South Whidbey Park – 8 Helpful Tips To Secure You The Best Site


South Whidbey State Park – Whidbey Island, Washington

Skip Directly to 8 Campground Tips

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.

Fishing right from the beach!
Not exactly dinner but hours of fun!

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.

gallery golf (2)
Gallery Golf Course

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.

Stairs at the end of the trail leading to the beach.
Stairs at the end of the trail leading to the beach.

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: 
    1. This campground is very small so if you have a trailer over 18 feet you will only have a few choices
    2. For larger units site 31 is a good choice
    3. 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.
    4. Site 31 and then 34 would be my next top power site choices for smaller units
    5. Sites 11 to 15 do not have power but are very private and close to the trails. These sites do not get much sun
    6. 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
  • Links

Bayview State Park -7 Highlights To The Best Site!

Bay View State Park – Bay View, Washington State

We just arrived home from a weekend at Bay View State Park. It was great camping with my sister and her husband and we left our kids and dogs at home. That makes for a much simpler and more relaxing weekend.

  • Simpler because no kids means less meal planning, groceries, cooking and cleaning. Don’t get me wrong, I love to have these 2 great kids with us, but it is much simpler without them.
  • Relaxing because we had no dogs. No early morning walks, no barking, no untangling of leashes from around camp chairs and no worrying when we are away from the site for an extended time. I do miss taking them for walks but that is easy enough to do on our own and my sister had her dogs so walks were still required.
  • image

    Skip directly to my campground advice. 

    Here is what we did on our trip

    Without the kids or dogs we spent Saturday morning shopping at the outlets and the afternoon in the town of La Conner. This is the first time I have been to that quaint little tourist town. There is a public boardwalk that fronts the Swinomish Canal where fishing boats dock for safe access to Puget Sound.  La Conner’s streets are  lined with shops featuring local artisan items such as blown glass, pottery, painting and Lavender everything. I fell in love with some cool oil drum items but they aren’t cheap and there is no way we could get them across the border. That and Blair said there is no way in hell we were buying them. So with that decided we just poked through the store, stopped for lunch on a  patio overlooking the canal and tried out each of the 4 wine tasting rooms on the adjacent street.


    Wine tasting is one of my favourite pastimes when we are on vacation but I must say La Connor is not a destination to head to if you just want to focus just on that. The first room we went to gave us a wine from New Zealand to try. It was good but I like to try out the local wines.  We persevered and were rewarded with the last one being a pleasant surprise. Silver Bell Winery featured their own wines and it was run by the owners themselves. We found all 4 of the wines we sampled to be good and the owners were pleasant to visit

    Friday and Saturday night we enjoyed our campsite’s massive yard space.  I say yard space because it was so large and hedged that it felt like you were in someone’s backyard.  My sister’s dogs were off leash and not once did they notice anyone walking by, nor ever attempted to find their way out.  So we talked around camp fires and tried desperately to drink all the extra bottles of wine we bought since Canadians can only bring 2 bottles each back through customers.

    The Campground

    The sites are ranked P= preferred B= basic E= economical and they are priced accordingly. As a general rule the “P” sites are worth the extra money. They are larger, easier to get into and much more private.  If possible book one of these.
    We had sites 40 & 43. Site 40 was rated as a “P” and it was that. The site had a HUGE grassy area and was surrounded by bush giving you complete privacy. Other good sites to get would be 44, 46, 60, 61, 67, 73 and 75. If you want one of the sites with hook ups try to get sites 3 or 4. They are not private but do have beautiful views of the bay. Sites 20 & 24 are the best serviced sites in the loop followed by 21, 22, and 23.


    Campground highlights

    1. Very private site in the unserviced loop if you get a “p” site
    2. The rating of the sites makes it easier to know what you are booking.
    3. Great open field for group games.
    4. Level and easily accessible sani dump.  There was also no line-up since there aren’t all that many trailers/ RVs in the campground.
    5. Easy walk to the bay which was great sunsets and park area.
    6. Large clean bathrooms
    7. Handy dog tie-up post at the bathrooms.

    Campground lowlights

    1. The “E” sites are very small
    2. The sharp angles to get in to some of the site, along with the narrow one way road, makes parking larger trailers difficult.
    3. No real hiking or biking trails within walking distance of the park.
    4. Very few serviced sites and of the serviced sites there are only a few that are decent in size.

    Things to do

    1. Burlington Outlet Mall
    2. Walking Main Street -La Conner, Washington
    3. Antiquing – Anacortes, Washington
    4. Tulip Festival – La Conner


    Pearrygin Lake State Park: Winthrop, Washington

    As we stated in our Lake Wenatchee blog, the Cascades Loop is widely regarded as one of America’s most scenic drives.   I offer this photo as proof:

    north cascades loop

    North Cascades Loop

    Continue reading

    Seaquest State Park: Castle Rock, Washington

    Just off I-5, an hour north of Portland, lies Mount St Helens, one of the “Ring of Fire” volcanoes that line the Pacific coastline.  Us old timers remember the 1980 explosion so it seamed like an interesting place for one of our first family camping trips, back in 2004.  We were not disappointed.

    mt st helensmt st helens post

    Continue reading

    Alder Lake: Eatonville, Washington


    On the way home from Mount St Helens in 2004, we planned to check out the area up to Mount Raineer.  We hadn’t been there before, or even heard much about it, but the AAA guide book mentioned a couple of Gems so we decided to check it out.  I’m glad we did.

    Continue reading

    Lake Wenatchee State Park – Leavenworth, Washington



    the-cascade-loop1National Geographic Traveler calls Washington State’s Cascades Loop: “One of America’s grandest, most spectacular drives.”  The inland portion of the Loop runs 400 miles from Everett  over the Cascade Mountains (the “south loop”), up the east side of Lake Chelan, and back to Interstate 5 at Burlington (the “north loop.”).  At some point, you should take a week to camp  it all.

    Continue reading