The ISLAND & Captain Whidbey
Whidbey Island is emblematic of the American West: the heart-stopping panoramas surrounded by the Pacific, the hope and promise of a fresh start and fertile soil, the reverence for the land and its inhabitants. Whidbey Island is 14,000 years old. It’s approximately 55 miles long along the road, or 37 miles as the crow flies, and the history of the island has been written primarily by those who’ve lived it, with impeccable documentation and a deep devotion to historic preservation, primarily via citizen historian volunteers and oral histories.
With the barrier of the Cascades to the east, the Siskiyous to the south, and the stormy and unpredictable climate from the west, the Northwest region resisted many early attempts at exploration. As an island thirty miles north of Seattle in the sublime Puget Sound surrounded by the Olympic Mountains, like the rest of the Pacific Northwest, it shares a maritime climate, geographic diversity, fertile soils, heavy rainfall and temperate climes. Because it is an island, and an extraordinary one at that, its culture is unique and its history all its own.
Captain Whidbey itself sits nestled among old growth fir trees on the shores of Penn’s Cove, built from hundred year old madrona logs, or maybe fir logs (keep reading). Arrival by ferry is the recommended way. It sets the tone for the functional, utilitarian beauty of the Island and the Inn, where the exalted views are built into the design and regarded as an essential human need. First glimpses of the Island deliver changing landscapes.
Fully reimagined 6-acre waterfront property on Penn Cove with 30 historic rooms, suites and cabins.
Private lagoon and dock, the latter with sail and seaplane access.
Chef's garden, library, 112-year-old fireplace, cocktail phone, bicycles, row boats, lawn games and more.
WHAT TO DO & SEE
Ebey’s Landing is a living, breathing monument to beauty and a testament to the forward-thinking resolve of Whidbey Islanders, forever fossilized in its pristine state. The preserve is a form of protest, against big business, against myopic development, against the late 70s penchant for suburbs, chain restaurants and the “geography of nowhere,” — and against the rising tide of conformity.
A remarkable victory for the environmentalists and preservationists in 1978 established Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve, a unique partnership between landowners and the National Park Service created by Congress to “preserve and protect a rural community which provides an unbroken historic record from … 19th century exploration and settlement in Puget Sound to the present time.”
Deception Pass is Washington's most-visited state park for a reason. Mysterious coves, rugged cliffs, jaw-dropping sunsets, and a stomach-dropping high bridge make this park a go-to for locals and international travelers alike. Families can fish and swim in Cranberry Lake. Beach explorers look for shells along miles of Puget Sound beachfront. Hikers can trek through forests and out along bluffs. And birdwatchers fill their field guides with notes. You may see a whale or a family of seals as you gaze on the wild waters that once challenged early explorers.