The Power of Home: Rural South Whidbey Island

February 26, 2018  •  1 Comment

Home: Home is a noun, an adjective, an adverb, and a verb. Home is so much more than just a place. It is a sense of belonging. We feel blessed to call South Whidbey Island home. For me it has been my home since I was four years old. Rural South Whidbey offers residents and visitors a chance to take their foot off the gas and breath. While island living isn't for everyone, visiting offers individuals and families an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Anytime is a great time to hop a ferry and come explore.

The Daytripper:

So you only have a day...no worries. So you are on a limited budget...don't fret. There are some great inexpensive and fun solutions. Leave your car and set out on an adventure to the town of Clinton. For most of the day the Mukilteo-Clinton ferry runs every half hour. In spring whales start to migrate through Puget Sound and can be spotted to a lucky observer from the during the ferry crossing. A little park located at the Clinton Ferry dock offers visitors access to the beach and picnicking area. Take a short walk up the hill to find restaurants and lattes, a park, library, local distillery and tasting room, and Make Whidbey a coffee shop and craft making place great for kids and adults.

Insider tip: Parking in Mukilteo can be a bit of a nightmare. If you wish to save some money or maybe just the hassle leave your car behind and utilize the transit system. Monday through Friday the Everett Transit runs a direct route to the Mukilteo Ferry from the Everett Station. The bus ride takes about 20 minutes. On weekends park at Olympic View Middle School just minutes from the ferry and catch the Community Transit. Bus and ferry fare for a family of four would be under $20.

 

The STAYcationer:

So you live Pacific Northwest. Your idea of an island vacation involves warm water and umbrella drinks. Well the weather in the Spring can be hit or miss, but South Whidbey won't disappoint. During the weekend local farms are open to visitors, like Glendale Shepard which is open on Sundays. On Saturdays and Sundays farmers markets in full swing, whale watching tours, horse shows at the Whidbey Island fairgrounds, art gallery showings, and kayaking. There are woodland trails to hike and beaches to explore. In Spring the flowers are blooming. Whales are spouting. The Northern Lights are dancing. Yes the Northern Lights otherwise known as the Aurora Borealis are visible from South Whidbey during especially active periods. South Whidbey Island has numerous bed & breakfasts, hotels, and VRBOs. Looking for an inexpensive option, the Island County Fairgrounds located a short walk from Langley offers full camping hook-ups for $25 a night.

Insider Tip: Interested in seeing the Aurora Borealis? Space weather has come along way, but the aurora is had to predict. Eastside beaches on Whidbey make for a great place to watch the Northern Lights during strong solar storms. Consider booking a hotel along the waterfront in Langley for a northeasterly view just in case.

South Whidbey Inside Scoop:

  • Mukilteo - Clinton Ferry is a busy ferry run. If you are planning to bring your vehicle across on the ferry try to steer clear of traveling at peak commuter times to avoid sitting in long ferry lines. The best time to travel to Whidbey is on weekday mornings or be an early riser on the weekend. Sundays can bring long ferry lines in Clinton as weekend visitors head home. Traffic cameras are available for both the Mukilteo and Clinton Ferry terminals if you wish to monitor the ferry lines.
  • South Whidbey has two state parks which offer hiking and beach access, Possession Point State Park and South Whidbey State Park. There is currently no camping at either park. Discover Pass is required.
  • The Port of South Whidbey maintains seven parks in the area that offer a variety of amenities from beach access, fishing, playgrounds, picnic tables, boat launch, and mooring docks.
  • South Whidbey Parks and Recreation maintains a couple of trail systems on the southend along with a bike and skate park, ball fields, and playgrounds.
  • South Whidbey is home to a variety of restaurants. You won't go hungry! In Clinton you will find Cozy's Roadhouse. It might sound like a rough place, but with its hearty chicken strips and smiley fries (yep, french fry smiley faces) for the kids, the locals find it a laid back place to dine. In Bayview there is Joe's Wood Fire pizza, Freeland has a taco truck, and in Langley my husband and I enjoy breakfast at The Braeburn. And I am only naming a few I think us Islanders must really like to eat!
  • Educational Opportunities: Wander the trails and explorer the Maxwelton Stream Restoration Project revitalizing the salmon run to the Maxwelton Valley. Visit the South Whidbey Historical Museum in Langley to learn about South Whidbey's rich history. Kayaking, glass blowing and whale watching tours can also be found in Langley.
  • Photography Tips: For sunrise head to an eastside beach over looking the the Cascades. Locations like Clinton (with the ferry) or Langley (with the marina) can make for dynamic scenes. Sunsets at low tide on the westside gives a photographer lots to work with. On grey, wet days break out the polarizer and try your luck in the rich green forests. As for the Northern Lights sign-up for an aurora alert app for your phone. That way you are prepared just in case. There is always something new to see. Bring lots of batteries.

Getting Here: The Mukilteo- Clinton Ferry run is one of three ways to access Whidbey Island. Central Whidbey is home to the Coupeville- Port Townsend Ferry and Deception Pass is located at the northend of the island.

 


Comments

LindaMarie Hult(non-registered)
Your photos are all so beautiful I’ll never tire of seeing them.
Your quotes you use go so well with them
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