15 Best Things to Do in Whidbey Island, WA

Whidbey Island, WA
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Whidbey Island is between the Olympic Peninsula and the mainland, just north of Seattle.

Consider visiting Washington State's biggest island for your future adventure.

While Whidbey Island is renowned for its unspoiled natural areas, it also holds substantial historical and cultural value.

There's also more to Whidbey Island than meets the eye.

Exploring this place and its neighboring towns treats you to some of the most scenic beaches, trails, parks, and museums in the area.

Getting to Whidbey Island is already an adventure.

You need to hop on a ferry along Puget Sound or take the scenic drive through Mount Vernon to Fidalgo Island and cross the famous Deception Cross Bridge.

Here are the best things to do in Whidbey Island, WA:

Wander the Deception Pass State Park

Direction sign of Deception Pass State Park
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This park adjacent to Whidbey Island is the most-visited state park in Washington.

Deception Pass State Park boasts some of the most scenic rugged cliffs, mysterious coves, and stunning sunsets.

Aerial view of Deception Pass State Park
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In addition, it's an exciting place to set up camp, especially with your loved ones, and enjoy many outdoor recreational activities.

Enjoy outdoor activities like camping, hiking, fishing, wildlife viewing, and tide pooling at this famous state park.

Deception Pass State Park encompasses 3,854 acres of a mixture of a marine park and camping grounds, while its coastline stretches 77,000-feet.

Boats near the waters of Deception Pass State Park
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Cross the Deception Pass Bridge

Silhouette of Deception Pass Bridge during sunset
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Many tourists who visit Whidbey Island prefer to drive there rather than take the ferry.

One excellent reason is to cross the iconic Deception Pass Bridge.

This picturesque bridge connects Whidbey Island and Fidalgo Island.

Likewise, it stands 18 stories tall, towering above a saltwater canyon.

Visible fog at Deception Pass Bridge
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Opened in 1935, Deception Pass Bridge is a famous tourist spot where most people take photos of its stunning scenery.

To preserve its historical value and elegant architecture, the National Register of Historic Places added this iconic bridge in 1982.

Don't miss the rare chance to cross Deception Pass Bridge when you're on Whidbey Island.

Aerial view of Deception Pass Bridge
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Feel the Calmness of Nature at South Whidbey State Park

Welcome sign of South Whidbey State Park
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Another famous state park in Whidbey Island is the South Whidbey State Park.

This day-use park on Whidbey Island's western side features a scenic drive from Mukilteo and Anacortes if you take a ferry ride.

South Whidbey State Park, considered a public recreation area, spans 381 acres comprising tidelands and an old forested area along the shorelines of Whidbey Island.

Forest area of South Whidbey State Park
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The park features a scenic view of the nearby Olympic Mountains.

At the same time, its trails are famous for their centuries-old trees, making the hike more exciting.

Having a picnic at this park and hiking are the best ways to experience the calmness of its surroundings.

Moss-covered trees along South Whidbey State Park's trail
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Bring Your Dog to the Double Bluff Beach and Off-Leash Area

A dog sitting on the sand of Double Bluff Beach and Off-Leash Area
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Many parts of Whidbey Island are pet-friendly, and one of them is the Double Bluff Beach and Off-Leash Area near the Austin community.

This famous beach is also one of the nation's most dog-friendly beaches.

Whenever you plan to travel to Whidbey Island, you should bring your pet dog.

Daytime view of Double Bluff Beach and Off-Leash Area
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Like most beach parks, Double Bluff Beach also features park amenities like barbeque pits and picnic areas.

You can remove your dog's leash and let them run or play games on the beach.

Dog owners can also enjoy Double Bluff Beach, especially its scenery facing the Admiralty Inlet and the Olympic Mountains.

Witness Storm Watching at Joseph Whidbey State Park

A wooden bench overlooking the sea at Joseph Whidbey State Park
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This famous state park in Whidbey Island, which faces the west of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Lopez Island, is renowned for its unique experience.

Joseph Whidbey State Park is known for its storm-watching experience.

It may sound unfamiliar, but this exhilarating experience is something you shouldn't miss while on Whidbey Island.

Locals and visitors flock to Joseph Whidbey State Park's shorelines to see the skies nearby turn dark and the clouds start to roll.

This area in Whidbey Island gives storm-watchers a top-notch view of a full-blown thunderstorm.

When the sky is clear, especially during nighttime, stargazers flock to this area to witness a crystal-clear view of the celestial bodies above.

In addition, you can also enjoy the outdoor recreational activities available at the park, such as hiking and picnicking.

Visit the Magical Meerkerk Gardens

A bee on Meerkerk Gardens' flower
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For a one-of-a-kind travel experience in Whidbey Island, check out the Meerkerk Gardens in the Greenbank community.

This magical garden is known for its massive collection of exotic flowers, trees, and woodland plants, which fully blooms during spring.

One of the most beautiful flowers you'll find in Meerkerk Garden is its collection of hybrid rhododendrons, which blooms from March to June.

Monkey puzzle plant at Meerkerk Gardens
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Many tourists love to return to this garden for its picturesque beauty, which takes them to a colorful world of plants and flowers.

Spending an hour or two at this 12-acre garden adds color to your visit to Whidbey Island.

In addition, you can head to its woodland preserve which features nature trails that highlight Whidbey Island's flora and fauna.

Hike the Trails of Dugualla State Park

For a relaxing afternoon or morning on Whidbey Island, head to Dugualla State Park and hike through its trails.

Locals on Whidbey Island love to spend their mornings or afternoons hiking its peaceful and charming surroundings along the shoreline.

Dugualla State Park features six hiking trails that interconnect and feature natural areas such as wetlands, shorelines, groves, and a hill.

Overall, this park in Whidbey Island is a pleasant place to visit to breathe fresh air and relax.

Taste Top-Notch Whiskey at Whidbey Island Distillery

Besides fine wines, Whidbey Island also boasts its own distillery, which you'll find in Langley.

Whidbey Island Distillery is an award-winning distillery for different spirits, including whiskey.

It is known for its signature Blackberry Liquor which enjoys a 98-rating from BTI or the Beverage Testing Institute.

It's the highest-rated spirit in North America.

You can taste its signature spirits at its tasting room or join its guided tours, which take you to its distillery.

Explore the Vast Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve

Scenic view of Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve
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Whidbey Island truly holds important historical value in the North Pacific Region.

The Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve in Coupeville is a testament to it.

It's also 29 minutes away from the center of Whidbey Island.

It is one of the nation's largest historic districts, spanning more than 17,500 acres of cultural and heritage area.

View of Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve's beach
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The entire historic reserve was once home to a thriving Native American population before European settlers took over.

Compared to other national park units, this one features various designations.

It's a vast outdoor destination worth exploring.

At the same time, appreciate its natural beauty through various outdoor activities like hiking, camping, fishing, and other recreation.

While enjoying exploring this historic reserve, you'll also learn tons of historical facts.

Grassy meadow of Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve
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Pour a Glass of Fine Wine at Spoiled Dog Winery

This famous winery on Whidbey Island makes the finest pinot noir wines you can taste.

Go to Langley City to find their tasting room.

Founded in 2003, this local winery is a family-run business under the management of its second generation.

Spoiled Dog Winery features a charming tasting room with an inviting atmosphere, making your wine-tasting experience there memorable.

Spoiled Dog Winery is known throughout Washington State for its world-class pinot noir, made from grapes grown at its beautiful vineyards on Whidbey Island.

When you have time to unwind, head to Spoiled Dog Winery and pour a glass of its finest wines.

Climb the Admiralty Head Lighthouse

Exterior of Admiralty Head Lighthouse
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This iconic lighthouse in Coupeville in Whidbey Island is a lovely historical site.

Although this famous lighthouse has not seen action since 1922, its original structure and furnishings are still intact and well-maintained.

Bed of flowers near Admiralty Head Lighthouse
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Most visitors love to take beautiful photos with the lighthouse because of its panoramic backdrop facing the ocean.

Climb to the top of the lighthouse to get the best view of the Olympic Mountains and the Admiralty Islands nearby.

After your tour inside the lighthouse, you can proceed to its gift shop and score some unique souvenirs.

Top half of Admiralty Head Lighthouse
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Browse the South Whidbey Historical Museum

If you're intrigued with Whidbey Island's fascinating backstory, head to South Whidbey Historical Museum in Langley.

This local museum is where you'll find your answers about Whidbey Island's history and heritage.

South Whidbey Historical Museum features various collections of artifacts, stories, and information about Whidbey Island's people.

Learn more about its Native American settlers and white settlers.

In addition, the museum regularly hosts a historical presentation for tourists dubbed the "Then and Now," featuring images of Whidbey Island's past.

See Unique Artworks at the Price Sculpture Forest

Pentillium sculpture at Price Sculpture Forest
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If you're searching for Whidbey Island's art scene, head to the Price Sculpture Forest and marvel at its unique outdoor art.

Walking through this outdoor art destination on Whidbey Island is a unique experience that contrasts with the usual historical attractions you visit there.

The artworks are installed in random areas.

Some artworks hang from trees and lie on the bush, and some are covered with foliage.

There are numerous interactive areas featured in this open-air museum, encouraging visitors to walk further its trails while immersing in nature.

Overall, this 16-acre park dedicated to Whidbey Island's unique art scene is a must-visit place whether or not you're an art lover.

Learn Local History at the Island County Historical Museum

Exterior of Island County Historical Museum
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This local museum is not just home to some of the most fascinating historical artifacts of Whidbey Island but also its first car.

Whidbey Island got rid of the horse carriages in the early 19th century when a 1902 Holsman drove through its streets, the first car to arrive on the island.

Today, this car is at the Island County Historical Museum.

It still works, too.

There are only a handful of these magnificent vehicles left in the entire nation.

Grab this rare chance for a closer look at one of the last cars of its kind at this Whidbey Island museum.

Final Thoughts

Whidbey Island is a travel destination for those who want to take a much-needed break from the city's hustle and bustle.

Its laid-back environment, fresh air, and natural sceneries revitalize not just the body but the mind and spirit.

Start planning your Whidbey Island trip today!