Three Days on Whidbey & Camano Islands

Drive Off the Mainland!

The transformation from mainland to island is not only physical, it’s psychological. The pace is not only slower, it feels as if you’ve stepped back in time. The mild climate and close proximity to Seattle make either island an easy getaway all year round.

Explore uncrowded beaches and winding forested trails. Dine on delicious food from local farms and the surrounding waters. Camano Island is known for its arts community and abundant wildlife, including Bald Eagles and whales. An added benefit is the island is easily accessible by bridge, 24 hours a day.

Day 1 - Camano Island

Named “the easy island,” Camano Island offers visitors a relaxed experience. The island is known for its Dungeness Crab, arts community, and unspoiled, natural beauty. To get there, drive 76 miles (123 kilometers) north of Sea-Tac International Airport on Interstate 5. Take exit 212 and go west through the town of Stanwood, over a bridge, and onto the island. The roads on the island create an uncomplicated driving loop.

Stop here to pick up maps and to learn where to eat, where to stay, things to see and do along with the island’s many hidden treasures. Located in the Camano Plaza, the visitor center is near the IGA Grocery Store and the Chevron gas station. It is next door to a public golf course and Canopy Tours NW, a zip line, through an organic farm and forest, is across the street.

Day 2 - Whidbey Island

Whidbey Island is 42 miles (68 kilometers) from Camano Island. Drive Highway 532 off Camano Island, through Stanwood. Travel north onto Interstate 5. Take exit 230 onto Highway 20, which puts you on the Cascade Loop. Turn left at the Whidbey Island Deception Pass exit and drive onto the island.

This is one of the most iconic images of the state and towers 180 feet (55 meters) above the swirling waters connecting Saratoga Passage with the Strait of Juan de Fuca. On both sides of the bridge are the rugged and lush forests, beaches and hiking trails of Deception Pass State Park. Explore the most popular park in the state of Washington. Watch for whales, seals, porpoises, Bald Eagles, shore birds and deer. Note: As you approach Deception Pass Bridge, you may wish to pull over safely at one of the turn outs to take a photograph or to walk across the bridge.

Day 3 - Whidbey Island

As you travel south on Whidbey Island you will intersect with State Route 525. Continue on it as you reach the narrowest part of Whidbey Island near Greenbank Farm. Follow signage directing you to various points of interest including Meerkerk Gardens, Earth Sanctuary, art galleries, as well tasting rooms for wineries and distilleries.

This is an ideal stop for antique stores and thrift shops. Freeland is where many locals like to shop and eat. It is close to Double Bluff Beach, a favorite place for a beach walk and picnic, and it also offers a great view of Mt. Rainier.

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