Above: Seating with views of the Saratoga Passage at The Inn at Langley, Washington

The Best of Coastal Washington

The lush archipelagoes between Seattle and Victoria, Canada, are relentlessly picturesque, replete with splendidly scenic state parks and colorful coastal towns. The calm seas between the islands shelter wildlife ranging from sea otters to orca whales. And in recent years, the food scene has become world-class. It never takes much to convince me to return.

This time we drove up to the islands from Portland, Oregon. At Olympia, we forked west onto U.S. 101, weaving a path between the forested mountains of Olympic National Park and the Hood Canal, which is dotted with small towns and old fishing piers. The magnificent scenery made the four-hour drive to the old blufftop city of Port Townsend feel all too short. A 20-minute car ferry ride deposited us on Whidbey Island, a landmass shaped rather like an ear. On the north side of the lobe is Langley, a delightful town of art galleries and seafood restaurants.

The Inn at Langley

Langley, Washington

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