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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    3,322

    Tell me about Whidbey Island in June

    I live in Seattle. My parents in their 70s live on the east coast. They are coming out to the PNW in late June. They would like to do a week in Whidbey and then a week in Seattle. I know Seattle obvious but have suprisingly never been to Whidbey despite everyone saying I should check it out. As such, looking at Airbnb for the three of us, probably some type of house, for a week in late June. Where on the island do I want to be. They like old people stuff: walking, small “cute” shops, restaurants, gardens, waterfront walks. Whatever all that stuff. Guess if it was near a something resembling a mtb trail system for a couple of rides that would be nice for me, but I ride plenty around NW, so not necessarily what the week is about.

    Where do I want to be? Ideas/thoughts?
    Do I detect a lot of anger flowing around this place? Kind of like a pubescent volatility, some angst, a lot of I'm-sixteen-and-angry-at-my-father syndrome?

    fuck that noise.

    gmen.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Big Sky/Moonlight Basin
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    I haven’t been there in years, but it sounded like freedom when I was there.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    "Zee damn fat skis are ruining zee piste !" -Oscar Schevlin

    "Hike up your skirt and grow a dick you fucking crybaby" -what Bunion said to Harry at the top of The Headwaters

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Posts
    1,631
    You should book a couple flights with kenmore air . They would love Friday harbor or Roche from the sound of things. San Juans> whidbey

    Sent from my SM-G981U using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    The Dirty E
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    898
    Another alternative is to just do Orcas Island and stay in East sound for the cute shops. Nice little beaches around the island too.

    Sent from my Pixel 4 XL using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Last Best City in the Last Best Place
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    Coupeville is a good central location from which to explore Whidbey. Personally I think the ease of sightseeing/hiking/shopping/dining on Whidbey rivals anything the San Juans have to offer. Those islands are mostly enclaves for the super rich. Whidbey has way more parks and public beaches.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    159
    - I like the idea of being located in Coupeville. Nice little village.
    - Deception Pass State Park would be a good place to spend a few hours/watch the sunset.
    -Take a walk-on ferry over to Port Townsend for a day/half-day. Great for “old people stuff.” Better Living Through Coffee is a great hipstery coffee joint
    -Fort Ebey and Casey are great places to walk around a bit and pack a picnic.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    San Juan Islands, WA.
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    1,079
    Just remember NAS Whidbey is there and do carrier landing practice several days a week and E/A-18G's flying overhead for several hours a day may ruin someone's idea of a quiet vacation. Friday Harbor is a great day trip that can be done without a car but involves some walking, Eastsound requires driving on the ferry since it's several miles from the ferry landing. The ferry's have been a nightmare running at least a half hour late (usually much more) making a trip to the islands more like sitting waiting for the ferry for a few hours (on both ends), a nice boat ride, and enough time for lunch or early dinner before heading back.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    Keep Tacoma Feared
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    2,116
    Langley is a cute little town and is closer to Seattle, although you take a ferry to get there (part of the fun). Fort Ebey is the main bike spot on the island. Deception Pass is cool but will be packed with people. The southern part of the island will be less crowded.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    the ham
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    9,828
    Quote Originally Posted by Harry View Post
    I haven’t been there in years, but it sounded like freedom when I was there.
    I think the sign is gone.


    My wife was helping a retired couple find a place on Whidbey two summers ago, and they really wanted to be near Langley, partly because the ferry from Mukilteo is short and easy. Personally, I'd rather go to Orcas, but I'm not "old people". Port Townsend would fit the bill perfectly, but obviously more travel time.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Posts
    438
    Quote Originally Posted by yeahman View Post
    Coupeville is a good central location from which to explore Whidbey. Personally I think the ease of sightseeing/hiking/shopping/dining on Whidbey rivals anything the San Juans have to offer. Those islands are mostly enclaves for the super rich. Whidbey has way more parks and public beaches.
    The San Juans don't have navy jets overheard all the time. Also to OP: old folks might also like Bainbridge: Winslow downtown with good food. Also: Blueberry farms. Vineyards. Bloedel reserve gardens. Faye bainbridge. Trip to Pouslbo. Lunch at Lynwood Center. Fort Worden. Gazam Lake.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    3,322
    Great stuff all around here, Thx.
    Do I detect a lot of anger flowing around this place? Kind of like a pubescent volatility, some angst, a lot of I'm-sixteen-and-angry-at-my-father syndrome?

    fuck that noise.

    gmen.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Last Best City in the Last Best Place
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    Quote Originally Posted by mfcf13 View Post
    The San Juans don't have navy jets overheard all the time. Also to OP: old folks might also like Bainbridge: Winslow downtown with good food. Also: Blueberry farms. Vineyards. Bloedel reserve gardens. Faye bainbridge. Trip to Pouslbo. Lunch at Lynwood Center. Fort Worden. Gazam Lake.
    The jets really only fly on the north end of the island around the base. If you are anywhere else it is not a problem. You do know Whidbey is 45 miles long, right? If you stay in Coupeville you will not be bothered by jets.

    OP if you can pick up a copy of this book, Getting to the Water's Edge on Whidbey and Camano Islands. Very helpful guide to public beach access.

    https://soundwaterstewards.org/web/g...e-waters-edge/

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Before
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    23,685
    Freeland, Coupeville on Whidbey.
    But also consider La Conner, Friday Harbor (San Juan Is.), Fairhaven district in Bellingham.

    If they are gourmandos, have some $ and you choose to stay up around Bellingham, The Willows Inn is a awesome.
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
    >>>200 cm Black Bamboo Sidewalled DPS Lotus 120 : Best Skis Ever <<<

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    The Shed of Incorruptible Veracity
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    8,145
    Quote Originally Posted by Single Track View Post
    -
    -Take a walk-on ferry over to Port Townsend for a day/half-day. Great for “old people stuff.” Better Living Through Coffee is a great hipstery coffee joint
    Well, this sums up my affinity for the place nicely.
    Relentlessly pursuing beauty in an irredeemably ugly world.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    238
    If you are going to do the drive all the way to Deception Pass, check out Mt. Erie for good viewpoint about 20 min further. You can park at the top.

    I've never successfully taken the Mukilteo ferry despite several attempts. I'm not getting up at 5AM or waiting 2+ hours, so beware if you want to take it on a weekend. You can monitor wait times and when it fills up on a wsdot website to get a feel for it.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    OP here's my tour of Whidbey based on the seven years I lived on the island. From north to south.

    -Deception Pass state park, as has been mentioned, crowded but worth visiting. Almost guaranteed to see seals swimming around below the bridge, maybe even sea lions. Nice hikes through some gigantic trees, nice beaches. Walking across the bridge and looking down at the water and swirling currents is well worth doing.

    -Heading south you come to Oak Harbor, not your quaint seaside town but a couple noteworthy stops. Seabolt's smokehouse and seafood restaurant is a great lunch stop. Flyers brewery and restaurant has good food and beer. Windjammer Park downtown has a public beach.

    -Heading south from Oak Harbor past the Walmart take Fort Nugent Rd. out to West Beach Rd. Some great stuff out in this area. Joseph Whidbey State Park has beaches, trails, and blackberry bushes where we used to fill buckets with no competition when in season. Swantown Pond is cool for birdwatching. At the south end of Swantown you will see a seawall with graffiti and informal parking. Here you can access one of the best secret beach walks on the island. The beach extends for several miles under a bluff with no houses visible (they are up on the bluff). Try to time low tide so you can beach comb and stay away from the bluff, which is actively eroding. There are WW2 bunkers on this bluff meant to fend off a Japanese attack--you can see them from the beach if you look. Some of them may have eroded and fallen down the bluff at this point.

    -Continuing south on West Beach Road you come to Bell's Farm. If in season they let you take a bucket and pick your fill of strawberries for a couple bucks.

    -South on West Beach a little father you come to Fort Ebey state park. Great hiking trails--make sure you walk the Bluff Trail as it has some of the most outstanding views of the strait and the Olympics. Also you can explore the WW2 bunkers, which are cool and creepy. This was one of my favorite parks for hiking.

    -Fort Ebey park connects to Ebey's Landing Preserve, another cool beach with a hiking trail. However, you actually access Ebey's Landing from a different road.

    -The town of Coupeville is quaint. The Captain Whidbey Inn is rustic and well worth a stop. If Penn Cove Mussels are in season then a stop at the restaurant is a MUST. In the town there's the famous Toby's Tavern for beers and seafood. Also a nice pier to walk with a whale museum at the end. Probably other/better/newer restaurants in Coupeville I'm not familiar with.

    -Near Coupeville, there's Fort Casey state park with more beaches and WW2 bunker stuff and I think a lighthouse. Also, this is where you can walk on the the Keystone Ferry and go for a scenic ride to Port Townsend. PT is a fun town for shopping and dining. Whales can sometimes be seen from the ferry. Great boat ride with awesome views of the Olympics.

    -Heading south from Coupeville is Greenbank. A stop at the Greenbank Farm is worthwhile, bit of a tourist attraction but has a nice wine shop with local wines, a cafe, local art gallery, etc.

    -South Whidbey state park is west of Greenbank and well worth a visit. Best part is a nice easy hiking trail through a VERY cool old-grown forest. Also nice beaches, etc.

    --As mentioned, Freeland is a nice town. Gordon's on Blueberry Hill is a very popular restaurant, highly recommended.

    -Nichols Brothers Boat Builders in Freeland is a great local business that builds some badass ships. If you're old man is into that stuff might be worth stopping in and seeing if anybody would give you a mini tour.

    -Near Freeland is Double Bluff beach, nice place for beach walking and wading (water seems to be a bit warmer). Also has an off-leash area if you guys are bringing a dog.

    -Town of Langley is a nice quaint artist town. Whales can often be seen from town. (BTW, never go anywhere on Whidbey without binoculars because you never know where the whales will pop up.)

    -On the very south end of the island, Possession Point state park is another good place to possibly see whales.

    Barely scratched the surface of all the cool places on Whidbey but this should keep you busy. It's an awesome, under-appreciated gem. You guys will have a great time.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    PNW
    Posts
    6,210
    Great post, yeahman. I've done some of those things but will file away a few more for later. Thanks
    life ain't guaranteed, love your people while you can

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    3,322
    Quote Originally Posted by yeahman View Post
    OP here's my tour of Whidbey based on the seven years I lived on the island. From north to south.

    -Deception Pass state park, as has been mentioned, crowded but worth visiting. Almost guaranteed to see seals swimming around below the bridge, maybe even sea lions. Nice hikes through some gigantic trees, nice beaches. Walking across the bridge and looking down at the water and swirling currents is well worth doing.

    -Heading south you come to Oak Harbor, not your quaint seaside town but a couple noteworthy stops. Seabolt's smokehouse and seafood restaurant is a great lunch stop. Flyers brewery and restaurant has good food and beer. Windjammer Park downtown has a public beach.

    -Heading south from Oak Harbor past the Walmart take Fort Nugent Rd. out to West Beach Rd. Some great stuff out in this area. Joseph Whidbey State Park has beaches, trails, and blackberry bushes where we used to fill buckets with no competition when in season. Swantown Pond is cool for birdwatching. At the south end of Swantown you will see a seawall with graffiti and informal parking. Here you can access one of the best secret beach walks on the island. The beach extends for several miles under a bluff with no houses visible (they are up on the bluff). Try to time low tide so you can beach comb and stay away from the bluff, which is actively eroding. There are WW2 bunkers on this bluff meant to fend off a Japanese attack--you can see them from the beach if you look. Some of them may have eroded and fallen down the bluff at this point.

    -Continuing south on West Beach Road you come to Bell's Farm. If in season they let you take a bucket and pick your fill of strawberries for a couple bucks.

    -South on West Beach a little father you come to Fort Ebey state park. Great hiking trails--make sure you walk the Bluff Trail as it has some of the most outstanding views of the strait and the Olympics. Also you can explore the WW2 bunkers, which are cool and creepy. This was one of my favorite parks for hiking.

    -Fort Ebey park connects to Ebey's Landing Preserve, another cool beach with a hiking trail. However, you actually access Ebey's Landing from a different road.

    -The town of Coupeville is quaint. The Captain Whidbey Inn is rustic and well worth a stop. If Penn Cove Mussels are in season then a stop at the restaurant is a MUST. In the town there's the famous Toby's Tavern for beers and seafood. Also a nice pier to walk with a whale museum at the end. Probably other/better/newer restaurants in Coupeville I'm not familiar with.

    -Near Coupeville, there's Fort Casey state park with more beaches and WW2 bunker stuff and I think a lighthouse. Also, this is where you can walk on the the Keystone Ferry and go for a scenic ride to Port Townsend. PT is a fun town for shopping and dining. Whales can sometimes be seen from the ferry. Great boat ride with awesome views of the Olympics.

    -Heading south from Coupeville is Greenbank. A stop at the Greenbank Farm is worthwhile, bit of a tourist attraction but has a nice wine shop with local wines, a cafe, local art gallery, etc.

    -South Whidbey state park is west of Greenbank and well worth a visit. Best part is a nice easy hiking trail through a VERY cool old-grown forest. Also nice beaches, etc.

    --As mentioned, Freeland is a nice town. Gordon's on Blueberry Hill is a very popular restaurant, highly recommended.

    -Nichols Brothers Boat Builders in Freeland is a great local business that builds some badass ships. If you're old man is into that stuff might be worth stopping in and seeing if anybody would give you a mini tour.

    -Near Freeland is Double Bluff beach, nice place for beach walking and wading (water seems to be a bit warmer). Also has an off-leash area if you guys are bringing a dog.

    -Town of Langley is a nice quaint artist town. Whales can often be seen from town. (BTW, never go anywhere on Whidbey without binoculars because you never know where the whales will pop up.)

    -On the very south end of the island, Possession Point state park is another good place to possibly see whales.

    Barely scratched the surface of all the cool places on Whidbey but this should keep you busy. It's an awesome, under-appreciated gem. You guys will have a great time.
    Amazing!
    Do I detect a lot of anger flowing around this place? Kind of like a pubescent volatility, some angst, a lot of I'm-sixteen-and-angry-at-my-father syndrome?

    fuck that noise.

    gmen.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    2,004
    Thanks, Yeahman. I've been to Whidbey 3-4 times and you gave me a few more things to check out.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    panhandle locdog
    Posts
    7,153
    I grew up on Whidbey. Would concur with all posted. Be aware it's windy on the west side of the island, especially the NW end. So bring a windbreaker and be prepared for colder temps even when it's warm in Seattle.

    Coupeville area is my favorite, echoing suggestions on Port Townsend, Fort Ebey/Fort Casey. I grew up a little bit north of there.

    Both Fort Ebey and Casey are great spots to fly a kite.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    2,624
    Yeahman certainly provided an excellent list of things to do on Whidbey, but here is my alternate plan.

    Hit Deception Pass, and time it so you get there midway between high and low tide so the current is running strong.

    Take the San Juan ferry ride. The ferry ride is the best part of that trip. Maybe stop over at Friday Harbor or whatever.

    Take the ferry over to Port Townsend and then do the loop around the Olympic Peninsula. Lots to do and see over there - Hurricane Ridge, Forks, the rain forest, and Pacific Ocean beaches.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    1,094
    Bumping this up for the Pac NW experts.

    Are there any good overnight sea kayaking around Whidbey Island or anywhere a bit closer to Seattle than the San Juans? Probably just a night or two. I'll be in Sekiu (https://goo.gl/maps/8cdqnD9VwBK6KgWv6) for a few days ahead of July 4th, so curious about anything around there, Whidbey, or anything like ~2 hours from Seattle. I've found a little beta but not much. Going from Port Angeles to Victoria Island would be an option but currently it's closed due to COVID.

    Also, if anyone has Honda Fit they want to rent out...let me know. Rental cars are $60/day right now...

    https://www.whidbeyislandkayaking.com/our-kayak-tours - on Whidbey
    https://www.mountaineers.org/activit...-olympic-coast - Olympic Coast beta

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    On Vacation for the Duration
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    13,819
    Interested in an island hopping Ferry Safari myself this summer. Any tips on where to watch kayakers while I dine on seafood?
    A few people feel the rain. Most people just get wet.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Last Best City in the Last Best Place
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    4,325
    Quote Originally Posted by fool View Post
    Bumping this up for the Pac NW experts.

    Are there any good overnight sea kayaking around Whidbey Island or anywhere a bit closer to Seattle than the San Juans? Probably just a night or two. I'll be in Sekiu (https://goo.gl/maps/8cdqnD9VwBK6KgWv6) for a few days ahead of July 4th, so curious about anything around there, Whidbey, or anything like ~2 hours from Seattle. I've found a little beta but not much. Going from Port Angeles to Victoria Island would be an option but currently it's closed due to COVID.

    Also, if anyone has Honda Fit they want to rent out...let me know. Rental cars are $60/day right now...

    https://www.whidbeyislandkayaking.com/our-kayak-tours - on Whidbey
    https://www.mountaineers.org/activit...-olympic-coast - Olympic Coast beta
    Hope Island and Skagit Island off the northeast end of Whidbey have primitive campsites for paddlers. From there it's easy to explore Deception Pass and surrounding areas. You can launch from Deception Pass State Park or, if you want to launch a bit closer, from Ala Spit County Park on Whidbey. I suppose you could launch from La Conner too, though I'm not sure what public access is like from there.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    on the banks of Fish Creek
    Posts
    4,036
    NAS Whidbey was my dream post, they sent me to the JFK instead.... me and 5,000 other fucking "volunteers".

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