Chuckanut Drive - Bellingham, Washington - A Historic Drive Connecting Bellingham and the Skagit Valley
Chuckanut Drive is a slower paced scenic and historic drive that connects the town of Bellingham, Washington to the Skagit Valley area. Chuckanut Drive offers travelers and site seers an alternative to the hustle and bustle of Interstate 5.
Formally known as Route 11, he exit to Chuckanut Drive is just north of Burlington as indicated by exit sign #231. Chuckanut Drive takes people through beautiful farmlands, the towns of Allen and Bow which features some of the areas favorite restaurants, Bed and Breakfasts, and Antique and Art galleries.
Taking a slight detour interested visitors can drive through the historic town of Edison, which leads to Bay View and Samish Island. Continuing on the Chuckanut Drive it winds along the shoulder of the Chuckanut Mountains. From this vantage point a breathtaking view of the San Juan Islands can be taken in from several look out points.
Along the drive are several scenic spots that provide the traveler a place to have an afternoon picnic or for hikers there are trails that lead to lakes on the Chuckanut or Blanchard mountains or to the beaches at Teddy Bear Cove and Larrabee Park.
The drive stretches all the way to the 1880's town of Fairhaven, which is a suburb of Bellingham. The drive can be done in reverse by taking the Fairhaven Parkway exit #250 in Bellingham.
The rich history of Chuckanut Drive begins with the town of Edison. Established in 1869 Edison became a hub for the logging and agricultural industries. The famous journalist Edward R. Murrow is the town's most famous person. Edison still remains a vital town in the area and is home to many quant shops and eating establishments.
While taking the Chuckanut Drive travelers will also come across Samish Island. It is a residential area known for its waterfront Bed and Breakfasts and spectacular views of Samish Bay and Padilla Bay. Many road side vendors and shops are available for people to purchase farm fresh produce and even freshly caught seafood.
Another stop along the route is Bay View. Situated on Padilla Bay, Bay View offers a rural and quiet atmosphere and is in close proximity to Bay View state park, the Breazeale Interpretive Center and the Padilla Bay Trail. Of special note is the Breazeale Interpretive Center, which also serves as headquarters of the Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. The interpretive center has several exhibits of natural history, coasts and watersheds. Admission is free and is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm.
To further preserve the rich tradition and sanctity of Chuckanut Drive the merchants in the area created the Chuckanut Drive Merchants Association. It is comprised of area business people dedicated to the area and who are proud of the agricultural heritage. The Chuckanut Drive Merchants Association requests visitors to be especially good stewards of the areas of Bay View State Park, Larrabee State Park, Padilla Bay Shore Trail, Interurban Trail and the Pacific Northwest Trail.
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