WHIDBEY ISLAND, WA
A weekend anniversary trip brought Mary and Napper to Whidbey Island, WA, an island on the Puget Sound just an hour from Seattle. The Pacific Northwest is in a word, stunning. Dramatic cliffs with pine trees hang above pebbly beaches strewn with driftwood that looks like art, all on the Puget Sound, home to cavorting seals, whales and birds. Whidbey Island is a good choice for a weekend trip on the Sound as it is easy to get to—fly into Seattle and drive for about an hour to the Mukilteo Ferry, which is only a twenty minute ride. Whidbey is actually quite large, but the town to stay in, Langley, is tiny, incredibly charming and the perfect picture of a “small American town.” And the people are refined, friendly, outdoorsy and intellectual—the fact that there are three bookstores in the four block town center speaks to the fact that this is not a town of dumbies.
WHAT TO PACK
It can be cold and rainy so check your weather forecast and plan accordingly. Whidbey is a casual place so if you get too gussied up you’ll feel out of place.
Athletic clothes and shoes (layering is a good idea)
Bathing suit for sea kayaking
Jeans and sweaters for exploring town
Jeans/pants a nice sweater or top and boots for night
The Inn at Langley
400 1st St
Langley, WA 98260
Six course prix-fix dinner only, Thursday through Sunday
Chef Matt at work in the open kitchen
Splurging on the six course dinner in the modern yet cozy dining room with celebrated Seattle chef Matt Costello, is insanely delicious and a sensational eating experience. Chef Matt comes out before dinner to explain the entirely local and organic menu—knowing that the chanterelle mushrooms served with the locally raised lamb were picked from the neighbor’s field make them taste that much better. To really be splashy, opt for the wine pairing which really takes the food and the experience to a whole new level. One note for dinner, if you are after a romantic dinner for two (which we were), request to be seated alone and not at the community table.
201 ½ 1st Street
Langley, WA 98260
An inviting spot for dinner in Langley is the Prima Bistro. Cozy and inexpensive for the quality of food they serve up—the grilled shrimp with truffle oil, honey glaze and toasted almonds is one of the best dishes known to man. The dining room is candlelit and cute with a view onto their patio.
Knead and Feed
4 NW Front Street
Coupeville, WA 98239
Knead and Feed is a standout in Coupeville, the other historic town on Whidbey. Although Coupeville is not as quaint as Langley and much busier, Front St. along the water, where Knead and Feed’s homey and casual dining room is located, is right out of a movie. Lunch was hearty and local with views of the Coupeville Pier. The “famous” tuna salad was light and more interesting than usual seasoned with dill, and the marionberry (like a sweet blackberry) pie and cinnamon roll bread pudding were decadent and worth the stomach ache.