Seattle, WA is one of those magical places that ensures that if you want to, you will always find something to do. Surrounded by national parks, islands, and other big cities; the day trip options are plentiful. Recently, I visited Whidbey, a nearby island with so much coastal charm! I’ve done all the research so you don’t have to. Continue reading for your planned out day trip to Whidbey Island.
Getting to Whidbey Island
To get to the island, you’ll need to take a ferry. The Mukilteo Ferry Terminal is a 30-40 minute drive from Downtown Seattle. Ferries typically leave every half an hour (you can check the schedule here). We left Seattle a little late (10 AM) but still had time to be back by 4 PM. In the future I would leave a little earlier. Unlike Bainbridge Island, you absolutely need a car to get around Whidbey. For a vehicle and two passengers, we paid a little over $20 roundtrip. You can see the exact costs here. Once you’re on the ferry, it’s a super quick ride! If you drove, you’ll have time to pop up to check out the view for a few minutes before getting back in the car.
1st Stop: Langley
The town of Langley is a 20 minute drive from the Clinton Ferry Terminal. It is the definition of quaint and is located right on the water. Start with breakfast at the Braeburn. It has a great ambiance and has lots of vegetarian-friendly dishes. If you’re not as hungry, make a quick visit to the Langley Bakery for a huge cinnamon roll! The bakery is located inside an old farm and is a bakery-arcade with sweet treats and vintage pinball machines.
After breakfast we walked around and popped in and out of shops. A few of the must visits are The Star Store (a mix between a market and boutique), the Chocolate Flower Farm (with chocolates AND flowers as the name suggests), the Good Cheer Thrift Store (I found the coolest 1800s Japanese bowl), and Music for the Eyes (for some global antiques/items).
There’s also a great path along the water that is near the Chocolate Flower Farm. It connects directly to the beach and has a spot for whale watching when it’s the season.
2nd Stop: Coupeville
I’m going to disclaimer right here and say that Greenbank Farm, located in between Langley and Coupeville is supposedly a must-stop for pie, and wine and cheese tasting. I was disappointed to discover that they were closed, but it’s highly recommended on multiple websites.
Coupeville is significantly smaller than Langley and was founded in the 1850s. By the time we reached Coupeville it was time for lunch. If you’re looking for ambiance and fresh seafood at a reasonable price, Christopher’s on Whidbey is a must. The dishes were absolutely exquisite, and despite the big portions, I wanted more at the end!
After lunch, take the time to walk around town. My favorite element was the Coupeville Wharf. You can walk along the pier and there are some great photo ops. There was also a high-end consignment shop with some great finds –– think Hermes, Gucci, and Chanel.
Despite the fact that I felt like I had been eating all day, Kawpaw’s Iskreme on the main drag is known for their home made waffle cones and big portions. The smallest ice cream you can get is three scoops. (I was pretty overwhelmed, and didn’t get a cone of my own, but I did steal one of my dad’s 3 scoops. Fun fact: the shop is located in the building where “Seattle’s Best Coffee” was founded.
3rd Stop: Deception Pass Bridge
The bridge is located at the north-most point of the island. You can spend anywhere from 5 minutes to 2 hours there depending on what you want to do. I noticed a lot of hikers, as well as people that stopped just to take photos. There’s plenty of parking nearby. Take time to walk across the bridge and take in the view. I’m sure it would be even more gorgeous at sunset – but unfortunately we were on a schedule!
4th Stop: Ebey’s Landing
Surprisingly, Ebey’s Landing ended up being my favorite stop of the entire day. I didn’t know what to expect on the drive there, but the serenity I felt once I got out of the car made me sit for a few minutes and just look out at the water. There are hiking options here as well, and dogs are also allowed off-leash. Even if you only have five minutes, it’s 100% worth stopping. We then headed back to the ferry terminal towards Seattle.
Have you been to Whidbey? What are your recommendations?