Stroll the beaches and eat seafood on Whidbey Island, 90 minutes from Seattle

Deception Pass and Deception State Park. (Photo by: Giulio Andreini/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

True story: The views at Deception Pass on the north end of Whidbey Island are so spectacular that they convinced my husband to move to Washington State after he retired from the military.

  • That means 13 years of marriage and a toddler owe their entire existence to the great island of Whidbey.

What to expect: Whidbey’s scenic north-west beaches, charming coastal towns and great walking opportunities make it an adventure book full of fun itineraries for you to choose your own.

Where to sleep

For a romantic weekend try the Saratoga Inn in Langley.

  • This upscale B&B offers mountain and ocean views and is just blocks from the craft shops and top-notch restaurants of this pretty waterfront town.
  • Note: Children under the age of 12 are not allowed.

At the Captain Whidbey Inn, You can choose a cabin overlooking Penn Cove or stay in the historic main lodge, which has a cozy, rustic vibe.

  • If you want to take it a little rougher, you can camp or rent a cabin at Deception Pass State Park, where cliffs and old growth forests meet the ocean for breathtaking views.
Labeled a red wharf building "Coupeville" with colorful canoes and kayaks on a rack in front.
The Historic Wharf Building in Coupeville. Photo: Melissa Santos/Axios
What to do

In addition to hiking Near Deception Pass, visit Ebey’s Landing National Historic Reserve, where you can hike along a bluff overlooking Puget Sound.

Hike the seaside town from Coupeville.

  • Grab an ice cream and stroll the boardwalk.
  • Then browse the little shops on Front Street or venture down to the beach.

Explore the art galleries and quaint Langley shops while waiting for a table at one of the city’s great restaurants.

  • There is also public access to the beach here.
A black pot filled with mussels and studded with bits of bacon, garnished with parsley.
Mussels at the Saltwater Fish House and Oyster Bar in Langley. Photo: Melissa Santos/Axios
what to eat

For some of the best seafood around — including to-die-for-dungeness crab — visit the Saltwater Fish House and Oyster Bar in Langley.

  • The fish and chips, mussels and Penn Cove mussels are great too.
  • Pro tip: get on the waiting list and wander around town as there’s usually a line.

ultra House, also in Langley, makes delicious ramen.

  • Bonus: It’s in a pretty courtyard lined with cute shops.

The Little Red Hen Bakery in Coupeville makes delicious pastries to start your morning.

Sunshine Drops is another good breakfast option, with relaxed outdoor seating and an eclectic menu ranging from citrus avocado toast to homemade biscuits and gravy.

The Oystercatcher in Coupeville offers a premium dining experience in an environment that doesn’t feel stuffy.

And no visit to Whidbey Island is complete without stopping at Toby’s Tavern, which serves huge pots of local mussels with crusty garlic bread perfect for dipping.

Related Axios Guide: Explore Washington’s outdoor playground in Methow Valley, 4 hours from Seattle.


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