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Island Exploration

Spend the remainder of summer exploring Whidbey Island

Photo Credit: WA State Parks

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Located two hours from JBLM  on the Puget Sound is Whidbey Island, a must visit during your time stationed in Washington. Spanning 55 miles, this island provides endless opportunities for exploration, sightseeing and of course, eating.

If you're the exploring type, Whidbey has multiple State Parks, chalked full of exploration.  Starting with Washington's most popular state park, Deception Pass. Spreading over 3,854 acres with a mix of both saltwater and freshwater shoreline, this park is  lined with coves, cliffs and a high bridge connecting the two portions of the park. Available activities include,  mountain biking, sailboarding and white-water kayaking. Another bonus during the summer months there is a designated swimming area in Cranberry Lake with an expansive shoreline to relax on. It's important to note that Deception Pass is Washington's most popular state park, so it can be crowded, especially during the summer months. 

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Traveling 18 miles down the road to Coupeville  is another state park you will want to stop at, Fort Ebey State Park. Used as a coastal defence fort during the second World War, today there remains a battery dug into the cliff that can be explored. Beyond the battery there is 25 miles of mixed use biking and walking trails.

Another State Park we would recommend on the island is Fort Casey. Used to defend the entrance of the  Puget Sound, this was a fully equipped fort used for training up until the 1940's. Today visitors can explore the fort and the various different passages and gun batteries. Also located in the park is the Admiralty Lighthouse, built in 1903. Undergoing renovations through August 2020, but a temporary exhibit has been set-up. And the beauty from the outside, is still worth taking in. Fort Casey is built above the Puget Sound, so a short walk down will have you walking along the 10,810 feet of saltwater shoreline. All state parks on the island require a day fee to be paid, or the best deal would be getting a Discover Pass.

After exploring the local state parks we're guessing you and your family will be hungry. And of course no trip to Whidbey would be complete without getting fresh seafood. There are tons of great options to choose from on the island, but one of our favorites is located in the town of Langley. Nestled into the adorable seaside town is, Saltwater Fish House and Oyster Bar. And when we say you can't go wrong with the Halibut Fish and Chips, we truly mean it. Perfectly crisp and flavorful and served with fries. Other menu options that  we would highly recommend are the clam chowder, which is wonderfully thick and flavorful and served with a delicious sourdough roll. And you'll definitely  want to complete your dining experience with an order of the oysters. Their outdoor ordering window is perfect for placing to go orders, or they have outdoor sidewalk dining during Covid-19. After you enjoy a delicious meal, Langley is full of quaint shops to explore and a  beach that is perfect for collecting rocks and soaking in the views of the Puget Sound.

After you soak in the beach and on your way off the island, you will definitely want to stop in Freeland, WA at Whidbey Island Ice Cream CO. With flavors like banana cream pie, chocolate lavender, and Skagit Triple Berry, you can't go wrong with any scoop (or scoops) you choose. Other towns to explore before leaving the island are Oak Harbor and Coupeville, both great little towns to stop in and explore the boutique shops. 

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