Its time to plan a trip to the islands — Camano and Whidbey Islands, that is. There are some many fun things going on from a blown glass hunt to a celebration of those briny blue mussels people love to eat.
The Great Northwest Glass Quest, Feb. 12-21
This treasure hunt takes place throughout Stanwood and Camano Island and awards scavengers with hand-blown glass balls by world-renowned local artists Mark and Marcus Ellinger. Each morning throughout the 10-day adventure, plastic replicas of these treasures are placed in parks and at local businesses. Participants use the treasure map to track the location and then exchange the plastic balls for the real deal. Each limited edition Great Northwest Glass Quest Treasure is stamped with the 2016 logo, signed by the artist, and marked with a unique number. For details or to download the treasure map here.
Langley Mystery Weekend, Feb. 27-28
A murder mystery novel comes to life when locals and visitors alike participate in the longest running Mystery Weekend in the United States. Sleuths of all ages are encouraged to investigate the “heinous crime,” as reported in the special event publication the Langley Gazette, by looking for clues around town and questioning suspicious costumed characters. Those who accurately determine who committed the dastardly deed win prizes. The adventure begins with a Clue Map and Ballot purchased from the visitor Information Center located at 208 Anthes Ave. in Langley. Tickets are $10 for ages 16-64 and $8 for 64+, military or youth.Play along Saturday, Feb. 27 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 28 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and then make your way to Langley Middle School Auditorium for the big reveal at 5 p.m. on Sunday. For details click here.
Port Susan Snow Goose Festival, Feb. 27-28
Some of the region’s most interesting visitors are the birds that choose to make the region their winter home. And one of the more amazing birds are the Snow Geese that migrate from as far away as Alaska and even Russia to avoid the bitter cold there and fatten up on our local grasses. The Port Susan Birding and Snow Goose Festival celebrates the geese and all our region’s birds with a weekend of tours, seminars, and children’s activities. For more information click here.
30th Annual Penn Cove MusselFest, March 12-13
From its unassuming headquarters in Coupeville, Washington, Penn Cove Mussels are delivered to the finest restaurants from Whidbey to Manhattan. Come celebrate these world famous marine molluscs with two days of festivities, including chowder tasting and mussel eating competitions, waterfront wine and beer garden, and activities for all ages featuring locally-flavored fun. Seattle chefs, including Gavin Stephenson of the Fairmont Olympic Hotel, Herschell Taghap of Tom Douglas’s Hot Stove Society, Chris Garr of Ivar’s, and others will delight with live demonstrations while local restaurants compete in the Mussel Chowder Competition for the coveted first place title. Mussel enthusiasts can climb aboard the Glacier Spirit to get up close and personal with these “bold, briny and blue” sea creatures. Explore the complexity of Coupeville’s historic waterfront while sampling the blue fruits of the sea. Learn more here.
Whidbey Island Marathon, April 16
This scenic race provides an option for everyone and a chance to wine dine and enjoy an island weekend getaway afterward. Providing picturesque ocean views and tranquil farmland, the full marathon and half marathon courses, along with the 10k and 5k, promise to be scenic from country back roads to waterfront coastlines, snow-capped mountains and rolling hills. Post-race enjoy live music while revitalizing with local food and wine purveyors. Marathon and Half Marathon events will Finish on the Oak Harbor waterfront in Windjammer Park. Register here.
Plan a trip with Camano Whidbey Island Tourism
Two of the most accessible and scenic island destinations in the Pacific Northwest, Camano and Whidbey sit just north of Seattle, a short trip via bridge or ferry. Offering a different experience with each season, the islands provide locally inspired shops and restaurants, dynamic events for a variety of interests, recreation and beach combing. Rich history and a healthy dose of local color in all mediums is provided by the region’s many artists. Lodging options range from nationally renowned hotels with farm to table dining to secret spots ideal for a quiet retreat. For more information on amenities, lodging and a calendar of events click here.
Written by Erin Osborne