Freeland is the first major town encountered on Hwy 525 north of the Clinton ferry (about 9 miles). Founded in the 1900 as a commune, it cost you $10 down for 5 acres and the rest was paid from the profits of all the landowners. It promised, essentially, "free land." The project ended in failure but left us with the legacy and name, Freeland. Freeland now is the hub of South Whidbey business services, with lumber and farm supply stores, restaurants, a large grocery store, a boat builder, and many service vendors, but no fast-food restaurant chains of the more than 200 businesses in and around this unincorporated town. Two golf courses, Holmes Harbor Golf Club and Useless Bay Golf and Country Club are in the Freeland area. As with most of the small towns on Whidbey Island, a branch of the Sno-Island Library is a popular site for many activities.
Public and private beaches are numerous in the Freeland area, offering water sports, fishing and clamming. Double Bluff Beach State Park includes 24,000 feet of no-bank waterfront and allows dogs to be off-leash. Double Bluff Beach is awesome during low tides - exposing in its tide pools all types of sea life.
The Freeland area has two boat launches, Holmes Harbor and Mutiny Bay. From friendly eye-opening coffee shops and cafes to tasty lunches to elegant dinners, Freeland offers unique restaurants that may get you to swear off those fast food places forever!
Two farmer markets operate near Freeland (Bayview Market and South Whidbey Tilth Market) on weekends and some weeknights each summer. Fresh produce and unique gifts can be found in a laid-back country atmosphere.
Photos by Gary Ingram
Copyright Gary Ingram
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