Mt. Baker and Oak Harbor
by Laura Hilton
Whidbey and Camano Islands are great spots to get lost. Both islands are packed with beautiful hidden places and striking, unexpected views. You could truly have a wonderful day here just driving around exploring.
An island is the perfect place to go searching without a map, because the handy thing is it’s impossible to stay lost for long. You might follow a scenic road into an unfamiliar area, and get turned around. You might start getting worried when you drive into one of our peaceful pockets of no cell reception, and can’t connect to your maps. But never fear! It’s difficult to drive more than ten minutes in any direction here, without coming to either a beach or the main road. Unless you cross a very noticeable bridge (one per island), it’s not as if you can accidentally venture somewhere else.
Amazing views, like this one of Ebey's Reserve, are everywhere.
This Way - That Way
To have a truly relaxing time with us you’ll need a temporary island home. Whether you’d prefer that to be a tent in the woods or a private house on the beach, check out the many lodging options here, we’ve got something for everyone. You’ll find restaurants, cafes, and food carts in your wanderings, but for specific dining info check here. Most places are offering takeout these days, so while exploring you can search out the perfect picnic spot. Just a few things to watch out for, and you’ll be on your way:
Drive Times on the Islands
Though neither island is very wide, both are surprisingly long. Keep in mind it takes about half an hour to drive from one end of Camano Island to the other, and just over an hour for Whidbey Island.
Cherry Trees in bloom along a country lane.
Private Roads and Dead Ends
Plenty of these are around but they are usually clearly marked. The same goes for private beach access.
Deer and Other Wildlife
Whether it be on land, air, or sea, you’re bound to see some beautiful creatures when you visit our islands. Just look out for them in the roads! Deer crossing are a particularly common sight, so keep an eye out, especially if you’re driving after dark.
Along the road at Ebey's Landing.
If you have the energy, this is another great way to explore the islands! This is a popular place for cyclists, especially in the summer months, so watch those shoulders.
For a relatively small county we are very fortunate to be dotted with so many State Parks (including the most visited in Washington: Deception Pass State Park!). Please be aware that you’ll need a Discover Pass to access these particular treasures. For a day they are just $10 (per car, not person), or a worthwhile investment of $30 for a whole year.
Both Whidbey and Camano have one fast-moving main road that travels the length of the island, but when you get out onto the smaller side roads it’s a slower pace. So much so that you may come to a car that’s fully stopped, near another car or a pedestrian. You may wonder if something’s wrong, but more than likely they’ve just passed someone they know and stopped for a chat. They’ll get going again once they see you’ve come up behind them or wave you around if it’s an important conversation!
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