South Whidbey State Park – Whidbey Island, Washington
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We camped at this park at the end of August 2013. We were there with 3 other families which consisted of 8 adults and 9 teenagers. This state park is about a 2.5 hour drive from Surrey BC. We approached the park near dusk when the road was lined with deer. This made driving very interesting and nerve racking at the same time. We must have counted 150 deer in the short stretch of land from Greenbank along highway 525 to The State Park. I tried to take pictures but it was too dark and not safe enough to stop.Our family was staying in site 7 with friends in sites 35, 31 and 29. The sites are very treed and private with plenty of room for your trailer and an additional kids tent. If you are looking for sun you need to select your site carefully. Site 7 had very little sun and was long and narrow so it was challenging to get our awning up. It also backed onto the bathrooms and for some reason, of which I would rather not know, the ground at the back of our site never dried out. It didn’t smell like a septic field but I am thinking that had something to do with it. Our friends in site 35 also had a narrow site but it was very long with a large open area at the back for tents, campfires and picnic tables. They too got very little sun but lots of privacy. Site 31 was a good site, wide and long with enough sun to give you a choice of sun or shade. It was not as private but with the damp ocean air it is nice to get the sun. Site 29 had no hook ups but it was also large and open. The sites up on this row had much less privacy, & no hook ups, but were good if you were camping as a group.
If you are camping there to be on the ocean then you should know that South Whidbey Island Park is a steep hike from the water. The trails are very steep and challenging to get kayaks and beach gear up and down. Trust me, we considered leaving the kayaks for the next campers. There are a couple of very nice hikes right near the park. As a group we did the easy one which was suitable for dogs, kids and adults. It took us about an hour and a half and it was through some beautiful foliage and along a stream at points. Well worth a trip if you are staying in the camp ground. The web site also talks about the U.S. Navy jets, from the nearby Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, may fly over the campground at any time for several hours creating noisy conditions for campers. We did not experience this but be aware that this may occur and, depending on your views, can have a uniquely positive or negative impact on your trip. Our kids would have thought it was great.
One day part of our group went golfing at the Navy’s Gallery Golf Course north of Oak Harbor. Its about a 40 min drive, but is very affordable for a course that has some ocean-side holes. It’s best feature was that we got to see up-close about half a dozen military jets flying to or from the navy base next door. Not great when they scream by during your back-swing, but they were definitely cool to see.
Another day all the adults went into Langley to check out the town and have lunch. Langley is located right on the water with amazing view of the Saratoga Passage. The town has some great artisan shops and several restaurants. It was a beautiful day and we were looking for a patio or deck. We stopped at Prima Bistro which had a great deck elevated above the street so the view of Saratoga Passage was fantastic. We had a very nice lunch, some great drinks and a lot of laughs.
8 Campground Tips
- Recommended Sites:
- This campground is very small so if you have a trailer over 18 feet you will only have a few choices
- For larger units site 31 is a good choice
- If you are under 18 feet and need power try and get site 33. It has a good balance of sun and shade and is private.
- Site 31 and then 34 would be my next top power site choices for smaller units
- Sites 11 to 15 do not have power but are very private and close to the trails. These sites do not get much sun
- I didn’t make notes on the sites 37 to 47 but it was a nice part of the campsite for tent camping. The sites in this area are small and mostly tent sites.
- Campground Highlights
- Located right on the ocean
- Park features include old-growth forest, tidelands for crabbing and clamming
- Amazing views of the Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains (from the beach, campsites themselves are in the trees)
- Easy hikes right from the park.
- Power and water at some sites.
- Clean washrooms and showers
- Short drive to small ocean side towns for day trips.
- Fishing nearby
- Sani dump on site
- Campground Lowlights
- Limited sun on most of the campsites.
- Steep hike to the water
- No open space for group games.
- No double sites
- Loud noise of the jets overhead
- Things to do
- Crabbing, clamming and fishing
- Hiking right from the campground
- Golf, several courses within driving distance
- Small ocean side towns to visit within driving distance
- Prima Bistro: http://www.primabistro.com/
- Useless Bay Winery and Tasting Room: http://www.uselessbaywines.com/
- Go Washington – Whidbey Isand: http://www.go-washington.com/Whidbey-Island/
- Gallery Golf Course: http://whidbey.navylifepnw.com/programs/3fa43e97-345b-4238-bfc4-3b3a1d7d937a