Top Things To Do On Whidbey Island, Anniversary Weekend Getaway At The Danicng Fish Vineyard

March 06, 2019

Thanks to The Dancing Fish Vineyards and other Whidbey Island Partners for sponsoring this post.
As always, all opinions in the post are my own.

Everything in life happens for a reason...
so did our supposed wedding anniversary travel plans which fell through last week, cuz I don’t think that if we did fly as we had originally planned then it would have been this cozy, and this romantic. Plus, tells me that it would have rather been miserable in gloomy, rainy, and cold weather, very unusual for where we were originally supposed to travel to. And let’s be real, we don’t need to spend $$$ and fly out anywhere for that kind of weather, we have plenty of it in our own backyard, we live in the greater Seattle area after all, ouch, but true ;)

Since plan A didn’t work out it was now time to execute plan B, and this was even better, cuz now this would be a total surprise to my darling hubby! If you have been following along my blogging journey for a while then you know my love for surprises (been at it since when I was a kid, and my hubby is always in for some kind of a surprise, a few times a year (damn, lucky him! But in all fairness he does plan surprises too, but that’s beside the point here hehe)! And thanks to the help of some amazing people who came to my rescue on such short notice, not only was my hubby totally surprised but so was I, cuz our stay at Dancing Fish Vineyards in Whidbey Island was one for the books (no pictures can do justice to just how pretty this place looks).

One of the best things about living in Washington is that we are only a few hours drive from all of the Pacific Northwest beauty. May it be hiking up the mountains or exploring the beaches, planning an impromptu weekend retreat is always on the books and one of the best things to do. And at times, just a 45 mins drive takes you into the woods, which is kinda our favorite thing about having moved to Seattle from the east coast.

In short, Whidbey Island was calling our name. Whidbey Island is the 4th largest island in the contiguous US (Long Island in NY being the largest, and of course, we have been there many times and love it too). It is located in Puget Sound about 30 miles north of Seattle and it is one of the most accessible and scenic island destinations in the Pacific Northwest. It is right off of the mainland and just a short trip via bridge or ferry. The island has a rich history and is proud of its locally inspired shops and many farm-to-table restaurants. The island offers a variety of experiences each season, surely has something in store for everyone - from wine tasting, hiking, kayaking, bicycling, historic sightseeing, birdwatching, and more.

And our stay at the Dancing Fish Vineyards (which looks like a postcard BTW) was, in one word, magical! It was the perfect setting for wine (and Italy) lovers like my husband and me! The property is an Italian-inspired country beauty located on 6-acres of softly hilled pastures and consists of vineyards, apple orchards, and perennial gardens. It offers a warm and wholesome experience to all its guests, may it be guests who are hosting a special event in their hospitality barn, there for a weekend retreat in their farmhouse, or simply there for wine tasting in their winery, everyone is made to feel welcome and special! Add free live music every Friday night into the mix, and you have me sold (and not to forget their delicious pizza, my mouth is still watering, yummm)!!!

We were treated to some sweet surprises and goodies upon arrival at the farmhouse. We also had the pleasure of meeting and having a long chat with Nancy Thomspon, the owner. She is charming, warm, and inspiring, and you could see how passionate she is about Dancing Fish Vineyards, which totally reflects in how beautifully the property is renovated, designed and maintained!

The farmhouse is a luxurious rustic beauty that sits on the top of a gentle slope and overlooks the beautiful vineyards and pastures. The attention to detail with which the entire farmhouse is decorated is one to take note of. It has a fully stocked gourmet kitchen, 2 bedrooms, a living room, a family room, a dining room, a study room, a private courtyard, and a patio. The fireplaces in the living room and the family room, and the bathtub make for a super cozy ambiance. The farmhouse can sleep 6 people, but it is so spacious that you can host more people if you want to.

It was a really cold weekend when we were there so we spent way more time on the property than venturing outside. It also gave us that much-needed time to rest and relax after a busy 2019 we have had so far. And we thoroughly enjoyed all the amenities that Dancing Fish Vineyards had to offer and stayed warm and cozy snuggled by the fireplace while sipping on some of the best red and white wine from their winery. Our personal favorite was ----. For more information about their winery and wine offerings, go here. You can also join their wine club, read more here

Dada and son also had so much fun playing on the full-size bocce courts. And our little guy for sure had a helluvalotafun just running around the property and exploring all the details haha. Gotta love a place which is so kid-friendly and yet gives you all the romantic vibes!

Another good thing about the Dancing Fish Vineyards is its ideal location. It is only about 15 mins from the Clinton Ferry Terminal and is within walking distance of downtown Freeland and only minutes away from local beaches, hiking trails, golfing, shops, galleries, restaurants, and the many other beautiful attractions in Whidbey Island.

P.S: You really have to watch my Instagram Story Highlights to understand why I am so gaga over the Dancing Fish Vineyards!

Below are some of the Top Things To Do On Whidbey Island (From South to North).
Some of which we have explored during our previous day trips to the island.

Pro Tip: Plan your itinerary such that you enter the island from the south of the island and exit from the north or vice versa. Hence you won’t have to drive back and forth within the island and still explore everything you want to see while taking the ferry only once (either on the way in or on your way out).

LANGLEY:  This seaside village is just 10 mins from the ferry terminal and has a number of options to choose from whether you are looking for food/drinks to refuel or looking for activities to burn some calories or simply looking for ways to spend some money (read shopping).  

Mukilteo Coffee Roasters: This cafe in the woods has a cozy and eclectic feel to it. We thought we probably lost our way before we actually made it over here haha. My absolute favorite was their hot chocolate (very rarely do cafes impress me with their hot chocolate but these guys did it), I even ordered one for the road and that’s saying a lot about the place.
Blooms Winery: A new café and bistro with indoor and outdoor seating.
Bayview Flower House Café:  Relaxed garden center featuring an on-site cafe & a picturesque arbor with trailing yellow flowers. 
Useless Bay Coffee Co:  It is at the heart of the community, where the forest meets the beach.
Prima Bistro: A French-inspired Northwest Bistro with a full cocktail bar, outstanding wine list and a menu that changes with the seasons.
Spyhop Public House:  Small town pub for people to meet and relax
Orchard Kitchen: Go here for a unique experience - the menu, the food, the presentation are all raved about!
Double Bluff Brewery: Space is small but with a good outside patio. Has a really solid beer and a great selection.
Sweet Mona’s: Whidbey Island's best-kept secret waiting to surprise you with the ultimate chocolate experience - handmade chocolates, sweets, and truffles.
Anthes Ferments: Offers an eclectic menu with Asian influences and fermented food-focused dishes to share.

Langley Whale Center: Marine mammal education center focused on local orcas & whales, with a library & gift shop. Learn about whales and then try to spot them yourself.

Whidbey Island Kayaking: Specialize in providing unique kayak tours for paddlers of all abilities: short tours, half-day adventures, bioluminescence tours, birdwatching tours, and early morning paddles. Advance reservations are required.

Callahan’s Firehouse and Glassblowing: A wonderful gallery and gift shop also allowing you to experience the wonderful art of glassblowing for yourself! Classes by appointment.

The Star Store: Offers a wide array of goods...a full-service market and deli, as well as a contemporary mercantile filled with fashions, gifts, and accessories for men, women, children of all ages!

The Garden Shed: It is the retail outpost of The Chocolate Flower Farm just outside downtown Langley. find the famous “chocolate flower” locally grown and produced products.

Earth Sanctuary: This place combines exemplary ecology with art and spirit to create a sanctuary for birds and wildlife and a peaceful place for personal renewal and spiritual connection. Walk and explore a privately-owned nature preserve.

Double Bluff Beach: The beach is large and goes for miles. From the bluffs showing their layers and housing eagles, to the vast stretch of the Puget Sound accenting the beautiful mountains, there is plenty to see on this beachside jaunt. From the beach on almost any day, you can see Mount Rainier, Mount Baker, the Cascades, the Olympics, even the downtown area of Seattle when the sun is out! A very easy walk if you don't mind the sand.

FORT CASEY STATE PARK: This picturesque historical State Park is a 999-acre marine camping park with 10,810 feet of saltwater shoreline on Puget Sound. From the romantic 1903-vintage lighthouse, with its own interpretive center and gift shop, to the catacomb-like bunkers and batteries, this historic military fort is sure to ignite a curiosity and has a lot to offer. The trails offer interpretive signs to educate visitors about the park's history. And it is a great park for flying kites, picnicking, and exploring local history.

EBEY’S LANDING: The views from Ebey’s Landing overlooking Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains is reason enough to make you want to drive up there and head along Ebey’s landing trail. There are two ways to access the Bluff Trail – either from the Prairie Overlook trailhead across the road from Sunnyside Cemetery or from the seaside parking lot at the end of Ebey’s Landing Road.

COUPEVILLE: It is a quaint little town with beautiful beaches, cafes, restaurants, and quirky shops on the main street, and the Coupeville Wharf - you could easily spend a day here.

Knead & Feed: this was the site of Sally’s store from Practical Magic. Coffee and Cinnamon Rolls at their best.
Vail Wine Shop & Tasting Room: Located in the historic water side building in the seaside town of Coupeville, they offer wine tasting, micro brews and ciders by the glass and bottles.
The Salty Mug: Famous for their specialty salted caramel coffee drink, named “The Salty Mug’ and the views from up here are spectacular.
Bayleaf: Famous for their gourmet foods and a wide range of charcuterie and cheeses. They also sell specialty food products and wines.
Front Street Grill: New American surf ’n’ turf dished in modern, airy waterfront digs with cove & mountain views. They serve a hearty breakfast and some good Bloody Mary.
Lavender Wind Farm and Shop: It is a lavender lover’s dream stocked with lavender jams, linen sprays, and lip balms. Lavender Wind Farms offers a view of the Olympic Mountains and the Strait of Juan De Fucaa.
Coupeville Farmers Market: Local farmers market held on Saturdays from April through October.
Penn Cove Brewing Company: A place to grab a pint or two for all your beer lovers.
Kapaws Iskreme: Get a scoop or two of their delish ice cream.
Museum and Gift Shops: Stroll around, explore, and shop.

OAK HARBOR: It is the island’s largest town. Explore Joseph Whidbey State Park and the PBY Naval Air Museum.  And grab a bite at Fraser’s Gourmet Hideaway (north end of the island)

DECEPTION PASS: Apparently, Deception Pass is Washington's most-visited state park. Mysterious coves, rugged cliffs, jaw-dropping sunsets, and a stomach-dropping high bridge (which you can also walk on BTW) make this park a go-to for locals and tourists alike. Families can fish and swim in Cranberry Lake. Beach explorers can look for shells along miles of Puget Sound beachfront. Hikers can trek through forests and out along bluffs. You might also spot a whale or a family of seals as you gaze on the wild waters. With its  4,000-plus acres of old-growth forests, saltwater shores, freshwater lakes, campgrounds, and trails it has the Northwest’s most iconic landscapes.

Besides everything mentioned above, if you have the time then stop at other wineries, farm stands, and other local attractions along the way. And don’t forget to check out the local events that might be taking place during your visit. 

And that is, Whidbey Island in a nutshell and why you should make it a priority to visit this island and stay at the most amazing farmhouse, the Dancing Fish Vineyards!

 Sources: Whidbey Camano Tourism, Tripadvisor, Seattle Refined and other respective business web resources.

“Life is what happens between coffee and wine.”



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