Visitors' Guide

Located in the beautiful Island County, Oak Harbor is Whidbey Island's largest incorporated community with a population exceeding 20,000. It hosts the largest Marina on the island and is well known for its indigenous Garry Oak trees (some exceeding 3,000 years old), for which the town is named.

Oak Harbor's natural wonders create plenty of outdoor recreational activities to keep visitors and residents busy year-round. The community has views of the Puget Sound, Northern Cascades, Mount Rainier, Mount Baker, and the Olympic Mountains. Whidbey Island is accessible by driving through the popular, Deception Pass State Park to the North, as well as by ferry at Port Townsend and Mukilteo. We'd recommend visiting the State of Washington Ferry website to make reservations if you plan to arrive from Port Townsend. 

Since white settlers came to the  island, Whidbey Island has been known as 'Paradise on the Puget Sound.' Visitors come to the island for wide-open public beaches, great views, outdoor adventures, art, and more. 

Whidbey Island was shared by various Coast Salish tribes prior to colonization and nearby tribes maintain reservations. Oak Harbor is a Navy town with a rich Irish and Dutch heritage. Our island neighbors, Coupeville, Langley, Greenbank, Freeland, and Clinton, are other great places to stop on your Oak Harbor vacation!


For The Family

Day 1: Spend time exploring the waterfront with a visit to the Windjammer Park splash pad. Take a walk downtown for sweet treats at Popsies and end your hanger with a meal at one of the local cafes. After lunch, take the kiddos to the educational PBY Naval Museum. End the night with a movie at the Blue Fox drive-in theater.

Day 2: Order breakfast to-go and head to Deception Pass State Park. We'd recommend the swimming beach at Cranberry Lake. In the winter, walk the beach to experience tidal pools and other wildlife. You have plenty of lunch spots to pick from downtown afterwards. Next, head inside at Paint Your World to have the kiddos create custom art!


For the Adventurer

Day 1: Grab a bagel to-go at Whidbey Bagel company, and head off to explore Deception Pass State Park. You'll be able to rent a kayak at Bowman's Bay or explore some of the many miles of trails the park has to offer. Then, cool off at dinner with one of our wonderful, local downtown restaurants.

Day 2: Start your morning trying something new, hot yoga at UnSizeMe. Then head to do some whale watching or even more hiking at Fort Casey or Fort Ebey! Don't forget to grab meals downtown to go. There are several great Asian restaurants for you to try.


For Relaxation

Day 1: Grab some coffee at Whidbey Coffee & watch the boats sail into the Marina. Then take a leisurely walk along West Beach. You may see eagles overhead! Head back downtown for lunch and finish off the afternoon with a trip to one of the wonderful salons on Pioneer. 

Day 2: Grab breakfast and enjoy a morning picnic in Smith park under the city's namesake Garry Oak trees.  Then, head down to the south end of the island. Stop in Langley for a visit to the Whale Center downtown & the popular Earth Sanctuary. Finish up the evening back in Oak Harbor with a gourmet meal at Fraser's!



For Art-lovers

Day 1: Grab breakfast at Chris' Bakery and start your art walk! There are several murals and sculptures downtown. Snap a photo in front of our vibrant murals on the 700 block of Pioneer and our historic new mural by Smith Park! We'd recommend exploring Coupeville's art scene and famous Penn Cove mussels as well!

Day 2: Grab some breakfast at Noe Jose and check out the photographic history of Oak Harbor outside the eatery. In the same mall is the Garry Oak Gallery, a gallery with several local artists' fabulous work. You can even take some home with you! In the evening, try out Rustica or the Wine Terrace for great wine and  a fabulous, unique menu.