Your Guide to Freeland on Whidbey Island

(Things to do in Freeland | Whidbey Island, Washington)

Freeland is several things – the South End’s commercial core with many banks, a large grocery and home store, building supply, etc. It is also Fun Central. Sounds cheesy but look at Freeland a little closer and it’s quite likely that you’ll end up landing here on your way to a well-rounded day (or week or year) on Whidbey.

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I say "Freeland" you say "Beach"!

The Big Three. There are lots of nooks and crannies, but for space, activities, and views, these are the best South Whidbey beaches for your buck:

Westside beachy-beach and off-leash dog park (bring your baggies!), complete with tidepools, a sandy bluff topped with evergreens, topped with eagles.  Look up!

Views of a popping Mt. Rainier and the Olympic Mountains.  The water glistens and the beach goes on and on, amazing!  Watching the faces of city dogs as they run free will make your day.

Double Bluff Mts

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Need a boat launch or a handy place to drop in a kayak? Here you go!

Looking out on Holmes Harbor and north, there’s a play structure, some picnic tables, short bluff trails (and sledding hill in the winter), and benches to sit and gaze at the water and ever-changing sky.

Freeland Park Playground photo by Si Fisher
Seal Stock Photo

Perhaps a seal or whale will make a surprise visit. And what’s that you’re sinking into as you walk out on low tide? Mussel beds, mussel beds everywhere.

Small westside beach. People fish from the shoreline here. Also, the best sunsets on the island.

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What else is fun to see in Freeland?

There are many ways to describe the Earth Sanctuary. Nature trails with art installations.  Memorial forest. Continually privately rehabilitated and maintained sanctuary.

If you’re looking for a quiet, contemplative place, this is it. No furry friends allowed, and it’s $7 a person. You’ll realize why after you wander the acreage, experience the sculptures, and settle into the environment around you. Lovely.

Earth Sanctuary Map

Best places to get a drink in Freeland

The choice is yours – Penn Cove Brewery, atop a hill with gorgeous views and a plethora of outdoor space, or Dancing Fish Winery, at the bottom of a valley with gorgeous views and a plethora of outdoor space. Both have live music on a regular basis, and Penn Cove hosts The Barnyard – a food truck owned by folks from The Braeburn in Langley.

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Time to Eat

First: Pay attention to the hours of operation. Whidbey is an island, remember, and we shut down pretty early here. It can be frustrating if you’re looking for food at 8:30pm on a Tuesday, or even on a Friday, so plan accordingly. Also, many local restaurants put up specials and updates on Instagram and Facebook.

Phô and world comfort food is their game. Like their chicken phô will be the chicken soup you crave when you’re sick, comfort yumminess.

If you are craving something more than Phô, order either the meatloaf or grilled cheese sammis with the schmear (get the schmear!) and furikake fries. Just do it.

Furikake fries stock photo

Big flavors and a small parking lot. Rocket Taco has a sister in Seattle you may be familiar with.  Fresh ingredients, good variety.

Then there’s the locally-made ice cream. So very, very good.  There’s a secret place to sit out back that is lovely. Okay, it’s not secret, it just feels like it is.

Ice Cream Stock Photo

If you’re feeling a little fancy, want some twinkly lights around you and a beautiful view beyond, Gordon’s is your place.

Especially amazing when the weather’s a little stormy or it’s a cooler time of year, being in that cozy restaurant sipping wine and eating full-on entrées as the weather performs around you is a pleasure.

Gordon Blueberry Hill View

Large restaurant, big menu, friendly bar, good food. You’ll want 50 things and eat them all.

This is where the folks go who have been visiting for generations or lived here for 60 years.  Classic Whidbey serving classic breakfast and beyond. A fun place to go if you’re getting ready to go crabbing or out on the boat. Listen to stories and ask for advice. Fun!

See? So much more than the commercial core! Let the fun begin!


Enjoy! <3