Tuesday, August 21, 2012

wanderlust: Whidbey Island, WA

Summer doesn't truly settle into Seattle until the tail end of July, and really gets roaring mid-August. With temperatures ranging from the high 80s to mid 90s, this the perfect time for some lazy long weekend getaways.

Whidbey Island is just the ticket: a 30 minute drive north of Seattle and a 20 minute ferry ride, and you are removed from reliable mobile service as well as all the hustle and bustle of the city. My husband grew up on the island, and his parents still live there on a beautiful three acres, complete with a barn, vegetable garden, and chickens. It is island living at its country best. The below shot is my in-laws' back yard. All that's missing is a cheese plate and bottle of rose.

Photo: Sue Frause

While we stay with family, the Inn at Langley is a pretty posh spot. Perched at the end of the downtown drag (for easy window shopping and wine tasting), this hotel was honored by Travel & Leisure as one of the top 500 hotels in the world. 

Photo: Inn at Langley

While Langley is closer to the ferry, home to my in-laws, and insanely picturesque, drive north for dinner at the Oystercatcher. This is where my husband and I celebrated our first Valentine's Day, so it definitely holds a special place in my heart. The food is very northwest, working with fresh, local ingredients (as is so en vogue these days). However, you can almost always get some variation of perfectly prepared Penn Cove mussels, farmed fresh from Penn Cove just two blocks away. 

Photo: Madrona Way Man

There are loads of cute shops dotting Langley's downtown corridor (1st & 2nd streets). My personal favorite is Sandy Wainwright's The Wayward Son, where Sandy sells her own exquisite designs (semi-precious and precious gemstones) as well as an array of vintage pieces. Down the street, poke your head into the Star Store, which is part mercantile (tourist gear, gift-ables, and clothes you will actually wear) part super market with a surprisingly amazing wine selection. 

Whidbey Island is reliably 6-8 degrees cooler than Seattle. So keep it casual (island style is never overly flashy or fussy) and comfy with a long cotton tank dress that can take you from sightseeing to dinner out, with a denim jacket to guard against the windy ferry ride or the cool evenings. Flat sandals, easy accessories, and a simple overnight bag are all you'll need.


Nikki said...

This is too funny because I am in whidbey right now and just called the star store trying to hunt down some gf bread. Then I opened facebook and read your post!

Unknown said...

Nikki, If you go in, and the owners are there, let them know you know the Frauses :) Have a great time!

Eat Play Sleep said...

How fun! Just arrived in Sioux Falls, SD and sort of wish I was back home on Whidbey Island (not really, a long day of flying). It's warm and sunny here and very flat! Will read this when I have some free time, have to get rollin' here.

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