Escape those Four Walls and Restore via Rental

Whether it’s work from home, school from home or just an escape from it all, Whidbey and Camano Islands provide a variety of lodging options fit for four-legged friends, remote learners or new home office opportunities. Here are five vacation rentals that are no place like home:

  1. Admire spectacular views of Mt. Baker, Whidbey Island and incredible sunsets over Puget Sound at this newly-remodeled, pet-friendly home on the shores of Camano Island.
  2. Moonrise Cottage is a brand new, modern coastal farmhouse located on five acres on the south end of Whidbey Island. It comes complete with organic gardens, nearby beach and even chickens.
  3. Keystone Cottage sits a short walk from its own beach yet on the shores of Crockett Lake, and even comes complete with a private canoe for paddling breaks. WiFi and all the creature comforts included.
  4. Those looking to spread out, try something new or accommodate a group can live the farm life, complete with resident alpacas. This Camano Island farm stay offers 100 acres with views of Mt. Rainier and Port Susan, private forested walking trails and much more.
  5. The professionally designed cabins at Captain Whidbey Inn offer the best of both worlds: access to seaside views of Penn Cove, the privacy of a cabin outfitted by design experts like Filson, Edit Whidbey and Glasswing – and the creature comforts of a resort. Make do with a mini fridge and microwave or head over to the restaurant for chef-prepared selections from the local sea, land and farms.
A cabin at Captain Whidbey Inn

Three Tasty New Ways to Stock the Fridge, Support Local Producers

While crafting a COVID-19 style weekend getaway, stocking the fridge, tracking outdoor patios and filling the sanitizer bottle are top priorities for many. Farms, producers and purveyors on the island offer new ways to eat like a local – from the comfort of your hotel room or vacation home. Here are four sure picks:

  1. A visit to the charming farm stand at Kristoferson Farm on Camano Island is a celebration of a 108 year old history, and the local products it features. Its new, open-air farm store sits amidst the farms hay fields and features fresh breads, local cheeses, fine foods and wines, produce, crafts, and a variety of farm produced jams, cakes and teas inspired by the farm’s extensive lavender fields.
  2. Salt & Sea Provisions is a new weekend pop-up from the experts at Saltwater Langley providing freshly baked foods, ready to eat food and picnic items, pantry staples, bottled beer, wine and cocktail kits.
  3. Ciao Food and Wine in Coupeville recently unveiled a new dynamic market offering authentic Italian food and wine easy to enjoy at home, offered in addition to robust dine-in, outdoor or takeout services.
Kristoferson Farm Stand

Island Life Meets the Silver Screen

The silver screen loves Whidbey Island. Many a Hollywood blockbuster has enjoyed the island’s dramatic shorelines, pastoral views and quaint seaside villages. Whether it’s trip inspiration for a 2021 or winter retreat at a cozy Island hotel room overlooking the sea, these movies filmed on Whidbey Island provide a true sense of this special place:

  • Practical Magic (1998). This romantic fantasy is a Halloween classic, where two magical sisters end up on the wrong side of the law. Featuring a huge line up of stars including Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman, the town of Coupeville also plays a starring role.
  • The Ring (2002). Naomi Watts stars in this supernatural horror movie about an urban legend involving a nightmarish videotape. With enough fog and creepy music, Deception Pass Bridge becomes a very scary place!
  • Snow Falling on Cedars (1999) The classic novel by David Guterson involved love, murder, racial inequality and a trial. When the book became a movie, it turned into its own classic, and features Whidbey locations like Ebey’s Landing and the Ferry House.
  • Top Gun: Maverick (July 2021) Stay tuned for this long-awaited sequel to the beloved Top Gun movie. Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer and Jennifer Connelly are back, and the action-packed story about the U.S. Navy’s top aviators continues. Whidbey Naval Air Station played a big role in the high-flying action.

Find Art in the Outdoors

While we would traditionally seek cozy indoor opportunities like movie theaters or museums come fall, the remainder of 2020 will encourage us to don a coat and hat – and brave the elements as long as we can. Here are five ways to enjoy the arts in the outdoors:

  1. A new 16-acre outdoor museum, Price Sculpture Forest, will open mid-October. Discover the century-old forest and native plants, along with art hanging from trees or hidden behind foliage. Children are encouraged to wander, investigate and be immersed in nature.
  2. The Allgire Project is an outdoor mural gallery on Washington’s Whidbey Island, offering a bright, walkable experience that connects visitors with the history and culture of the community in a colorful, meaningful way. The mural project spans 13 walls showcasing work of nine different artists at 740 Pioneer Way in the heart of downtown Oak Harbor. Linger and enjoy or take advantage of a 30-minute “selfie parking zone” for a quick visit. A new mural at Allgire project is anticipated this fall. Learn more, donate to the movement or just enjoy @Allgireproject and allgireproject.com.
  3. Earth Sanctuary is a privately owned, public nature retreat and sculpture park created on 72 acres of old growth forest. The latest installation, the Ley Line Sculpture, features burnt driftwood placed along power centers identified as “Ley Lines,” which provide special earth energies that have the power to alter and uplift human consciousness. Peruse the trails to find an authentic Native American Medicine Wheel, a Labyrinth, stone circles and more. Founded by Tibetan Buddhist Chuck Pettis, with just over two miles of meandering trails and spaces for quiet exploration or meditation, guests enjoy restored old-growth forest and sacred spaces.
  4. Located on the northern tip of Whidbey Island, Blue Fox Drive-In opened in 1959 and has been embraced by locals and visitors as a Whidbey tradition ever since. Many island locals wax poetic about their childhood at the Blue Fox. The one-screen operation provides two films that rotate a variety of first run films and cult classics.
  5. On Camano Island, Matzke Fine Art features “gallery in the woods” that’s home to 150 works throughout the ten-acre park-like setting. A variety of meandering trails feature creations from emerging and well-known artists, utilizing a range of mediums including bronze, stainless steel, stone, wood and glass.
Main Street (Photo Credit: Shaw Photography)

For current information around Island County’s Phase III of “Safe Start” Reopening Plan, visit www.islandcountywa.gov.  For more information on amenities and lodging visit whidbeycamanoislands.com.

About Lesley Michelle

Lesley is the founder and editor of What's Up NW. Lesley does love her beer and writes about that A LOT, but she also loves to shine the light on local events, people and businesses that call the Pacific Northwest home!

View all posts by Lesley Michelle

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