A Trip to Langley

Plan your Trip to Langley

A Little History Before You Plan Your Trip to Langley

On the southern side of Whidbey Island along the Saratoga Passage lies the lovely little town of Langley. With a population of just over one thousand, this quaint town is home to a creative culture and endless entertainment.

Langley’s history has led to its unique and diverse culture. Established in 1891, Langley served as South Whidbey’s trading center for all types of goods with the wharf connecting island merchants to Everett and Seattle. In the 60s and 70s, that same wharf brought in a wave of hippies who would forever shift the culture of South Whidbey.

Although Langley’s docks no longer see the traffic they once did, downtown is filled with remnants of the original trades-town married beautifully with the artistic culture of the mid-century hippies. It’s quite a treat to visit. If you get the chance to spend a day in Langley and aren’t sure what to do, you’re in luck! We’ve created an itinerary for the perfect one-day trip in Langley. Just don’t forget your mask and keep a social distance! 

Itinerary for Day Trip to Langley

Coffee at Useless Bay

Enjoy some amazing early morning coffee from this local roaster to give yourself an extra boost at the beginning of your day. Between the friendly baristas, great drinks, and buzzing atmosphere you’ll be excited to return to this cafe over and over. 

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Breakfast at The Braeburn 

BEST. BREAKFAST. EVER. Or at least it’s hard to top. The Braeburn has an amazing assortment of breakfast choices ranging from light and sweet pastries to hearty mashes and breakfast burritos. There’s something for everyone!

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Morning Stroll Down Seawall Park

When you make your way out of The Braeburn you might consider taking a stroll down Langley’s Seawall Park. This seaside park is full of beautiful art that pays tribute to past island tribes and a walking path to help you get the most out of the beautiful view.

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Lunch at Ultra House

Ready for lunch? This ramen house is tucked away in the dead center of Langley village and serves absolutely incredible food! Enjoy slurping noodles and sipping broth and feeling like you’re another world away.

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Ice Cream at Sprinklz

What better way to end lunch than with some sweets?! Sprinklz is a local favorite when it comes to ice cream. It’s hard to beat their fun store or their incredible old fashioned ice cream. 

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Explore Downtown and the Star Store

Even though a few of the Langley shops have closed their doors during the pandemic, The Star Store alone could keep anyone’s attention for quite some time. This century-old mercantile seamlessly transitions from produce to products and more. 

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End the Night at the Taproom at Bayview

What better way to end the night than with some comfort food and a good beer? Bayview Taproom provides that and much more. You’ll love this community watering hole for its juicy burgers, kind servers, and joyful atmosphere. 

 

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Posted on July 21, 2020 at 11:51 pm
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Water Sports on Whidbey

Whidbey Island Water Sports: Just in Time for Summer

 

Water Sports on Whidbey, Tori, Kayaking

As Island County transitions into we’ve noticed quite a few changes.

Restaurants have re-opened their doors.

Parks are now open to the public again.

Even a few offices are welcoming back their employees.

 

For many, this change couldn’t have come soon enough. For those who enjoy water sports, the lifted restrictions were right on time.

Water sports is something particularly special to Whidbey as we are after all, completely surrounded by water. With the sun making more and more guest appearances in the sky you can place a good bet on the expectation of increased activity on the waves. Between kayaking, paddleboarding, sailing, and more; the Whidbey shores offer quite a bit of enjoyment for those willing to get wet.

Below are just some water activities popular on Whidbey.

 

  • Kayaking

 

Kayaking is easily an island favorite when it comes to water sports. The flexibility of kayaking regardless of weather and the ability to do it alone is a HUGE draw for many.

Windermere Real Estate, Whidbey Island, Agent, Anita Johnston, Kayaking, Water Sports on Whidbey Winderkids Kayaking, Water Sports on Whidbey

 

  • Tubing

 

Another island favorite, especially in the summer, is tubing! The wonderful thing about tubing is the community feel to it. It’s a great activity that brings people together and almost always results in a few humorous stories.

Water Sports on Whidbey Windermere Real Estate, Kids , Tubing, Whidbey Island, Water Sports on Whidbey

 

  • Water Skiing

 

Want to kick tubing it up a notch? Water skiing is for you! This sport requires a bit more resilience and core strength, but once you get it down you are sure to leave the water with some epic pictures of yourself.

Water Skiing, Water Sports on Whidbey Water Skiing, Water Sports on Whidbey

 

  • Paddleboarding

 

Paddleboarding is a slightly newer interest on the island, but well deserving of the hype. This sport is made for those who simply want to enjoy the water. Sit, stand, lay down, it doesn’t matter! Paddleboarding allows you to enjoy the sea the way you want to.

Water Sports on Whidbey, Windermere, Konni Smith Water Sports on Whidbey

  • Sailing

Sailing is a Whidbey Island classic. There is a long history of sailing on Whidbey that has been passed down from generation to generation.

Water Sports on Whidbey

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Posted on June 23, 2020 at 10:42 pm
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Whidbey Working Artists

How the Whidbey Working Artists Began:

Artists, Whidbey Island, Working Whidbey Artists, Whidbey Island, Painter painting on canvas

In the early 2000s Whidbey Island was a community buzzing with potential and truly coming into its unique identity as an island full of diversity. During this time a small group of North Whidbey artists decided to band together to draw attention to the island’s ever-growing artist community. Thus Whidbey Working Artists was born!

Since 2004 these artists have been opening their studios once or twice a year for the general public to come, explore, and learn about the process of creating beauty. As these tours gained in popularity more and more artists have been included on their roster and today the tour now spans across the whole of Whidbey! Today, Whidbey Working Artists includes over 70 artists working across multiple mediums.

But why open their studios? Their website says it best:

As an organization we believe that opening our studios offers visitors the opportunity to share in the process of how art is created and a glimpse of how artists inhabit their creative space. This shared experience between artists and visitors provides a stimulating creative conversation that enhances the arts while also educating and developing an appreciation for the handcrafted.

This year’s summer tours are scheduled for August 24th & 25th from 10 AM to 5 PM. Come watch as painters manipulate the pigments on their canvas to just the perfect shade of purple, or welders bend metals into shape you never dreamed they could, or watch craftsmen reveal a magnificent creature from beneath the bark of a tree stump.

 

The Catalog for the 2019 Whidbey Working Artists Tour can be found HERE. Be sure to visit the Whidbey Working Artists Website.

 

See below for an interactive tour of each artist’s studio!

 

https://drive.google.com/open?id=13MjVfktCE576d9DBP4xDidcCz-AgbOHI&usp=sharing

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Posted on August 6, 2019 at 10:27 pm
Coupeville Office | Category: Events, Things to do on Whidbey | Tagged , , , ,

Cycling Wondrous Whidbey

The adventures available on Whidbey never quite seem to end. Between wondrous hikes, quaint local shops, and astounding historical buildings there never seems to be an end to what this island has to offer. You might just start to believe Whidbey Island is perfect and we can’t say we disagree.

Among Whidbey’s countless opportunities is one for the more athletic individuals – cycling.

Whidbey Island is FILLED with amazing roads and trails perfect for individuals whose preferred method of transportation is two wheels. The centralized location of highway 20 and 525 draws motorized vehicles away from roads near the water, making them ideal for cyclers! Enjoy breathtaking views of the sound while flying down the rolling hills of the island or testing your resolve while going up them.

In fact, cycling is so popular that the island has its own club. The Whidbey Island Bicycle Club was formed in 2010 to “support, promote and educate about cycling on beautiful Whidbey Island.” Through the years this group has teamed together with other island organizations providing resources to island cyclists (like this amazing Whidbey Island Bike Map!) including some pretty great cycling events. The best place to find their events is through their Facebook page.

Each summer cyclists come from all over Puget Sound to ride the Tour de Whidbey (on August 17th this year). With four different routes to choose from, this beloved island tradition is perfect for all cyclists regardless of their skill level. New riders can enjoy the short 10-mile ride circling Crocket Lake, while experienced riders with a passion for pushing the limits can test their skills with the POWER route that covers the entire perimeter of the island. To bring this event full cycle, all proceeds benefit Whidbey Health Medical Center.

Ready to gear up for your own cycling adventure and not sure where to start? We’ve talked to our resident cycle enthusiast and got the 411 on where to start:

  1. Visit Skagit Cycle

Cycling, bikes, whidbey island, oak harbor

 

Located in downtown Oak Harbor on Pioneer, Skagit Cycle is a blessing to all Whidbey Island cyclists. The employees are knowledgeable and eager to help. Simply spend a few minutes with any sales associate and you will soon be out the door with exactly what you need to get your journey started. Check them out here.

 

 

  1. Safety First

A dangerous mistake made by one too many riders is not taking proper precautions. Biking without a helmet or proper attire is a large risk that can cost your life. Make sure when to wear a helmet properly fitted to your head, clothes that are bright and easy to spot, and include proper reflectors/lights on your bike if you are going to be riding at night.

 

  1. Try Crockett Lake

Crockett Lake (near the Coupeville ferry and Fort Casey) is a great starting point for any new cyclist. The low traffic roads and relatively flat area provide a ride that eases newcomers into the activity while still enjoying some spectacular island views. When you’re done grab an ice cream or meal at Callen’s Restaurant across from the ferry terminal.

 

So, get out there! You’re sure to have a wheel good time.

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Posted on July 23, 2019 at 9:35 pm
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Solar Savings

Solar Savings

Solar, Whidbey Island, Cost savings, Tax credits, give back, preserve, resources

Did you know Whidbey Island gets half the rain of Seattle and about 30 additional days of sun? The island is one of the sunniest Washington areas west of the Cascades! Because of this extra boost of sunshine, we have a secret superpower. Or should I say Solar Power?

Residents all over Whidbey have been tapping into this natural resource and benefiting big. Granted, preserving our environment by investing in sustainable energy is already a great benefit to us and generations to come, but solar power has a lot more to offer consumers than the feel-good fuzzies from giving back.

Here’s 4 benefits/incentives to going solar:

  1. Net Metering

Net Metering is a program set up to allow residential and commercial customers for energy services to store up credit with the company when they generate excess energy during the summer months from their solar panels. During the winter months, when the sun is less likely to come out and play, that credit can be applied to their account!

  1. 30% Federal Tax Credit (2019)

Individuals who purchase and install solar panels to their home or business by the end of 2019 are eligible for a 30% federal tax credit when filing. This amount will reduce to 26% in 2020 and 22% in 2021. – Don’t let the sun go down on this great opportunity!!

  1. Sales Tax Exemptions

Purchasers of solar panels are also eligible for sales tax exemptions! This can save some customers 8.7% of the upfront install cost. That’s a total of 38.7% in tax savings!

  1. Increased Property Value

Finally, installing solar panels increases the value of your home. Homes that are energy efficient save owners hundreds if not thousand throughout the year and can greatly increase the value of your home when you go to resell.

To learn more about Solar Power you can visit Greenbank Farm’s Solar Fields where they dedicate one acre to solar panels and have helpful information for visitors to read!

Ready to take the leap? Contact Whidbey Sun and Wind! They are Whidbey Island’s experts on renewable energy and will have everything you need to make your home a little greener. They will provide a cost savings timeline which will demonstrate how many years it will take to profit from the up-front expense of installing solar power.

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Posted on July 19, 2019 at 11:21 pm
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Geocaching on Whidbey Island

Geocaching on Whidbey Island

Why is Whidbey Island the Perfect Place?

It is no secret that Whidbey Island is an astonishingly beautiful place. It’s the kind of atmosphere that draws you outside to enjoy the many state parks and breathtaking beaches. Countless trails dot the landscape all across the island. These trails and parks are what make Whidbey Island the perfect place for one very special activity: geocaching.

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What is Geocaching?

Geocaching is a hobby that has been around for almost twenty years, following the significant improvements on the global positioning system. The concept of the game is simple; go to a location indicated on your app/GPS, find the hidden treasure, re-hide and repeat. Geocaching’s simple, yet successful, concept attracts millions from across the globe to get outside and participate. On Whidbey Island alone there are over 300 caches!

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From the Geocachers:

We asked a few Geocachers about the draw to the hobby and they gave us a wealth of knowledge.

Sandra, a long term Geocacher, expressed “so many activities today [are] related to being indoors and sedentary in nature,” but she believes breaking that trend is what brings people to the hobby.

“Geocaching [is] directly related to being outside, the benefits are exercising your brain and your body! I’ve also been introduced to wonderful like-minded people who enjoy adventures.”

Bill, a fellow Geocacher, echoes every word of Sandra’s beliefs in the benefits of Geocaching. Asked why he started he simply said, “it was a way to get out!” As a retired man Bill is grateful to have geocaching for a hobby. Its something that keeps him active, helps him meet new people and discover new places.

So how easy is it to get into Geocaching?

Step 1: Download the App

This is the easiest part! Both iTunes and Google Play offer Geocaching as a phone app. All you need to do is search for it and download.

Step 2: Set Up a Profile

Setting up a profile allows you to save those caches you have already found and will start to develop statistics after you’ve been participating for a while.

Step 3: Start Finding Caches!

The app will immediately give you directions to the caches nearest you. You will follow it to the location and after that you are mostly left to find the treasure.

geocahing, whidbey island, washington

We Gave it a Try:

We decided to give it a try ourselves and it was great! We discovered there was a geocache right next to our Coupeville office. When we got a little lost and confused, we found out there was a helpful hint to guide the way. After a little snooping we found a tiny pill box with the visitor log!

 

 

 

 

 

Overall it was a pretty great experience and we can’t believe there are SO MANY more caches to find and places to discover on Whidbey Island! Sandra stated it best, “Whidbey Island is a magical place to live and geocache in… I loved discovering the “Mother of All Erratics” in the Saratoga Woods near Langley, (as well as) new trails and Dugualla State Park on North Whidbey, and secret places in Deception Pass State Park. We have lived on Whidbey almost 38 years and all of those places and more were discovered through geocaching!”

Go get out there and explore!

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Posted on June 3, 2019 at 11:38 pm
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What's Your Winter Style?

What’s Your Winter Style?

It’s official. The clock has struck twelve and the new year has begun; bringing with it a time of resolutions or rest.

For many, January is the restart button for their workout routines. With the holidays passed they can finally buckle down and bust out the dumbbells again. For others, the winter winds make that idea unimaginable. They would far rather grab their favorite warm drink, a comfy blanket, and cozy up on the couch with the ones they love.

So, which is your winter style? Or are you both?!

For the Workout Warrior

January brings new inspiration to the workout warrior. With a vision of the new year in mind they are dedicated to bringing back that bikini body or conquering some challenging goals. Unfortunately, winter weather doesn’t always make outside exercise possible. Below is a list of local gyms where you can stay fit!

Thrive Fitness – 32650 WA-20 Bldg D, Oak Harbor

www.thrivecf.com/

North End Fitness – 2800 Goldie Rd #102, Oak Harbor

www.northendfitnesscenter.com/

Crossfit – 720 SE Pioneer Way, Oak Harbor

www.crossfitoakharbor.com/

Unsize Me – 670 SE Pioneer Way #101, Oak Harbor

www.unsizeme.com/

Hoping to complete your workout at home?

Check out these 15 Best Apps to Help You Get Fit: https://www.menshealth.com/technology-gear/g23007883/best-fitness-apps/

 

For the Cozy Cuddler

If the whole workout routine isn’t for you, you probably just need a little more Hygge in your life. Hygge, pronounced “hue-guh,” is a Danish word loosely translated to fun, cozy, comfort, and happy. It’s more than a word though; it’s a concept and a lifestyle. It’s to live in comfort and contentment with the things and people who make you happy. Below are some ways you can bring Hygge into your home.

  1. Wrap yourself in comfort!

    Things like scarves, sweaters, and chunky blankets can really bring a feeling of comfort to a person. Need a new something cozy? Swing by Seaside & Sylvan in Greenbank to find your perfect Hygge style pieces.

  2. Be present!

    Try to remember that this moment right now is special, unique, and will never happen again. If you find this difficult, the app Headspace can give you some meditation techniques to help.

  3. Warm up with a hot drink!

    There’s no spirit lifter quite like a warm cup of coffee, tea, coco, or cider. Lavender Wind Shop and Rock Island Coffee may have just what you need for that warm winter drink.

  4. Spend time with friends!

    Sharing a meal or playing games can be a great way to build community and spread happiness with the people you love. Keep it simple with a Papa Murphy’s Pizza and, our favorite game, Qwirkle!

  5. Find something fun to do!

    Relaxing hobbies like journaling, art, knitting, reading, or hiking can be a great way to bring a sense of peace. Want to discover some great local trails? Download the AllTrails app.

Want to learn more about Hygge?

Read The Little Book of Hygge: https://www.amazon.com/Little-Book-Hygge-Danish-Secrets/dp/0062658808/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1543349186&sr=8-2&keywords=hygge

 

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Posted on December 20, 2018 at 12:58 am
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Purchasing Vacant Land

Purchasing vacant land:

Written by: Simona Groves

 

Simona Groves, Vacant Land

Ahhhh, the lovely earthy scent produced by the rain or the morning dew, the buzzing of the bees and the many of shades of green enchanting the view. Who doesn’t like to be immersed into nature and fantasize about living in it?

If you are one of the many Americans that would love to buy raw land and build your dream home, let me help you with this complex but exciting task.

Make sure you take into consideration these details:

How will you pay?

 

If you don’t have a preferred lender let me know and I can help with the perfect match.

Understand how the land can be used. Local government usually have established zoning regulations.

Call your local planning and zoning department and they will provide you with the information.

Check the island county webpage here 

We will need to do some research and this will include things that can be forgotten: utilities.

You need to make sure to check if the lot has access to public utilities: electricity, sewer, gas, water etc.

Last but not least, make sure you do thorough and expansive research about home builders.

I would be more than happy to give my recommendations.

Buy Land

 

Learn more about Simona Groves:

 

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Posted on March 5, 2018 at 8:04 pm
Coupeville Office | Category: Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , ,