The six mile loop at Ebey's Landing will treat you to grand views of the Olympic Mountains, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, hawks and bald eagles as you walk out along some of the highest coastal bluffs in Washington and return along the driftwood-strewn beach. Almost every trip to the island we make our way here, which is why you may recognize the landscape from our Save the Dates!
No Ebey's Landing hike is complete without breakfast or lunch (or both) at Knead & Feed Bakery on the Penn Cove waterfront in nearby Coupeville. For breakfast, we recommend a scramble with a homemade cinnamon roll and for lunch, we're partial to their veggie whole wheat sandwich, although we hear their chowders are superb.
At the northern point of Whidbey Island, Deception Pass is Washington's most popular state park and for good reason: It's home to miles of trails, beaches with clamming and crabbing, and iconic twin bridges connecting Whidbey to Fidalgo Island. And the sunsets are spectacular!
From Deception Pass, it's 20 minutes north to the city of Anacortes, where you can board ferries to the San Juan Islands (where we got engaged) or go on a whale watching tour. Or continue on Highway 20 for an hour and a half to get to North Cascades National Park.
A great way to see Seattle is from the water. We like to rent kayaks from the Northwest Outdoor Center on Lake Union and paddle past houseboats and seaplanes to Gas Works Park and the Ballard Locks. Or rent from Agua Verde and complete your voyage with a margarita and burrito at their cafe.
If you've not been to Seattle's iconic Pike Place Market, be sure to visit the Daily Dozen Donut Shop, the Gum Wall, the original Starbucks, Golden Age Collectibles and stop for a beer and spicy mac and cheese at The Alibi Room.
After a visit to Pike Place Market, drop down to the waterfront to ride the Great Wheel, see the Olympic Sculpture Park or explore the Seattle Aquarium. If you've had enough walking, you can rent bicycles or even segways to see the entire waterfront. Don't bother with the Space Needle; the Sky View Observatory in Columbia Tower is a better, cheaper view.
Seattle is infamous for rain, but early September is often the nicest time of year here. Enjoy the weather at one of our favorite parks: Volunteer with its water tower and conservatory; the beach at Golden Gardens; Seward's Lake Washington trails; and Washington Park Arboretum's gardens.
Heading east from Seattle on Interstate 90, it's an easy drive to several popular hikes in the Cascades:
Strap on your hiking boots, pack your 10 essentials and prepare for some elevation gain!
If you have time for a drive, it's just two hours to Sunrise in Mount Rainier National Park for hiking beneath the towering, glaciated stratovolcano. Make it a loop by driving out of Rainier National Park on the Road to Paradise.
We like to take visitors to Machiavelli's for Italian, but if you have trouble getting a table at this small restaurant, we recommend: