Where to live on Whidbey Island? (West vs East vs Penn Cove)
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
We drove through Langley only briefly, but loved it! It was so charming and pretty! Ira, I can't wait to try Village Pizza! Yum!!!!
Like you, my husband and I abhor hot weather. One huge reason we're leving NJ- you'd be surprised how nasty the summers are and how long they last....we have to spring or fall anymore. We visited your island two weeks ago and were pleasantly surprised that the high temp never exceeded 70 degrees!!! It was wonderful! And we loved the early morning fog....it was just our cup of tea! Cozy and brooding and sortof depressing...we loved it!
I think honeymoon bay would be a nice place to live. But the thought of getting my own mussels in Penn Cove, well that would be something!!!! I looked at other dinners at Christopher's to see bowls of mussels in garlic broth....gosh it was to die for!!! Mussels- clams with a PhD! I love it!
Double Bluff sounds amazing....I spent a year at Woods Hole Oceanographic institute years ago...and maybe I'd see some things I haven't seen in years.....mastadon bones...how amazing!!! Low to see crabs in the tide pools....and other critters!
Thanks Ira and Allforcats for your candor!
We really appreciate it!
PS: Is coupeville pretty much closed during the winter months?
I had to jump in on this thread since I am from NJ and just thought I would share some thoughts. You will just fall in love with the summers in Washington. Summers in WA are like no other place on earth. I am serious. You will finally enjoy sitting outside in the evenings with NO misquitoes biting you, not to mention the cool comfortable temperature. It may be a rainy winter but it doesn't bother me much at all because it is worth it to have fabulous summer weather, even though it's short. I will take rain over snow any day, especially not shoveling it! You actually have a spring and fall in WA which doesn't exist in NJ. When my husband and I visit family in NJ and it's usually in the summer, I cannot wait to leave because I have become accustomed to the dry summers out here. You picked a great location which has less rain than Seattle so there's another plus for you. AND by the way.... that pizza place that was mentioned located in Langely is outstanding. We ate there about a year ago and I knew immediately that the owner had to be from the east coast and sure enough, I found out on this forum, owners are from Brooklyn. You have to try it. Nothing else on the entire west coast comes close to that pizza and believe me, I have tried dozens. Make sure you bring cash. They don't take credit cards but conveniently have a mac machine inside their restaurant.
Well, good luck to you. It's a beautiful island and I am sure you will be very happy. There is a ton to do and see in the state of Washington. I still have not been to some parts are WA yet and have lived here for almost 9 years. If you are looking for hot and dry and something close to the Jersey shore, head to Lake Chelan. No ocean, but the cleanest lake you will ever see. Freezing but super clean. I won't write a novel on all the places to see because it's many. I purchased a WA state book and learned all the different areas which was really helpful. "Moon Handbook Washington" is one of the best.
PS Not sure if the ferry service is running yet from Coupeville to Port Townsend. I think it was canceled to fix the very old ferry but when and if it's up and running again, you have to take the ferry to Port Townsend. Really nice town with quaint shops and great restaurants. A nice way to spend the day, especially in the gloomy winter. All the best!
We've owned a beach home in Admirals' Cove (about 1.5 miles south of the Keystone ferry and Fort Casey) for eight years now. The neighborhood has some homes right on the water, some across the street, and homes up on the bluff. We share a beautiful guarded swimming pool that sits right on the beach. There is community beach, an indoor/outdoor cooking shelter, and a playground.
Some people live in AC year round, while others use it as a "second neighborhood."
We are on the west side, so we are hit by the wind off the Straits of Juan de Fuca. Don't let the winds scare you, though. We've only lost power a few times in 8 years. Our home has not experienced any damages due to winds or storms. I actually like being there during the winter because who knows what the weather will be!
There is a constant breeze on the west side, which makes the temperature anywhere from 10-15 degrees cooler than the mainland (guess where we head when we are melting in the heat?)
Coupeville, or mid-island would be my choice of places to live, were we to choose to live full time on the island. My all-time favorite house on Penn Cove is for sale right now. It's on Madrona, and it is a renovated school house. There is beach property attached, but it is high bank. I'm not sure if there are stairs.
Good luck in your search! There are some wonderful homes on the island, and I can't think of a better place to live!
Not sure if this has been mentioned yet - this a big thread to read at once, but you REALLY need to consider the wind. I own a home in Penn Cove Park and it is well protected by trees. However, the wind on West Beach is completely overwhelming. It also blows right through Coupevillle across the prairie and down by the new library, so you may want to consider this. The easiest way to tell is to look at the tree tops - if the top 5 feet or so is bent over, it's a good indicator that the winds are heavy.
I would also avoid Oak Harbor completely. Personally, I feel it is a community of big box stores that sprang up around a Naval Base; not a whole lot of character, nowhere near the charm of Coupeville.
Try the mussels at Kim's on the wharf...they're quite good as well.
I love the island,and live in Oak Harbor. Better than living in the middle of nowhere West Texas.Beauty on the island is breath taking.I find it a great place to live,and raise a family. Love splashing around,collecting shells,hiking,and more. Oak Harbor has major stores,but we need them somewhere on the island. I think,might be wrong,but the other places might be smaller,little towns,which is great,and not (to me) far away to enjoy. I used to have to drive 3-7hrs for fun! Also off the island is other towns with a children's museum,and outlet stores. So occasionally if you want to drive about 1, 1 1/2 hrs,which again beats 3hrs. I loved our dentist,so I am keeping them even though off island about 1hr away. Which with no major problems we will go twice a year,and maybe tourist around. The marinas are also neat. I also enjoy seeing bald eagles,and we found snails on our porch. Really it depends on where you came from. Some people think 30 mins is far to drive. Again my perspective is different,coming from big Texas. Living in Oak Harbor I try to walk on nice days. I walk the boys to city beach. Park is so big,including lots of grass to pinic,playground,beach,grills,a marsh trail to walk. I don't care what people have to complain about,I love it,and lastly customer service is great. Except Island drugs Curella Deville. She has black hair with white stripe. Walgreens will now have my business
Ah, I love that this thread has resurfaced! I was one of the responders to OP almost 4 yrs ago and it brings back the excitement of the move, and fun of knowing the island pretty well now.
We still love it here. Found an excellent in-depth map of the island and spent many weekends driving up, down and across the whole island. Found beaches, lakes (ok, small ones), gorgeous views, great little shops and eateries. And we have Seattle and Vancouver BC just a couple hours away. Tip - the ferry ride to Vancouver Island is beautiful.
Bought a home on 7 wooded acres above Mariner's Cove NE of Oak Harbor. Peaceful, lush and smells GREAT (we came from subdivision life in north Idaho - sterile environment). Love to play in Coupeville and Langley (although favorite antique store there closed) and enjoy the shops on Pioneer Street in OH. And Anacortes has The Market grocery store with great produce, deli and salt and herb selection.
Now just want to be able to retire and be more involved in community, and spend more time enjoying this beautiful island we call home!
That's a very personal choice, isn't it, and the only ones who know how you enjoy being happiest are the two of you.
I'd never locate on the west side of anywhere here, because during the three hottest months of the year from noon to about 9:00PM the entire house would bake. Absolutely bake, down to the foundation. And if I were looking out at featureless water-sky day after day, I'd quickly lose my mind.
Since my favorite food in the world, next to Pepsi, is mussels, and Penn Cove grows one of the two best mussels in the world, according to international chefs (the other location being in France), I'd be giddy with joy looking at mussel floats and thinking of my next lunch at Mad Crab or dinner at Oystercatcher. Anyway, the view of the water, island, big snow-capped Mt. Baker, close boaters and distant ferries is idyllic. And being on the east side, you'd be just a walk from a grocery store or an ice cream cone.
You are the only ones who know what makes your hearts sing . .
I have to agree with this, most houses here in the PNW do not have AC (something I had to get used to coming from the east coast). We live in a house with a lot of big Windows and skylights and it is beautiful (we have a phenomenal view of Dugalla bay), but we roast in the summer. It gets so hot in this house even with all the windows and doors open, then it cools off and gets pretty cold at night. So we have to close some of the Windows before going to bed, bc otherwise it's an icebox in the morning, but is miserable going to sleep. It is beautiful out here, but things are much diffirent than out east. There is quite a housing shortage here right now too. We have had to deal with our property manager hiking our rent up 400 in 3 years, bc of that bc when we went to find. Place to live there was NOTHiNG except apartments available. That could be bc everyone is selling instead of renting though. I would advise coming here and short term renting even if it's in Burlington for 6 months and getting to know the area personally before jumping to buying before hand. Hope none of this has been said as I just kind jumped in. Good luck.
We visited Whidbey on vacations for about 10 years. Fell in love with Coupeville. Sold our home in Colorado Springs and made the move. Glorious is all I can say! Well, let me add wonderful, beautiful, fantastic, spectacular and perfect. I wish I had discovered the NW years ago.
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.
Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.