A Trip to Langley

Plan your Trip to Langley

A Little History Before You Plan Your Trip to Langley

On the southern side of Whidbey Island along the Saratoga Passage lies the lovely little town of Langley. With a population of just over one thousand, this quaint town is home to a creative culture and endless entertainment.

Langley’s history has led to its unique and diverse culture. Established in 1891, Langley served as South Whidbey’s trading center for all types of goods with the wharf connecting island merchants to Everett and Seattle. In the 60s and 70s, that same wharf brought in a wave of hippies who would forever shift the culture of South Whidbey.

Although Langley’s docks no longer see the traffic they once did, downtown is filled with remnants of the original trades-town married beautifully with the artistic culture of the mid-century hippies. It’s quite a treat to visit. If you get the chance to spend a day in Langley and aren’t sure what to do, you’re in luck! We’ve created an itinerary for the perfect one-day trip in Langley. Just don’t forget your mask and keep a social distance!

Itinerary for Day Trip to Langley

Coffee at Useless Bay

Enjoy some amazing early morning coffee from this local roaster to give yourself an extra boost at the beginning of your day. Between the friendly baristas, great drinks, and buzzing atmosphere you’ll be excited to return to this cafe over and over.

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Breakfast at The Braeburn

BEST. BREAKFAST. EVER. Or at least it’s hard to top. The Braeburn has an amazing assortment of breakfast choices ranging from light and sweet pastries to hearty mashes and breakfast burritos. There’s something for everyone!

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Morning Stroll Down Seawall Park

When you make your way out of The Braeburn you might consider taking a stroll down Langley’s Seawall Park. This seaside park is full of beautiful art that pays tribute to past island tribes and a walking path to help you get the most out of the beautiful view.

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Lunch at Ultra House

Ready for lunch? This ramen house is tucked away in the dead center of Langley village and serves absolutely incredible food! Enjoy slurping noodles and sipping broth and feeling like you’re another world away.

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Ice Cream at Sprinklz

What better way to end lunch than with some sweets?! Sprinklz is a local favorite when it comes to ice cream. It’s hard to beat their fun store or their incredible old fashioned ice cream.

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Explore Downtown and the Star Store

Even though a few of the Langley shops have closed their doors during the pandemic, The Star Store alone could keep anyone’s attention for quite some time. This century-old mercantile seamlessly transitions from produce to products and more.

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End the Night at the Taproom at Bayview

What better way to end the night than with some comfort food and a good beer? Bayview Taproom provides that and much more. You’ll love this community watering hole for its juicy burgers, kind servers, and joyful atmosphere.

 

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Posted on July 22, 2020 at 6:33 pm
Windermere Whidbey | Posted in Places, Things to do on Whidbey | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Whidbey Island Wineries & Distilleries

Whidbey Island Wineries & Distilleries

 

With intriguing accents of spice and musty earth [and] a gripping mouthful of tannins dance on the lengthy finish.”

 

These are the words used to describe Spoiled Dog Winery’s Estate Pinot Noir. If you are a fancy wine connoisseur, you probably knew what all of those words meant. Or maybe that entire sentence was gibberish to you.

 

Luckily, expertise is not a requirement for enjoyment when it comes to wine. This is evident annually with the “Autumn on Whidbey Tour” when people from all over and with all levels of wine knowledge flood the tasting rooms of local wineries to make memories. The tour is filled with friends having fun, amazing wine, and local art displayed in every tasting room.

 

Hosted by the Whidbey Island Vintners and Distillers Association, this year’s Autumn on Whidbey tour is widening it’s horizons by also including some local spirits! This expansion helps to include individuals interested in participating, but not really interested in wine. It also provides recognition and traffic to some pretty great local distilleries.

 

Below are some of the Wineries and Distilleries participating in this year’s tour that we had the pleasure of visiting:

 

Holmes Harbor Cellars 

 holmes harborHolmes HarborHolmes Harbor

When you think of vineyards and wine tours, do you think of gorgeous Italian villas overlooking expansive acres of grape vines? If so, Holmes Harbor is the place for you! This locally owned winery opened its doors in 2008 with the hope of blending art and science to create some of the most incredible wines on Whidbey. This blend is evident both in their wine and in their tasting room which has the facade of a beautiful authentic villa while proudly displaying their fermentation tanks within. You can’t help but feel like you are about to have the best weekend of your life when you enter this incredible space.

 

Mutiny Bay Distillery 

Mutiny Bay, DistilleryMutiny Bay, LocalMutiny Bay

You are going to LOVE this mom, pop, and son distillery. After retiring as pharmacists Rod and Kathy Stallman utilized their deep understanding of chemistry to create spirits that ignite your imagination. With the engineering innovations of their son Scott, this trio created what can only be described as a dream line of liquor distilled from almost exclusively local ingredients. Their love and passion for their craft is evident from the moment you enter the tasting room. They love walking people through their selection of spirits and their process. You do not want to miss this stop on the tour!

 

Spoiled Dog Winery

WineSpoiled Dog Spoiled DogSpoiled Dog

As one of the most established and favorited wineries on the island, Spoiled Dog is without doubt a real treat to visit. Approaching the property guests are enveloped in trees that open suddenly to acres of vineyards and one of the most charming farm style buildings on Whidbey. Walking in one is immediately met by friendly tasting room staff standing in front of countless barrels of aging wine. The staff are knowledgeable and eager to help. Their selection is incredible and nothing beats the view of the vineyard with tall evergreens in the background.

 

This year’s Autumn on Whidbey Tour is November 9-10. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $25 or $30 day of the event. You can purchase yours here!

 

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Posted on November 9, 2019 at 12:19 am
Windermere Whidbey | Posted in Events, Places, Things to do on Whidbey | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

QR Codes Connecting Us to History

QR Codes Connecting Us to History

Coupeville:

It’s of no surprise to anyone that Whidbey Island is home to some fascinating and wonderful towns each with their own history and culture. Perhaps the most intriguing is Whidbey’s oldest town and home of the first Whidbey Island settlement, Coupeville.

Coupeville is an adorable waterfront community rich in history and culture. In 1850 Issac Ebey became the first official Whidbey Island settler when he applied for the first land claim on the island. Claiming over 600 acres of what is now Ebey’s Landing, Ebey was soon to be followed by his nephew and many others. By 1854 there were 29 settlement claims in Coupeville alone and in 1881 it officially became the Island County seat.

Preservation:

Although all of Whidbey is covered in fascinating history, Coupeville is unique in its preservation. Where many of the original buildings of Oak Harbor and Langley have been torn down or decimated by historic fires, downtown Coupeville’s original buildings remain intact and in use. In fact, the town of Coupeville has more historic buildings in a condensed area than anywhere in the Pacific Northwest.

Technology:

To celebrate this fact and educate people on these beautiful historic buildings, Island County’s 4-H club took on the project of using modern technology to connect us to the past. Next time you’re in downtown Coupeville, take a closer look at those historic store windows. You might just see one of these:

QR Code, History, Coupeville, 4H, Preservation small towns, oldest town, remembrance, Celebrate the past

 

Scattered down Front Street are tons of these QR codes leading to the Coupeville Historic Waterfront Association website developed by the 4-H club in 2012. This website is full of information gathered from the Island County Historical Society, City Records, and over 100 personal interviews with people recounting memories and stories of the historic downtown. Each building’s QR code will lead you directly to that building’s history: when it was built, it’s original purpose, and the different stores that have occupied the space.

So, the next time you are strolling down Font Street whip out that smartphone of yours and learn a little bit of history along the way.

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Posted on May 30, 2019 at 8:54 pm
Windermere Whidbey | Posted in Places | Tagged , , , , ,

Get Your Ghoul on Whidbey Island Style

Get Your Ghoul on:

Whidbey Island Style 

If you have found yourself strolling the streets of Coupeville recently, you might have noticed some spooky spirits lurking about. Don’t worry! These ghouls aren’t out to get you but instead, they welcome in the Halloween season.

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October 1st marked the beginning of the annual Haunting of Coupeville. Five years ago the City of Coupeville’s Chamber of Commerce decided the town’s holiday spirit and Spooktacular events deserved an overarching identity.

Thus, The Haunting of Coupeville was born!

Every year from October 1st – 31st the Haunting includes not only fun town decorations but events that are enjoyable for the entire family!

  • Enjoy the weekend picking pumpkins and taking trolley rides at Sherman’s Farm; but be careful, the barn is haunted!
  • On the 24th Potterhead’s can enjoy a Dark Arts Dinner Party at Front Street Grill complete with appetizers, potions, and maybe even some Butterbeer.
  • Enjoy exploring Haunted Fort Casey on the 26th-27th where children are invited to participate in Trick or Treat Lane, games, ghost stories and a bounce house.
  • Coupeville’s Great Pumpkin Race on Sunday the 28th serves as a grand finale to the festivities. Watch as participants race their handcrafted pumpkins down front street tin hopes to win the champion trophy.

Young or old, this season holds events that anyone and everyone can enjoy. So get your ghoul on this Hollows Eve in the beautiful town of Coupeville.

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For more information about the Haunting of Coupeville visit: www.HauntingOfCoupeville.com

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Posted on October 18, 2018 at 6:45 pm
Windermere Whidbey | Posted in Events, Places | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

A Café in the Woods

A Café in the Woods

Literally tucked back in the woods of Langley at the end of a long and winding road is a little place you may not have heard of but is totally worth a visit! Mukilteo Coffee Roasters “Café in the Woods” is home to the “perfect cup of coffee”. If you are a coffee (and food) lover, this little café is a must visit!

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The café prides itself on the use of organic ingredients for all the items found on their menu, and coffee beans bought directly from the growers in Costa Rica. You will be delighted with the smell of freshly roasted coffee wafting in from the roasting room, and food cooked with fresh ingredients brought in by local farmers every day. Their café menu changes seasonally to keep the ingredients as fresh and local as possible, which makes it a great opportunity to try something new!

What Makes Them Unique:

The owners, Gary, and Beth Smith, at Mukilteo Coffee Roasters had a goal to “create the perfect cup of coffee” and many seem to agree that they have done just that! What makes them so unique is that they traveled to Costa Rica to meet the growers and taste the coffee before choosing which coffee they would use.  Now their growers, a small family farm in Costa Rica, are considered part of the family and Gary and Beth visit frequently to experience the farm first hand. The café moved to its current location in 2003 and has been thriving ever since. Not only is their little café in Langley a huge success, Mukilteo coffees are shipped to consumers everywhere and served around the globe!

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The Café is open for breakfast and lunch from 8 am to 4 pm Monday through Saturday. You can visit their website [ https://mukilteocoffee.com/ ] to take a peek at their most current menu or order a bag of slow roasted coffee to brew right at home. We are sure your visit to the café will have you coming back for more!

Have you visited the Café in the Woods? Tell us all about your experience in the comments below!

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Posted on September 7, 2018 at 7:31 am
Windermere Whidbey | Posted in Places | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Summer Time Sweet Treats

Summer Time Sweet Treats

What do you do to keep cool in these hot summer months? One of our favorite things is to head out for a cold and sweet treat! Thankfully, Whidbey is home to some amazing places for just that!

  1. KAPAWS Iskreme – 21 Front St NE, Coupeville

One of Whidbey Island’s best-kept secrets, KAPAWS is a favorite stop for some amazing ice cream and quaint small-town atmosphere. We highly recommend grabbing one of their fresh waffle cones that you can smell a mile away. The best part is their $1 kid cones – for kids only! Open 7 days a week from 11 am to 5:30 pm, KAPAWS offers friendly service, generous portions, and reasonable prices that won’t disappoint!

  1. Ciao – 701 Main St N, Coupeville

You may be surprised to learn that Ciao isn’t just about the amazing pizza. Every day, gelato is made in-house from a recipe created in the 1700’s! Made from milk rather than cream gelato sports a velvety texture that will make your taste buds dance. Stop by Monday through Saturday 11am-8pm to try out one of their many flavors. We especially love their Affogato, which is gelato floated in espresso! Yum!

  1. K&R Farms “The Stand” – 36699 SR 20, Oak Harbor

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If you’ve ever driven toward Anacortes, you probably noticed the farm stand on highway 20. K&R Farm’s “The Stand” is a favorite stop for local produce, fresh beef, ice cream, and many other tasty delights. Recently, The Stand started serving Hawaiian shaved Ice and it has been a big hit! Hawaiian shaved ice differs from your run of the mill snow cone because of the soft snow-like texture that absorbs all the flavor of the syrup and makes for a refreshing treat! You can visit the stand 7 days a week from 11 am to 6 pm.

 

  1. Toppins – 32650 SR 20 A101, Oak Harbor

“Frozen yogurt your way” is our favorite way to describe Toppins. With 12 different frozen yogurt flavors and 80+ topping choices, all self-serve, you can create your own dessert masterpiece. What’s even better is that it doesn’t stop there! Toppins also offer’s floats made with your frozen yogurt flavor choice. We really enjoy their pineapple float with its refreshing flavor that is perfect for summer. You can stop by for your cool off treat from 11 am to 10 pm Monday through Saturday and 11 am to 9 pm on Sunday.

  1. Café de Lisio – 957 Ault Field Rd, Oak Harbor

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It may be easy to miss, but Café de Lisio is famous locally! Their “mile-long” menu of creative combinations for all their delicious coffee drinks may be overwhelming so just tell the barista what you’re after and they can suggest one for you. Everything can be done icy cold and kid friendly! Our favorite cold menu item is the Attitude Adjuster, and trust us, you will not be disappointed. The café and drive through are open from 5am-6pm Monday through Friday and 6am-5pm Saturday and Sunday for your convenience.

 

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Posted on August 14, 2018 at 8:31 pm
Windermere Whidbey | Posted in Places | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Parks in Oak Harbor

Parks in Oak Harbor

With summer winding down, we love to get outside and enjoy that glorious sunshine, and what better way to do that than visit some of the many parks in Oak Harbor? We love these parks because they are close by which makes them perfect for an after-work picnic or an evening out in the fresh air.

  1. Flinstone Park and City Beach

    Oak Harbor , Windermere

Have you ever noticed the famous Flinstone car on Bayshore Drive? You guessed it! That would be Flinstone Park which connects to City Beach. This is a perfect place to take a walk down the boardwalk, look for hidden treasures on the beach, build a driftwood fort, or sit and enjoy the scenery on one of the many benches along the beach. Another thing we love is that it is close to downtown shopping, and restaurants! We love to grab an ice cream cone at Popsies and take a stroll through the park.

  1. Fort Nugent

    Fort Nugent Park Sign, Park, Oak Harbor, Whidbey Island

Ft. Nugent Park offers a wide variety of things to do for kids and adults alike. Soccer, Football, and Baseball fields take up a large portion of the park providing plenty of space to run free, kick a ball, play catch, or practice your batting skills. A large wooden Castle-like play structure is a favorite among the kids in Oak Harbor and is what gives this park its nickname “Castle Park”. A large disc golf course runs throughout the wooded area of the park which makes for beautiful walking trails to enjoy.

  1. Joseph Whidbey State Park & Rocky Point Beach

    Kkite Surfer, Park, Oak Harbor, Whidbey Island

Joseph Whidbey State Park is a favorite of Whidbey residents thanks to its cool hiking trails and beach with beautiful views of the Strait of Juan De Fuca. A covered picnic area, grills, picnic benches, miles of beach to comb for treasures, and hiking trails to venture make this park a great place to have an adventure or family day in the sun. When the wind is blowing hard this is a favorite spot for kite surfers too which makes quite a spectacle!

  1. Dugualla State Park

    Dugualla State Park

While Dugualla State Park may technically be part of the famous Deception Pass State Park, it is virtually untouched. Dugualla is a peaceful place with hiking trails, spectacular scenery, and a beach area to explore. Not many people know of this hidden gem making it a great place to enjoy quiet and nature.

  1. Deception Pass State Park

Deception Pass Picnic arae, Oak Harbor, Whidbey island, park

This may seem like an obvious choice, but there is so much to love about Deception Pass State Park we had to include it! Chances are you’ve only seen a portion of all it has to offer. The iconic bridge, beaches, hiking trails, and lakes offer so much variety it can take years to explore every aspect. You can swim at Cranberry Lake, spot critters along the beaches, hike one of the many trails throughout the park, enjoy a picnic at a covered picnic area, and soak in a gorgeous sunset over the sound all in one place. Our 5 favorite “hidden” features of this massive park are as follows…

  • Hoypus Point is on the opposite side of Hwy. 20 from the main part of the park. Just take Cornet Bay Rd. East till it dead ends.
  • There is a little cabin you can rent on Ben Ure Island but you have to have your own kayak, canoe or other human-powered watercraft to get there!
  • Rosario Head is a favorite well-worn path out to the most spectacular point and vista. Don’t miss reading the legend of the maiden Ko-kwahl-alwoot on your way or the tidepools! Best way to get here is the trail connecting to Bowman Bay.
  • Pass Lake is known for its fly fishing but few know about its miles of quiet and heavily wooded trails on the West End.
  • The path to Lighthouse Point from Bowman Bay is spectacular! Little inlets, views of the bridge, and a variety of native foliage make this a visually stunning hike that is worthy of repeat visits.

Oak Harbor offers so many different parks to enjoy, and these are just a few. What are some of your favorite parks to visit? We would love to hear about them!

Take a Closer Look at the Parks in Oak Harbor:

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Posted on August 2, 2018 at 7:04 pm
Windermere Whidbey | Posted in Places | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,