Whidbey Island

Fort Casey. Built in the early 1900s.

Fort Casey State Park – on Whidbey Island, Washington. 

The public can explore the entire fort freely. Allow yourself a good hour or more to explore this enormous fort and its many adjunct fortifications.Fort Casey was originally established during the 1800’s. The structures that stand today were constructed around 1910.

After shooting, the canon retracted down out of sight to be breech loaded.Forts such as Fort Casey could not be seen from the water. Any “unwanted visitors” coming in by ship would  have been in for something of a surprise! Secret passages: There are many stairways, ladders, and rooms with dark “secret passageways”. Probably the  most frequently uttered words at Fort Casey are, “I should have brought a flashlight!”
Fort Casey's canon, designed in the late 1800s, could throw shells that weighed about as much as a VS Bug 20 miles.
In the early 1900’s and during World War II, Fort Casey was one of three forts that made up the “Triangle of Fire”.
Two enormous retractable canon, designed in the late 1800’s, still sit in their mountings.
The canon could throw a shell (which weighed about as much as a VW Bug) 20 miles, then retract down out of sight to be reloaded from the rear.Panoramic view of the water from atop Fort Casey. You see the ships. They don't see you.
Above: A “canoneer’s view” of the Puget Sound from the top of the fort, where the canons are mounted.
Though not visible in this photo, the historic Victorian town of Port Townsend is a short ferry ride away (about 20 minutes) on the Olympic Penninsula.

Here’s a challenge for you: The Keystone Ferry, which travels between Whidbey Island and Port Townsend, docks right next to Fort Casey. Hop on the ferry (You can walk on or drive on). On your way to Port Townsend, see if you can see Fort Casey from the water. Odds are that you’ll see only a shrub-covered hillside.

Fort Casey’s Location: On State Highway 20, three miles south of Coupeville on Whidbey Island.

Park Facilities/Camping
63 picnic sites, 400 parking sites, lighthouse/interpretive center, 1.25 miles of trail, 5 comfort stations, 2 sewage lift stations, 35 standard sites, 3 primitive tent sites; 2 residences, 3 shops, warehouse office, historic bunker structures; 2 boat launching ramps with grounding floats, underwater park area. Water supplied from the town of Coupeville.

Activities
Camping, picnicking, boating, fishing, scuba diving, hiking, driftwood collecting, interpretation, and clamming.

Below are links for Whidbey Island in general. Also see individual cities on Whidbey Island (below).

Art: Open Studio Tour
“Over eighty Whidbey Island artists and craftsmen open their studios…Painters, sculptors, photographers, potters, glass blowers, woodworkers, jewelers…”


 

Coupeville, Washington!

In Coupeville, it only takes about five minutes to walk the length of town, but Cathryn and I enjoy leisurely hours poking around in the shops, antique stores, and the museum.

Camping on Whidbey Island, Washington

Deception Pass State Park is located nine miles north of Oak Harbor, nine miles south of Anacortes on Fidalgo and Whidbey Islands on State Highway 20, in Island and Skagit Counties.The park is unique in that part of the park is on the mainland side of Deception Pass, and the other part is across the bridge, on Whidbey Island.

Facilities
Day Use Areas – 8 (West Beach, North Beach, Cranberry Lake, Cornet Bay, Rosario, Bowman Bay, Heart Lake and Pass Lake), 306 picnic sites, 6 kitchens, 5 picnic shelters, 11 comfort stations, 6 vault toilets and parking for 1,194 vehicles.

Camp Area – 246 standard sites and 5 primitive bike/walk-in campsites, 9 comfort stations (6 main camp, 1 Bowman Bay, 2 ELC), 65 person overnight group camp facility at N. Beach with 2 Adirondack shelters, 1 kitchen and vault toilet. Opened 1988.

Swimming Area – 300 feet of unguarded beach and large concession/bathhouse/comfort station building.Deception Pass State Park

Marine Area – 1 fishing dock, 2 docks, 12 moorage floats, 11 mooring buoys, 3 freshwater and 5 saltwater boat launch ramps, 12 grounding floats, 1 swim float, 5 fishing floats, 3 multiple sites on Skagit Island, 5 primitive campsites on Hope Island, and 1 boat pumpout station at Cornet Bay.

Other – l Environmental Learning Center, 4 residences, 1 mobile home, 1 duplex residence, 2 shops, 4 garages, 2 barns, 1 concession/bathhouse, 1 CCC Interpretive Center at Bowman Bay (staffed by volunteers), an amphitheater, 35 miles of hiking trails, 1½ miles of interpretive trail, an underwater park at Rosario Beach, and Headquarters for the Marine Construction and Maintenance crew at Cornet Bay.

Activities
Camping, group camping, picnicking, swimming, scuba diving, boating, fishing, hiking, interpretation, and ELC camping.

Of Special Interest
Heart Lake Natural Forest, Hoypus Point Natural Forest, CCC Interpretive Center at Bowman Bay.

Deception Pass State Park 

Deception Pass

Gorgeous views atDeception Pass, as you cross the bridge onto Whidbey Island.

The light-tan areas just across the water are beaches in Deception Pass State Park.

 

 

 

 

There’s an ice cream parlour, and kids will enjoy the store that sells toys and candy.At the west end of the street stands one of two remaining blockhouses from the mid-1800’s on Whidbey Island.You can go into the blockhouse! You’ll easily spot the blockhouse near the museum at the west end of town.While in the museum (photo below), be sure to take a few minutes to watch the video about Whidbey Island.


 The following lodgings are listed for your convenience.

Contact them directly for reservations.

 

 

 

Admiralty Head Lighthouse
“Our light and Fort Casey’s big guns stood watch over the entrance to Puget Sound for decades.”

Ebey’s Landing – The historical landscape of the reserve appears to today’s visitors much as it did a century ago, when New England sea captains were drawn to Penn Cove. Historic farms are still farmed, forests harvested and century-old buildings used as homes or places of business.

The 4 Cities on Whidbey Island are:

1) Clinton

Pet RescueWhidbey Animals’ Improvement Foundation  &  Maxwelton Aerie Alpaca
“…help Whidbey Island’s homeless companion animals…provide food, shelter, veterinary care, and nurturing to displaced pets until loving homes can be found for them.”

Nurseries:  Hummingbird Farm – Nursery and gardens.  Whidbey Island Florist

2) Freeland, Washington!

Sports & Recreation: Tiger Martial Arts
“…children have improvement in all aspects of their lives when they participate in karate. Shy, quiet kids learn self confidence and self esteem, high energy kids learn self control and with all kids their attitude improves along with their grades and their general outlook on life.”

Whidbey Walks “The Saturday Walking Club” (They have a shop, too).  Freeland Guides: Freeland-Wa.org

Whidbey Island Guides:  IslandWeb.org
VisitWhidbey.com “Whidbey Island, Washington… The Heart of Puget Sound and Spirit of the Pacific Northwest”
The following lodgings are listed for your convenience. Contact them directly for reservations.
Bay Breeze B&B Cottages  |  Whidbey Island B&B Association  |  Enso House
Art:
Richard La Londe
Glass Artist
Farms:  Muscle and Arm Farm  “We grow fruits, nuts, vegetables, flowers and keep a few chickens.”
Skymeadow Farm

Freeland Hall
“…is on the historical register…Island County Parks Department…the Holmes Harbor Activities Club…in charge of renting out the hall for special events and all proceeds are used to improve and maintain the hall.”
Horses: Wildwood Farm “…80 acres and boasts some of the most outstanding equestrian amenities…”
M-Bar-C Ranch  “The best thing for the inside of a kid is the outside of a horse.” “…Ranch Experience Program for children who are physically, mentally, emotionally or financially disadvantaged…The program is free…all volunteer staff…”
Shopping:  Bagpipers: The Tartan Thistle
Books & bagpipe supplies – “We have bagpipers on staff…highland dancers…a never-ending supply of information, tips and ideas to offer.”

Gifts: Llynyas  “…beautiful Gifts that are selected for their joyful spirit and ability to delight the senses and nourish the soul. Monthly Events are sponsored at the shop…to encourage the exploration of your unique path of Spirit.”
M’ Liss’s Quilting World  |  Tea: Island Tea Company  “Should you visit beautiful Whidbey Island, please stop by our Freeland shop. We would be ever so pleased to welcome you and fix you a lovely pot of tea!”

3) Langley

South Whidbey Parks  |  Spa Essentia – In January 2006, I treated my wife, Cathryn, to a three-hour session at Spa Essentia. It was my anniversary gift to her.

While enjoying the spa, you strolled on the beach and explored Langley’s quaint shops.
About Langley: Langley is an small seaside town that retains its historic charm.
Being that Langley is some distance from other towns, Langley even has it’s own little movie theatre.langley
But, it might take you forever to walk from one end of this tiny town to the other.
Pizza: There’s an independent (not a chain) pizzeria. Their pizza is to die for! If you go there, you should know in advance that they only accepted cash…no debit/credit cards.  So sorry, no pics to share!

Langley Guides:  Langley Chamber of Commerce  |  Whidbey Island Guides:  IslandWeb.org
SouthWhidbey.com “Whidbey Island, Washington… The Heart of Puget Sound and Spirit of the Pacific Northwest”

4) Oak Harbor 

Naval Air Station | Oak Harbor Guides:  OakHarborComeAshore.com

Scuba Dive:  Whidbey Island Dive Center  |  Oak Harbor Pool