Whidbey Island, located 1 hour and 22 minutes north of Seattle, is where I grew up. It holds many special memories. My parents had a Westsail boat and sailing in the San Juan islands was our so staying in Cornet Bay and going under the bridge out to the San Juan islands was a typical summer trip for my family. Hiking and swimming in this area was the highlight of the summer. Of course, Washington State is not known for its weather, Rain or shine, you just have to enjoy it anyway!
What To Do?
Well, the bridge is definitely the first place to stop. As parking is at a premium right near the bridge, would continue on to Deception Pass State Park. There are multiple places to park; North beach is closest to the trail up to the bridge. There are many hikes to choose from. One I would recommend the short hike up Goose Rock for some great views. It is a 1.1 mile round trip from the bridge and only a moderate climb.
Where To Eat?
There are not many restaurants close by, but there is the Shrimp Shack ,near Campbell Lake which has some amazing shrimp and outdoor dining. Have to say, it doesn’t look like much, but tastes amazing. Bastian Brewing is only 10 miles north with some great food and locally brewed beer. There are many more options in Oak Harbor if headed that way as well, but I will save the rest of the island for another post.
Where To Stay?
If interestered in a weekend getaway, there a few options to consider.
- Camping: I love camping and have to say Deception Pass is a great place to stay. They have full hook up sites and tent sites. There is an easy walk down to the beach, swim (weather permitting) in Cranberry lake and watch the sunset. There are many hiking trails nearby as well.
- AirBnB: If a roof over your head is more appealing, there are some airbnb’s nearby. This one near Cornet Bay caught my eye at the time of this blog. Sleeps 8.
- Hotel: In Oak Harbor, Auld Holland Inn is a cute place to stay with a large Windmill, not too far from the pass. This is a comfortable hotel with super friendly staff, right off HWY 20. There are many more options in Oak Harbor as well, but this one I especially like.
- Ben Ure Cabin: If you are really lucky (or plan a year in advance) this is a really neat place to rent. To get there, you have to have a boat, or kayak to get to the island, but is a quick jaunt. There is an outdoor shower, kitchen, bathroom and electric heat. Because it is a really unique spot, it is booked fully until from April to January 🙁
Tired of Hiking, What Else Is There To Do?
- Jet Boat Tour: Deception pass has extreme currents and is not a place for inexperienced captains. This tour company takes you under the bridge for an experience of a lifetime as well as some whale watching tours.
- Kayak Tour: Out of Bowman’s Bay, Anacortes kayak tours has reasonably priced guided kayak tours that can be short, a few hours, to multi day excursions. There is a triple Kayak as well, which would be perfect for my husband and I and our 7 year old!
- Swimming: Cranberry lake is much warmer than puget sound. It has a nice beach area, bathrooms, and for that reason it is a great place to spend a summer afternoon.
- Fishing: Campbell lake is stocked with fish and often you will see people floating around the lake fishing. Click the link to discover the types of fish stocked.
The evergreen trees, island coastal area with tide pools and orcas, what is not to love about Deception Pass!
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