- 21 miles (33 km)
- 35 minutes
Instead of facing the crowded roadways of Interstate 5, take a striking and slow paced alternative along the Chuckanut Drive. Stop in and sip a cup of tea in a small cafe as you travel through attractive farmlands and quaint towns such as Fairhaven. A side trip through the historic towns of Bay View and Samish Island treats you to an overlook of Samish Bay. Eat fresh apples, berries and other produce, or spend a day by the shore to snack on oysters, crabs and other shellfish.
As you continue along the rocky shoulder of the Chuckanut Mountains, the drive offers the best views of the San Juan Islands from a variety of viewpoints along the way. Stretch your legs on a hike along a challenging rocky path up Blanchard Mountain and be rewarded by the Oyster Dome amphitheater. This 200-foot cliff above the Bat Caves offers a sweeping view of Chuckanut Bay, Skagit Valley and the San Juan Islands. Fish in the calm waters of the Lily and Lizard Lakes before heading down the path to sun on the beaches at Larrabee Park or Teddy Bear Cover.
After a few hours on the beach, take the road to the 1880's brick town of Fairhaven. Walk around the streets and view its beautifully preserved historical buildings from the boom days of the 1890's. From world-class museums, gardens, galleries and more, these are some the best opportunities for sightseeing that you'll find anywhere. For those that love to bird watch, the Padilla Bay Shore Trail is a great place to pull out your binoculars and write down your findings.
From the beaches of the bay area to the tops of rocky mountain trails, the Chuckanut Drive offers varied beauty and a wealth of opportunity to enjoy the beautiful Washington coast.