While we don’t get a lot of really hot summer days in the Pacific Northwest, but when we do, you want to find someplace cool and wet…stat. While water parks are fun, they can get expensive and
A Guide To Puget Sounds Top Islands
Many of you may be dreaming of an island getaway around this time of year. Luckily, the Puget Sound is chalk full of islands. In fact, Washington State has more islands than any state in the U.S. For some, the islands make for a great day trip or weekend getaway from Bothell, and for others, they make their homes out there. If you’re looking for a fun activity, or just need a change of scenery, think about a quick trip to some of Puget Sound’s most popular and beautiful islands. In the meantime, remember that Team Troy is here to help you with your greater Bothell area real estate needs, and who knows, maybe we can help you score that second getaway home that you’ve always wanted. 206-745-3457 or www.nwlistingsearch.com.
Bainbridge Island: This is the closest island to downtown Seattle, and an easy 30 minute ferry ride. You can easily walk on as a passenger and explore the town without a car. By far the most populated island in Puget Sound, Bainbridge has a myriad of fun things to do. There are many walkable shops and restaurants along Winslow Way, as well as the Kids Discovery Museum and Bainbridge Island Museum of Art. Another popular attraction is the Bloedel Reserve, an award-wining public garden with 150 acres of natural woodlands and landscaped gardens.
Vashon Island: A popular bumper sticker proclaims, “Keep Vashon Weird,” revealing the heart of this artistic community only a short trip from Fauntleroy in West Seattle. The Vashon Farmer’s Market is one of the best and it’s year-round, with fresh greens, island cheese, and local wine. The Point Robinson Park is perfect for beach walks, and Mount Rainier photo ops. There are free lighthouse tours on Sundays and by appointment at the park. The Vashon Island Strawberry Festival in July shouldn’t be missed; there are parades, crafts, events, and of course, berries.
Whidbey Island: Whidbey Island is the largest of the islands, and relatively easy to get to from the northern Puget Sound communities of Bothell, Woodinville, and the rest of Snohomish County. The southern part of the island is accessible via ferry from Mukilteo or over Deception Pass via bridge to the north. Deception Pass State park affords beautiful water views and beach access. The town of Coupeville is one of the oldest in Washington State, and is home to the famous Penn Cove mussels. The town of Langley is home to fine dining and deluxe accommodations for a weekend retreat. Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve is a place for hiking and lovely sea views, and is an especially sought-after park for birdwatchers. Whidbey is also home to the unique Fort Casey State Park, where visitors can explore old concrete forts and batteries, a very eerie and interesting experience for military buffs.
Camano Island: Located between Whidbey Island and the mainland, Camano Island is accessible by car. It is home to many festivals and community fairs, especially geared towards the arts. Camano Island State Park is worth a visit, with over 6700 feet of rocky shoreline beach. A very popular activity is the Camano Island canopy tours, where you can zipline through the forest.
Fidalgo Island: The highlight of Fidalgo Island is the largest city, Anacortes. This island is accessible by car, which makes it one of the easiest islands to access. With several highly rated restaurants, as well as nearby parks, Fidalgo Island is more than just a thoroughfare to get to the ferry terminal. Kayak and canoe tours are scenic and popular, and offer beautiful views of the northern sound. Mount Erie Park is drivable and offers a panoramic overlook of the water, or you can hike a trail for those who are more adventurous. Washington Park is also a place where the locals go. With all the amenities of great park: campgrounds, picnic areas, playgrounds, trails, and open areas, the park also has a great loop road for walking.
Blake Island: This small island lies between Vashon Island and the mainland. The Tillicum Village is a huge draw, which showcases the Northwest Coast Indian arts, culture and food. The entire island is designated as Blake Island State Park, and offers views of downtown Seattle and the Olympic Mountains. The island is only accessible by private boat or tour boat, which can be arranged from downtown Seattle. There you can swim, sail, and even hunt for shellfish.
Anderson Island: This is the southernmost island in Puget Sound and accessible by boat or ferry from Steilacoom. A popular destination for vacationers and retirees, this 8 mile long island has some very unique attractions. There are two rare freshwater island lakes, hiking trails, and the Johnson Farm Museum, a century-old farm with a community garden and 13 historic buildings. Kayak trips around this island are a fun weekend activity on good weather days.
San Juan Islands: San Juan, Orcas, Lopez, and Shaw Island: A visit to the San Juans should be on everyone’s bucket list. A ferry from Anacortes will transport you through dozens of tiny uninhabitable and private islands, and you might even see seals or whales from the boat. San Juan Island’s Friday Harbor has several restaurants and shops, as well as a thriving Saturday Farmer’s Market. A visit to a lavender farm, Point Loma State Park, or the English and American camps at the San Juan Island National Historic Site are worthwhile. Orcas Island, the largest of the San Juan Islands, is home to the breathtaking Moran State Park where a hike up to Mount Constitution will afford 360 water views. The town of Eastsound has several dining and shopping options, as well as a lively Saturday market. The Rosario Resort shouldn’t be missed, if only for its unique early 20th century history and beautiful patio views of Cascade Bay. Shaw and Lopez Islands are much less traveled and populated, offering seclusion, bird watching, kayaking, and beachcombing.
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