etc. So much to see/do on this beautiful island!
Yes, I have lived here my whole life…..West Beach Road beach parks between Oak Harbor and Coupeville amazing….Ebey State Park out here….Penn Cove….Historical Downtown Oak Harbor,, shops and waterfront trail….the of coarse Deception Pass State Park, the most awesome 1935 high bridge, camp grounds, beaches, trails….just over the top beautiful…North of Oak Harbor….the other end of the island!!! 🙂 Awesome Navy jets as well as a vibrant old town, don’t miss it!!
What a beautiful place to live! We can’t wait to come back and experience more!
The Earth Sanctuary
One Drop Zen Monastery
Double Bluff Beach
The Ancient Cedar near SW state park
Lovely Holmes Harbor
Rent a beach house on VRBO!
We can’t wait to go back for a second trip and check out more of these suggestions! Thanks Jess!
And don’t forget to see the best the island has to offer while learning photography skills with a professional photographer guide – Whidbey Photo Adventures (the most fun you can have on Whidbey with a camera!). Edu-tourism at its best. Any age, and skill level, smartphone to DSLR. http://www.whidbeyphotoadventures.com
So awesome!! Love learning new photography skills!