As last weekend’s weather represented the start of Silly Season for Seattle Happiness, I thought I’d write up another carfree Saturday daytrip. Deception Pass State Park, bringing together Fidalgo and Whidbey islands, is a pretty spectacular place. As the bridge between the islands is itself a prime attraction, Deception Pass is a premier roadtrip destination, and can get very crowded on sunny weekends.
This 12-hour, relatively easy Saturday transit loop takes you from Seattle to Whidbey Island and back via Amtrak Cascades, Island Transit #411W, Island Transit #1, Washington State Ferries, Community Transit #113, and Sound Transit #511. It allows time for a beautiful train ride along the central Sound, a 90-minute brunch in Mt Vernon, 4 hours of walking along the beaches and bays of Deception Pass, and has you back in Seattle before a June sunset. Variations could allow a nice hike to the top of Mt Erie or an alternate return via Port Townsend and Bainbridge (only attempt on weekdays!).
And this loop is very cheap. Island Transit is a fare-free agency, and doing the loop counter-clockwise gives you a free ride on the Clinton-Mukilteo ferry. Aside from your Amtrak fare ($13-$20), with an ORCA card this trip allows you to ride 5 buses from 3 agencies for only $3.50!