Welcome to stunning Whidbey Island, where you'll experience the Heart of Puget Sound and the Spirit of the Pacific Northwest. Located about 30 miles north of Seattle, Whidbey Island offers residents a marked change of pace from the bustle of city life. The town of Coupeville, in the central part of the island, is the county seat of Island County; the rest of the county includes Camano Island, Ben Ure Island, and six other uninhabited islands.
Whidbey Island is the fifth-longest and the largest island in the continental U.S. Stretching bout 62 miles long and 12 miles across at its widest point, Whidbey Island sits between the Washington mainland and the San Juan de Fuca Strait. Whidbey Island is home to several bustling towns, two distinct economic zones, and about 60,000 warm and welcoming residents. The natural beauty of the Puget Sound makes Whidbey Island, WA homes for sale popular as vacation residences and permanent homes. Several parks and recreation areas can also be found on the island, including Deception Pass State Park, Washington's most frequented state park, and Fort Casey State Park.
If you're looking for a residence where you can peacefully contemplate the glassy waters of the Puget Sound, watch spectacular sunsets, see the annual migrations of the gray whales, and listen to waves lapping at the beach, you won't be disappointed by the spectacular Whidbey Island, WA homes for sale. Many Whidbey Island homes can be found a bit off the beaten path. In fact, about half of Whidbey Island's 60,000 residents live in rural areas of the island, and with the island's extensive if sometimes rugged coastline, there are plenty of Whidbey Island, WA homes for sale that offer water views or beach frontage.
If you're looking for a Whidbey Island home to call your own, a real estate professional is your best resource. For more information about Whidbey Island, WA homes for sale, please call expert Realtor Gary Ingram at 360.331.0373 today.
History of Whidbey Island
Until the late 18 th century, Whidbey Island was inhabited solely by several Native American tribes, including the Swinomish, Snohomish, and Suquamish. In 1792, European explorer Captain George Vancouver discovered the island, and in that same year, Joseph Whidbey and Peter Puget (for whom Puget Sound is named) began to map the island and its surrounding waters. Captain Vancouver named the island for Joseph Whidbey - but the first known overnight stay by anyone other than Native Americans was not until 1840, when a missionary named Father Blanchet made camp there while traveling across Puget Sound.
Colonel Isaac Ebey became the island's first permanent settler in 1850, establishing a small farm where he grew wheat and potatoes. The island's Fort Ebey was established in 1947 in his honor, just to the northwest of Coupeville. Ebey's family home still stands there, and the land originally occupied by his farm became the first National Historic Reserve created by the National Park Service. In fact, the land is not only designated as a historic site, but also serves as a sanctuary for delicate and rare indigenous plant life.
In 1858, just after Colonel Ebey's death, the United States purchased 10 acres of land on Whidbey Island to construct the Admiralty Head Lighthouse, which became one of Puget Sound's earliest navigation guides. The lighthouse was not used after 1927, but the Parks Commission has restored it, and it has become a popular tourist attraction during the summer months.
The Mainland Connection
Whidbey Island, WA homes for sale might feel like a world apart, but they're really quite well-connected. Whidbey Islanders enjoy the serene beauty of rural life without sacrificing the convenience of urban connectivity. This tradition of living in two worlds began with Colonel Isaac Ebey, who held the esteemed position of Postmaster of Port Townsend, Washington. Each day, Ebey made the commute across the Puget Sound in his rowboat. Today, transportation isn't quite so crude, but many Whidbey Islanders still commute to the mainland for work.
Mainland Washington can be reached from Whidbey Island, WA homes for sale in a number of ways. The island is only connected to the mainland by one bridge: the Deception Pass Bridge, at the northern end of the island, which connects to Washington State Route 20. The Keystone to Port Townsend Ferry serves the Coupeville area, while the southern part of the island is served by the ferry that runs from Clinton to Mukilteo. The ferry landing is off State Route 525 and offers the easiest way to access the Seattle area.
The island, which is home to a large naval air force base at Oak Harbor, also boasts two public airports. Whidbey Air Park is two miles outside of Langley, and serves the southern part of the Island. Oak Harbor Airport is just three miles southwest of Oak Harbor, and serves the northern part of the island. Kenmore Air takes off and lands on platforms found on the waters of Oak Harbor Marina and Seattle's Union Bay, and there are several private dirt air strips scattered across the island for the use of residents. If you're searching for a Whidbey Island, WA home for sale, and you own and operate a private aircraft, talk to your experienced Whidbey Island Realtor about properties in proximity to the island's airports. A Whidbey Island real estate professional can also put you in touch with owners of private air strips, if you're interested in negotiating rights of use.
Whidbey Island Communities
If you're in the market for a Whidbey Island, WA home for sale, you're in for a treat. Each of Whidbey Island's communities a different style, a different flavor - but every one has lots to offer.
Oak Harbor is the largest community on Whidbey Island, and it's here that you'll find a fair portion of available Whidbey Island, WA homes for sale. The economy of Oak Harbor is not based on tourism, but rather, on service industries. Life in Oak Harbor revolves around the presence of the Naval Air Station Whidbey Island (NASWI), a Naval Air Force base located in two sections in the city. Oak Harbor is also the location of Whidbey Island's sole bridge at Deception Pass.
Coupeville is located in the central part of the island, and serves as the County Seat for Island County. The town has a population of just under 2,000 people. Whidbey Island, WA homes for sale in this area are close to such attractions as the Admiralty Head Lighthouse, Fort Ebey State Park, and beaches on both the eastern and western coasts of the island.
With a population that includes fewer than 300 residents, Greenbank is one of the places where you'll find Whidbey Island, WA homes for sale with a truly rural feeling. Greenbank Farm is located here, and was once the largest loganberry farm in the world. Today, its land is crisscrossed with hiking trails, and fields currently graze alpacas. The Greenbank Store opened in 1904, and remains in business today.
The city of Langley is located on the north-facing coast of the southern portion of the island. It is one of Whidbey Island's more popular tourist destinations, and features some of the finest shops and restaurants on the island. Langley is also the host of many of the island's annual festivals and fairs. People who are looking for Whidbey Island, WA homes for sale in Langley will find properties not only in the city proper, which is home to just under 1,000 people, but also in rural areas around the city.
No matter which of Whidbey Island's fantastic communities feels like home to you, there's a Whidbey Island, WA home for sale just waiting for you to discover it. For more information about Whidbey Island, WA homes for sale, please contact expert Realtor Gary Ingram at 360.331.0373 today.
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