By Ashley Stewart Herald Writer
Looking for a winter day trip that doesn’t involve snow? Why not Whidbey Island?
With waterfront views, specialty shopping, good food and outdoor adventures all along one easy route, it can be a lot of fun without a lot of effort.
Just take the Mukilteo-Clinton ferry and head north on Highway 525.
It’s the slow season in Langley, but you wouldn’t know it inside Mo’s Pub and Eatery.
Despite Mo’s motto — it’s a “place to drink and throw sharp objects” — there’s something for families too. Sip a single-malt scotch and play darts in the bar or sit fireside in the eatery and chow down on some Irish-style fare.
Wherever you decide to sit, be sure to try the fish and chips: crisp nuggets of cod fried in a Guinness beer batter and served with the pub’s special fries. There’s a bottle of malt vinegar at every table to add a little extra flavor to your fish. It’s reasonably priced at $10.99 and goes great with the ginger ale on tap.
Then make your way down the street to The Star Store, a grocery and mercantile with a little bit of everything. Browse the clothing departments, fine wines, kitchen and cooking supplies, toys, Whidbey Island products and other hidden gems.
It’s a local destination for shoes, anything cocktail and the inflatable moose heads ($26.95) they’ve been selling for 28 years.
Stroll along Coupeville’s mainline, Front Street, with its mix of shops: bakeries, antiques dealers, art galleries, bookstores and wine bars.
Here are a few stop-worthy shops to note:
Knead and Feed is a cool place to grab a cup of steaming coffee or tea and make the winter wind a little more bearable. They have great baked goods, too. Try a walnut caramel roll, a Marionberry bear claw or a slice of pie.
The Penn Cove Art Gallery is just a few doors down. It’s a cooperative gallery with works from more than 20 local artists, such as custom furniture, prints, paintings, wood carvings, photography and stained glass.
Take a walk on the Coupeville Wharf and Warehouse before you head back to the car.
Then bundle up for hike at Ebey’s Landing.
It’s perfect for a slow, wintertime stroll with views of snowcapped mountains, rolling praries, sheer bluffs and miles of sea.
The full hike is 5.6 miles round trip, but you can take shorter trails if you have little ones along. The park service has a junior ranger program that gives kids a chance to learn about Coupeville history and earn a badge by completing an online activity book.
The scenic 4,134-acre park has hiking trails through old-growth forests, three lakes and more than 14 miles of saltwater shoreline.
Take a walk, picnic on the beach or admire the views on the drive across Deception Pass Bridge.
You’ll need a Discover Pass to park. It’s $10 daily or $30 annually at www.discoverpass.wa.gov.
Getting back: You won’t need to buy round-trip ferry tickets for this outing.
Just cross the bridge and continue on Highway 20 for about 15 miles, bear right and take southbound 1-5 all the way home.
If you go
Ebey’s Landing: 360-678-6084; www.nps.gov/ebla.
Deception Pass: 41020 Highway 20; 360-675-2417.
Knead and Feed: 4 Front St., Coupeville; 360-678-5431.
Mo’s Pub and Eatery: 317 Second St., Langley; 360-221-1131; www.maureenspub.com.
Penn Cove Gallery: 9 Front St., Coupeville; 360-678-1176; www.penncovegallery.com.
The Star Store: 201 First St., Langley; 360-221-5222; www.starstorewhidbey.com.
Ashley Stewart: 425-339-3037; firstname.lastname@example.org.