Summer’s taunted you long enough. You like a sure thing. And autumn delivers: the produce, the colors, the temperate weather. What better time to set out for the truly abundant Whidbey Island.
Start in Langley, where colorful clapboard encases quaint cafes, galleries, and shops. Mornings, friendly locals gather at Useless Bay Coffee Company (121 Second Street; 360-221-4515). Pop into Gregor Rare Books to appreciate the collection of 20th-century first editions. Just around the corner Joe’s Island Music (112 Anthes Avenue; 360-221-2505) carries unique vintage guitars.
Rest your head in a serene room with views of the Saratoga Passage at the gorgeous Inn at Langley. Chef Matt Costello whips up an inspired six-course meal at The Inn’s restaurant, often citing neighbors as sources for the night’s fare.
In Coupeville, you’ll find colorful glassware and antique English microscopes at Seawitch Architectural Interiors (now closed). Cross the street to Toby’s Tavern for a heaping bowl of mussels and a pint of Parrot Red Ale. The Oystercatcher is a charming dinner spot, serving up European-inspired Northwest cuisine.
Continue north to Deception Pass State Park to take in beautiful old-growth forests, Cranberry Lake, and miles of scenic beaches. Once you cross that dramatic bridge you’ll be tempted to turn around and take it all in again.
Seems there’s a beautiful sight every time U-turn around.