WINTER ON WHIDBEY & CAMANO
A SUPPLEMENT OF THE SOUTH WHIDBEY RECORD & THE WHIDBEY NEWS-TIMES
WINTER on Whidbey & Camano A JOINT PUBLICATION OF THE SOUTH WHIDBEY RECORD 360-221-5300 www.southwhidbeyrecord.com and WHIDBEY NEWS-TIMES 360-675-6611 www.whidbeynewstimes.com 107 S. Main Street, Suite E101 Coupeville, WA 98239 EXECUTIVE EDITOR & PUBLISHER: Keven R. Graves ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER: Kimberlly Winjum EDITOR: Justin Burnett REPORTING: Ben Watanabe, Kate Daniel, Megan Hansen, Jessie Stensland, Janis Reid, Ron Newberry, Kelly Pantoleon & Michelle Beahm AD DESIGN: Rebecca Collins, Jeremiah Donier, Jennifer Miller & Michelle Wolfensparger MARKETING REPRESENTATIVES: Kimberlly Winjum Nora Durand, Debbie Leavitt & Teri Mendiola Copyright 2014 Sound Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.
CONTENTS 3 ..... Welcome to Island County 4 ..... Accommodations 6 ..... Seasonal Events Calendar 10 ..... Island Shopping Venues 17 ..... Weddings on Whidbey & Camano 21 ..... Island Eateries 25 ..... Pubs and Wineries 26 ..... Visual Arts Are Flourishing 29 ..... Performing Arts & Theater 32 ..... Fun on Whidbey
ON THE COVER Photo by Justin Burnett
A Coupeville couple share a romantic meal at the Oystercatcher on Central Whidbey. Island County offers both fine dining and fare reminiscent of mom's cooking.
WELCOME to island paradise
Thinking about a trip to Island County? There is something you should know first: people who visit are highly susceptible to falling in love with Whidbey and Camano islands. After a few days, you may just find that you never want to leave. While rural, charming and romantic, they are anything but sleepy and boring. Island County stands out as Puget Sound’s best island getaways because it never falls into a winter slumber. Do your holiday shopping in Oak Harbor, welcome the new year by hopping into Puget Sound during Freeland’s Polar Bear Plunge, sleuth through clues during Langley’s Mystery Weekend in February or celebrate the bounty of the seas in Coupeville during the Penn Cove Mussel Festival this spring. Rich history, creative atmosphere and unparalleled natural beauty are all here for the taking. Each community has a distinct character and has a little something for everyone. Oak Harbor, a vibrant waterfront city, offers everything from great shopping and dining to military history and golfing. It is the largest city on Whidbey and is a great base for exploring North Whidbey. Coupeville is a quiet community that still reflects the character of a frontier seaport when Puget Sound was first settled. Yet, it offers great food and shopping right on the waterfront. Throughout Ebey’s Reserve, from the shoreline of Penn Cove to the bluff at Ebey’s Landing, Coupeville visitors will enjoy nature at its best with bald eagles soaring and gray whales and otters frolicking in the water. Greenbank, at the heart of the island, is home to Greenbank Farm, where visitors can enjoy long walks or learn about sustainable farming. Eat some of the best pie you’ll ever have at Whidbey Pies and stroll through the small shops and galleries. Love lush gardens? Then a stop at Meerkerk Rhododendron Gardens is a must. Nestled between Holmes Harbor and Mutiny Bay, Freeland is an active community in which many people want to live and play. Downtown Freeland offers shopping and dining all within walking distance. Antiques and technology shops can be found across the street from each other, and it is home to some of the finest beaches on the island. Langley, which turned 100 in 2013, is bustling with activity. With its inns and
restaurants that have earned national recognition, the Village by the Sea is home to many creative minds. Visitors can experience everything from blowing glass to watching sea life from a kayak. Rub elbows with artists, winemakers and coffee roasters and shop, shop, shop. Last but not least, Clinton is the gateway to Whidbey Island for many visitors, as it is the landing for one of two ferry routes serving the island. Clinton has a wonderful artist community and is home to beautiful parks, beaches and an innovative business community. And then there is Camano, beautiful Camano. The island has no incorporated cities, but its raw rural beauty makes it a perfect retreat from the hustle and bustle of urban life. Just a short drive from Stanwood, the island retreat offers gorgeous state parks, such as the renowned Cama Beach State Park, shopping outlets, a small but vibrant performing arts community and memory-making attractions like the zipline company Canopy Tours Northwest. Located at the heart of Puget Sound just northwest of Seattle, and southwest of the San Juan Islands, an Island County getaway is closer than you think – and getting here is half the fun, particularly on Whidbey Island. Whether you’re crossing renowned Deception Pass or arriving by ferry from Mukilteo, the island is about one hour from the heart of Seattle. The Olympic Peninsula is only about a 30-minute ferry ride from Central Whidbey. Similarly, Camano is just a short drive from Interstate 5 via Stanwood. There is another little known fact about Whidbey Island that should not go unmentioned. Situated in the rain shadow of the Olympics, parts of the island receive less than half the average rainfall of Seattle. And tucked behind Whidbey, Camano gets about 10 more inches a year but about still sees about 20 less than Snohomish and parts of King counties. So this winter, leave the umbrella at home and stroll the county’s beaches, hike the trails, explore charming stores, eat locally grown food, sample wine and watch a show produced by one of our many performing arts companies. By the time you leave, you’ll know why Island County is one of the gems of Western Washington.
WHERE TO REST YOUR HEAD Whidbey & Camano Island County is a beautiful place with breathtaking views in every corner. To help visitors enjoy those views yearround, there are dozens of lodging options scattered across Whidbey and Camano islands, beginning with the Farmhouse Bed and Breakfast near Useless Bay in Clinton. This special place to stay has four gardenthemed suites for guests, each with their own fireplace and private entrances. The bed and breakfast also offers a continental breakfast and free wi-fi. “We’re sort of a farm experience in that we have the animals: we have two donkeys, Leo and Cleo, and we have two sheep, Fluffy and Muffy, and we have lots of bunnies,” said Janie Gabelein, owner of the bed and breakfast. “I think the people [who] love animals would enjoy staying here.” Overlooking Sunlight Beach and Useless Bay, Farmhouse Bed and Breakfast offers suites starting at $139 a night. For more information, visit www.farmhousebb.com South Whidbey is also home to the Inn
Michelle Beahm photo
Rooms at the Captain Whidbey Inn offer a glimpse of the past in modern comfort. at Langley, a picturesque retreat with each room including its own waterfront view and private deck. With fireplaces in the rooms, complimentary breakfasts, a spa and a restaurant, the Inn at Langley is a luxurious option. “We always think of it more like a retreat sort of atmosphere,” said Matt Costello, general manager of the inn.
Rooms start at $225 a night. For more information, visit www.innatlangley.com For a unique, healthy option, visit the Someday Farm Vegan Bed and Breakfast in Freeland. It has a two-night minimum, and offers fresh-baked goods and fruit in the SEE LODGING, PAGE 5
Not just for summer whidbeyislandbandb.com Anchorage Inn B&B Bay Breeze Cottages Blue Goose Inn B&B Carol Lee’s Attic Country Cottage of Langley Eagles Nest Inn Farmhouse B&B Guest House Log Cottages Spinnaker Tea Garden B&B Wildwood Farm B&B
Vacations, Getaways, Relaxation Mukilteo/Clinton Ferry runs every 30 minutes. Just 45 minutes north of Seattle.
Year round events & activities… 4
Bed & Breakfast Association Amenities for every budget
LODGING, FROM PAGE 4
morning, as well as a fully-stocked vegan kitchen for guests to cook. Also available are walking trails, vegan cooking classes and demonstrations, free wi-fi and close proximity to state parks. “It’s really like a retreat rather than just a bed and breakfast,” said owner Jill Campbell. Lodging starts at $150 a night. For more information, visit www.somedayfarmveganbedandbreakfast.com Coupeville is the place to go for historical-
ly-rich lodging options. Crockett Farm Bed and Breakfast offers five rooms in one of the oldest farmsteads on the island. “It’s also very quiet, very peaceful,” said manager Diana Peterson. “People often say that it’s about the most peaceful sleep they’ve had, ever.” With a meeting room, library, cozy fireplace and group discounts in the winter, Crockett Farm is an attractive place to visit or even hold special events, such as weddings. Rooms start at $100 a night. For more information, visit crockettfarmbnb.com Captain Whidbey Inn, also in Coupeville,
boasts a lodge that is 107 years old, and features its own bar and restaurant. Aside from the suites in the main building, the inn has private cabins available and another building with more rooms to choose from. Located right on Penn Cove, the Captain Whidbey Inn has breathtaking waterfront views. They also offer daily continental breakfasts, free wi-fi and a 24-hour front desk. “There’s not many other places you can go
SEE OVERNIGHT, PAGE 11
THE INN AT LANGLEY
Charming 1870’s farmhouse featuring 5 guest-rooms with private baths, oak-paneled library, lush gardens, and stunning mountain and water views. Baked goods and your choice of home-cooked breakfasts provided. www.crockettfarmbnb.com • (360) 678-2036
The Historic Crockett Farm B & B
400 1st St., Langley | 360.221.3033 | www.innatlangley.com 2014
EVENTS CALENDAR NOVEMBER
at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts, Langley. A passion play by a one-woman show featuring original art, song and dance. 360-221-8268, www. wicaonline.org
Nov. 1 to Dec. 20: Bayview Farmers Market. Every Saturday at Bayview Farm and Garden. www.bayviewfarmersmarket.com/ Nov. 1 to Dec. 21: Holiday Cheer Giveaway. By spending $20 at Langley businesses, shoppers are entered to win a Langley Chamber of Commerce prize of $1,000. 360-221-6765, www.visitlangley.com Nov. 1 to Dec. 31: Camano Marketplace Holiday Market at Terry’s Corner, Camano. 360-722-7459, www.camanoislandmarketplace.com
Nov. 27: Bayview Holiday Market at Bayview Corner. An annual four-week event featuring late-season and fall produce, baked goods, and locally crafted gift items. www. bayviewfarmersmarket.com/ Nov. 27 to Dec. 25: Light up your Holidays. At various Stanwood locations. One-of-aFile photo kind shops and festive events Oak Harbor's tree lighting is one of many special seasonal events on for all ages.
Whidbey and Camano Islands.
Nov. 7-23: Run for Your Wife. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, 2:30 p.m. Sundays, at Whidbey Playhouse, Oak Harbor. 360679-2237, www.whidbeyplayhouse.com Nov. 8: Veterans Day Parade. Downtown Oak Harbor. Nov. 8: Fifteenth Annual Nordic Fest, sponsored by Daughters of Norway Ester Moe Lodge 39. 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at South Whidbey High School. www.daughtersofnorway.org Nov. 8: Ninth Annual Holiday Crafts, Gifts and Tea Room. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Stanwood Community and Senior Center. Tea, scones, sandwiches, sweets, comedy, sewing. Call for reservations. 360-629-7403, www.stanwoodseniorcenter.org
CIGAR & PIPE
Show your military I.D. for a 10% discount!
31595 SR 20 | Ste 5 | Oak Harbor (In the Safeway Shopping Center)
Nov. 8: Nineteenth Annual Chili and Chowder Cook-Off. 3-7 p.m. at Camano Center. 360-6297136, www.camanoisland.org Nov. 8: Weddings on Whidbey and Events Tour. 3:30 p.m. Tour Whidbey special occasion venues. 360-969-0337, www.weddingsonwhidbey.net Nov. 8-9: Fall Art and Wine Tour with Whidbey Island Vintners Association. www.whidbeyislandvintners.org Nov. 9: Second Sunday. 2-5 p.m. at Greenbank Farm. Artist receptions and new artwork. 360-6787710, www.greenbankfarm.biz Nov. 11: State Parks Free Day. All day at all Washington state parks. In honor of Veterans Day. Nov. 14-23: “Wind in the Willows.” 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, at Whidbey Island Children’s Theater, Langley. 360-221-8707, www.whidbeychildrenstheater.org
Nov. 28-30: Holiday Market. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Greenbank Farm. Pieces created by hand by local artists, holiday music, photos with Santa, warm beverages, tractor lighting. 360-678-7710, www.greenbankfarm. biz Nov. 28 to Dec. 7: Country Christmas at the Fair. 2-7 p.m. Nov. 28, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 29-30, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 6-7, at the Island County Fairgrounds, Langley. 360-221-4677, www.whidbeyislandfair.com Nov. 29: Lighting of Langley. 3:30 p.m. at Langley Park. With carols, Santa and alpaca-reindeer. 360221-6765, www.visitlangley.com Nov. 29: Holiday Magic on Pioneer Way featuring Oak Harbor Tree Lighting and arrival of Santa. 360679-3474, www.historicoakharbor.com
Nov. 15: Ladies Night. 6-9 p.m. Downtown Oak Harbor at participating merchants. 360-679-3474, www.historicoakharbor.com
Dec. 4-7: The Lights of Christmas. 5-10 p.m. at Warm Beach Camp, Stanwood. 360-652-7575, www.thelightsofchristmas.com
Nov. 17: Friends of Ebey’s Community Potluck. At Crockett Barn in Coupeville. 360-678-6084.
Dec. 5: Festival of Trees Gala and Auction. 5:3011:30 p.m. at the Oak Harbor Elks Lodge. Features decorated trees, wreaths and auction items. Catered by Frasers Gourmet Hideaway. 360-279-0644, bbbsislandcounty.org
Nov. 22: Holiday Craft and Gift Bazaar. 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Camano Center. 360-387-0222, www.camanocenter.org Nov. 22: “Whidbey Wizard,” Piper Reva. 7:30 p.m.
SEE CALENDAR, PAGE 7
Dec. 18-23: The Lights of Christmas. 5-10 p.m. at Warm Beach Camp, Stanwood. 360-652-7575, www.thelightsofchristmas.com
CALENDAR, FROM PAGE 6 Dec. 7: Teddy Bear Character Breakfast. 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. at the Oak Harbor Elks Lodge. 360-2790644, bbbsislandcounty.org
Dec. 20: Santa Breakfast and Crafts. At the Stanwood Senior Center. Breakfast, crafts, Santa. 360-629-3888, www.stanwoodchamber.org
Dec. 5-20: “A Christmas Story.” 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts, Langley. 360-221-8268, www.wicaonline.org
Dec. 20-21: Holiday Market. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Greenbank Farm. Pieces created by hand by local artists, holiday music, photos with Santa and warm beverages. 360-678-7710, www. greenbankfarm.biz
Dec. 6: Jingle Trail 5K Fun Run and Walk. 10 a.m. to noon at Camp Casey and Fort Casey. Challenging trails. Long-sleeve T-shirt included. www. jingletrailrun.org
Dec. 21: Red Ticket Drawing. At Historic Downtown Coupeville. $1,000 drawing. Shop, dine and stay with participating merchants through Dec. 21 and earn red tickets that are entered into a drawing. 360-678-5434
Dec. 6: Fifteenth Annual Oldfashioned Christmas. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Floyd Norgaard Center, Stanwood. Free pictures with Santa, gift bags, treats, live music and more. 360-629-3888, www.stanwoodchamber.org Dec. 6: Langley Holiday Parade. 11 a.m. at Sixth Street, Cascade Avenue, First Street, Anthes Avenue and Second Street. 360-221-6765, www. visitlangley.com Dec. 6: Greening of Coupeville Christmas Parade. 4-5 p.m. through Coupeville main streets. Parade, lights, music and the arrival of Santa Claus. www.coupevillechamber.com Dec. 6: Coupeville Late-night Holiday Shopping. 5-7 p.m. at Coupeville’s Historic Waterfront Association. www.coupevillehistoricwaterfront.com Dec. 6: Oak Harbor Yacht Club Christmas Lights Boat Parade. 6-7 p.m. at the Coupeville Warf. www. coupevillechamber.com Dec. 6: Holiday Bazaar. At Clinton Community Hall. 360-341-3747, www.clintoncommunityhall.org Dec. 6: Holiday Art Walk. 5-7 p.m. in Langley. Fine art galleries will be decked for the holidays. 360-2216765, www.visitlangley.com Dec. 6-7: Holiday Market. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Greenbank Farm. Pieces
Dec. 21: A Bluegrass Christmas with Weatherside Whiskey Band. 7:30 p.m. at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts, Langley. 360-221-8268, www. wicaonline.org created by hand by local artists, holiday music, photos with Santa and warm beverages. 360-678-7710, www. greenbankfarm.biz Dec. 7: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Island County Seahawks Fanbulance Drawing. 1:25 p.m. at Flyers Restaurant, Oak Harbor. The drawing for the Seahawks-decorated ambulance for tailgating is at halftime of the Seahawks game. 360-279-0644, www.bbbsislandcounty.org Dec. 7 and 14: Gingerbread House Making. 1-4 p.m. at Cama Beach Conference Center, Camano Island. Reservations required at least one week in advance. Dec. 9: Afternoon with Santa. 2-6 p.m. at the Camano Center. 360-3870222, www.camanocenter.org Dec. 11-14: The Lights of Christmas. 5-10 p.m. at Warm Beach Camp, Stanwood. 360-652-7575, www.thelightsofchristmas.com Dec. 12-21: “The Nutcracker” by
Whidbey Island Dance Theater. 7:30 p.m. Fridays, 7:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays, at South Whidbey High School Performing Arts Center, Langley. 360341-2221, www.widtonline.org Dec. 12-21: “Anne Frank.” 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, at the Whidbey Island Children’s Theater, Langley. 360-2218707, www.whidbeychildrenstheater. org Dec. 13: Holiday Cheer! 2-4 p.m. at the Clinton Library. Music and festivities. 360-341-4280, www.sno-isle.org Dec. 13-14: Holiday Market. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Greenbank Farm. Pieces created by hand by local artists, holiday music, photos with Santa and warm beverages. 360-678-7710, www. greenbankfarm.biz Dec. 15: Second Sunday. 2-5 p.m. at Greenbank Farm. Artist receptions and new artwork. 360-678-7710, www.greenbankfarm.biz
Dec. 26-30: The Lights of Christmas. 5-10 p.m. at Warm Beach Camp, Stanwood. 360-652-7575, www.thelightsofchristmas.com Dec. 31: New Year’s Eve Black & White Ball. 8 p.m. at the Camano Center. Music, dancing, snacks, champagne toast and more. 360-3870222, www.camanocenter.org Dec. 31: New Year’s Eve with Fade Ensemble. 9 p.m. at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts, Langley. Piano, wine, chocolate. 360-221-8268, www. wicaonline.org
JANUARY Jan. 1: Polar Bear Plunge. 10:30 a.m. registration, noon dive, at Double Bluff Beach, Freeland. Swim at your own risk. $15 includes shirt. 360-2215484, www.swparks.org Jan. 1-6: Reflective Walk. 1 p.m. Jan. 1 as a group; anytime through Jan. 6 individually, at Greenbank Farm. 360SEE CALENDAR, PAGE 8
CALENDAR, FROM PAGE 7 678-7710, www.greenbankfarm.biz Jan. 3: First Friday Dinner. Hosted by Whidbey Pies Cafe. 360-678-1288, www.greenbankfarm.biz Jan. 3: Sea Float Scramble. 11 a.m. at Seawall Park. Hunt for hand-blown glass treasures. Free. 360-2216686, www.langleymainstreet.org Jan. 17: Crab Fest. 3:30-7 p.m. at the Camano Center. 360-387-0222, www.camanocenter.org Jan. 17: Appalachian Spring for a Whidbey Winter, a Chamber Concert presented by Saratoga Orchestra of Whidbey Island. 7:30 p.m. at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts, Langley. Program features music of Copeland, Mendelssohn, Honegger and more. 360-221-8268, www.wicaonline.org Jan. 21: Jazz with Kareem Kandi Trio. 7-9 p.m. at the Camano Center. 360-387-0222, www.camanocenter.org
FEBRUARY Feb. 6 to March 1: Monty Python’s SPAMALOT. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 2:30 p.m. Sundays, at the Whidbey Playhouse, Oak
Justin Burnett photo
Participants in the Polar Bear Plunge on South Whidbey charge the waters of Useless Bay, 2014. Harbor. 360-679-2237, www.whidbeyplayhouse.com Feb. 7: First Friday at the Farm. 5-8 p.m. at Greenbank Farm. Meet wine makers, shop the galleries and have dinner. 360-678-7710, www.greenbankfarm.biz Feb. 7: Photo Walk. 12, 2 and 4 p.m. at Greenbank Farm. No fee, just bring a camera. 360-678-7710, www.greenbankfarm.biz
Feb. 21-22: Port Susan Snow Goose and Birding Festival. At various Stanwood and Camano Island locations. Most events are free. www.snowgoosefest.org
Feb. 7, 8, 14 and 15: Red Wine and Chocolate Tour. www.whidbeyislandvintners.org
Feb. 13-22: Sixth Annual Great Northwest Glass Quest. Plastic “clueballs” are hidden at a variety of businesses and in community sites around the Stanwood-Camano area. Find a clueball and return it to the location identified inside for glass treasure. www.thegreatnwglassquest.com
Everything for the Backyard Birdwatcher and more!
Feb. 13-28: “Other Desert Cities.” 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays. A play about Christmas Eve in Palm Springs and a daughter’s novel that changes family dynamics. 360-221-8268, www.wicaonline.org Feb. 14: Valentine’s Dance. 7-10 p.m. at the Camano Center. 360-387-0222, www.camanocenter.org Feb. 15: Kitsch ‘n Bitch Original Recipe Submission Deadline. Host Sue Frause will jury a recipe competition with the top three recipes and their creators. 360-221-8268, www.wicaonline.org
5565 Van Barr Place Suite AB, Freeland
Feb. 21-22: Thirtieth Annual Langley Mystery Weekend. Begins 1 p.m. Saturday at Langley Park. Langley needs some help to solve the latest in this series of mysterious winter murders. 360-221-6765, www.visitlangley.com
March 1: In Concert: Sheila Weidendorf, with members of Island Consort. 7:30 p.m. at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts, Langley. Music from the Classical era. 360-221-8268, www.wicaonline.org March 7: Photo Walk. 12, 2 and 4 p.m. at Greenbank Farm. No fee, just bring a camera. 360678-7710, www.greenbankfarm.biz March 7: First Friday at the Farm. 5-8 p.m. at Greenbank Farm. Meet wine makers, shop the galleries and have dinner. 360-678-7710, www.greenbankfarm.biz March 7: Mussels in the Kettles. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. starting on Main Street, Coupeville. Noncompetitive mountain bike ride for all ages and levels of experience. www.musselsinthekettles.net March 14: Community Dance. 7-10 p.m. at the Camano Center. 360-387-0222, www.camanocenter.org
Feb. 18: Jazz with Bill Anschell, Chris Symer and Jeff Busch. 7-9 p.m. at the Camano Center. 360-3870222, www.camanocenter.org
March 18: Jazz with Miles Black Trio Duke Ellington Tribute. At the Camano Center. 360-3870222, www.camanocenter.org
Feb. 20 to March 1: “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.” 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, at the Whidbey Island Children’s Theater, Langley. 360221-8707, www.whidbeychildrenstheater.org
March 20-29: “Footloose.” 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, at the Whidbey Island Children’s Theater, Langley. 360-221-8707, www. whidbeychildrenstheater.org
Downtown Langley Celebrates the Holidays! Escape the Crowd, Enjoy Shopping in a Cozy Seaside Village with a World to Experience
Artists “Deck the Doors” Visit Langley’s Outdoor Gallery
• • • •
Award Winning Restaurants Distinctive Gifts Friendly Merchants Win Langley’s $1000 Shopping Spree Nov 1st - Dec 21st
Sea Float Scramble Saturday, January 3 11am Seawall Park
Hunt for Hand Blown Glass Treasure created by Callahan’s Firehouse Free and Fun for the Whole Family Spend the Day in the Village by the Sea
Whidbey & Camano shopping Island shops have it all
After exploring all the natural wonders Whidbey and Camano islands have to offer, warming up while exploring the islands’ unique and creative shops may be in store. Each community has its own special shopping corridor. Many shops offer merchandise made right here on Whidbey Island.
A bit of everything in Oak Harbor
For visitors who travel Whidbey Island across famous Deception Pass Bridge, the first shopping stop is Oak Harbor. As Whidbey Island’s largest city, it has a booming commercial enterprise with big-box stores, but also a mix of small businesses.
Ron Newberry photo
Bird feeders, fine art, jewelry — Oak Harbor's downtown shopping area has something for everyone. Venturing off the main highway, you will find the recently remodeled downtown shopping
district on Pioneer Way. Here visitors will discover a collection of small businesses offering
custom jewelry, books, fine art made by local artists, unique gifts, antiques, home decor and more. Explore shops like Whidbey Wild Bird, which offers items to enhance your birding experience — helpful tools with Whidbey’s booming bird population. Shops like The Rusty Chandelier offer funky home decor mixing vintage styles with modern items. A long-standing business, the Jewelry Gallery has called Pioneer Way home for decades. Stop on in and check out the shop’s beautiful precious gems and fine metals. Dine at one of Pioneer Way’s multiple restaurants, whether it’s Thai food, a newly open stoneSEE SHOPPING, PAGE 12
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Check out Langley’s $1,000 Shopping Spree, November 1- December 20 10
OVERNIGHT, FROM PAGE 5
to and be able to stay in a place that was built in 1907,” said Kiri Gabelein, events coordinator for Captain Whidbey Inn. “It’s a very unique experience, and it’s just beautiful. It’s like taking a step back in time.” Rooms start at $103 a night. For more information, visit www.captainwhidbey.com In North Whidbey, Best Western of Oak Harbor offers a great place to stay. With complimentary breakfast, a fitness room, a pool, free wi-fi and a full-service convention
center, it’s host to many events all year long. “Unwind after a day of sightseeing or work by taking a dip in our outdoor seasonal heated pool or strolling in the lush garden,” says their website. Rooms start at $96 a night. For more information, visit bestwesternwashington.com/ oak-harbor-hotels On Camano Island, a popular, peaceful choice for lodging is the Camano Island Inn. With a beautiful view of Saratoga Passage, a winter visit could lend itself to the sight of the water backed by the Olympic Mountains draped in snow, all from the comfort of a
HERON The Village by the Sea
ARTISTIC, HISTORIC, RELAXING
Men’s & Women’s Pendelton Clothing Whidbey Island Sweatshirts & Tees OPEN DAILY 10:30-5:30 211 FIRST STREET, LANGLEY • 221-3839
private deck. With rooms starting at $175 a night, Camano Island Inn offers complimentary breakfast in the dining room and room service. The inn also is available for weddings and other events. For more information, visit www.camanoislandinn.com There are many options to choose from when visiting Whidbey or Camano islands; these are only a few. The island is a beautiful place to visit year-round, and it’s hard to go wrong with any choice available.
Sweet Mona’s.com Chocolate Gelato Espresso
Award Winning 221 2nd St, Suite 16, Langley • 360-221-2728
Books to delight the mind
209 First Street, Langley (360) 221-6962 firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit us in Historic Downtown Langley Beautiful, hand selected yarns Alpaca • Mohair • Cotton Angora • Hand dyed Wool & Silk Accessories, Needles and Books
210 1 Street, Langley 360-331-2212 www.knittypurls.com st
Langley’s Outdoor Gear Store
By land or by sea, we are here to help you WANDER
Salish Kitchen, a breakfast and dinner joint serving seasonal, regional food. Coming to Langley soon.
Wait for It.... 11
SHOPPING, FROM PAGE 10
fired pizzeria or the always-popular Mexican restaurant. Staying late? Don’t worry, Pioneer Way has several nighttime bars and taverns.
Front Street is the heart of Coupeville
About 15 minutes down the road, visitors will find Whidbey Island’s historic heart. Venture down to Coupeville’s waterfront and find century-old buildings nestled in a one-block radius. The stroll back in time is complemented by the eclectic nature of the stores. Shoppers can find everything from
souvenirs and unique decorations to fine works of art and clothing. One of the newest businesses is the Handbag Consignment Shop, where shoppers can buy their very own Louis Vuitton or other high-end designer bag. The store has already been featured on TV. Some shops, such as Aqua Gifts, offer tasteful, outof-the-ordinary gifts for home and garden. Across the street, Far from Normal specializes in items that make you laugh. A favorite of locals is the Honey Bear, a toy and candy store packed with unexpected, tasty, educational, old-fashioned and even odd things for children to play with, though it also has random SEE SHOPPING, PAGE 14
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Shopping for a Good Cause and Quality Goods One of the best kept secrets of Island shopping is the quality of merchandise at the thrift stores. Most of the thrift shops on Whidbey and Camano Islands are run by non-profits who are raising funds for benevolent causes. Many donations come from folks who are retiring to their summer homes and downsizing their households. This brings many high quality items that are truly gently used.
The other big draws to our thrift stores are antiques, jewelry, fine art and beautiful furniture. Much of the clothing comes complete with the original labels.
Thrift Shop Listings Good Cheer Two Thrift Store
Hwy 525 & Langley Rd, Clinton WA 98236
Langley Good Cheer Thrift Store 144 Anthes, Langley WA 98260
WAIF Thrift Stores
The quality can only be matched but never surpassed by the big city thrift shops.
1660 Roberta Ave, Freeland WA 98249 50 NE Midway, Oak Harbor WA 98277 20068 SR 20, Coupeville WA 98239
Habitat for Humanity
1592 Main St, Freeland WA 98249 350 SE Pioneer Way, Oak Harbor WA 98277
5518 Woodard Ave, Freeland WA 98249
406 N Main St, Coupeville WA 98239
These stores also are the general stores of the more rural areas of Island County. When you go on vacation and forget something important like beach toys, you can generally find what you are looking for at the local thrift shop.
600 SE Barrington, Oak Harbor WA 98277
My Fatherâ€™s House
1036 SE Pioneer Wy, Oak Harbor WA 98277
210 SE Pioneer, Oak Harbor WA 98277
Warm Beach Thrift Store
20420 Marine DR, Stanwood WA 98292
2nd Chance Thrift Store
1335 SR 532, Camano Island WA 98282
Department Store Quality at Thrift Shop Prices 2 Locations to Serve You Langley Good Cheer
2nd & Anthes, Langley WA
Good Cheer Two
Hwy 525 & Langley Rd, Clinton WA
Open 7 Days a Week!
winter market where you may find that holiday gift you were looking for. Just up the hill from the farm is the famous Greenbank Store, which is like a step back in time to the days when a general store offered a wide range of necessities, but also was the community gathering place. The store now has a restaurant and a few small treasures. It has a wide assortment of locally-made products from fresh produce and preserves to Whidbey-made healthcare products.
SHOPPING, FROM PAGE 12
items for the curious adult. Just above Front Street you’ll find Lavender Wind Farm, which specializes in all things lavender, and bayleaf, a specialty food and wine shop. Both shops are stuffed with purchasing options. The downtown area also features art galleries, wine stores and a variety of dining options. Currently in renovation is the old Sea Gull Building, which will house multiple commercial spaces. Residents are eagerly waiting to see what new shopping treasures may move in.
Tasty treasures and more in Greenbank
Don't blink or you'll miss it. The small community of Greenbank is located in the middle of the island. Home to the Greenbank Farm, a mix of businesses blend in with the rural character of the publicly-owned farm.
A yummy pie from Whidbey Pies Cafe in Greenbank. Whidbey Pies Cafe owner Jan Gunn is baking some of the best pies around. Stop in for a light lunch or pick up a whole pie to take with you. Sample international and local cheeses at the Greenbank Farm Cheese shop, and find a nice wine pairing to your cheese at the Greenbank Wine Shop. Then
stroll through the art galleries including Raven Rocks Studio, Artworks Gallery and the Rob Schouten Gallery. If in season, Greenbank Farm is home to a farmer training program and the school’s harvest might just be for sale. During the holiday season, stop by the farm for its annual
Freeland is always new
If you have visited before, Freeland is not the same sleepy town of the past. It has evolved into a bustling retail hub on the South End. Whidbey Telecom's technology store is located in the phone company's customer experience center on Main Street. There you SEE SHOPPING, PAGE 15
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SHOPPING, FROM PAGE 14
can find any modern gadget that you ever dreamed of. Stop by the cafe while you shop for a light meal. Freeland is home to South Whidbey's biggest grocery store, Payless Food Store, and Linds Pharmacy. Linds is an island favorite, offering gift shop items from household goods to books to jewelry. Displays change with the season, offering a new experience each time. Not far away are an antique mall and a collection of small stores that sell everything
from shoes to tea. Freeland's thrift stores support local nonprofits such as the island’s animal shelter program, Whidbey Animals' Improvement Foundation. In the last year some dining locations have come and gone. The long-standing Freeland Cafe offers tasty diner fare while restaurants like China City and The Glass Alley are more formal affairs.
Wine, flowers in Bayview
Explore award-winning Bayview Farm & Garden's two landscaped acres of plants and flowers. Across the highway, visitors can find a hardware store, a community-run grocery store, a restaurant and a crafts store. This year, Bayview’s much-loved farmers market will continue its season into the fall and winter months. Find locally-grown produce, Whidbey-made products and more at Bayview Corner.
At historic Bayview Corner, you can rent a bike, buy wines and enjoy pan-Asian cuisine.
SEE SHOPPING, PAGE 24
©Don Bush Photography
Visit Historic Coupeville today!
For Visitor, Business and Relocation Information:
905 NW Alexander, Coupeville • 360.678.5434 www.coupevillechamber.com
Supporting Business Strengthening Community
Plus 3 $100 Prizes!
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The Shortest Distance to Far Away ÂŽ Visitor Information Centers:
For in-person help and detailed information, call or stop by one of the many visitor centers located throughout the islands.
Greater Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce 32630 SR 20, Oak Harbor, WA 98277 OakHarborChamber.com (360) 675-3535 Coupeville Chamber of Commerce 905 NW Alexander Street Coupeville, WA 98239 CoupevilleChamber.com (360) 678-5434 Congratulations to Jen and Scott, married on July 27, 2013 at the Inn at Langley on Whidbey Island. Photo by Jason Koenig with JKOE Photo.
The Shortest Distance to Happily Ever After
Cross over by bridge or ferry and find yourself in a different world. This is the ideal place for your perfect day. Life is less complicated here. Youâ€™ll find everything you need for your gathering or group getaway.
Greater Freeland Chamber of Commerce 5575 Harbor Avenue, #101 Freeland, WA 98249 Freeland-WA.org (360) 331-1980 Langley Chamber of Commerce 208 Anthes Avenue, Langley, WA 98260 VisitLangley.com (360) 221-6765 Clinton Chamber of Commerce, c/o Dalton Realty 9546 Hwy 525, Clinton, WA 98236 DiscoverClintonWa.com (360) 341-3929 Camano Island Chamber of Commerce 848 N. Sunrise Blvd, #4 Camano Island, WA 98282 CamanoIsland.org (360) 629-7136
Free maps and guides plus lodging and event info at
Island weddings within reach, close to home
John Auburn, owner of J.W. Desserts, began baking as a child on his younger sister’s EZ-Bake oven. Since then, he has produced cakes for some of the biggest names in America, constructing his intricately detailed and equally delicious creations for such events as the 1996 Golden Globes, 1996 World Series, 1997-98 Academy Awards, 1998 Superbowl and 1996 Presidential Debates and he has won competitions on Food Network and TLC. Despite being one of the most famed cake-makers in the business, Auburn, who decided to slow down in 1998 to spend more time with his family, remains accessible to his customers and is proud to note that his cakes are available for purchase from his shop at Ken’s Korner and at The Goose Grocer. He also travels off-island for consultations. “I run my business like my dad ran his business,” he said, explaining that exceeding his customer’s expectations and keeping an honest and friendly dialogue are equally important as the high quality of his products, all of which are handmade from scratch. “I really stand by what I do,” said Auburn, adding that of the estimated 8,000 pieces he has sold from The Goose, he has had a maximum of three returns, all of which were reimbursed with his standard policy: a full refund and free dessert.
Vail Studio photo
A couple prepares to join their guests at a wedding reception at Greenbank Farm. Islands may be most wellknown for their spectacular beach vistas, but each also provides an assortment of evergreen forests, dew-kissed meadows and charming cabins and barns, providing an array of options for couples looking for an inviting, romantic location. Often, as with Camano’s Four Springs House and Whidbey Island’s Quintessa, the ideal location provides a combination of these characteristic Pacific Northwest elements. Four Springs House on Camano Island is nestled in the 50-acre Four Springs Lake Preserve, which includes a stream, trails, a lake and meadow. Jim McDavid, Camano Island park technician, said that the versatility of Four Springs House makes it an ideal choice for couples, especially dur-
ing colder months. The Main House contains a large living area with a brick fireplace, vaulted ceilings and a view of the lake. The meadow room and barn are also available. Each of the spaces are available as a plan B for couples whose previously planned outdoor wedding may be hindered by rain. He noted that the area has several other idyllic venues, including Cama Beach State Park. Back on Whidbey, Clinton residents Tessa Huey and her spouse, Carrie Fong, owners of The Quintessa, believe in magic. And, as operators of one of island’s most acclaimed vacation homes, the couple is intent upon making magic happen for each of their guests. Since its inception, the home that would become the
Quintessa has been one filled with dreams, laughter and unity. Fong explained that she and Huey decided to share their own lov e-f i l le d home with others after all but one of their children had grown and the expansive, fou rbath, ninebedroom home and adjacent garden cottage grew quiet. SEE WEDDINGS, PAGE 18
WEDDINGS, FROM PAGE 17
The Quintessa grounds include gardens, lighted gazebo, mountain view and yard space to accommodate a variety of activities while the large deck provides additional versatility. The Crockett Farm Bed and Breakfast in Coupeville offers all the best of Whidbey’s rustic charm. The Victorian country house, situated on the historic 1851 homestead of Colonel Crockett, transports visitors back in time with a historic reverie, offering respite from the bustle of modern living. For weddings, receptions and parties, the barn and accompanying lawn and gardens are an ideal location for an intimate and joyous celebration. The adjacent farmhouse, with five en suite bedrooms, library and dining room, offers couples and attendees a cozy, quiet place to relax and enjoy the view.
Gloria Mickunas, owner of Whidbey Party Girls and producer of Weddings on Whidbey and Events Tour, is a firm believer in romance, cohesiveness and community, all of which she said are elements of a qual-
ity event planning experience. “Sustainability” is a guiding principle of each of her custom events. Mickunas explained that, like many fellow business owners, she is committed to employing neighbors and friends whenever possible. This, she said, was her inspiration for the Weddings on Whidbey and Events Tour: to unite several of the area’s event and wedding professionals, providing an opportunity to illustrate the abundance of local services, from farm-to-table produce to wedding gowns, flowers, photography and more. The Weddings on Whidbey and Events Tour will be held from noon to 4 p.m., Nov. 8. “At the end of the day, it’s about the people,” said Mickunas. “There is a lot of great artisanal product being produced here.”
Colleen Thorsen, owner of French Knot Couture in Clinton, began sewing at an early age under the instruction of her mother and five older sisters. It was when she was tasked with producing bridesmaids' dresses for her sister-in-law’s wedding that she was inspired to begin sewing couture wedding gowns and other wedding accoutrements.
In her home studio, Thorsen sits amidst a sea of white fabric which she expertly sews into vintage-style wedding gowns in white cotton eyelet or silk, depending upon the bride’s selection. For those who opt for a pop of color, the Enchanted gown features several options in floral patterns or a selection of 290 hues of silk shantung. To accommodate chillier weather, Thorsen also makes shawls and wraps upon request and will soon be producing handmade tweed and boucle French jackets. Gerald’s Diamond Jewelers in Oak Harbor has been serving Island County since 1958 and offers an array of wedding and engagement jewelry selections including rings, bands and party gifts. Gerald’s patrons also have the option of building a ring through the web site at geraldsjewelry. com.
Many couples recall their wedding day with nostalgia, reminiscing about the culminating moments in which all efforts put forth to construct the perfect union, and the SEE PHOTOGRAPHY PAGE 34
�edding � �vent Merchants on Whidbey 18
�edding � �vent Merchants on Whidbey
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RECORD SOUTH WHIDBEY
South Whidbey Record
Building Contact: Steve Myres • PO Box 339, Freeland • 360-331-7686
Justin Burnett / The Record
DA Bomb Philly Steak sandwich is served hot at Pickles Deli in Clinton, one of Whidbey Island's local favorites.
A dash of this, a sprinkle of that... perfect
With everything from fresh, fast eateries to locally-sourced gourmet fare, Whidbey and Camano islands' restaurant scenes runs the gambit. Pickles Deli in Clinton’s Ken’s Korner Mall won King 5’s Best of Wester n Washington award for best sandwich shop and won the Whidbey News Group’s Best of Whidbey this year in the deli/ sandwich category. Pickles owner Kim Bailey said she started the shop because there was nothing healthy to eat
on South Whidbey. “I wanted people to get a salad with more green in it than iceberg (lettuce),” Bailey said. “All of our food is really colorful.” Whidbey, long and thin, is surrounded by waters teaming with wild, delectable life. The mild climate is ideal for growing a wide variety of fruit and vegetables, as well as happy, healthy livestock. Many restaurateurs on the island take advantage of the abundance and incorporate the
ultra-fresh, quality ingredients into their dishes. Chef Tyler Hansen said he tries to incorporate as many local ingredients as he can into the foodie-friendly menu at the Oystercatcher, the Coupeville restaurant he co-owns with his wife, Sara Hansen. He also believes in supporting local farmers and growers, and has come to rely on the quality and incomparable freshness of their products. “It’s special to me to shake the hand of the person who’s growing the food I use in my restaurant,” he said. “It’s important for me to see their passion for what they’re doing.” Though the Oystercatcher’s
menu is constantly changing, Hansen incorporates a wide variety of vegetables, for example, from two farms nestled in the fertile soil of Central Whidbey — Willowood Farm of Ebey’s Prairie and Rosehip Farm. Island-wide, locally grown Penn Cove mussels are a mainstay on many a menu. Penn Cove Shellfish is the nation’s oldest and largest commercial mussel farm. The company sends mussels to restaurants all over the region, but establishments on Whidbey have the advantage of being so close to the sustainable farm. SEE FOOD, PAGE 22
Fine dining is easy to find on Whidbey and Camano Islands. FOOD, FROM PAGE 21
A long list of restaurants include mussels on the menu. In Coupeville alone, they include Toby’s, Front Street Grill, Christopher’s, the Tyee, Captain Whidbey Inn, Ciao and the Oystercatcher. Whidbey Island Grown is a
brand created by farmers and residents to increase awareness and consumption of agricultural products grown on the island. The group’s website contains a long list of restaurants that use local ingredients. Other fine dining and bistro pub restaurants include Braeburn Restaurant, Inn at Langley
restaurant, Neil’s Clover Patch, Prima Bistro, all in Langley; the Roaming Radish in Freeland; the Greenbank Grille in Greenbank; Ciao Restaurant in Coupeville; and Fraser’s Gourmet Hideaway, Flyers Brewery and Restaurant, and Seabolt’s Smokehouse in Oak Harbor. On Camano Island, you don’t have to be an overnight guest to visit the Camano Island Inn, which also features fine dining. Stop in for breakfast, lunch and dinner for an eclectic menu featuring local high-quality ingredients including vegetables and herbs organically grown on the inn’s own farm. Oak Harbor on the North end has welcomed the addition of an authentic Mexican-style taqueria in Jumbo Burrito. The family-run business started last year as a taco truck and has
since moved into a brick-andmortar shop on Highway 20. With every thing from carne asada to salsas made in house, the taqueria has been wildly popular. “We didn’t know it would be this busy,” said owner Eliaser Loera. Back on Camano, at Cama B e a c h Cafe and Catering, the eatery appeals to the outdoorsy traveler, offering light fare to visitors at one of the island’s most popular state parks. Offering breakfast and lunch, the cafe has a number of options from eggs and oatmeal to sandwiches, soups and salads. Rockaway Bar and Grill also appeals to the active Camano visitor. Located at the Camaloch Golf Course, the restaurant serves traditional fare like burgers hotdogs and steak.
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curious shoppers will find a collection of small stores welcoming them to the island. There are two major shopping stops in Clinton: downtown, right when you come off the ferry; and Ken's Korner shopping center a few miles north. Clinton has a practical selection of shops that serve visitors and locals alike and provide everything from groceries to gifts, salons and pampering, to pet grooming and thrift stores.
Camano focuses on local
Camano Island Marketplace is famous for its Holiday Gift Shop and features a variety of local artists. SHOPPING, FROM PAGE 15
Gifts, art in Langley
Langley features an eclectic selection of small stores visitors might just get lost in. Every store has a story and the business owners that are often found behind the counter are happy to share those with customers. From a rug store that also sells exotic jewelry and treasures from around the world, to a shop that lovingly pairs childrens' books with puppet characters, it's all within walking distance in Langley. The Village by the Sea also fea-
tures an exciting collection of art galleries that reflect the artistic energy in town. At Good Cheer Thrift Store people find second-hand clothing and other items. Many have stumbled upon unexpected treasures in this well-stocked thrift store. There are clothing boutiques, jewelry stores, bookstores and a small shop that produces handmade soap and lotions. You’ll also find a cupcake shop, two boutique pet stores, as well as a grocery store, coffee roaster, bakery, wine shops, salons, spas and more. Stop in at the recently expanded Sweet Mona’s chocolate shop
and pick up a sweet treat. Or get lost in the Star Store, which is not only a grocery store, but is home to everyday and specialty department store-like items. Try out the lotions and potions at Whidbey Island Soap Company or enjoy the fragrance of the Chocolate Flower Farm.
Clinton is the gateway
Clinton is the Southernmost part of Whidbey Island, and home to the Clinton Ferry terminal. The small town is passed through by visitors and residents on a daily basis, and if you take the time to stop and look around
no Island Marketpl
Just east of Whidbey is Camano Island, which can be reached from the Interstate 5 corridor. It’s mainly a residential area, but there are notable shopping opportunities. Camano Island Marketplace is a joint venture between businesses and artists, coming together to offer the best in local artwork, coffee from a Camano roaster, meats, food, vintage collections and even chocolate. While exploring Camano Island, take time to stop in the island’s multiple thrift stores and vintage shops where locals create re-purposed treasures. Other shopping opportunities are hidden away on the island, including art galleries, nurseries and gift shops. Art galleries are located all over the island and many welcome visitors to pop in to find that next piece of art for their home. With this many choices, combine your holiday shopping with one of the many winter and Christmas festivities on the island and make a long weekend of it.
CUSTOM HOLIDAY MEATS 848 N Sunrise Blvd, Bldg C Camano Island, WA 98292 DelFoxMeats.com • 360-926-8369
Pubs & wineries In an underground tasting room with soft light and friendly service in Langley, Whidbey Island is experiencing a first: an island-distilled whiskey. A long-time dream of Whidbey Island Distillery owner Steve Heising, his first oak barrel of rye whiskey is aging this winter. “Whiskey to me is sort of the holy grail,” said Heising, adding that it may take them through next year to be able to offer the whiskey for sale or tastings. However, the long waiting list he has with names of interested buyers is evidence of wide interest. He said he knew it would take a while to come up with a good whiskey when they started in 2009. In the meantime, they have made a successful business out of Janis Reid / The Record their loganberry, raspberry and blackberry liqueurs. Restaurants and bars throughout Enjoying a glass of fine wine over a sunset dinner is easy on Whidbey and Camano. the island use the sweet, rich liqueurs to infuse local cocktails and deserts. unique wineries offering concoctions from Heising’s blackberry liqueur received 98 grapes grown both on island and from points in 2014 from the Beverage Tast- throughout the Northwest. ing Institute in Chicago for its exotic bold Whidbey Island Winery took four medaromas and flavors of spiced berries, apricot als total in the 2014 awards, including one and chocolate. double gold for their Grenache, as well as Whidbey Island Distillery creates their a gold and two silvers for other signature liqueurs from wines given to them by some wines. of the island’s wineries, who in turn are The wines are delicate, crisp and fragrant given alcohol with which they can create accompaniments to standard island fare ports and other liqueurs. like seafood. Among the most critically acclaimed Comforts of Whidbey and Holmes Harwinemakers on Whidbey Island is Ott & Murphy Wines. The modern sea-view tasting room in SEE SPIRITS, PAGE 28 downtown Langley offers tastings, glass pours and bottles — including their double gold winning 2010 Syrah. “Washington has an ideal climate for growing these grapes,” said Ott & Murphy manager Bob Thurmond. “We have the benefit of having the varietals, why wouldn’t we make really great wines?” RETIREMENT LIVING • ASSISTED LIVING Just one of eight medals earned by the SKILLED NURSING • REHABILITATION winery in the 2014 Seattle Wine Awards, Ott & Murphy crafts wines on Whidbey with Rhone grapes exclusively from the See if Warm Beach is right for you southern band of Eastern Washington. or your loved one. Contact us today! Along with Ott & Murphy, the South End of Whidbey and Camano Island are www.warmbeach.org • 360-652-4593 peppered with other award-winning and
ART ABOUNDS Many island masters open doors to public Welcome to Whidbey and Camano, quintessential island getaways renowned for their scenic beauty and small-town charm. They have everything you’ve been looking for in a quiet escape that’s close to home, but may yet hold a few surprises particularly in the realm of cultural expression and the visual arts. While Island County is the land of 100 beaches, it’s also the home of 10,000 artists. From traditional galleries and live demonstrations to 10-acre sculpture parks, island masters and their works are some of Western Washington’s best-kept secrets.
Still, rural and lovely, Camano Island is a wonderland for established and aspiring artists both. Acrylic, blown glass, fabric art, fused glass, fine jewelry, metal sculpture, oil and pastel, photography — they do it all. The winter can be a bit cold for opening studios to the public, such as the annual Camano Island Studio Tour, May 9-11 and May 17-18, but there are still a few must-not-miss opportunities. For example, a visit to the island wouldn’t be complete for any art lover without a stop at Matzke Fine Art Gallery and Sculpture
Matzke Fine Art Gallery and Sculpture Park is a mustnot-miss on Camano Island. Park, 2345 Blanche Way. A treasure in the forest, the gallery is an art destination that attracts people from around the world, according to owner Karla Matzke. “This is one of the most unique places in all of Washington,” she said. As the name impresses, Matzke’s is a fine art gallery, not a “gift gallery” common in so many tourist destinations. Shows change every six weeks and often include pieces recently on display in national museums, Matzke said. Committed to representing the best and the brightest talent from the Pacific Northwest, the United States and Japan, Phillip Levine, Hiroshi Yamano, Tracy Powell, Kevin Pettelle, Betty and Russell Frost are among over 75 emerging, mid-career, and estab-
lished artists exhibiting at the gallery and sculpture park. The park is easily a work of art in itself, including over 80 works in various mediums sprinkled throughout a 10-acre area that embodies “a geometry of playfulness.” “Our mission is to promote, encourage, and serve as an advocate for fine artists and to make contemporary art a relevant part of our cultural experience,” Matzke said. Matzke’s is open weekends, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and by appointment on weekdays: 360-387-2759.
Larger and more populated, though equally beautiful, Whidbey is a haven for artists of every kind. And despite Old Man Winter’s chill, it’s home to a host of artists who open their doors
to the public year-round. Beginning in South Whidbey, arguably one of the artistic heartbeats of the state, a trip to Callahan’s Firehouse Studio and Gallery in Langley would add a special highlight to any vacation. Located within a renovated city firehouse in the center of town, the gallery is a place to browse and purchase fine glass art, but owner Callahan McVay has taken his shop one step further by offering visitors a rare opportunity to watch blowers at work and to create a masterpiece of their own. Open seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., glass is blown daily right in the gallery and “experiences” — essentially 30-minute classes to make simple pieces such as bowls or paperweights — are $85 by appointment. “It seems like experience is the new organic,” said McVay said, who is a master glass blower himself. The process and act of shaping molten glass is entrancing to people of all ages, and is a magnet for tourists, but it doesn’t top doing it yourself. Heading north up Highway 20, Central Whidbey is SEE ART, PAGE 27
ster production while retaining quality. They specialize in high-end flameware that is designed to withstand extreme temperatures. Pots reportedly can go from the refrigerator to a hot oven without cracking — it looks good too. “There’s nothing like it anywhere else,” Lobell said. For details about the art trail and when to visit Cook on Clay, visit http://whidbeyarttrail.com/. On North Whidbey, Garry Oak Gallery in Oak Harbor is the community’s one-stop shop for a wide array of mediums, from stunning photography and watercolors to
exquisite works of wood. A co-op just six years old, the organization is a headquarters for 22 local artists, some of whom are just making their debut into public showing. “We have never shown in a gallery before,” said co-op President Margaret Livermore, who is also a successful watercolor artist. The gallery is staffed by co-op members and many, including Livermore, bring their work to work, giving demonstrations of their skills. The gallery is open seven days a week, 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and is located at 830 SE Pioneer Way.
220 Second Street | Langley, WA 98260 360 | 221 | 7675 Open 10:00-5:00 Daily www.whidbeyartists.com
Justin Burnett photo
At Callahan's Firehouse Studio and Gallery in Langley, one can watch glass blowing happen or participate. ART, FROM PAGE 26
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also host to a large community of artists, and offers visitors its own opportunity to see art as it’s happening — The Whidbey Art Trail. This year-round, self-guided tour of working masters and their studios is a surefire way of seeing the very best in action. One of those featured on the trail is Cook on Clay, a small artisan manufacturer producing work that’s catching the eyes of nationally renowned chefs. Led by a twowoman team of Robbie Lobell, potter and designer, and Maryon Attwood, business director, they’ve made recent equipment investments that have enabled them to bol-
Sherren’s Glassworks & Gallery Fused Orca Whale Art, Garden Art Stakes, Fused Wind Chimes Fused Jewelry & More…
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Dusty Cellars Winery is a familyowned and operated winery on Camano Island. The popular winery has been selling out all its wines, though Mother’s Day, Cabernet Franc and Leonidas, plus a new Cabernet Sauvignon are still available. The just-released 2010 Caberbet Sauvignon is described as having “a big nose, full body and a long finish.” South Whidbey also is home to more pub-style watering holes is the form of Bayview’s Tap Room, the bar at Prima Bistro and the Roaming Radish in Freeland. Moving north to Coupeville, Vail Wine Shop in its new location just off the historic wharf sells only Washington wines and offers tastings and small plates to both locals and visitors. If you’re in the mood Janis Reid / The Record for a more historic Coupeville scene for Some of the state's finest wines are produced on South Whidbey. drinks, Toby’s Pub and the Tyee Lounge provide an old-timey atmosphere with Whidbey winery to successfully grow a simple beers, wines and cocktails. SPIRITS, FROM PAGE 25 red pinot grape. Oak Harbor features Flyers Brewery The warm and dry summers experi- and Restaurant, the island’s only beer bor Cellars wineries also grow white grapes on island and source red grapes from other enced by Whidbey Island over the last maker offering more than six house brews two years has allowed the winery’s pinot ranging from their ever-popular Afteroff-island wineries. Spoiled Dog winery, a pastoral Max- grapes to flourish. Karen Krug, owner of burner India Pale Ale, to the bigger, welton farm with chickens, apple trees Spoiled Dog, said this year’s harvest will bolder Pacemaker Porter. and hundreds of grapevines, is the first produce the best pinot noir yet.
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Holiday classics, dance and wacky tales
With the weather outside so frightful, go inside for delightful demonstrations of stage and musical talent on one of several theaters and stages on Whidbey and Camano. South Whidbey, and specifically Langley, have cornered the wintertime theater market on Christmas classics. Whidbey Island Center for the Arts, the largest theater group in Island County, swung for the nostalgia fence. Starting in early December, the Langley-based performing arts center will hold three weekends of “A Christmas Story,” the tale of a child’s winter wish-come-true amid bizarre family happenings and a hideous lamp. Whidbey Island Dance Theater will continue its long run of “The Nutcracker,” the story of a girl’s Christmas Eve dream wonderland of mice fighting toy soldiers and a voyage across the sea. Up north, Oak Harbor’s Whidbey Playhouse theater will go for laughs. Its two winter productions are both British farces. The first, “Run for Your Wife” follows taxi driver John Smith after spending a night in the emergency room recovering from a hit by a “little old lady” he tried to protect from muggers. It is slowly revealed that he has lived a double life with two wives in two apartments in London, and John has
Jim Carroll photo
Actors in Whidbey Children's Theater's "Wind in the Willows" dress as their characters. From left are Ruby Eaton as Badger, Kayla Johnson as Toad, Netty Jurriaans as Mole, and Callum Cassee as Ratty. to hide his secrets to the amusement of spectators. The Playhouse’s second comedy is the beloved musical “Monty Python’s Spamalot,” an adaptation of the film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” a parody of King Arthur and chivalric legend. Nor-
mally, Whidbey Playhouse mixes its productions, but this year they elected to seek laughter. “This time, everything’s comedic,” said Janis Powell, Whidbey Playhouse business manager. “People are in a mood right now where they need some uplifting things.”
Those seeking aural delight have a few SEE THEATERS, PAGE 30
has a great season lined up for you! Image courtesy of Whidbey Island Center for the Arts
Two of the enduring images from "A Christmas Story" are on the handbill for WICA's production this December.
Tel: 360.679.2237 WhidbeyPlayhouse.com 29
THEATERS, FROM PAGE 29
options as well. A pair of orchestra groups will host several performances between December and March. Whidbey Island Community Orchestra’s fall concert will be Friday, Dec. 5, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Freeland and Saturday, Dec. 6, at the Coupeville Performing Arts Center. The winter concert in March features South Whidbey and Central Whidbey performances. The first is 7 p.m. Friday, March 6, at South Whidbey High School in Langley; the second is at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 7, at the Coupeville Performing Arts Center. (All Whidbey Island Community Orchestra performances request a dress code: black skirts, dresses or blouses for women and a black tie for men.) Another group, the Saratoga Orchestra, will have a pair of late winter performances. “Appalachian Spring for a Whidbey Winter” features music from Copland’s “Appalachian Spring for 13 instruments,” Honegger’s “Pastorale d’ete,” Huling’s “Concerto for Harp and Clarinet” and Mendelssohn’s “Sinfonia no. 7, D minor” Jan. 17 at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts in Langley, and Jan. 18 at the Nordic Hall in Coupeville. Saratoga Orchestra’s second performance in March will be “Fairy Tales and Ancient Legends: Carmina Burana.” The music includes three excerpts from composer Engelbert Humperdinck’s opera “Hansel und Gretel.” It also will be offered in two locations on separate dates. The first will be at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 21, at Oak Harbor High School, and the second at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 22, at South Whidbey High School. Saratoga Orchestra tickets cost $25-20, children under 18 are admitted free.
Children get a shot at performing on stage, too. At Whidbey Children’s Theater in Langley, the family-friendly plays are mostly composed of kids, and such is the case in a trio of performances in the coming months. First up is “Wind in the Willows,” which opens Friday, Nov. 14 and ends Sunday, Nov. 23. That will be followed in December by “The Diary of Anne Frank” on weekends between Friday, Dec. 12 and Sunday, Jan. 21. “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” takes its turn between Friday, Feb. 20, and Sunday, March 29. General admission tickets cost $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, and $8 for students, and are available at the door. Fo r more i n fo r m a-
Photo courtesy of Whidbey Island Center for the Arts
Actors portray an infamous scene from a previous production of "A Christmas Story" at WICA in Langley.
Michael Stadler photo
Dancers display their precision and grace in a past production of Whidbey Island Dance Theatre's "The Nutcracker." tion visit http://whidbeychildrens theater.org. Across Saratoga Passage, Camano Island has a youth performing arts group at the Camano Dance Academy. They have three dance teams that will put on performances in December, including at the Festival of Trees at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 3, at the Tulalip Resort in Marysville; the Dickens Craft Fair at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, at Cavalero Mid High School in Lake Stevens; and at the Warm Beach Lights of Christmas at 5:45 p.m. Monday, Dec. 29, and at 7:45 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 30, in Stanwood.
Christmas Tree Recycling Jan 1st-15th by donation
Experience the wonders of winter in the natural settings of Meerkerk Gardens. 3531 Meerkerk Lane, Greenbank, off Resort Road Adults - $5 • Under 16 - Free • Open 9am-4pm
www.meerkerkgardens.org • (360) 678-1912 a 501(c)3 organization
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Greenbank Farm Holiday Market November 28, 29 & 30 • December 6–7, 13–14, 20–21 • from 10am-5pm
Local Artists and Artisans Pictures with Santa Holiday Music & Family Activities
Sweet and Savory Pies Baked daily, by the slice or whole to go Hearty seafood chowder and vegetarian soups using local products when available Serving espresso and select beers & wines
www.whidbeypies.com (360)678-1288 ~ Open Daily except closed Tuesdays in Jan. & Feb.
Gifts Award-Winning Foods & Cheese Free Cheese Tasting Unique Gourmet Variety SPECIALTY Gift Certificates FOOD S & GIFTS Custom Baskets (360) 222-3474 ~ Open Daily Year Round
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For the Gift of Art in All Seasons robschoutengallery.com 360/222-3070
Distinctive Art by Island Artists Paintings - Photography - Jewelry - Wearables 360-222-3010 • www.artworkswhidbey.com
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Great Gift Selections in the Farm Shop
All Fruit Wines 20% OFF
360-222-3151 or 360-678-7700 ~ Open Daily Year Round 2014
LOTS TO DO AND SEE Beaches, birding & more
While tourists tend to flock to Whidbey and Camano islands during the warmer months, the same isn’t true for the islands’ feathered visitors. The fall and winter migration period bring both an abundance and variety of birds to both islands, making them a popular destination for birds and birders alike during the winter months. “There are lots of birds that specifically show up here in the winter time,” said Steve Ellis, a long time birding enthusiast from Coupeville who leads field trips with the Whidbey Audubon Society. “I know people think we have hard winters here. For birds, it’s pretty easy particularly considering where they come from.” Birding is one of the most popular winter-time outdoor recreation opportunities on Whidbey and Camano islands. Yet, it’s not the only activity that capitalizes on the islands’ scenic beauty during the cold months. Seven of the eight state parks on Whidbey and Camano islands remain open for day use during the winter months, meaning visitors may take nature strolls or hikes on trails, and some still offer overnight camping. Joseph Whidbey State Park in Oak Harbor is the only park on the islands shut down for day use during the winter. Winter also offers a time to visit typically crowded destinations, such as Deception Pass State Park, in more solitude. Jack Hartt, manager of Deception Pass State Park, Washington’s most visited state park, said he enjoys getting out and taking in some of his favorite wintertime hikes such as Goose Rock, Lighthouse Point, Kiket Island and Dugualla. He said these lowland hikes range from an hour to three hours on mostly good terrain.
Paul Lischeid photo
Ron Newberry / The Record
A kitesurfer cruises around the west side of North Whidbey. Deception Pass State Park again will be participating in “First Day Hikes” on Jan. 1. These are guided, group hikes that take place on the first day of the new year at state parks across the country. Fort Casey State Park and South Whidbey State Park also will be participating in that program in 2015, said Jon Crimmins, area manager who oversees those parks. Crimmins said hiking trails at South Whidbey, Fort Casey and Fort Ebey will remain open during the winter, but advised that visitors should err on the side of caution during windy and stormy days, especially on wooded trails. The wind, however, is welcome to extreme adventurers who come to Whidbey in the early winter months. Starting in the late fall, and sometimes stretching into December, the wind that hits the West Side of Whidbey Island will invite kitesurfers to Crockett Lake in Coupeville and Double Bluff Beach in Freeland. The surfers often wait till the shallow lake near the Coupeville ferry terminal takes on more water before they venture out in wetsuits. “Crockett Lake offers smooth,
glassy water and that’s why guys go there,” said Mark Miller, a kiteboarding enthusiast from Clinton who is a certified instructor in the sport. Crockett Lake also is big with birders, joining Deer Lagoon and the Crescent Harbor Marshes on Whidbey as sites identified as Important Birding Areas by the National Audubon Society because of their pristine habitat. Whidbey and Camano islands are located in the Pacific Flyway, a north-south migration path for birds. In the fall and winter, a variety of birds arrive from Alaska, British Columbia and other northern reaches. Ellis said Whidbey Island also receives birds from Eastern Washington and Idaho for the winter as well as those that come from higher elevations in the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges — all with the common goal of fleeing the freeze. Whidbey is home to a healthy population of bald eagles that will travel to rivers in search for spawning salmon but tend to return to the island during the winter months, Ellis said. Other raptors, waterfowl and shorebirds are common sights during the winter months and will be counted during Audubon’s
annual Christmas Bird Count that starts Dec. 14 this year and goes until Jan. 5. The Whidbey Audubon Society continues to offer monthly, guided birding field trips during the winter. One of the biggest winter-time attractions is the red-throated loon that can be seen near Deception Pass in December and January. “It attracts just about every birding group around,” Ellis said. Snow geese are the big show on Camano Island in February. Their annual migration and flocks in the thousands from Russia prompted the creation of the Port Susan Snow Goose & Birding Festival in nearby Stanwood. Whidbey and Camano islands also offer limited hunting opportunities, though no high-powered rifles are allowed — only shotguns. Through the Whidbey Camano Land Trust, the Trillium Community Forest on South Whidbey offers a shortened deer season starting in October with other opportunities Nov. 14-16 and Nov. 26-Dec. 17. Island County has properties on both islands designated as hunting areas for deer. For more information about these opportunities, call Island County Public Works at 360-679-7334. Through the Western Washington Pheasant Release program, there also are opportunities to hunt for pheasants at various release sites throughout Whidbey Island through November.
Free maps, guides, lodging and event info at WhidbeyCamanoIslands.com 2014
moments including vows and portraits. Pendleton Imaging and Photography, located in Oak Harbor, features the work perfect ceremony, are realized. It is the ultimate celebration of fidel- of photographer John Pendleton, who comity, family and friendship and is a day bines photojournalistic methods with the traditional for worth sharing and remember- “At the end of the day, it's about pictures that are effortlessly ing for years to stylish. View the people. There is a lot of come. A skilled e n d l e t o n’s photographer is great artisanal product being Pwork at pendlekey to ensuring tonimagingandproduced here.” these wedding photog raph y. memories live Gloria Mickunas com on with vitalWhidbey Party Girls Ana and Jon ity. Day of Days Pend leton Imaging and Photography on Whidbey, as photography are well-versed in the in and well as Days Photography on Camano, are outs of matrimony and its numerous photosome of the Northwest’s finest photogra- worthy moments. The husband and wife team is currently ranked as #14 in King 5’s phy studios. Each of these photographers is equipped Best of Western Washington contest in the to capture every moment of a couple’s category of wedding photographer. Their special day, from minute details such as work can be viewed at daysphotography.com PHOTOGRAPHY, FROM PAGE 18
Kate Daniel / The Record
Colleen Thorsen, owner of French Knot, works on a wedding dress at her shop.
a beautifully frosted cake to the dramatic
Getting to Whidbey & Camano Whidbey Island
Surrounded by water, Whidbey Island has three ways of entry. Two of them are state ferries, one from Port Townsend on the Olympic Peninsula to Coupeville on Central Whidbey; the other from Mukilteo to Clinton on South Whidbey. The third is the Deception Pass Bridge, an iconic structure in Western Washington with sweeping views of Possession Sound and the Strait of Juan De Fuca. Getting around Whidbey can be achieved via Island Transit’s free weekday bus service and taxis. All Island Express Taxi Company covers mostly South Whidbey, Ault Field Taxi is based on Oak Harbor, and Whidbey Island Taxi Service covers Oak Harbor.
Ben Watanabe photo
Young ferry passengers enjoy the ride from Clinton to Mukilteo. The Whidbey SeaTac shuttle gets people from the Sea-Tac International Airport to one of several stops on Whidbey, from the Clinton Ferry Terminal to Oak Harbor. Adult fares range from $44.50, one way, to $40, depending on where you get picked up.
Getting to Camano is simple. From Interstate 5, take the Highway 532 exit and head west through Stanwood until you reach the island. From there, visitors can travel north around the island, on E. North Camano Drive, or south on N.E. Camano Drive.
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The Shortest Distance to Far Away 速 Visitor Information Centers:
For in-person help and detailed information, call or stop by one of the many visitor centers located throughout the islands.
Greater Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce 32630 SR 20, Oak Harbor, WA 98277 OakHarborChamber.com (360) 675-3535 Coupeville Chamber of Commerce 905 NW Alexander Street Coupeville, WA 98239 CoupevilleChamber.com (360) 678-5434
Greater Freeland Chamber of Commerce 5575 Harbor Avenue, #101 Freeland, WA 98249 Freeland-WA.org (360) 331-1980
The Shortest Distance to Far Away 速 is closer than you think!
Langley Chamber of Commerce 208 Anthes Avenue, Langley, WA 98260 VisitLangley.com (360) 221-6765 Clinton Chamber of Commerce, c/o Dalton Realty 9546 Hwy 525, Clinton, WA 98236 DiscoverClintonWa.com (360) 341-3929
Camano Island Chamber of Commerce 848 N. Sunrise Blvd, #4 Camano Island, WA 98282 CamanoIsland.org (360) 629-7136
Free maps, guides, lodging and event info at