Best parks for picnic and camping on Whidbey Island
Welcome to Whidbey Island
Hello and welcome - I would like to introduce to you some of the awesome parks that we have enjoyed during the years we have lived on beautiful Whidbey Island. We have an RV so we look for parks with full hook-ups, but Whidbey Island has parks for every interest and includes dry camping, partial and full hookups. Some with a water view and some in woodsy areas, you get to pick. I've included some other fun events and activities you may want to partake in while you are camping in the surrounding areas of the parks. Whidbey Island has some of the best dungeness crab, all types of clams, mussels, and fishing found anywhere in the Pacific Northwest, especially salmon. The best crabbing is right in front of our home, that is just an added blessing.
If you ever decide to take a trip to Washington state, Whidbey Island should be on your list of places to visit. If you are going to come experience Whidbey be sure to do it during June through September, for the best weather. Fortunately we do not have as much rain as Seattle does because we are in a rain shadow, but we do have a few gray days. The temperature during those months is very mild and ranges from 60 to 80 degrees in the warmer months of July and August. Whidbey Island is approximately 2-1/2 hours drive north of Seattle. When driving from Seattle you would take I-5 north towards Canada and take the highway 20 exit which will take you to Oak Harbor.
It's a pretty drive that will bring you to Deception Pass Bridge, where your eyes will not be able to fully take in the spectacular views from the top of this bridge. Whidbey Island is approximately 50 miles in length and has many quaint small towns. The summers on Whidbey Island are so pleasurable and pleasant - as you will find out for yourself.
When you complete the drive all along Whidbey Island, you will reach the town of Clinton which is the southern most town. This is where you can take the Mukilteo ferry which will take you to Mukilteo on the mainland, and then onto I-5 towards Seattle. Those are the only two ways to drive onto Whidbey Island, unless you have your own boat or fly in on a small plane. There is a small air strip, Harbor Airlines which allows small planes to come and go to Whidbey. We figure that this is the reason why the crime rate on Whidbey Island is so low, hardly any at all. It's because criminals would have a heck of a time getting away really quick.
My goal in this hub is to bring you as much information about our beautiful parks, areas of interest, events and other places to stay. Each module features the different park with a link to more information online for reservations and pricing. I do hope you find it helpful, happy camping to you all!
1st Park - Deception Pass State Park
Deception Pass State Park has to be the most popular state park in the state of Washington. It features a very large camping area for RV's and for tents some with dry camping and full hook ups. There are 167 tent sites and 143 utility spaces. 5 hiker/biker sites, two dump stations, 7 restrooms and 6 showers. These sites are spread out in three different locations in the park. The maximum campsite length is 60 feet.
In the park you can walk to Cranberry lake, go for a swim in the warmer summer months or fish right off the edge of the lake. There is also a walking beach area where your view of the bridge is amazing. Take a picnic lunch and sit on the picnic tables and just have a fun day where the kids can play along the shoreline. You can also fish for salmon right off the shore under the bridge. This is an area where salmon are in abundance when the salmon are running.
At Deception Pass State Park you are close to Fidalgo Island which is just north of the bridge, yet just a few minutes drive to Oak Harbor. Whatever it is you decide to do at this park for relaxation and pleasure - it has it all.
Take a boat tour under Deception Pass
Each year about a million people come across this iconic bridge called Deception Pass.
It separates Fidalgo Island from Whidbey Island. At the top of the bridge you are treated to some very spectacular and breathtaking
views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the San Juan Islands and the Olympic mountain range. When looking down below, the swift moving water churns itself into a frothy mosaic of up wellings, tide-rips, and whirlpools. This turbulence is caused by huge volumes of water passing through the narrow constriction between the islands. At peak current flows the velocity of the water can exceed 8 knots. Deception Pass Bridge celebrated it's 75th birthday on July 31st and was built in 1935 by a Seattle construction company. This is an attraction in itself but the state park is located just a few miles down
where all the fun begins.
The Deception Pass Boat Tours
just began it's services a few years ago. This jet boat will take you under Deception Pass Bridge, which will give you a whole different perspective of the awesome size of this two span bridge. You will also be able to enjoy and hopefully get to view Orcas, bald eagles, and now they have added a trip to view harbor porpoises. A pod of these harbor porpoises were spotted in April of this year, the owner of Deception Pass Tours was greeted by groups of five to ten, just off Deception Island during his daily tour.
They are referred as little "puffing pigs" by the crew because of the sneezing sounds they make when they surface for air.
Enjoy the day boating if you do not own a boat, it's very affordable at $21 a person, it's well worth the money.
2nd Park - North Whidbey RV Park - Oak Harbor WA
North Whidbey RV Park , here you will enjoy this clean and spacious family park. It features pull throughs and level and paved sites. There are BBQ pits, a playground and it is very close to Deception Pass bridge and Deception State Park. This park is still only a few minutes from downtown Oak Harbor for major shopping or restaurants. Here you will find you can do all sorts of activities including utilizing the fresh water lake for amazing fishing, or walk the beautiful picturesque beaches - your call.
3rd Park - Stay Sail RV Park - Oak Harbor Wa
Stay Sail RV Park at City Beach Park close to downtown Oak Harbor, features 56 full hook-up sites. This park is also next to Windjammer Park which is a recreational area with swings and fun activities for the kids. This park is a large stretch of waterfront featuring picnic tables all along the beach area where you can enjoy a picnic. Or if the weather is a bit on the cool and wet side, there are covered areas and a gazebo where you can take cover. Windjammer park has a wading pool for younger children fully fenced, and a lagoon for the older children. Summer time is a fun and enjoyable time here at Windjammer Park. There is also a nature walking trail that runs all around this beautiful park and areas for wildlife viewing. Hopefully while you are on your walk you can enjoy the awesome views of the mountains and the beach, not to mention all the wildlife that you will get to see. Since I wrote this hub they have upgraded this park and looks so much nicer than before. New gravel and wider spaces. Now you can even reserve spots which you were unable to do before, and did I mention they now have WiFi!!!
The Oak Harbor Marina is also located within a few blocks from the park and features both covered and uncovered morage. This is where the sailboats launch from during Whidbey Island Race Week in mid July. Whidbey Island Race week is an event that will enlighten and capture you. There are hundreds of sailboats that meet to compete in this sailing regatta which begins at the marina, then they sail over to the Coupeville area. When these races are going on as you drive down the Island they are visible almost from every area along Oak Harbor and Coupeville with beautiful colorful spinnakers and sails.
This is Island living at it's best.
4th Park - Fort Ebey State Park - Coupeville
Just a few minutes south of Oak Harbor off highway 20 you turn off on Ebey Road and drive to Fort Ebey State Park. Very easy to get to and well worth the drive. This 645 acre camping park on Whidbey Island was originally a coastal defense fort during WWII. There are three miles of shoreline on the Strait of Juan De Fuca. There is also a lake, Lake Pondilla, where you can fresh water fish and miles of hiking and biking trails. You can enjoy panoramic view of the Puget Sound and the Olympic mountains as well as awesome sunsets.
This park has about 40 standard campsites, 10 utility campsites with full hook-ups, 1 water trail campsite which is available to those that arrive in watercraft. There is 1 restroom and 2 showers, and a 100 feet is the maximum site length. There is no dump station at this park. There are also 25 uncovered picnic tables, so reservations are recommended for camping and large group events. Have fun!
5th Park - Fort Casey State Park - Coupeville
Even further south on highway 20, about 10 minutes from Oak Harbor is the quaint Historical town of Coupeville where you will find Fort Casey State Park. Much activities going on here. With a historical waterfront, warf and great restaurants this is a town you will not want to miss. There are also a lot of Victorian home here and B&B's. I plan on doing a hub on this very quaint town in the near future, so be sure to stay tuned.
Fort Casey State Park features RV campsites right next to the Keystone ferry, this ferry will take you to the Olympic Peninsula and Port Townsend. These campsites are ideally located because no matter where you set up camp you have a great view of the water. The only utilities are water here unfortunately, but if you have a generator or want to rough it - well this is the place. You have a beach you can walk on, and there is also a restaurant within walking distance of the campground. The park is a first come first serve so no reservations can be made ahead of time.This park is 467 acres of marine camping and sweeping views of Admiralty Inlet and the Straits of Juan De Fuca.
Also within a nice hike is the old military fort, Fort Casey, a lot of military history here. Fort Casey was constructed in 1890 and was the last of it's kind. It was a part of a three fort defense system by the US Army as a protective barrier to the entrance to Puget Sound. This coast artillery post features two historic guns and 10,810 feet of shoreline on Puget Sound.
The other historical marker within a few minutes walk is the Admiralty Head Lighthouse. This is a must visit also. This lighthouse was built in 1861 and rebuilt in 1903. This lighthouse guides tall ships toward the Whidbey Island shore. Admiralty Head was the last brick lighthouse designed by German architect Carl Leick - it's walls were built 18 inches thick which could withstand the earthquakes that shake western Washington. But don't worry the last one we had was really mild and that was years ago.
There are really nice views from every direction when you are at the Fort Casey park. Kite flying is a sport that is very often seen out in the fields next to the forts. Great picnic areas with tables, a relaxing place to spend the day while camping at Fort Casey. I know you will really love spending time here.
The other point of interest near the campsite is the Casey conference Center, which hosts numerous large groups for meetings and educational classes. This park is a favorite of fishermen because you can launch your boat next to the ferry terminal and catch some of the best salmon around. Or if scuba diving is your thing, this is the place to do it also. Lots to do here at this park that is for sure. Enjoy!
6th Park - South Whidbey State Park - Freeland Wa
If you are looking to get closer to nature and want to stay near the water this is the place. At South Whidbey State Park features both, it has nice campsites that feature picnic areas and barbeque pits. The beach is very nice and of course the campground does say stay for a while, but South Whidbey's best and strongest attribute is its forest. It is over 250 years old, featuring huge cedars and Douglas-firs. This has to be one of the finest tracts of old growth still remaining on the Puget Sound shoreline, and was very close to being logged in the 1970s. Today a trail bearing the name of the couple that was responsible for stirring up support to protect it, is weaved through the park.
You are bound to find things to do while relaxing and taking in nature and the ocean scenes. Like taking a hike on an extensive trail through forest areas, or take the high bluff trail down to a secluded and sandy beach. Whatever your interests you will love South Whidbey.
This park is near the Clinton Ferry terminal which will take you across to Mukilteo, then on to Everett and I-5. This would be the other way to get onto Whidbey Island coming from the southend of the Island.
7th Park - Island Co. Fairgrounds - Langley Wa
There are RV hook-ups, tent camping and showers at the Island County Fairgrounds in Langley. It is within walking distance to the quaint and peaceful town of Langley. The annual Island Co. Fair runs from August 15 - 18th. We've never stayed at this RV park before so I cannot really comment but if you want to visit Langley or the Island County Fairgrounds this is an ideal place to stay if you need to camp and not stay in a B&B or hotel.
Take a jet boat out into the inlet and get some great views of Deception Pass Bridge and wildlife around the Puget Sound.
Picnic, camp, RV camp, beach area and Cranberry lake nearby.
Great place to stay when in Oak Harbor, near park and beach and within walking distance to shopping, theatre and restaurants.
More forts and picnic areas along the shoreline of Whidbey Island awesome views and great place to stop and have lunch and a nice hike around the lake
This ferry terminal is located next to Ft. Casey St. Park and will take you across to Port Townsend in the Olympic Peninsula.
Enjoy nature and walking trails and the ocean at this nice camp and picnic park.
If you need a place within walking distance of Langley this is it.
Great camping, next to the ferry terminal that takes you to the Olympic Peninsula. Also next to the fort and Admiralty Head Lighthouse
Close to fishing, beaches, Deception State Park
More beautiful scenery on Whidbey Island
Other RV Camping, lodging and fishing information
- The Blue Goose Bed and Breakfast Coupeville WA
Victorian home beautiful architecture and awesome service and a relaxing place to stay, close to everything in downtown Coupeville.
- The Bluff on Whidbey
Here you can enjoy the tranquility of Whidbey Island life sitting in the hot tub on a chilly clear night, or lying in the hammock on a hot summer's day. It doesn't get any better than this.
- Coachman Inn - Lodging in Oak Harbor, on Whidbey Island, Washington
Coachman Inn on scenic Whidbey Island, family friendly lodging one hour from Seattle, Washington
- Captain Whidbey Inn - Coupeville Wa
The Captain Whidbey Inn, located in the heart of Ebey's Landing National Historic Reserve is surrounded by forest and hugs the shore of Whidbey Island's Penn Cove. Stepping through the Inn's front door takes you back to 1907.
- Cliff House (Freeland, WA) - B&B Reviews - TripAdvisor
Cliff House. A very special place for couples seeking total privacy, this stunning surf side home lies secluded admid 14 wonderful acres on Whidbey Island.
- Fishing, Clamming, crabbing information for Washington
Lots of information regarding clamming, fishing and other water activities and where to do them on Whidbey Island.
- Blake Cabin Guest Cottage vacation rental
Blake Cabin Guest Cottage vacation rental and B&B. Secluded, self-contained private studio cottage nestled among pines
When traveling to Whidbey Island be sure to stop in at LaConner near Mt. Vernon off of Hiway 20. LaConner is only about 45 minutes drive from Whidbey Island. If you decide to visit do it in springtime, and when you do, I suggest stopping in at the Skagit Valley Fairgrounds and tour the beautiful fields of tulips, in every color and style. This is an annual event you will not want to miss. The festival lasts the whole month of April so be sure to check the website for more information, and don't forget to bring the camera I guarantee you will get to take some awesome photos of colorful tulips. The link is featured in the link section up above.
Things to do and see, places to play and have fun!
- Skagit Tulip Festival
The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is a tourist destination in Northwest Washington State. Each year more than 1 million visitors come to see over 300 acres of brightly colored tulips. This site provides information about festival events, places to sta
- Island County Fair - Langley Wa
Ever been to a County Fair, you know there is so much going on and the entertainment is always first class. Enjoy!
- Greenbank Farm Whidbey Island, Washington
Greenbank Farm - Producing Fine Wine Since 1904, gift shops, art gallery and then you can feed the geese at the large pond.
- Whidbey Island Race Week 2011 (17th - 22rd of July)
Enjoy a fabulous time watching the hundreds of sailboats that come from all parts of the world to compete in this awesome regatta. Great photo opportunities.
- Holland Happening 2010, Oak Harbor, WA
The mission of Whidbey Island's Greater Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce is to develop, encourage, promote and protect the commercial, professional, financial and general business interest of the north Whidbey Island area.
- Penn Cove Water Festival
The Penn Cove Water Festival features annual tribal canoe races, Native arts and crafts, demonstrations, storytelling, dance performances, artist demonstrations, authentic Native foods, children's activities, and exhibits and displays.
- Whidbey Playhouse
Great plays to see at Whidbey Playhouse, check in with the website to find out what the latest one will be. Hopefully you can catch one while visiting Oak Harbor.
Some other destinations you may enjoy traveling to.......
- Pacific Northwest Lighthouses
This is a collection of some beautiful lighthouses. They are mostly from the West Coast and the Pacific Northwest. You are sure to enjoy them - especially if you are a lighthouse enthusiast.
- Majestic Waterfalls - natures beauties
Collection of some amazing and majestic waterfalls that I have had the privilege of visiting and bringing to you!
- Step back in time come to Coupeville Washington
Welcome to Coupeville, Washington this quaint historical town is sure to make your Whidbey Island vacation more fun than ever. Centrally located and near ferry's for easy access - come and experience historical Coupeville today!
- Anacortes the gateway to the San Juan Islands
Welcome to Anacortes Washington - gateway to the San Juan Islands and other fun destinations closeby. Take a ferry ride to Canada, visit Whidbey Is. or just drive to Seattle - you will love it here!
- Once In a lifetime Alaska Adventure
This was on our bucket list, we traveled 6600 miles in our RV. The territory was absolutely stunning, great photographic opportunities of nature and wildlife and scenery. Highly recommended!!
More photos of the area
Pacific Northwest Photography
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