Places August 2, 2018

Parks in Oak Harbor

Parks in Oak Harbor

With summer winding down, we love to get outside and enjoy that glorious sunshine, and what better way to do that than visit some of the many parks in Oak Harbor? We love these parks because they are close by which makes them perfect for an after-work picnic or an evening out in the fresh air.

  1. Flinstone Park and City Beach

    Oak Harbor , Windermere

Have you ever noticed the famous Flinstone car on Bayshore Drive? You guessed it! That would be Flinstone Park which connects to City Beach. This is a perfect place to take a walk down the boardwalk, look for hidden treasures on the beach, build a driftwood fort, or sit and enjoy the scenery on one of the many benches along the beach. Another thing we love is that it is close to downtown shopping, and restaurants! We love to grab an ice cream cone at Popsies and take a stroll through the park.

  1. Fort Nugent

    Fort Nugent Park Sign, Park, Oak Harbor, Whidbey Island

Ft. Nugent Park offers a wide variety of things to do for kids and adults alike. Soccer, Football, and Baseball fields take up a large portion of the park providing plenty of space to run free, kick a ball, play catch, or practice your batting skills. A large wooden Castle-like play structure is a favorite among the kids in Oak Harbor and is what gives this park its nickname “Castle Park”. A large disc golf course runs throughout the wooded area of the park which makes for beautiful walking trails to enjoy.

  1. Joseph Whidbey State Park & Rocky Point Beach

    Kkite Surfer, Park, Oak Harbor, Whidbey Island

Joseph Whidbey State Park is a favorite of Whidbey residents thanks to its cool hiking trails and beach with beautiful views of the Strait of Juan De Fuca. A covered picnic area, grills, picnic benches, miles of beach to comb for treasures, and hiking trails to venture make this park a great place to have an adventure or family day in the sun. When the wind is blowing hard this is a favorite spot for kite surfers too which makes quite a spectacle!

  1. Dugualla State Park

    Dugualla State Park

While Dugualla State Park may technically be part of the famous Deception Pass State Park, it is virtually untouched. Dugualla is a peaceful place with hiking trails, spectacular scenery, and a beach area to explore. Not many people know of this hidden gem making it a great place to enjoy quiet and nature.

  1. Deception Pass State Park

Deception Pass Picnic arae, Oak Harbor, Whidbey island, park

This may seem like an obvious choice, but there is so much to love about Deception Pass State Park we had to include it! Chances are you’ve only seen a portion of all it has to offer. The iconic bridge, beaches, hiking trails, and lakes offer so much variety it can take years to explore every aspect. You can swim at Cranberry Lake, spot critters along the beaches, hike one of the many trails throughout the park, enjoy a picnic at a covered picnic area, and soak in a gorgeous sunset over the sound all in one place. Our 5 favorite “hidden” features of this massive park are as follows…

  • Hoypus Point is on the opposite side of Hwy. 20 from the main part of the park. Just take Cornet Bay Rd. East till it dead ends.
  • There is a little cabin you can rent on Ben Ure Island but you have to have your own kayak, canoe or other human-powered watercraft to get there!
  • Rosario Head is a favorite well-worn path out to the most spectacular point and vista. Don’t miss reading the legend of the maiden Ko-kwahl-alwoot on your way or the tidepools! Best way to get here is the trail connecting to Bowman Bay.
  • Pass Lake is known for its fly fishing but few know about its miles of quiet and heavily wooded trails on the West End.
  • The path to Lighthouse Point from Bowman Bay is spectacular! Little inlets, views of the bridge, and a variety of native foliage make this a visually stunning hike that is worthy of repeat visits.

Oak Harbor offers so many different parks to enjoy, and these are just a few. What are some of your favorite parks to visit? We would love to hear about them!

Take a Closer Look at the Parks in Oak Harbor:

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Berries, UPick, Whidbey Island, Oak Hrabor, Coupeville

You Pick Berries

 

 

 

 

 

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Uncategorized July 5, 2018

Upick Berries

UPick Berries

There is nothing that will make you appreciate delicious berries more than the sweat and work that goes into picking them. Working for those juicy goodies will only make them taste even better, and that’s why we love the opportunity to visit local farms for their U-Pick berry events. There are several farms on Whidbey Island that give you the chance to take the family and pick your own strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries!

  1. Bell’s Farms: 892 West Beach Rd, Coupeville.

 

Bell’s Farms is practically famous on Whidbey Island for their plump and juicy strawberries. They host the annual Strawberry Daze Festival where you can not only pick strawberries, but also enjoy a glass of strawberry lemonade and other delicious strawberry treats while you are there. Bring the kids they have a petting zoo and fun activities too! UPick strawberry season can vary so follow their Facebook page for real time updates.  https://www.facebook.com/Bells-Farm-164501900234634/

 

  1. Bonnie’s Blueberries: 4414 N Jones Rd, Oak Harbor.

Boasting of 75+ year old blueberry bushes, Bonnie’s Blueberries is the perfect place to pick your own fresh Rubels, Atlantic, and Jersey blueberries. This small, mother and son run business is a favorite in Oak Harbor due to their welcoming personalities and of course the delicious blueberries! Their blueberry season typically runs somewhere around July 1st through September 31st, however the blueberry crop is totally dependent on mother nature. For updates on Blueberries and when they will be ready, call 360-679-3600. If you just can’t’ wait that long Bonnie’s Blueberries offers frozen berries year-round, just call to place your order!

 

  1. Hunter’s Moon Farm: 935 Bunch Lane, Oak Harbor.

 

Hunter’s Moon Farm, a certified organic blueberry farm, provides the chance to pick a variety of late season blueberries. The farm is open Tuesday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10-4pm and the blueberry season is expected to begin the end of July and run through the middle of September. To stay up to date on their season and other happenings around the farm, you can sign up for their mailing list here: http://huntersmoonorganics.com/ . Hunter’s Moon is also known for their blueberry honey, snack bars, syrup, and jam which you can grab while you are there for your blueberry picking adventure! You can also follow them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Hunters-Moon-Farm-764648210260935/

 

  1. Crescent Harbor Blueberry Farm: 2726 Laurel Lane, Oak Harbor.

If you’re looking for more of a “private” blueberry picking experience. Crescent Harbor Blueberry Farm is the place to go, and they don’t stop at blueberries! This small, family farm also offers raspberries, Marion berries, tayberries, and boysenberries. U-Pick berries at Crescent Harbor are available by appointment only. To make your appointment and get updates on the crop availability, give them a call at 360-679-4210.

 

  1. K&R Farms The Stand: 36699 SR 20, Oak Harbor.

 

Previously known as Dugualla Bay Farm, K&R Farm “The Stand” is making its presence known in Oak Harbor. Stop by for a U-pick strawberry and raspberry experience, then reward your hard work with a hearty serving of ice cream! The Stand has not released their U-Pick days just yet, so you will want to follow their Facebook page for updates on their crop, and hours of operation as it changes from week to week. https://www.facebook.com/KandRFarmsLLC/

 

Map of UPick Berry Farms:

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Uncategorized July 5, 2018

Whidbey Island Pop-up Flower Stands

Whidbey Island Pop-up Flower Stands

Whidbey Island, Flower stands, Honesty stands, flowers, gardenWagon, Flowers, Flower stand, honesty stand, whidbey islandFlowers, Vase, Home grown, labor of love, neighborhood, community, whidbey Island, Oak Harbor

Summer on Whidbey is a magical time for many reasons. One of the most idyllic reasons is the beautiful flower stands that pop-up all over the Island as the ground begins to warm up. The best part about these stands is that they are almost all honesty stands, which speaks to the culture we enjoy in our community. Most of them are run by individuals who operate as a labor of love which makes these flowers even that more special! If you see the owners out in there beautiful gardens be sure to wave and say hi.

Greet the flower stand owners:

We were lucky enough to meet Mr. & Mrs. Steineiek off Taylor Road who display there flowers in a beautiful covered wagon. After spending some time with Mrs. Steineisk in her garden, smelling her beautiful flowers she mentioned her husbands family brought the wagon up from Oregon over 100 years ago. What an awesome piece of history! Mr. Steineisk said, “his family drove the horse drawn carriage up to Whidbey in 1915 after sending a family member that lived in Arlington over to check it out. He spent a day walking the island then sent word back saying it would be perfect for there peach orchard”.

Flowers, covered wagon, Stand, whidbey island

Find a flower stand near you:

If you are not blessed with the opportunity to drive past one of these flower stands on your daily “commute” you may not even know they exist or how many are out there.  So we created a map for you! This shows the most well-known stands in the Oak Harbor and Coupeville area. We would love to add more! If you know of any additional stands please send us pictures, a specific location, what they typically offer, cost, etc. and we will add it to the map!

Whidbey Island Pop-up Flower Stand Map

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Events June 22, 2018

Fourth of July Celebration on Whidbey Island

Fourth of July Celebrations on Whidbey Island

Carnivals, parades, BBQ’s, music, and of course huge firework shows make an incredible Fourth of July celebration on Whidbey Island. There are small events up and down the island but the two hot spots for firework shows and lots of activity are Oak Harbor and Freeland.

   Carnival Rides, Whidbey Island, Forth of July

Freeland Celebrations: 

The celebration begins in Freeland on July 3rd with their annual “Celebrate America” event at Freeland Park. Starting mid-afternoon there will be face painting, bounce houses, music, and live entertainment for you to enjoy! This year the event will feature a magic show, circus tricks, martial arts demonstrations, a dance team, and a Neil Diamond tribute band. At the end of the day, the party will go out with a bang with the largest fireworks show on Whidbey Island beginning around 10:20 pm. For a full schedule of events click here! https://whidbeycamanoislands.com/event/celebrate-america-2018/.

Oak Harbor Celebrations:

In Oak Harbor, Independence Day festivities take over the whole town! The carnival will be open June 29th through July 4th with rides, classic carnival food, games, and so much more!  You can purchase your carnival tickets ahead of time here ( https://oakharborchamber.chambermaster.com/eventregistration/register/7591 ) to avoid long lines at the event. On July 4th the party continues with a day that is jam-packed with activities. It all starts with the annual Rotary Pancake Breakfast, grand parade down Bayshore Drive, and throughout the day you will be able to check out the street fair on Pioneer as well as enjoy live music at Smith Park. Finally, to wrap up an eventful day, you won’t want to miss the firework show that starts at dark. (Rumor has it that it will be the tallest show ever!)

Forth of July Map, Whidbey Island, Forth of July

We can’t wait to take part in the fun this year! If this is your first year experiencing the bustle to take place on the island, you won’t be disappointed! If you have been, we want to know what your favorite part is!

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Uncategorized May 10, 2018

Where to Donate in Oak Harbor

Windermere Best thrift Oak HarborWhere to donate in Oak HarborWindermere - Best Thrift Oak harbor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where to Donate in Oak Harbor

 

Does anyone else breathe a huge sigh of relief when you’ve purged your home off all the extra stuff that has been cluttering up your house? It’s that time of the year again, Spring cleaning season is here! It can be a bit daunting to think of all the things you need to need to get rid of and where to take them… SO we’ve made that part easy for you! Here are a few of the great places where you can donate your old items for a new lease on life.

 

  1. Garage of Blessings

The “Free” store of Oak Harbor, the Garage of Blessings is an excellent place to donate your gently used items. In 2012, Kristina Miller opened her garage doors at her home and invited people to come and take what they needed free of charge. Now, with help from  Mike Rowe (Dirty jobs, deadliest catch… yeah that Mike Rowe!) and his team, the store has grown from its original location in Miller’s garage to its current 6,000 square feet location on Goldie Rd. Check out the video of his visit here… http://www.americastube.com/video/46qi7229tnp7?the-garage-of-blessings—returning-the-favor-with-mike-rowe . Anytime the Garage’s doors are open you can bring in your donations of gently used housewares, clothing, electronics, books, baby items, hardware, emergency food, crafts, and more.

 

  1. Island Thrift

Island Thrift is open for donations Monday through Saturday from 9am to 4pm. They accept a variety of gently used items such as clothing, toys, books, baby items, housewares, furniture, and more! (For a list of items not accepted visit their website here: https://www.islandthriftoakharbor.org/donations/ ) Island Thrift is also a non-profit organization  with a purpose “to enhance the quality of life in Island County.” Island Thrift’s sales fund programs such as the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Island County, Boys and Girls Club of Oak Harbor and Coupeville, Oak Harbor Music Festival, Oak Harbor Senior Activity Center, Compass Health, Wildcats Robotics Team, and so much more!

 

  1. WAIF Thrift Store

The Whidbey Animal’s Improvement Foundation was founded in 1990 as a “place to care for pets and their people.” You are probably familiar with their adoption center in Coupeville and Cat adoption center in Oak Harbor, but did you know that they support and offer a wide variety of other community outreach programs? (For a full list check out their website here: https://waifanimals.org/programs/ ) You can donate your gently used items at the WAIF thrift store and help keep the WAIF adoption centers up and running, as well as support their other community programs. WAIF accepts household items, clothing, linens, jewelry, collectibles, furniture, and more!

 

  1. Upscale Resale

The Soroptimist International is a “global volunteer organization working to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment.” Upscale Resale is a thrift shop that helps support the mission of the Soroptimist International program, as well as supports their scholarship and grant programs. They are open for donations of clothing, shoes, jewelry, glassware, books, tools, luggage, lamps, and more from 11am to 5pm, Wednesday through Saturday. To see a full list of items they accept visit their website here: https://www.sioakharbor.org/upscale-resale/ )

 

  1. Habitat for Humanity Used Furniture Store

If you’re not sure where to take your large furniture items or appliances, Habitat for Humanity is happy to take them off your hands. You can drop off your useable items directly at the store or schedule a pick up at your home. (Call them at 360-675-8733 to schedule your pick up!) Habitat for Humanity is a “community of members who recognize the need for affordable housing” and by donating your items to the Habitat store, you are helping this organization continue to provide affordable housing and help “families achieve the strength, stability, and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves.”

 

So while you’re busy cleaning out all that extra clutter, why not make a difference in the lives of others at the same time by donating those items to one of these great organizations?

Windermere Best thrift Oak Harbor

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Uncategorized February 27, 2018

Local Date Night Spots

You’ve probably seen it, the Valentine’s décor and candy lining the shelves at just about every retail establishment you visit. This could only mean one thing… Valentine’s Day is just around the corner!

With this year’s love holiday fast approaching, you may be thinking of the perfect place to take your sweetheart. Well, look no further! We are going to highlight over the next few days, two of our favorite local places Oak Harbor, Coupeville, Anacortes.

Date Nights, Favorites, Oak Harbor

Oak Harbor #1 – Frasers Gourmet Hideaway

Beloved by many, Frasers is a favorite in Oak Harbor. In fact, the Oak Harbor Ukaladies even recommend stopping by “Frasers for Crème Brule” in their video, “Oak Harbor Love Song”. (Link: https://vimeo.com/200834285 ). Frasers is known for their gourmet dining experience and superior menu options that range from seafood to chicken and waffles. The menu at Frasers changes with the seasons to take advantage of fresh local ingredients, giving you a wide variety of options to choose from. After you’ve indulged on your unique dish, don’t forget to grab some dessert! The Crème Brule perhaps?

 

Oak Harbor #2 – Blue Fox Drive-In

Another Oak Harbor favorite, the Blue Fox Drive-in never disappoints! Cozy up with some blankets and pillows in your car, and feel like a teenager again sneaking in some kisses during the film. The snack bar is loaded with all your favorite comfort foods, candy, and of course popcorn smothered with buttery goodness! If you really want to bring out your inner child, win some prizes at the arcade while you wait for the movie to begin, or take a ride on the go carts (only open in Spring/Summer). The Drive in is a timeless activity that is fun for all!

Coupeville #1 – Christopher’s on Whidbey

Located in Coupeville, Christopher’s is the perfect place if you’re looking for a casual dining spot, with the experience of a high-end restaurant. Exclusively on Valentine’s day, Christopher’s is serving a special “Valentine’s dinner for two”. You will enjoy a 4-course meal that is thoughtfully prepared by Master Chef, Andreas Wurzrainer. Chef Andreas is known for preparing meals at 4-star restaurants in Europe, aboard luxury expedition ships, and at the Olympic Four Seasons Hotel in Seattle. With his expertise and talents in the kitchen, your taste buds are sure to be delighted! Make a reservation soon because the intimate dining room fills up fast.

 

Coupeville #2 – Ciao

Maybe a fancy meal just isn’t your style… If that’s the case, check out Ciao in Coupeville! Ciao is known for their fresh Neapolitan (Link to site: http://ciaocoupeville.com/tradition/ ) pizza “made the old fashioned way”, and creamy Gelato with flavors changing through the seasons. Ciao is a real treasure of Whidbey Island, making it an excellent place to take that special someone. To hear from the owner himself about what makes Ciao unique check out this video (link to Simona’s Ciao video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7o-bEZIa_0 )

Anacortes #1 – Ciao Bella

Another Italian gem, Ciao Bella in Anacortes is small but offers a superb dining experience! With candles on the table, soft lighting, and pasta on the menu (Lady and the Tramp anyone?), you couldn’t ask for a more romantic setting. Ciao Bella serves a variety of authentic Italian dishes, made fresh and in house daily, as well Italian beers, making it feel like a real Italian get-a-way!

 

Anacortes #2 – Dad’s Diner

Who says a great date can only happen at dinner time? Try out a brunch date at Dad’s Diner in Anacortes! Dad’s Diner will make you feel right at home with the inviting atmosphere and friendly service. Known for their exceptional breakfast and house made smoked meats, Dad’s Diner continues to be a favorite among locals and tourists alike. Dad’s Diner gives you a cozy diner setting complete with chalkboard menus, seat yourself service, and food that has enormous flavor! Dad’s Diner is great for a casual and relaxed date, without missing out on an exceptional dining experience.

 

Whidbey is packed with local treasures. You really don’t have to go far to find a place that will make your Valentine’s Day extra special!

Uncategorized February 27, 2018

Rainy Days on Whidbey

Rainy Days On Whidbey Despite what many think, Oak Harbor is not the rainiest city. In fact, Oak Harbor is situated in what called a “rain shadow”. This means, here in Oak Harbor, we experience less rainfall than our neighboring areas. The surrounding mountains shelter us from rain-bearing winds. While we do experience a variation in the amount of rainfall, we typically see the most in the month of November and the least in July. Of course, some days we see more than others. While many associate rainfall with dreary grey skies we see beauty. Our high spirited community keeps us moving.

For example, many locations around our community have been graced with invisible street art. Check out the image below:

Rainy Days on Whidbey, Street art, Rainy Days, whidbey Island, Oak Harbor

This is the invisible street art in front of our Oak Harbor location. This art only shows up when it rains. So during our next wonderful rainy days on Whidbey, get outside and discover more of these fun pieces of art. Don’t forget to share your findings in the comments below.