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WHIDBEY Welcome to an Island Winter Wonderland


GETTING HERE By sea State ferries carrying both cars and passengers connect Clinton on the south to Mukilteo, near Everett. The newly refurbished ferry Cathlamet — which recently received all new interior treatments — and the newly rebuilt Clinton ferry dock

make the crossing even easier and more comfortable than in the past. The Coupeville ferry terminal on central Whidbey links with Port Townsend and the Olympic Peninsula. Reservations are required, call Washington State Ferries, 1-800-84FERRY or log onto www.wsdot.wa.gov/ ferries. For those with Wi-Fi service on their laptops, the website, as well as the rest of the Internet, can be accessed at both the Clinton ferry dock and at all phases of the Keystone-Port Townsend ferry run.

By land

Brian Kelly / The Record

From the south, visitors to Whidbey can board the ferry at Mukilteo and take the 20-minute journey from the mainland to the ferry landing in Clinton.

The Deception Pass Bridge on the north end of Whidbey Island is the one land-link to the island. The 1930s-era span carries travelers following Highway 20 from the mainland and Fidalgo Island over the spectacular tides and sweeping vistas of Deception Pass. To get onto Highway 20, take I-5 north from Seattle, exit at either Mount Vernon or Burlington and follow the signs.


THE SOUTH WHIDBEY RECORD THE WHIDBEY NEWS-TIMES 877-316-7276 360-675-6611 www.southwhidbeyrecord.com www.whidbeynewstimes.com 10#PYr4.BJO4USFFU 4VJUF& $PVQFWJMMF 8" PUBLISHER: Marcia Van Dyke EDITORS: Brian Kelly & Jim Larsen REPORTING & PHOTOGRAPHY: Justin Burnett, Patricia Duff, Rebecca Olson & Nathan Whalen PRODUCTION MANAGER & LAYOUT: Michelle Wolfensparger MARKETING MANAGER: Jolie Spada Woods AD DESIGN: Rebecca Collins, Barb Lyter & Leslie Vance MARKETING REPRESENTATIVES: Erica Johnson, Gail Rognan & Sarah Williams Copyright 2011 Sound Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.




The northern gateway to Whidbey Island, the Deception Pass Bridge, is one of the most scenic and photographed places in Washington state.

Hop on the bus Once you get on the island, Island Transit buses offer free transportation the length of the island from Monday through Saturday. Buses do not run on Sundays nor on the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Call 1-800-240-8747, 360-678-7771 or 360-321-6688 for information.

CONTENTS 2 ..... Getting to Whidbey Island 3 ..... Check Out Clinton 4 ..... Seasonal Events Calendar 5 ..... Langley Attractions & Merchants 6 ..... Visit the “Village by the Sea� 7 ..... Langley Attractions & Merchants 8 ..... Whidbey Wineries & Events 9 ..... Tourism Information 10 ..... Freeland Offers Variety 11 ..... Places to Stay Awhile 12 ..... Coupeville: Festive Holiday Spirit 12 ..... Oak Harbor: Revitalized 13 ..... Pioneer Way and North Island Attractions & Merchants

14 ..... Island Arts & Entertainment 15 ..... Greenbank Holiday Artisans 16 ..... Greenbank Farm Attractions

ON THE COVER Possession Point, the island’s southernmost tip, as seen from Scatchet Head during a winter sunset. Taken by Brian Kelly, Editor, South Whidbey Record.


Drive off the ferry and check out Clinton BY RECORD STAFF

Visitors to Whidbey Island quickly discover the scenic views from the ferry are no match for the postcard-perfect scenes that abound once they depart the ship in Clinton, the southern gateway to the country’s longest island. Clinton itself offers some amazing views. Clinton Beach Park — to the right of the ferry toll booths — opened just a few years ago and is already the recipient of a prestigious architecture award. Though small is size, the park offers easy access to the sand and shore. Don’t forget to check out the otter sculptures near the driftwood beach and the “living roof ” atop the picnic shelter. From there, visitors can take spectacular pictures of snow-covered mountains with the ferry and Puget Sound in the foreground. The easy-going small town has a rich history and lots to offer visitors and residents alike. Clinton was the first semblance of a town on southern Whidbey Island. A pair of brothers founded the area, and called it Clinton after their hometown in Michigan. Gradually, other settlers began to arrive and Clinton grew to become the eastern ferry terminal for South Whidbey Island. A strong Norwegian heritage influences many of the activities in Clinton, and include a traditional lutefisk dinner during

the winter holidays at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church. The church has been in Clinton for more than 100 years. The town is home to many vacation getaways as well as year-round residents. Bed-and-breakfasts also thrive in this island destination. Clinton is larger than you would expect, stretching miles through backcountry roads. The newest hotspot and community gathering place is Anchor Books and Coffee, located up the hill from the ferry terminal on Highway 525 near Wild Birds Unlimited. Beyond books and the best in specialty coffees, visitors can get a quick taste of Whidbey with its selection of offerings from Whidbey Island Ice Cream, Whidbey Pies, Chocolates By George, and Sweet Mona’s confections. There’s also WiFi access and a back room with couches and a gas fireplace, plus a cozy little reading library for the kids. In downtown Clinton, a number of eateries and coffee shops along with stores welcome visitors year-around. However, besides the few spots of commercial development, rural land makes up the majority of the Clinton area. And nestled within this land lays an assortment of recreational activities. Winters on Whidbey are mild, so there are plenty of days when visitors can enjoy

Brian Kelly / The Record

Visitors to Whidbey have several places in Clinton to enjoy low tides; at Possession Beach Waterfront Park, and Dave Mackie County Park.




Patricia Duff / The Record

Sarah Aldrich welcomes folks with a smile to Anchor Books & Coffee in Clinton.

the great outdoors. On French Road — off Cultus Bay Road — Island Greens Golf is a public, par 3 nine-hole golf course and driving range with modest fees for each round on weekdays. Near downtown Clinton, Dan Porter Park has a ballfield, tennis court and a refurbished play/picnic area. Possession Beach Waterfront Park is a secluded public beach area that can be accessed by following Cultus Bay Road to Possession Road. During the spring, summer and fall months boaters can launch at the boat ramp, but beach-goers can use the park all year long. Visitors can capture spectacular views while they beachcomb, and might even catch a glimpse of a passing whale. The adjacent Dorothy Cleveland Trail is a quick hike to the top of one of the highest ridges on South Whidbey, and offers stunning water views to the east. A few miles up the highway from Clinton is the neighborhood’s largest shopping center, Ken’s Korner. These commercial buildings provide a variety of goods and services, including a grocery store, a drug store, Mexican restaurant, a dance company, a community college campus annex and several other specialty shops.



NOVEMBER 3-6: Whidbey Fiber Quest. Visit five farm stores plus two knit shops. Visit www. whidbeyfiberquest.com for info. 4: “Meet me in St. Louis” opens at the Whidbey Playhouse in Oak Harbor. 360-6792237. 4-5: Annual Ebey’s Forever Conference: www.ebeysforever.com 4-5: Uncommon Threads, Whidbey Weavers Guild, Greenbank Farm, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. 4-6: “The Hobbit” runs through Sunday, Nov. 6 at Whidbey Children’s Theater in Langley. Call 221-2282 for tickets. 5: Concerts on the Cove presents Colcannon in Concert, 7 p.m., South Whidbey High School: www.brownpapertickets.com. 5: Galloping in Ebey’s Reserve, with Galloping Gourmet Graham Kerr, 9 a.m.: www.ebeysforever.com. 11-13: Whidbey Island Vintners Autumn Eve, Fall wine tour. Visit seven boutique wineries for $30. Visit www.whidbeyislandvintners.org for more info or www.brownpapertickets.com. 12: Crab Feed 2011, 5:30 p.m., Greenbank Farm, to benefit the Coupeville Booster Club. For tickets email ckillison@live.com or call 360-969-5275. 13: Coupeville Lions Shopping Spree. Tickets available at Red Apple Market or Whidbey Island Bank. 18-4: “Little Women, the Musical,” runs through Dec. 4 at Whidbey Children’s Theater in Langley. Call 221-2282 for tickets. 18: “I Only Smoke in War Zones,” 7:30 p.m., WICA in Langley. 360-221-8267. 24: Community Harvest Thanksgiving

M. Denis Hill Photo

Red Wine & Chocolate event wine tasting at Taste For Wines in Bayview.


Dinner, Oak Harbor Elks Lodge. 24: Thanksgiving Dinner at the Inn at Langley prepared by Chef Matt Costello. The cost is $115 per person and features seven courses; two seatings. Call 221-3033. 25: Fall Wine Market Festival, Greenbank Farm. 25-27: Country Christmas at the Fair, a craft show full of holiday gifts at the Island County Fairgrounds in Langley from 2 to 7 p.m. Friday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Call 360-221-4677 for info. 26: Lighting of Langley downtown at the park, beginning with caroling at 4 p.m. DECEMBER 2-17: “Big, the Musical” at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts in Langley. Visit www. WICAonline.com. 2: Concerts on the Cove musical yuletide festival, 7:30 p.m., at Camp Casey: www. brownpapertickets.com. 2: First Fridays at the Farm, Greenbank Farm, art, wine cheeses, 360-678-7710. 2: North Whidbey Festival of Trees Gala, Oak Harbor Elks Lodge. 3: The Greening of Coupeville, parade at 4 p.m., tree lighting at 5 p.m., art and antiques walk at 5 p.m., viewing of Oak Harbor Boat Parade at 6 p.m. 360-678-5434. 3: Big Brothers Big Sisters presents South Whidbey’s seventh Festival of Trees benefit at the Useless Bay Golf and Country Club in Langley. Make reservations at 360-279-0644 or bbbs@whidbey.net. 3: Holiday Parade in Langley at 11 a.m. To participate, call 360-221-6765. 3: Holiday art walks from 5 to 7 p.m. in downtown Langley, plus blow your own ornaments at Firehouse Glass Gallery on Second Street. 3-4: Deception Pass Dash kayak and watercraft races, 206-940-2629. 3 and 10: Photos with Santa at Santa’s Workshop at Second Street and Anthes Avenue in Langley. 3-4: Country Christmas at the Fair, a craft show full of holiday gifts at the Island County Fairgrounds in Langley from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 4: Winter Festival at South Whidbey Parks and Recreation building, 5475 Maxwelton Road in Langley; music, fire engine rides and hot refreshments from 12:30–2:30 p.m. 7: Oak Harbor High School ASB Holiday Bazaar, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., OHHS SUB. 9-18: Whidbey Island Dance Theatre presents “The Nutcracker” ballet at South Whidbey High School Auditorium. Call 3412221. 10: Winter Festival on the Danube at Northwest Language Academy with cooking class,



dinner and performances. Call 321-2101. 18: “I’ll Be Home for Christmas Concert” with the WICA Conservatory Choir, at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts.

Clyde Theater Photo

Technology and new media conference convenes in Langley in January. JANUARY 1: Polar Bear Dive; noon. Come join all the brave and hearty for a New Year’s dip at Double Bluff Beach in Freeland. Registration opens at 10:30 a.m. with a $15 fee. All proceeds go to Island County 4-H Teen Leadership programs. 7: Tingstad and Rumbel in Concert at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts in Langley. Visit www.WICAonline.com 13-23: “Gertrude Stein and A Companion” produced by OutCast Productions at the Island County Fairgrounds Fine Arts Building. Visit www.outcastproductions.net for tickets and info. 26-27: Content Marketing Retreat by the Langley Center for New Media at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts. Visit www. langleynewmedia.com for information. FEBRUARY 3-13: New Works Festival with the Third Street Players at Whidbey Children’s Theater in Langley. Call 221-2282 for tickets. 10-25: “Steel Magnolias” at WICA’s theater series. Visit www.WICAonline.com. 11-12, 18-20: Red Wine & Chocolate: Whidbey Island’s boutique wineries pair up with local gourmet chocolate makers to showcase their finest during this annual event. Tickets are $20 per person and include a tasting glass. Buy tickets at www. brownpapertickets.com or at wineries the day of event for $25. 25-26: Mystery Weekend, a weekend full of madcap shenanigans and a race to find the killer. Fun for the whole family. Call the Langley Chamber of Commerce for information at 360-221-6765.


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There’s lots to see and do in ‘Village by the Sea’ BY RECORD STAFF

This “Village by the Sea� is small, but it packs an adventurist punch. There’s plenty to see and do, and it’s easy to walk the compact downtown with plenty of time to spare for that cup of espresso or piece of hand-made chocolate. The business district at the heart of Langley is a tidy mix of specialty shops, galleries, boutiques and eateries. Some of Langley’s oldest shops are located on picturesque First Street. At the Star Store, one of Langley’s historic retail spaces, you can buy everything from an organic head of lettuce to a fashionable outfit (including shoes and accessories) to Whidbey Island souvenirs. The store has a great selection of wines, too. Over on first street, next to historic Langley City Hall, is Nymbol’s Secret Garden, a workshop for mask making and other creative endeavors. Created by Nike designers Samantha and Bill Cass, Nymbol’s was conceived to bring out the inner child in everyone. Nymbol the puppet offers dressup parties for children and adults, and puppet shows with Nymbol as the star. Visit www.nymbolssecretcarden.com. Walk further down First Street to find plenty of women’s clothing shops and accessory shops, a wine tasting room, Village Pizzeria, Langley Cafe, Prima Bistro, a pet store, The Clyde Theatre (an old time movie house which opened Sept. 16, 1937), and Eddy’s, the only local artist-made T-shirt shop on the island. On Second Street is the Firehouse Studio and Gallery, a glass-blowing operation that offers demonstrations, classes and workshops, along with a sales gallery. In the rear portion is Olde World Ales and Lagers, an “experiential� beer-making operation that

guides visitors through the entire process. More beer can be had at Mo’s Pub and if it’s a hearty breakfast you’re after, check out the Braeburn Restaurant. For more good eats head over to Useless Bay Coffee restaurant for good coffee, baked goods, lunch and dinner casual style.

HISTORY WALKS The South Whidbey Historical Society occasionally offers walks through the town and into the past. Langley has an impressive history that ranges from logging and farming to a “hippie haven� for artists in the 1960s to today’s status as one of Whidbey Island’s three incorporated cities. The society’s museum is open from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday year-round, or by appointment. It attracts more than 1,000 visitors annually (each year the numbers grow), with more than 75 percent from off-Island. The museum opened in its current location in downtown Langley, in a historic bunkhouse willed to the society by a pioneer. The historical society is at 314 Second St. Call 360-221-2101.

BY THE WATER Langley offers visitors beautiful views of Saratoga Passage. Seawall Park is a hidden gem tucked away behind the stores on the water side of First Street. The park is accessible from First Street on a trail at the intersection of Anthes Avenue and First Street, or via a long wooden stairway next to the Village Pizzeria. Look for the statue “The Boy and his Dog� to find the stairway to the beach For many boaters, the Langley Marina is the first they see of the city. The Port of South Whidbey, which operates the marina,

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Brian Kelly / The Record

The holiday parade always draws a crowd in downtown Langley.

is planning an extensive expansion, and is in the process of beautifying Phil Simon Park. Friendly harbormasters provide information and walking maps of the city, a short walk up the hill from the marina. The harbor also features one of the most popular underwater parks in the Puget Sound area. Scuba divers from throughout the region visit the park annually to view the sunken tire reef and the marine life it attracts. Accommodations abound with numerous bed-and-breakfasts in the Langley area. For more information about downtown Langley and its many attractions, contact the Langley Chamber of Commerce at 360-221-6765 or visit www.visitlangley.com.

BAYVIEW CORNER If you have wheels, historic Bayview corner is about three miles outside of Langley on Bayview Road. At its heart is the Bayview Cash Store, a collection of four buildings that have been cobbled together through the years. Throughout its history, the Cash Store has been a general store, a gas station, a feed store, a food co-op, an art store and a pet laundry. In 1999, to expand the usable space, update systems and honor the spirit and history of the 1924 mercantile, the corner was rebuilt using traditional forms and materials. Now it is home to a pan-Asian restaurant, a local wine-tasting room and art gallery, a hair salon, Fine Balance Imaging printing studio and a bicycle shop, not to mention another outlet of the Star Store. Bayview Farm & Garden next door offers native and non-native plants. Nearby Bayview Hall is a historic gathering place and venue for community events, as well as community dances, classes and concerts.


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Fine wine events for November Bayleaf, a specialty wine shop located in both Oak Harbor and Coupeville, has planned some special events during November. For more info and to register for these events call 678-6603 or visit www.bayleaf.us. Nov. 6, Italy: Travel by wine through the countryside with Chris Zimmerman of Vias Imports, one of the pre-eminent importers of Italian wines in the U.S. Zimmerman will take you region by region, tasting the magnificent wines as you learn about the history, cuisine,

and culture. This is a limited seated event and includes a cheese pairing. Cost is $25. Nov. 13, Champagne: The Annual Grower Champagne Tasting will be held Nov. 13 at Bayleaf. Learn about champagne in its true artisan method from vineyard to bottle. Tasting includes, Blanc de Blanc, Rose, Vintage, Grand Cru and lots more. All the fun pairings are included as well, triple cream brie tasting, pate, caviar and potato chips. Please register early for this limited seated event. Cost is $55.

Nov. 18, Holiday Pours: A fun Friday affair to make selections for your upcoming holiday table. Taste of wine selections all priced under $25 to accommodate traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas foods. A nibble is provided. Cost is $20. Nov. 20, Chinook Wines: Join Kay Simon and Clay Mackey of Chinook Wines. Their combined extensive experience in winemaking and viticulture create delicious quintessential Yakima Valley wines. Taste both reds and whites; it’s such a treat to have them on Whidbey. Please register early for this limited seated event costing $25.

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Freeland offers a variety of activities for visitors throughout the year BY RECORD STAFF

South Whidbey’s busiest commercial hub wasn’t always so commercial, but it has always been busy. Freeland, 10 miles up the highway from the Clinton ferry dock, was founded in the early 1900s when a number of settlers decided to establish a utopian community on the shore of the harbor. It was one of several such colonies created in northwest Washington state, and was a planned development of sorts, with each family receiving a plot of land for both a house and space to grow food. (Therefore the name Freeland.) Though there are few reminders of its idealistic early years, take time to explore the community by foot and catch what’s happening these days. Most business are accessible along Main Street within a quarter-mile walk, and the beach at Holmes Harbor is but a short jaunt away. Both visitors and residents alike can find a number of little shops, the South End’s largest grocery store, the only department store on South Whidbey, plus thrift stores, dining establishments and banks in Freeland’s business core. Visitors can enjoy a number of casual dining restaurants, coffee houses and a tea shop. The newest cafe is Whidbey Telecom’s WiFire, an Internet cafe serving breakfast and lunch.

HEAD “OUT WEST� The M-Bar-C Ranch is the place where everyone can be a cowboy or cowgirl for a day. Groups of eight to 120 are invited to the ranch, where children of all ages get sworn

in as cowboys and cowgirls. Kids are encouraged to wear Western garb, but if you forget, the ranch offers a costume shop. For atmosphere, there’s a miniature Western village, bank, barbershop, saloon and church. For those who want to ride a horse, the ranch offers pony rides. There also are hiking trails. When the weather’s bad, the ranch offers indoor activities, including an arts and crafts program. The M-Bar-C Ranch is just outside Freeland on 50 acres of rolling pasture land. The ranch conducts a Ranch Experience Program for children who have a variety of special needs. The ranch, at 5264 Shore Meadow Lane, is available 365 days a year, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call 360-331-6019 for more information or to schedule a group, or visit www.m-bar-c.org.

GET OUT THE CLUBS Holmes Harbor Golf & Beach Club, at 5023 Harbor Hills Drive, is open to the public and has winter hours. On Mondays, seniors, 55 and older, can play 18 holes for $18. Off-season rates are $25, and golf can be played seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call Holmes Harbor Golf and Beach Club at 360-331-2363 or visit www. holmesharbor.com for more information.

TAKE A WALK THROUGH FREELAND PARK Even on cool wintery days, Freeland Park offers visitors a place to take a brisk walk along the beach at Holmes Harbor or through the woods to the bluff overlooking the harbor. The beach is a great place to walk the dog– on leash, of course– with a number of whimsical stations providing free pooper-scooper bags. Freeland Park is linked to downtown with a trail along Myrtle Street.




Watch Rob Adamson, a renowned glass artist, demonstrate his glass-blowing skills at Island Art Glass. Adamson and his artist wife, Jan Swalwell, offer treasures for sale in their gallery and gift shop on Newman Road. For more than 30 years, Adamson has created hand-blown art glass, giftware and lighting for the discriminating buyer. Adamson has an impressive resume, including serving as manager at Pilchuck Glass



Brian Kelly / The Record

Come join the brave and hearty for a New Year’s dip at Double Bluff Beach in Freeland during the Polar Bear plunge.

School in Stanwood. Island Art Glass, at 2062 Newman Road south of Freeland, is open weekends and by appointment. Call 360-321-4439.

DO SOMETHING NATURALLY Take a tour with naturalists or enjoy a self-guided walk through Earth Sanctuary, a 72-acre nature reserve and meditation park. Within its boundaries lies a rich and unique habitat that provides refuge for a diverse community of animals. The Earth Sanctuary’s three ponds and associated wetland buffers occupy more than 70 percent of Earth Sanctuary’s land. The Earth Sanctuary Retreat House is available for individual and small group overnight and day spiritual retreats. Visit the large stone circle, which has 11 standing stones 10-15 feet high, in a circle 40 feet in diameter. Another environmental artwork is a Stonehenge-like line of stones with a lintel, designed to indicate equinoxes and solstices. Chuck Pettis, owner and founder of Earth Sanctuary, is developing a 500-year master plan to restore the site to an old-growth forest. Earth Sanctuary has been recognized for its importance as waterfowl habitat and designated as a “Habitat of Local Importance� by the Whidbey Audubon Society and the Island County Critical Areas Program. Earth Sanctuary is located at 2059 Newman Road. Call 360-331-6667 or email cpettis@earthsanctuary.org.



TREAT YOUR POOCH TO A BEACH WALK Load up man’s best friend for a day of frolicking on the beach. On South Whidbey there are two leashfree dog parks. Dubbed “doggy nirvana,” Double Bluff beach is the best place for walking your dog. Double Bluff, named for a massive waterside bluff, offers miles of walking for both man and beast. Once past the off-leash marker on the beach, unsnap the leash and let your canine chase waves and search tidal pools for little sea creatures. With a bluff on one side and Useless Bay on the other, it’s easy to keep track of even the most spirited canine. A few miles away is Marguerite Brons Memorial Park on Bayview Road. Fences here keep canines in check while still allowing the most exuberant dog ample space to run.

KITEBOARDING AT USELESS BAY Brisk winds and vigorous waves combine

to make Double Bluff Beach an ideal spot for kiteboarding. Steady winds from October to April and sand that’s easy on the feet make this beach a favorite among many boarders throughout the Puget Sound. But remember, being pulled across the water by a kite isn’t as easy as it looks, experts say. It’s best go have a couple of lessons before you try it.

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Coupeville provides food and gifts to nurture festive holiday spirit

File Photo / Whidbey News-Times

Santa rides his sleigh during a parade that always highlights the Greening of Coupeville. BY NATHAN WHALEN

Several additions in historic downtown Coupeville improve an already pleasant, oldfashioned holiday environment. Despite the lagging economy, new businesses have cropped up in recent years to bolster longtime restaurants, art galleries and antiques shops that have been stalwarts on Front Street for years. Front Street Grill provides high-end dining complete with a spectacular view of Penn Cove. Just a couple of doors down

from the Grill, two new businesses recently opened up. Eagles Song Health and Wellness, which sells organic food and supplements, and Far From Normal, a lighthearted quirky gift shop, provides something new to the shoppers visiting Coupeville. Several businesses have long, established histories in Coupeville. The Honey Bear provides a diverse selection of stuffed animals, educational toys and candy. Bayleaf and Christophers on Whidbey have long served the culinary needs of residents and tourists alike. Penn Cove Gallery, which is an artist co-op, offers an eclectic selection of pottery, paintings and jewelry. Coupeville is also the home to a holiday event sure to fill visitors with the holiday spirit. The annual Greening of Coupeville takes place the first Saturday of December. In the days leading up to the Greening, business owners use boughs to decorate their building windows to give downtown a more festive atmosphere. The Greening of Coupeville parade begins at 4 p.m. and travels the length of Main Street and then onto Front Street. The procession features floats, community groups, marching bands, and, of course, an

appearance by Santa Claus. Following the parade, throngs of people will walk to Cook Park, sing Christmas carols and witness the lighting of the town’s holiday display. Downtown businesses will remain open later that evening for people to stroll through an Art and Antique Walk. If weather permits, decoratively lit boats from Oak Harbor will parade their way into Penn Cove and by the Coupeville Wharf. Concerts on the Cove will host a holiday concert Friday, Dec. 2 at Camp Casey’s Auditorium A beginning at 7:30 p.m. The program includes “Magical Strings, Celtic Yuletide Festival.” Tickets are $15 at the door or can be purchased at Lind’s Pharmacy, Bayleaf, Local Grown, Coupeville Auto Repair, Central Whidbey Chamber of Commerce or online at www. brownpapertickets.com. Once the Greening of Coupeville wraps up, events in Coupeville slow down for several months. Then, in March, the Penn Cove Mussel Festival takes place featuring live music and a celebration of Whidbey’s world-renowned mollusk.

Oak Harbor: Revitalized and ready BY JUSTIN BURNETT

Whether you’re looking for a warm cup of coffee, need a new pair of mittens, or just want to shop a newly revitalized historic downtown, Oak Harbor is a must-not miss. The home of Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, and host to a population of over 20,000, it’s the largest city in Island County. It’s also Whidbey’s commercial center, offering everything from big-box stores to the charming mom-and-pop establishments that are so well loved by island communities. And for great shopping, there’s no better place to head than to Oak Harbor’s historic downtown shopping district. Recently revitalized with a $7.7 million improvement project, you’ll find everything from the latest in retail fashions to the best candy and popcorn in Western Washington. Windjammer Park along the city’s waterfront is also sure to please. Bring


the kids to walk the beach, play in the park or look for heron, gulls and ducks. It’s also a great place to access a threemile trail that snakes along the city’s shoreline. For more rural pleasures, head north on Highway 20 and visit Whidbey Island’s best-known attraction, Deception Pass State Park. Walk through enchanting old-growth forests, search for pebbles along the shore of Puget Sound, or test your bravery with a stroll across the bridge; whatever you decide the park offers something for the whole family. Dugualla Bay is another popular wildlife viewing area. Drive south on Highway 20 toward Oak Harbor, turn east on Frostad Road, then north on Dike Road for a stunning view of the mud flats. Don’t forget the binoculars: River otter, kingfisher, trumpeter swan, peregrine falcon, osprey and various ducks frequent this serene spot.



Justin Burnett / Whidbey News-Times

Amber Hamming and Katie Krieg take a stroll down the newly redesigned SE Pioneer Way in historic downtown Oak Harbor.


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Shut down the Facebook page, join the crowd on Whidbey BY PATRICIA DUFF

This winter, get off Facebook and get face to face with the Whidbey crowd. This is easy to do on an island with an outdoor wonderland of natural beauty and lots of places that have plenty of indoor fun things to do, too. When you arrive on the island, check the weekly art listings in The South Whidbey Record or The Whidbey News-Times to see what’s happening. Also, check local bulletin boards in cafes and shops for event postings like concerts, poetry readings and shows. You can also visit www.southwhidbeyrecord. com or www.whidbeynewstimes.com before you leave to get a head start of what to do. Here’s a taste of what you might find on Whidbey Island in winter:

ART & SHOPPING Whidbey Island may be a quaint little gem of the Northwest, but when it comes to artists, it’s a giant rock. Over the years, many prolific artists have made their home on Whidbey using all manner of mediums. There are plenty of cool, artsy shops – you can find it all here on Whidbey. Once off the Clinton ferry dock, head up the street and stop at Cozy’s Roadhouse for a beer, a bite and some live music. Further up the highway on the left is Clinton’s newest addition, Anchor Books and Coffee where you can get some of the finest local coffee, baked goods, chocolate and ice cream, while sitting down in one of the Anchor’s several comfortable reading areas and making a trade for some new used books. They’re open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Driving north on the highway, turn right onto Langley Road to visit the famous Village by the Sea. Langley is host to a number of exquisite galleries downtown that make a winter’s day stroll all the more inspiring. Take in MUSEO, Music For The Eyes, Hellebore Glass Studio, the Brackenwood Gallery, Callaghan McVay’s Firehouse Glassblowing Gallery, Lowry-James Rare Prints and Books and the new artist cooperative, Whidbey Artists Gallery. There’s plenty of shopping, too, with stores that boast everything from fine art jewelry, to funky women’s fashions, thrift store finds, bridal gowns, an art T-shirt shop, a health food store with a vintage clothing store and elixir bar and good ol’ wine bars, restaurants and the Star Store that sells everything you could need at its market. That should get your spending juices flowing.


Michael Stadler Photo

Grace Swanson takes the role of “Doll” in the Whidbey Island Dance Theatre’s 2010 production of “The Nutcracker.”

On your way out of Langley, stop off at the Bayview Cash Store just off Highway 525 at Bayview Road where you may stumble upon an art showing at the Taste Four Wines local tasting room and gallery, which features shows of local artists work, plus the best from local vintners. Bayview Corner also has a radical bike shop, a beauty salon, an excellent farm and garden store and an Asian restaurant. From there, hop back on Highway 525 and head north to Freeland to number 1504 and see what Timbuktu Java Bar and Gallery has hung by way of art. This welcoming cafe kitty-corner to the Texaco station offers a revolving gallery of local artists. The staff is really nice, too. Main Street in Freeland offers a bustling downtown center with shopping, restaurants, the Vino Amore Wine Shop, and the brand new WiFire, Whidbey Telecom’s WiFi cafe serving breakfast, lunch and Internet access at 1651 Main St. North, in Greenbank, the 19o4 Public House is serving up lunch and dinner and



live music on weekends, right above the historic Greenbank Store. Just one block further north is Greenbank Farm where you can say hello to the alpacas that stroll the fields while you walk Rover in one of the best scenic dog-walking areas on the island, before heading in to the Rob Schouten Gallery, Artworks Gallery, and Raven Rocks Studio Gallery and peruse a variety of works from some of the most prolific artists on the island scene. While down on the farm, and after you’ve checked out the new solar panels and the work that is going on at the Greenbank Farmers’ Training Center, you might stop in for a bite at the Whidbey Pies Café. The café often displays works from local artists, while serving up a full menu of culinary delights for lunch including its famous loganberry pie. Be sure and stop in also at the Greenbank Wine Shop for some expert advice and bargains on local and regional wines and the Greenbank Cheese Shop, where the kids can get a treat of candy corn, honey sticks and a variety of snacks, while mom and dad shop for the best cheeses from island farms and other regions. Continue your tour north to Coupeville and stop at historic Front Street in the heart of the second oldest town in Washington. Art galleries, antiques, jewelry and gift shops complement a variety of restaurants, cafés and the best candy and toy store on the island, while visitors browse and enjoy this sweet respite at Penn Cove, which is famous around the world for its mussels.

PERFORMING ARTS Winter is one of the finest seasons to enrich your performing arts experience and Whidbey Island abounds with shows to catch. Whidbey Island Center for the Arts in Langley, home of Djangofest Northwest, celebrates 15 years and is sitting pretty with a brand new expanded facility. Don’t miss the line up of theater, family shows, concerts and other sundry that makes WICA the go to place for performing arts on the island. Visit www.WICAonline.com for a complete listing. Other offerings for performing arts can be found at Whidbey Children’s Theater (www.wctonline.com) in Langley and at the new theater company in town, OutCast Productions (www.outcastproductions.net). Bring the kids in from the cold to see a variety of shows for both young and older audiences. SEE ENTERTAINMENT, PAGE 15


Greenbank holiday markets feature local artisans

Rebecca Olson/Whidbey News-Times

Paula Sherwood chooses ingredients to make crab dip at the Greenbank Cheese Shop, which is open everyday with new holiday products that can be used to make custom gift baskets.


The Greenbank Farm on Central Whidbey Island features a taste of local food and arts with wine tasting, specialty cheeses and holiday markets. The Greenbank Farm is a communitydriven, 150-acre facility with shops and areas to hike and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Whidbey Pies Café features pecan pie and pumpkin pie made from locally grown pumpkins. Next door, the Greenbank Wine Shop and Tasting Room features wine tastings and local wines. Friday through Sunday, Nov. 11 to 13, the Whidbey Island Vintners Association will hold their Fall Wine Tour from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit Whidbey Island wineries and taste local wines. Tickets are $20 in advance at www.brownpapertickets.com or from the Greenbank Wine Shop. The Greenbank Cheese Shop, open daily, features locally made tasty treats and gifts. Cranberries are big this season at the shop, with cranberry cheeses, cranberry vinegar and cranberry salsa. A variety of cocoas, party trays and Polish pottery will be in stock just in time for the holidays. The shop has specialty cheeses of all types, including la tur cheese, a triple-milk French cow-goat cheese. Any products can be combined into a custom gift basket. On Friday, Dec. 2, Greenbank Farm


will hold its First Friday event. Tour the three art galleries, the Rob Schouten Gallery, Artworks Gallery and Raven Rocks Gallery for a variety of paintings, photography, sculpture and more. Holiday markets will take place Friday through Sunday, Nov. 25 to 27 and the first three weekends in December. Local artisans will sell their wares, from chocolates and photography to paintings and furniture. Stroll through the historic barn and get in a festive mood for the holidays while buying one-of-a-kind gifts. Local residents Rich and Patricia Pelletier said they enjoy visiting the farm just to walk around — and for the tasty pies at Whidbey Pies Café. “The cafe has the best pies. They’re all homemade — it’s delicious,” Patricia said. “The walks are great. We walk around from time to time and take a few photos,” Rich said, admiring the beautiful views and scenic trails. The Greenbank Farm is located off Highway 525 on Wonn Road in Greenbank. For information call 360-6787700 or visit www.greenbankfarm.net.


Winter is, of course, holiday season and snowflakes and sugarplums dance their way across island stages along with the rest of the world. Whidbey Island Dance Theatre in Clinton dominates the island ballet scene with their annual must-see production of “The Nutcracker” opening Dec. 9 and playing through Dec. 18. Tickets go on sale in November and sell out quickly for this popular tradition, so be sure to call 360-3412221 or go to www.widtonline.org soon for the latest ticket information. On the north end of the island in Oak Harbor, the Whidbey Playhouse presents its own enticing lineup for theater lovers. Visit www.whidbeyplayhouse.com or call 360-6792237 for a list of shows.

LIVE MUSIC “If music be the food of love, play on!” Whidbey Island heeds the words of Shakespeare and plays on and on through the winter months. South Whidbey Commons Coffeehouse & Books in Langley presents everything from student musicians to classic acoustic sets, all free, on most Friday and Saturday nights. Also in Langley, catch live music on the first Saturday of every month at Prima Bistro, and Tuesdays and some weekend nights at Mo’s Pub. Check the events calendar (pg. 4) for holiday festivals where music abounds on the island.

Rebecca Olson/Whidbey News-Times

Visit three art galleries, the Greenbank Cheese Shop, Greenbank Wine Shop and Tasting Room and Whidbey Pies Cafe at the Greenbank Farm for a taste of Whidbey Island.




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Winter On Whidbey - Whidbey Island Winter Wonderland 2011  


Winter On Whidbey - Whidbey Island Winter Wonderland 2011