The author Chelsea Booker, hiking at the Ebey’s Landing bluff, one of the best things to do on Whidbey Island

21 Best Things to Do on Whidbey Island (in 2023)

I’m a Washington local with insights into the best things to do on Whidbey Island, the largest island in the state!  

Visit Whidbey Island to hike through a myriad of state parks. Spend time at its rocky beaches, searching tide pools and digging up mussels. Sample exquisite seafood, hang out in cozy towns, and explore old military forts. I’ll explain how to do all of that and more in this guide to one of Washington’s top destinations

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21 Best Things to Do on Whidbey Island


Explore this relaxing south Whidbey town featuring art galleries, adorable shops, bunnies, and whale-watching spots.

View of the shops and cafes at a cute courtyard in Langley
A cute courtyard with shops and cafes in Langley

📍 Google Maps | Website 

Langley is one of Whidbey Island’s most populated towns, so it’s a fantastic place to stay on a  weekend getaway from Seattle. This small town has one especially charming quirk: it’s overrun with hundreds of wild bunnies. But beyond bunnies, Langley’s calming and bohemian atmosphere makes it a haven for artistic types.

It’s impossible not to get inspired when visiting the many art galleries throughout downtown Langley. Stop at Callahan’s Firehouse Studio & Gallery, an old firehouse turned glassblowing studio. Or check out Whidbey Art Gallery to see paintings made by Whidbey Island locals.

Round out your visit to Langley by visiting the free and informative Langley Whale Center. Then grab a window seat at Village Pizzeria where you can watch for whales while you eat.

Deception Pass State Park

Breathtaking views and kayaking adventures await visitors to Washington’s most visited state park.

View of the fog over the Deception Pass Bridge
Fog rolling in over the Deception Pass Bridge

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (360) 675-3767 | Website | Hours: 6:30 am – dusk (summer), 8 am – dusk (winter) | Entrance: Discover Pass ($10 day-use, $30 annually) | 👉 Book a Deception Pass Kayaking Tour on Viator

Deception Pass State Park is one of Washington’s most visited state parks and easily one of the best things to do on Whidbey Island. This epic state park spans both Whidbey to the south and Fidalgo Island to the north. They’re connected by the beautiful Deception Pass Bridge.

Step out of the car to enjoy the views when driving over the Deception Pass Bridge. Sunny days are popular. But it’s equally rewarding to visit when it’s so foggy that the whole park looks otherworldly.

Book a campsite at the popular Cranberry Lake Campground for a leisurely overnight stay. Only have a day to explore? Take a kayaking tour where you’ll admire the islands, wildlife, and sunset from the water.


This seaside community is one of Washington’s oldest towns, full of interesting history and tasty seafood. 

An old sailor statue outside a shop in downtown Coupeville
Old sailor statue in downtown Coupeville

📍 Google Maps | Website

Coupeville is one of the oldest towns in Washington. It’s hard to believe how many gems are in this teeny historic town with a population of just under 2,000. But Coupeville is full of surprises that make it one of the best small towns in the state

Begin exploring at the Coupeville Wharf where you can grab coffee and souvenirs, and watch for marine animals. Admire the historic buildings throughout downtown Coupeville. Then pop over to the Island County Historical Museum to learn more about the island’s history.

Head to Oystercatcher or Front Street Grill and order Penn Cove Mussels when available. Rest assured, they’ll be fresh since these mussels are harvested in Penn Cove, just a few feet north of both restaurants.

👉 Love Seafood? Don’t miss the Coupeville Musselfest in March. This annual 3-day festival includes cooking demonstrations, farm boat tours, and shanties. And, of course, there are plenty of opportunities for mussel tasting!

Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve

This protected reserve offers sea and farmland views, plus wonderful hiking trails.

The author Chelsea Booker, hiking at the Ebey’s Landing bluff trail on Whidbey Island
Me hiking the Ebey’s Landing Bluff Trail

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (360) 678-6084 | Website | Hours: 7 am – 7 pm daily | Entrance: free except for state park entrances

Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve is one of the best things to do on Whidbey Island for outdoor adventurers. This massive nature reserve sits west of Coupeville, bordered by the popular Fort Casey and Fort Ebey State Park.

Come to Ebey’s Landing to hike the Bluff Trail. It takes you along a bluff overlooking a lagoon and has ample views of the Olympic Mountains. It’s one of the best hikes near Seattle, especially since it can be done year-round.

Admire historic homes and farmland on the reserve. Bring your binoculars to look out for ravens, hawks, bald eagles, and tons of waterfowl. The rustic, rocky beach at Ebey’s Landing is a perfect place to enjoy lunch and a sunset.  

Price Sculpture Forest

Wander this whimsical forest full of fantastical and unusual sculptures created by local artists.

The author Chelsea Booker's husband behind a half body sculpture at Price Sculpture Forest
I think it’s safe to say my husband and I had lots of fun with this particular sculpture!

📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: 8 am – 7 pm daily | Entrance: free

Price Sculpture Forest is the perfect spot on Whidbey Island for anyone craving an outing where art meets nature. The sculpture forest has dozens of sculptures by different artists. The art ranges from whimsical and fun to downright impressive.

Price Sculpture Forest isn’t large and you can see it all along the half-mile loop. However, wandering through will probably take you longer than you’d expect if you stop to examine and read about each sculpture. 

The T-Rex carved from an old tree and wire sculptures that seemed to blend into the forest were some of our favorites. Of course, we also had fun with the amusing disembodied legs.

Oak Harbor

Whidbey Island’s largest town is a hot spot for naval history and a good base to explore the island’s best state parks.

Sunset over a park bench near the Oak Harbor
Sunrise from a park near downtown Oak Harbor

📍 Google Maps | Website

Oak Harbor is considered the “big city” on Whidbey Island. It’s the most populous of the three major towns and the one place on the island where you’ll find national chains. However, there are plenty of local businesses and restaurants downtown to balance it out. 

Stop at Seabolt’s Smokehouse in downtown Oak Harbor for some of the best fish and chips on the island. Play on the beach at Windjammer Park or head to Joseph Whidbey State Park for a peaceful excursion.

Oak Harbor has an active naval air station, so you’ll probably see and hear jets flying overhead. Fans of military history can visit Oak Harbor’s Northwest Naval Air Museum to tour a preserved PYB plane and try out flight simulators.

👉 Pro Tip: My top tip for visiting Whidbey Island is to not try to do it all in one day! It takes about an hour to drive from the south end of the island to the north, with lots to see in between. I suggest choosing one of its three major towns and exploring that area, especially on a day trip from Seattle.

Fort Casey State Park

This central Whidbey Island state park features WWII-era bunkers, batteries, and an early 20th-century lighthouse.

Overlooking view of the gun batteries and the Coupeville ferry at Fort Casey
Gun batteries and the Coupeville ferry at Fort Casey

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (360) 678-4519 | Website | Hours: 8 am – dusk, daily | Entrance: Discover Pass ($10 day-use, $30 annually)

Fort Casey State Park is the best Whidbey Island state park for history buffs. Fort Casey was part of Washington’s “Triangle of Fire” defense during the 19th and 20th centuries. Curious visitors can still wander through the defunct bunkers and check out old gun batteries.

The Admiralty Head Lighthouse is one of Fort Casey’s most distinctive features. Tour it with docents from March to December, and take home souvenirs from the gift shop. 

The well-maintained trails and waterfront access at Fort Casey State Park make it popular with campers and day trippers alike. Bring your bike with you on a visit. You can catch the Coupeville Ferry right in the park and take a quick excursion to Port Townsend.

Double Bluff Beach

This south Whidbey beach is perfect for dogs and has tidepools brimming with marine creatures.

Panoramic view of the Double Bluff Beach and the clear blue sky
Double Bluff Beach has plenty of room for dogs to roam

📍 Google Maps | Hours: 7 am – 8 pm daily

Double Bluff Beach is a favorite spot for dog owners on the island. This off-leash dog park beach is the perfect place to exercise energetic pups while enjoying views across Puget Sound. There is no fencing at the beach, so make sure your dog will listen when you call them back.

People without dogs will enjoy Double Bluff Beach’s colorful tide pools and active wildlife. Come at low tide to search for little crabs and anemones. Watch the skies to catch a glimpse of bald eagles. 

Pacific Northwest Naval Air Museum

Learn about the Navy’s WWII response and try out flight simulators and more at this compact military museum.

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (360) 240-9500 | Website | Hours: 11 am – 5 pm, Wednesday – Saturday, 1 pm – 5 pm Sundays, Closed Monday-Tuesday | Entrance: $10, adults, $7, youth, free kids under 6

The Pacific Northwest Naval Air Museum is one of the best things to do in Oak Harbor. This naval air museum is on the small side, but it’s surprisingly packed with information. 

Interactive exhibits are some of the best. Enjoy flight simulators and night vision goggles. Walk through the preserved PBY plane with a knowledgeable docent.

The Pacific Northwest Naval Air Museum has photos, artifacts, and detailed write-ups to help people dive into WWII history. There’s additional information on the Navy’s role in other wars, too.

Joseph Whidbey State Park

Explore this beautiful state park, perfect for picnicking and sunset-watching from the waterfront.

Scenic view of the sunset reflecting on the beach at Joseph Whidbey State Park
Sunset reflection on the beach at Joseph Whidbey State Park

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (360) 902-8844 | Website | Hours: 8 am – dusk daily | Entrance: Discover Pass ($10 day-use, $30 annually)

Joseph Whidbey State Park is one of the island’s northernmost state parks. It’s known for its waterfront views. On a clear day, you can see the gorgeous San Juan Islands and even as far as Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

Wander forest trails, explore a driftwood-ladden beach, or picnic in an open, grassy meadow. The beach at Joseph Whidbey is more rocky than sandy, but it’s a joy to explore with the right pair of shoes.

Spread out with a picnic blanket on the grassy expanse that overlooks the beach, or snag a picnic table for a leisurely lunch. Come at sunset for a romantic outing.

Island County Historical Museum

Discover a treasure trove of Whidbey Island history at this Coupeville museum.

Exterior view of the Island County History Museum
The outside of the Island County History Museum

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (360) 678-3310 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 4 pm Monday-Saturday, 11 am – 4 pm, Sunday | Entrance: free

The Island County Historical Museum in Coupeville is one of the best places to learn about Whidbey’s vast and storied history. It covers a broad range of historical events. 

Learn about the Ice Age glaciers that shaped the state’s landscape and created the island. Check out exhibits on the area’s Indigenous people and European settlers. Read about Chinese immigrants who helped shape the island’s farming culture. 

The Island County Museum is free, bigger than it looks, and exhibits rotate often. This makes it a good spot to visit on return trips to the island.

Blue Fox Drive-In Theatre

Visit this entertaining drive-in theater with an arcade and tavern, great for kids and adults alike.

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (360) 675-5667 | Website | Hours: hours vary, Friday-Sunday | Entrance: $6.50+, adults, $1, children 5-10, free, 4 and under

The Blue Fox Drive-In Theatre is one of the most fun places on Whidbey Island. Blue Fox opened in 1959, so it’s a favorite spot for long-time island locals. Its main appeal is its super affordable double features. However, there’s more to love than just that.

Come with the kids and let them loose in the arcade and go-kart area. Searching for kid-free time? Check out the new Backlot Tavern where you can grab beer, cider, seltzers, and a bite to eat before the movie. 

Penn Cove Brewing Co.

This brewery has two locations on Whidbey Island, both serving delicious craft beers. 

The author Chelsea Booker's husband, eating at the outdoor patio of Penn Cove Brewing Co.
My husband posing with a tater tot outside the Freeland taproom

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (360) 682-5747 | Website | Hours: 4 pm – 8 pm Tues-Wed, 12 pm – 10 pm, Fri-Sat, 12 pm – 8 pm Sun, Closed Mon 

Penn Cove Brewing Co. is one of Whidbey Island’s best breweries, beloved by visitors and island residents alike. 

One brewery and taproom is in Coupeville and its second Whidbey location is in Freeland. I recommend going to the Freeland taproom for beer and snag some tasty fried chicken and tots from the on-site Braeburn food truck.

Order a pint of one of Penn Cove Brewing’s flagship beers (my favorite is the Honeymoon Pale Ale). Open mics, trivia, sip and craft nights, and football watch parties are regular occurrences at Penn Cove Brewing.

Greenbank Farm

This giant Whidbey Island farm has hiking trails, a gift shop, a wine and cheese store, and manicured gardens.

View of the red barns at Greenbank Farm on Whidbey Island
Whidbey’s popular Greenbank Farm (photo: Ian Dewar Photography / Shutterstock) 

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (360) 222-3797 | Website | Hours: 11 am – 5 pm daily

Greenbank Farm should be on everyone’s Whidbey Island itinerary. You could easily spend an hour wandering around Greenbank, which is much more than just a farm. It has shops loaded with wine and artisan goods, walking trails, and several restaurants. 

Come early to get some fresh air on the trails while admiring views to the east. Wander pretty gardens maintained by master gardeners. Peruse the gift shop, enjoy a wine tasting, and snag a tasty slice of pie. 

I always buy sauces and samosas from Lesedi Farms when visiting Greenbank. This Whidbey Island micro-farm has fantastic African cuisine.

🍷 Love Wine? Book a guided Whidbey Island Wine and Spirits Tour

Fort Ebey State Park

This is the perfect Whidbey State Park for hiking, biking, and paragliding.

An outdoor table and chair surrounded by greenery at the Fort Ebey State Park
Come to Fort Ebey to wander among trees…
View of the paraglider from the Fort Ebey State Park
and watch the sky for paragliders

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (360) 678-5111 | Hours: 6 am – 9:30 pm daily

Fort Ebey State Park is the perfect Whidbey Island state park for some exercise. Dozens of hiking and biking trails wind through the lush forest and along the saltwater shoreline of this Washington state park.

Like Fort Casey to the south, Fort Ebey has explorable old military bunkers that make it a fun park for history enthusiasts. But watching the paragliders sailing in the wind is one of the coolest things to do at Fort Ebey State Park. Bring a kite if you’d like to take advantage of the windy weather, too.

Whidbey Island Kayaking

Explore the island’s turquoise waters on guided kayak tours in the day or at night.

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (360) 221-0229 | Website | Hours: 9 am – 6 pm daily | Entrance: Rental and tour costs vary

You can’t go wrong when renting kayaks and paddleboards from Whidbey Island Kayaking. Its rental prices are very reasonable. But Whidbey Island Kayaking shines with its tours. 

Nearly all of the kayaking tours are great fits for beginners with no prior experience. Try an all-day tour that will take you from point to point all around the island. Or go for the nighttime bioluminescence tour in summer to see a sparkling world beneath your boat. 

Langley Whale Center

Learn about the marine animals that journey through the water surrounding the island.

A gray whale sticking it's nose out of the water with the Whidbey Island in the background
You just might spot whales from land on Whidbey

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (360) 221-7505 | Website | Hours: 11 am – 4 pm Wednesday-Sunday, Closed Monday-Tuesday | Entrance: free

The Langley Whale Center in downtown Langley is a godsend for people interested in the largest marine animals in Puget Sound. Come here for a thorough education on orcas, humpbacks, and gray whales. 

Examine animal skulls and bones, watch documentaries, and leave with plenty of whale merch from the gift shop. The Whale Center is part of a whale sighting network, too. Easily stay up to date on where and when whales were most recently spotted.

Pickles Deli

Eat the best sandwiches on the island.

A plate of sandwich from Pickles Deli
My delicious sandwich from Pickles

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (360) 341-3940 | Website | Hours: 9 am – 7 pm daily, Closed Sunday

Pickles Deli serves the best sandwiches on Whidbey Island. The sandwich shop is in an unassuming strip mall, not far from the Clinton ferry terminal. Pickles carries options for every diet, whether you’re gluten-free, vegan, or paleo.

Do not sleep on the twisted Reuben sandwich! It’s my go-to, and the smoked gruyere cheese adds a tasty dimension to this classic. You can also try soups, salads, and hearty bowls. Make sure to order an extra side of pickles to polish off your meal.

Madrona Supply Co.

Get wonderful local gifts in an eye-catching shop by the ferry terminal.

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (360) 630-0520 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 5 pm daily

Madrona Supply Co. is impossible to miss. It’s just 2 minutes away from the Clinton Ferry Terminal in South Whidbey, making it a convenient stop on the way in or out of Whidbey Island. The 1950s-era building originally opened as a hardware store but is now a sprawling gift shop.

Come to Madrona Supply Co. to buy all manner of local goodies and Whidbey Island souvenirs. My favorite things to stock up on are the candles, but you’ll find an eclectic mix of other items. Buy shirts, art prints, yarn, candy, ceramics, cookbooks, and other cute knickknacks. 


Visit this cute community in south Whidbey whose focal point is a plant and gift-filled garden center.

View of the potted plants displayed around the Bayview Garden
Bayview Garden is a plant-lovers happy place

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (360) 321-6789 | Website | Hours: 9 am – 6 pm daily

Bayview is a small, unincorporated community and hidden gem on Whidbey Island. You can easily explore all of Bayview’s sights in a day.

Its main draw is Bayview Garden, a garden center with a diverse variety of plants, flowers, accessories, and gifts. The charming Flower House Cafe is next door and serves garden-fresh food in a flower-filled space.

Check out the Bayview farmers market from April to October. Grab delicious donuts from Whidbey Doughnuts and beer from the Taproom at Bayview Corner year-round.

Whidbey Wild Mushroom Tour

Learn about edible, medicinal, and poisonous mushrooms on an expert-led foraging trip.

View of the mushrooms near the root of the tree at Whidbey Forest
Whidbey’s forests are filled with mushrooms…
Closeup view of a wild mushroom at Whidbey Forest
and you can learn all about them from an expert

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (206) 531-8904 | Website

You’ll learn about the incredible (and sometimes edible) mushrooms in the Pacific Northwest on a Whidbey Wild Mushroom Tour. This is one of the safest ways to go mushroom foraging since you’ll be led by an enthusiastic mushroom expert.

Public and private tours are three hours long. They include an informative, illustrated presentation before you venture into Whidbey’s forests. You will likely be able to take some mushrooms home. However, the tour is really about education and learning how to find and identify mushrooms on your future foraging trips.

FAQs About What to Do on Whidbey Island

What are the best things to do on Whidbey Island? 

The best things to do on Whidbey Island are Deception Pass State Park, Fort Casey State Park, and Ebey’s Landing. It’s also best to spend time in Langley, Coupeville, and Oak Harbor.

What are the best things to do on Whidbey Island for free? 

The best things to do on Whidbey Island for free are Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve and Price Sculpture Park. Langley Whale Museum and Island County Museum are also good free things to do on Whidbey Island.

What is the cutest town on Whidbey Island?

The cutest town on Whidbey Island is Langley, especially if you love wild bunnies and a quaint, artistic community.

What is special about Whidbey Island?

Whidbey Island is special because it’s the largest island in Puget Sound and has 8 state parks. Deception Pass State Park is the most visited in the state, and Fort Casey State Park was part of the Triangle of Fire. The island’s art scene, farms, and abundant seafood also add to its appeal.

Does Whidbey Island have a downtown?

Whidbey Island does not have an official downtown. Instead, it has multiple towns which have downtowns of their own. The best downtowns in Whidbey Island are in Langley, Coupeville, Oak Harbor, and Freeland.


Whidbey Island is truly one of the best islands in Washington state and the Pacific Northwest. What things to do on Whidbey Island are you most looking forward to? Let me know in a comment!

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