Take a Ferry Ride to Whidbey Island
Growing up in the Seattle area, my Dad and I used to go for ferry rides on sunny Sunday afternoons. I must have been in Kindergarten or first grade . We generally had no particular destination. Many times, we did not even exit the ferry. If we did exit, it was often just for a walk on the beach. The ferry ride itself was an adventure and a chance for an Island Escape.
I feel the same way about the Washington State Ferries today. While commuters get habituated to the routine of daily ferry crossings, for me it’s still a treat. It’s a relatively inexpensive way to get away for the day, enjoy Puget Sound and explore a new area.
One of my favorite ferries departs from Mukilteo for Clinton, a town on the south end of Whidbey Island. The island has many things to offer on a day trip. The south end of the island has a rural feel and you often see flowers or eggs for sale in front of homes. The locals believe in “honor boxes” so you take what you need, and leave the payment in a box for collection at the end of the day. Make sure you carry small denominated bills if you’d like to take advantage of the fresh offerings.
Visiting the gardens on Whidbey Island
If you like gardens, two of my favorite spots are Meerkerk Gardens and Bayview Gardens. Meerkerk is a great place for a walk. It describes itself as “peaceful woodland gardens”. Magical Rhododendrons on winding paths put on a real show, especially in the spring. Bayview gardens is a completely different experience. Bayview has a fantastic garden store with homegoods, gift store and a café. The café serves delicious homemade soups and freshly baked bread and pastries. It is my “highly recommended” lunch spot when visiting Whidbey.
After lunch, wander into historic Langley. This cute seaside town offers a multitude of interesting and unique shops, local arts, with cozy coffee shops and restaurants. The town overlooks the Saratoga passage, so sit on a deck and enjoy the view.
Enjoying Nature on Whidbey Island
If you are interested in Whales, stop by the Langley Whale Center, or hop on a whale watching tour. During the season you may spot Orcas, Gey Whales or Humpbacks. I’ve had the pleasure of being very close to all three. They are really a wonder of nature, and well worth the time it takes to find them.
You can’t leave the Island without a beach walk. No Island Escape would be complete without one. Whidbey has many parks and public beaches where you can enjoy getting close to the water. My favorites include Fort Ebey State Park and Double Bluff Beach in Freeland.
So take a day away from the mainland and enjoy an Island Escape on Whidbey Island, and remember to enjoy the ferry ride!
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