ABOUT 30 MILES—and a ferry ride— north of Seattle, on a long, puzzle piece of land, resides what’s often known as the Puget Sound’s largest artist colony: Whidbey Island. Home to poets and sculptors, glass artists, and woodworkers, the island is a haven for creative types and the collectors of their work.
An art trail map by the Whidbey Island Arts Council (whidbeyarttrail.com) makes it easy to visit the studios of painters layering beeswax on pure pigment, run your hands across handcrafted wood furniture, or pick up a handmade clay platter perfect for grilling a fresh salmon fillet.
From the studios of sculptor Dan Freeman and painter Bruce Morrow near the Clinton-Mukilteo ferry dock, to a ceramicist’s studio in Oak Harbor, the Trail comprises 13 studios stretched across nearly 37 miles. Watch azure glass take shape under the glow of a torch at LaChaussee Blown Glass, near Langley, then continue up the road to explore the layered imagery in Patty Pico’s encaustic paintings. Lunch on Penn Cove mussels pulled out of the waters at the edge of town in Coupeville, then scoot around the cove to where four studios stretch across a narrow bridge of land. Take in Stacey Neumiller’s mottled chickens, Mike Wise’s oil paintings of nightfall on the Puget Sound, or the hand-thrown works of five potters at Penn Cove Pottery before making a final stop at Dan Ishler Ceramics before reaching Deception Pass. —JULIE H. CASE
Read More About The Islands
The San Juan Islands are a quintessential getaway for a reason: from orcas and organic farms to mountains and mopeds, they offer a unique adventure for everyone.
About 25 miles north of Seattle, catch the Mukilteo ferry to Whidbey Island for a diverse day trip.
From our Archives
WHALES GATHER in the cool waters of Washington from roughly April to September. And the 170-odd islands of the San Juans offer prime spotting territory for orca, gray, minke, and humpback.
Savor a slow, dry visit to the San Juan Islands.
Whidbey and its neighbor Camano woo visitors.
I PULL HARD on the paddle, launching the kayak into the cold, clear Salish Seathe coastal waterways surrounding southern Vancouver Island, Puget Sound, and the San Juan Islands. Heading for open water, I inhale the salt air off San Juan Island State Park. Its sandy, protected beach serves as a popular launch site for kayakers.
THE PIG WAR was a dispute over San Juan Islands territory, the only casualty of which was a single swine.
ABOUT 30 MILES and a ferry ride north of Seattle, on a long, puzzle piece of land, resides whats often known as the Puget Sounds largest artist colony: Whidbey Island.
Waters are so clear I can eye sea stars and huge Dungeness crabs.
The San Juan Islands are surrounded by deep, cold saltwater: a boon for salmon, crabs, fishermen, and foodies alike.
Small-town friendliness mingles with international acclaim in local art scenes.People dont live here by accident.
AN HOUR-LONG BOAT RIDE from Anacortes is all that separates mainland day-trippers from the shores of Friday Harbor, the gateway to San Juan Island.
From Whidbey to Orcas Island, isolation and a bounty of seafood make the area a mecca for esoteric wines, palate-cleansing brews, crisp ciders, and herbal spirits.
From the air, the San Juan Islands look like a necklace of gleaming emeralds, a chain of 172 pristine islands strewn across Puget Sound.
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