"Easy Island Getaway" Camano Island by Jonathan_C

Camano Island Travel Guide: 9 reviews and 16 photos

Even though Seattle in the summer time is one of the most livable cities I know, every now and then a person needs to get away to a more tranquil landscape with forest and farms and driftwood lined beaches. In Puget Sound the offerings are many but the closest islands -- Bainbridge and Vashon are largely developed while a ferry trip to the San Juans can add hours to your travel time.

Two other options present themselves, Whidbey and Camano Islands, and both are lovely destinations. Camano has the advantage of being connected to the mainland by a bridge and of having a hidden gem in Camano Island State Park.

The Simple Life

Although Camano Island has seen plenty of fancy houses go up in the last decade, the pace of sprawl has been slow enough, and the island itself big enough that it still has a pleasant, rural quality. A couple of newer shopping strips have opened up, providing retirees and other newcomers with all the items they expect. But you can still find an old-time store like the Elger Bay Grocery pictured here.

I imagine that Camano Island in 2005 is much like Bellevue, Washington must have been before the 1963 opening of the second floating bridge across lake Washington catapulted it from rural bedroom community to dynamo. With any luck, the approach of Peak Oil will be just enough to prevent Camano from turning into a bedroom community and will keep its rural character in tact for the next generation to enjoy.

Friendly People

One of the charming aspects about a trip to Camano Island is the honest friendliness in just about everyone you meet. The pace of life here is slower and folks are genuinely glad to meet you. When we stopped by the side of the road to watch these cute and cuddly critters at an Alpaca farm, a truck was just leaving the farm and heading out the driveway toward the road where we were parked. The driver parked her truck to open the gate but, before leaving, she invited us in to take a closer look and told us all about these diminutive camelids. That's just not the behavior you find in a money oriented, fast paced big city. That is the 'island mentality', where people are more important than time, and it is well preserved on Camano Island, due perhaps to the high proportion of retirees along with a general lack of tourism.

So come and be a tourist here yourself while it's still nice. Camano has everything you need for a quick overnight: beautiful beaches, friendly people, and proximity to Seattle. That's why I call Camano the Easy Island Getaway.

  • Last visit to Camano Island: Jul 2005
  • Intro Updated Jul 30, 2005
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Reviews (8)

Comments (3)

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Aug 19, 2009 at 9:49 PM

    Hi, Jonathan ! Thanks for your pages! Splendid!

  • GuthrieColin's Profile Photo
    Jun 24, 2007 at 11:38 PM

    Jon it seems like every time i take a new little day trip to somewhere completely random, you've already been there. Good work with this page.

  • karenincalifornia's Profile Photo
    Aug 25, 2005 at 9:25 AM

    I was thinking of surprising my husband with a new lawn mower, but you've convinced to get an alpaca instead. Don't ya just love these Puget Sound islands? Nice tips and photos!

Jonathan_C

“Always looking for natural beauty and real community.”

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