Located only a short ferry ride from Mukilteo, Whidbey Island is a fabulous rural destination. We arrived in Clinton on the south end of the island and then drove north about twenty miles towards Coupeville, which is where the mussel festival was taking place. Coupeville is a historic seaside village that abounds with mussels and lots of charm. The indigenous mussels are grown right there in Penn Cove and indeed these bivalves are the signature seafood of this rural region! The annual mussel festival clearly reflects this because just about all of the restaurants feature the local mussels on their menus!! (Even the local bowling alley features a signature mussel dish!)
When we arrived around 11:30 that day, the Musselfest was in full swing. We purchased chowder sampling cards and then meandered through town tasting many variations of mussel chowder. While doing so, we toured the main street, the historic Coupeville wharf, and numerous shops. We watched a master cook make a massive pot of mussel paella on the sidewalk, too! We visited a fabulous antiques store and scored a few amazing vintage salmon lures for the upcoming salmon season. All in all, our day trip to Whidbey Island was a delightful and refreshing change from city life in Seattle. If you visit Washington this summer, you might put Whidbey Island on your destination list.
Photo by Melissa A. Trainer
–Melissa A. Trainer