Things to do

6+ Fun Things To Do With Out-of-Town Guests on Whidbey Island

Whether you have guests coming into town for the winter holidays or you have visitors over summer break while the kids are out of school, this guide is here to help you keep everyone busy and entertained!

I asked my friends on Facebook what their tips were, and I love all of the ideas I received! Local Aliea-Mikel Peabody especially knows how to show off Whidbey Island and all it has to offer—her comment on my post really captured the Whidbey spirit:

Our markets, shops, and restaurants featuring local fish and local farm produce are truly special. People can’t believe the range of bounty here. I do some gallery hopping w/my artsy visitors—[they’re] always impressed by the caliber and variety of our local artists and makers (me too!️).

The honesty flower/farm stands and the movie drive-in and arcade are really charming and nostalgic. Something visitors comment on at the store is how many festivals we have—it’s true we love to gather and celebrate!

Many visitors comment on how laidback and c h i l l Whidbey is—jeans to dinner? Yup. No makeup? You’re fine. Hours rolling by doing nothing but lazy beach-combing? A must! Cell phone not getting service? Put it down. They don’t want to leave behind our “island time” mindset. A big attraction!

Love it—thank you Aliea-Mikel Peabody! (She also happens to own an amazing shop in Greenbank called Seaside & Sylvan. Find unique furniture, beautiful home goods, decor, textiles, beauty products, children’s items, and several handmade items from local Whidbey residents here!)

For even more ideas for things to do with out-of-town guests, keep scrolling!

Coupeville Wharf

Recommended by Nikki T., the Coupeville Wharf is an iconic Whidbey location that makes for a memorable afternoon! The wharf was built in 1905, and today, visitors can check out the restaurant, coffeeshop, gift shop, and boat dock that now occupy the historic wharf. While you’re there, spend some time browsing the shops on Front Street, too!


The Farm Stand by K & R Farms

If your guests have a sweet tooth or want to pick up some local treats to take home, a stop by The Farm Stand is in order! Fresh waffle cones, a heavenly variety of ice cream flavors that’ll keep everyone happy, seasonal produce, and locally made foods are all there to tempt and tantalize your taste buds.


The Machine SHOP Arcade

If the weather isn’t great when your guests are in town, The Machine SHOP is the perfect way to spend a few hours. This community-focused arcade boasts 65+ classic arcade and pinball machines with some dating all the way back to 1964. They also have 20+ virtual reality games, and they occasionally host bands, comedians, and other performers.

Follow The Machine SHOP on Facebook for updates on upcoming events!


Blue Fox Drive-in Theater

Open all year long, the Blue Fox Drive-in Theater is a treat that the whole family can enjoy together. Not only do they show movies, they also have go-karts and an arcade. Click here for tips on enjoying the drive-in, and check out their show schedule here!


Deception Pass State Park

According to the Washington State Parks website, “Deception Pass is Washington’s most-visited state park.” Karon D. highly recommends bringing visitors to explore this breathtaking destination, and her favorite thing to do is to hike on the trails and in the surrounding areas. Adventure out on 38 miles of hiking trails, 6 miles of horse trails, 3 miles of bike trails, and 1.2 miles of ADA hiking trails.

But hiking isn’t the only thing to do here—the 3,854-acre park also offers water-related activities, from fishing (both freshwater and saltwater) and crabbing to swimming and diving. You’ll even find 1,980 feet of moorage for boating, and there are also opportunities for white-water kayaking. In addition to all of this, visitors can camp, enjoy bird watching and observing other wildlife, picnic, enjoy fire circles, and so much more!

Nikki T. especially recommends checking out West Beach where you’ll find photo-worthy views of the Olympic Mountains and the San Juan Islands as well as some excellent beachcombing. And of course, the bridge is a must-see spot for out-of-towners, too!

The park is open all year long—click here for all of the info you’ll need for your visit.


Fort Casey State Park

Highly recommended by Vanda C., Fort Casey State Park transports you back in time to when the fort was first built. Constructed in the late 1800s, Fort Casey was designed to be part of a “Triangle of Fire” that could protect the entrance of the Puget Sound.

Visitors can take advantage of 999 acres along the waterfront and go camping, boating, diving, fishing, hiking, bird-watching, and more. There’s also a lighthouse to explore, and here you’ll also find educational exhibits to make the most of your time there. Click here for all of the details you’ll need to visit!


We're lucky that there are SO many things to do on Whidbey Island! Not everything could be included here (not even close!) but hopefully these ideas will jumpstart the planning process as you prepare for your guests to visit our beautiful island. 


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What's Happening on Whidbey: November 2018

Get ready to mark your calendars! November brings some fun, festive, and educational events to Whidbey Island, and you won’t want to miss out. Follow the links below the graphic for more details on each event. Happy November!

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Whidbey Island Trick-or-Treating Guide

Looking to make some awesome memories and satisfy that serious sweet tooth this Halloween? Whidbey Island is home to some fantastic trick-or-treating experiences, and while my son and I have our own favorite spots, I asked to around to see where other people like to go trick-or-treating on Whidbey Island.

If you’re on the hunt for some prime people watching and full-sized candy bars… read on!

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OAK HARBOR

Every year, we head to Fireside to trick-or-treat. The Fireside community in Oak Harbor is nestled right between Fort Nugent Road and Swantown Road and is next to the Whidbey Golf Club. There are homes here that not only have those coveted full-sized candy bars, but some even offer hot cocoa and games. (Thanks to Brian and Kristina for also recommending this neighborhood!)

After making our way through Fireside, we stop by Shannon Forest on our way home. These two Oak Harbor neighborhoods are just the right amount of Halloween fun for us. Shannon Forest is located just north of Fireside, and is the neighborhood that surrounds Ruth Cohen Park. (Thanks Brian and Tacey for this suggestion, too!)

Crosby Commons (thanks for the tip Kristina!) is another great choice, and this Oak Harbor neighborhood is just north of Oak Harbor High School and south of NW Crosby Ave. And Mandy recommends the Cherry Hill/Glen Neighborhood, just east of Living Word Oak Harbor. “There are a few people here that give out full-sized candy bars, hot cocoa and donuts!”

You could also head over to Pioneer in Oak Harbor for a “no tricks, safe treats” event! The event takes place from 5-7pm on Halloween, and there will be a costume contest, haunted school bus, and more!


COUPEVILLE

Tacey highly recommends Pennington Loop in Coupeville, which is conveniently searchable via Google maps in case you’re unfamiliar. It’s not far from the waterfront, meaning you could grab dinner in Downtown Coupeville before heading out on the hunt for candy!

“The neighborhood behind the Coupeville Library is a great one!” says Amanda. “They give you full-size candy bars! And Admirals Cove is great because it’s so big, you can go for as long as you want to and not run out of houses.”


LANGLEY

You can also go trick-or-treating in Downtown Langley on Halloween from 2:30-5:00pm. You could start the evening out here, grab dinner, and then trick-or-treat the rest of the evening away!


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3 Must-Visit Pumpkin Patches on Whidbey Island

One of the very best things about autumn on Whidbey Island is being able to support all of our local farmers! Whether you’re looking for a new Whidbey Island pumpkin patch recommendation or you’re new in town and want to start a new tradition, you’ll find 3 excellent choices right here:


The Farm Stand at K & R Farms

Located at 36699 SR 20 Oak Harbor, Washington

Every Friday and Saturday night throughout October 2018, you can embark on The Farm Stand’s Flashlight Corn Maze. The maze is open from dark until 10pm, it’s $5/person, and children under 2 are free. (A limited number of flashlights are available to rent if you don’t have one.) RSVP on Facebook here so you don’t forget! You can also stop by for fresh produce and of course, make time to go for a walk in the pumpkin patch.


Case Farm

Located at the end of Case Road Oak Harbor, Washington

Case Farm has been around since 1898, and they have been proud farmers for 5 generations now. This year, they started drop-in visits on October 10th. They shared that 2018 is more of a low-key year because of the dry summer, but it still sounds like it will be wonderfully festive and memorable!

You can stop by to say hello to their animals (cows, turkeys, ducks, chickens, cats, and dogs!), enjoy picking out a pumpkin, and buy some harvest decor and fresh fall produce while you’re at it. Plus, littles ones can take a turn at a toddler-friendly bale maze.

Case Farm also hosts educational visits for school and preschool groups to teach them about farming—visit their Facebook page for contact info!


Sherman’s Pioneer Farm

Located at 46 S Ebey Rd Coupeville, Washington

Established all the way back in 1852, this Whidbey staple shines extra bright when October comes around. Visit Sherman’s Pioneer Farm to stock up on pumpkins, edible squash, and gourds; go for a trolly ride to the pumpkin patch; pick up fresh pies and other baked goods; visit their cows, and more. In previous years they’ve had a hay bale maze and a haunted house too—and of course, there are photo ops around every corner!


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5 Adults-Only Halloween Events on Whidbey Island

The kids aren’t the only ones having fun this Halloween. Whidbey Island is home to some unique, memorable events for adults to partake in as well, like murder mystery dinners where you get to dress up in costume and professional ballet performances of Frankenstein!

Read on for adults-only Halloween activities on Whidbey Island:

October 5 & 6, 2018

Oktoberfest & 3rd Year Anniversary Celebration

Located at Double Bluff Brewing Co. 112 Anthes Avenue Langley, WA 98260

Head to Double Bluff brewing for a weekend of traditional Oktoberfest tunes and other artists, traditional German Oktoberfest eats by The Big W Food Truck, and 5 German beer styles on tap! Click here for the schedule of events. Also, even though only adults 21+ can enjoy the German brews on tap, kids and dogs are also conveniently allowed at Double Bluff.


October 18, 2018

Crime & Punishment Mystery Dinner Theater

Located at 20 Front Street, Coupeville Wa 98239

The crowd is filled with suspects in this whodunnit extravaganza. Get dressed up in your finest flapper dresses and pinstriped suits and come out for this immersive mystery dinner theater performance put on by The Murder Mystery Co. and hosted by Front Street Catering. Trade clues with guests and work together to solve the mystery before the murderer gets away! Click here for tickets.


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October 24, 2018

Harry Potter: Dark Arts Dinner Party

Located at 20 Front Street, Coupeville WA 98239

Put on your finest wizard and witch attire for this Dark Arts dinner party hosted by Front Street Catering. Harry Potter fans, Deatheaters, muggles, house elves, etc. are all welcome! Click here for tickets.


October 27, 2018

Beer & Fear HaLLowEEn Party & Brewers Night

Located at Penn Cove Taproom 103 S Main St Coupeville, Washington

Hosted by Sumerian brewery in the Penn Cove Taproom, this festive happenin’ is the perfect spot to show off your sweet or scary Halloween costume. Dress up, get ready to dance, and enjoy craft beer from Sumerian Brewery. (Plus, there will be prizes & giveaways!) RSVP on Facebook here.


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Ballet Victoria's Frankenstein

November 2, 2018

Located at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts 565 Camano Avenue Langley, WA, 98260

Join in on the Halloween festivities with something completely different this year—a fabulous ballet based on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The description of the story ballet performance says “think Corpse Bride meets Frankenstein.” Click here for more info on performance times and tickets.


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What's Happening on Whidbey: October 2018

October 2018 brings some spectacularly spooky events and festivities to Whidbey Island! Enjoy the fruits of a bountiful harvest, take little ones trick-or-treating, and take part in some of Whidbey’s unique offerings, like the Haunted Fort at Fort Casey State Park.

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Find more information on each Whidbey Island event here:  


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What's Happening on Whidbey: September 2018

Get out your calendars—you won't want to miss out on all of the fun, festive, and interesting events happening on Whidbey Island this month! Autumn is right around the corner, but September still offers a few fantastic opportunities to celebrate those final days of summer, beginning with the Oak Harbor Music Festival. I'm also a proud title sponsor of the event—click here to check out the music festival's schedule! 

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7 Restaurants for Waterfront Dining on Whidbey Island

Gorgeous backdrops, unique histories, and fresh, delectable dishes ensure you’re in for a treat! Looking for a special date night spot, or want to impress out-of-town guests with one of the best views in town? These Whidbey Island restaurants promise waterfront dining at its finest!

Here’s a look at 7 awesome restaurants for waterfront dining on Whidbey Island:

Captain Whidbey

  • Located at 9702, 2072 W. Capt. Whidbey Inn Rd. Coupeville, WA 98239
  • Hours: 12:00pm-3:00pm Wednesday-Friday (Lunch); 11:00am-3:00pm Saturday-Sunday (Brunch); 5:00pm-9:00pm Wednesday-Sunday (Dinner)
  • Happy Hour: 3:00pm-6:00pm Wednesday-Sunday (click here for their happy hour menu)

Set on the idyllic shores of Penn Cove, Captain Whidbey Inn’s restaurant is a not-to-miss Whidbey treasure. You can enjoy fresh seafood for brunch, lunch, dinner, or happy hour, including steamer clams and Penn Cove mussels, salmon, cioppino soup, and more. Enjoy it in the dining room or outdoors overlooking Penn Cove; either way, it will be a meal you won’t soon forget!


Toby’s Tavern

  • Located at 8 Front St. N.E. Coupeville, WA 98239
  • Hours: 11:00am-9:00pm Sunday-Thursday; 11:00am-10:00pm Friday-Saturday

Steeped in Pacific Northwest tradition, Toby’s Tavern is a must for local history buffs, or anyone looking for a great burger. Built in 1890, this building houses a ton of local memorabilia, including the old 5 man racing shell hanging from their ceiling. In addition to fascinating decor, Toby’s also boasts a delicious selection of fresh seafood, steaks, prime rib, and the “best burgers on the planet.” The next time you’re in Coupeville, make sure to stop by Toby’s for a bite.


Front Street Grill

  • Located at 20 Front St. N.W. Coupeville, WA 98239
  • Hours: 11:00am-9:00pm Monday-Thursday & Sunday; 11:00am-10:00pm Friday-Saturday; 11:00am-9:00pm

Not even a decade old, the Front Street Grill has already made a name for itself as a premier local dining experience. Catch breathtaking views of the Coupeville Wharf and Mount Baker while enjoying one of their 6 different types of fresh local mussels, mouthwatering burgers and steaks, or seafood pastas. With a cocktails and a kids menu, this is a spot the whole family will love.


Knead & Feed

  • Located at 4 Front St. N.W. Coupeville, WA 98239
  • Hours: 9:00am-3:00pm Monday-Friday; 8:00am-3:00pm Saturday-Sunday

If you’re looking for a light breakfast or a simple lunch on the water, Knead & Feed is sure to become your next go-to spot. Drop by for a “Front Street Lunch,” which is their most popular combo of a bowl of soup, a green salad, a thick slice of bread, and a piece of pie. Homemade comfort food, friendly service, and a waterfront view... perfection!


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Alfy’s Pizza at Water’s Edge

  • Located at 916 S.E. Bayshore Dr. Oak Harbor, WA 98277
  • Hours: 11:00am-8:00pm Monday-Friday; 11:00am-9:00pm Saturday-Sunday

For pizza with a scenic view, Alfy’s is the place to go. Voted “Best Pizza and Salad Bar,” Alfy’s has a wide selection of pies (including a build your own option), as well as sandwiches, pastas, sides, and desserts. For a look at their full Water’s Edge menu, click here.


The Cove Cafe

  • Located at 26 Front St. N.W. Coupeville, WA 98239
  • Hours: 11:30am-4:30pm 7 days a week

Located right on Coupeville’s historic wharf, the Cove Cafe is a great spot for a casual meal. Enjoy fresh fish and chips, steamed Penn Cove Mussels, or more unique items like their “Not-Your-Average BLT,” and wash it all down with a refreshing hard cider, beer, or wine. With indoor and outdoor seating available, the Cove Cafe allows you to experience Whidbey Island at its finest.


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Prima Bistro

  • Located at 201 1/2 1st St. Langley, WA 98260
  • Hours: 11:30am-9:00pm Sunday-Thursday; 11:30am-10:00pm Friday-Saturday
  • Happy Hour: 3:00pm-5:00pm 7 days a week

For a taste of Paris and a splash of Pacific Northwest flair, no place beats Langley’s own Prima Bistro. Try one of their elegant small plates or a French-inspired salad or burger. Beautiful outdoor deck seating, a kids menu, and a variety of gluten free and vegan options make this a fun and welcoming place for all.  


5 Fun Ways to Keep Cool This Summer on Whidbey Island

When the weather heats up on Whidbey Island, we’ve got you covered with some fun ways to keep cool! From the best swim spots to the tastiest sweet treats, these ideas aren’t only good for beating the heat, but they’re perfect for your summer bucket list.

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Beach Bums

Pack your bag and head to the beach for a day of swimming, sunbathing, beachcombing, and just plain fun. Monroe Landing in Oak Harbor and Double Bluff Beach in Freeland are both safe bets for swimming and recommended by locals.


Out on the Water

One of the best ways to explore Whidbey Island is by water, and that sea breeze is sure to keep you cool! Kayaking is a great place to start, and Whidbey Island Kayaking is ready to help you get started on your kayaking adventures. They offer a variety of tours (beginners welcome!), or you can rent a kayak or a stand-up paddleboard and set out on your own.

If you’d like to charter a Penn Cove tour, rent a sailboat, take sailing lessons, you’ll want to check out Penn Cove Sailing and Leisure Yacht Charter in Coupeville. You can even rent the sailboats for multiple days at a time if you want to head out on an grand adventure!


Dive Deep

Get a new perspective and explore Whidbey Island’s underwater treasures! Whidbey Island Dive Center offers a wide range of instruction, “from snorkeling through professional dive leadership.” If you’re a beginner, they can help you start your diving journey, and they even host a “Splash Night” that’s in a pool so you can check it out and see if it’s for you. They also offer a huge range of specialty courses—see all of their offerings here!


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Cool Treats

After a day at the beach or out on the water, an icy cold treat is the cherry on top! Here are a few favorites:

  • Kapaw’s Iskreme by the Coupeville Wharf is known for their generous scoops and fresh waffle cones.
  • Popsies (located in Oak Harbor’s historic downtown) not only has ice cream, but their shop is filled with other sweet treats and they’re especially known for their different flavored popcorn.
  • Toppins Frozen Yogurt in Oak Harbor is known for, you guessed it—their huge selection of toppings!
  • K & R Farms is not only the perfect spot to grab an ice cream cone, but you can get fresh local produce, meat, and other homemade goods there too!
  • Sprinklz in Langley has 16 flavors of ice cream to choose from, plus specialty milkshakes, specialty blended coffee drinks, retro toys and candy, and more.

Pool Day

For those who want to stay active but get out of the sun for awhile, the Island Athletic Club in Freeland features a 25-yard pool. They offer swim lessons, water exercises classes (like Aqua Zumba!), and lap swimming. Another great pool option awaits at the Admirals Cove Beach Club, and here members can enjoy an outdoor pool. (However, the pool has been closed recently due to a remodel. Check their website for updates on when it’s scheduled to open again!)


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