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Five Regenerative Travel Hacks if You Visit Whidbey and Camano Islands

Island destinations are beloved as an escape from the city, a chance to slow down, find space and sanctuary among wooded trails, quiet beaches, vibrant art galleries and locally owned shops and restaurants. Yet often during peak travel season, traffic, too many cars on the road, and long lines at popular restaurants put a strain on the community; it also creates a trip that’s not super relaxing. Here are five regenerative-inspired travel hacks to get on Whidbey and Camano Islands island time:

1 - Look for point-to-point tours with group transportation. Whidbey Island Kayaking recently introduced a new tour series that provides transportation to and from both locations. This is a huge factor in getting more cars off roads and offers a more customized experience for guests.

2 - Plan for non-peak travel and dining times. Visit during shoulder seasons or midweek and consider an earlier dinner or enjoy a late lunch. You avoid long wait times and enjoy long, leisurely meals. Small restaurants can best serve you; bonus points if you can chat with your server for top trails, great beaches, or other local insights.

3- Seek off the beaten path trails or beaches. So many guidebooks will tell you the best views are located at specific places, but if everyone if reading those, where is your island solitude? Talk to locals while on the island, or check out the new printed and digital trail guide called “24 Trails off the Beaten Path.”

4 - Try all things local. Places like Orchard Kitchen are creating meals grown with food from their own farm, alongside hyper local products. Misfit Island Cider Company featured blueberry, blackberry, and even coffee-infused selections, all with locally grown and roasted ingredients. Explore the Whidbey Island Grown Cooperative Food Hub, a locally loved digital marketplace that connects hungry visitors with access to island-grown food products and gourmet foods to stock the rental kitchen or hotel mini fridge.

5 - Understand how your visits impacts the community and consider helping out. If you love to visit places like Whidbey Island for the beaches, trails, and views of the sea, consider getting to know the ecosystem even better. Whidbey Camano Land Trust offers guided nature walks, regenerative farm tours (a series that began on August 8) as well as volunteer opportunities for trail clearing or clean-up throughout the year. Whidbey Island Kayaking also offers a Sealife Safari Walking tour where you can learn about the beach, spot wildlife, and gain knowledge about the sensitive ecosystems of the Salish Sea. Plan ahead for 2023’s harvest season and join the vineyard harvest at Comforts of Whidbey Winery. Wine grape harvest takes place every year mid-late September through early October. Volunteer to pick, sort, and play a role in the creation of the estate-grown vintages.

Photo by Suzi Pratt

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