The Pacific Northwest is known for its beautiful nature and ability to make a camping trip feel like an adventure as you pitch your tent out in the woods, or find a spot of soft sand on the beach for a night under the stars. But for those who aren’t quite ready to make the commitment toward the full experience of “roughing it,” glamping has become the ideal alternative to get in touch with Mother Nature, and Glamping Hub, the Airbnb of luxury camping rentals, provides some great options to get started.
The first stop when visitors arrive into Washington state is often Seattle, but the real beauty of the region lies just a short, 45-minute drive away: Whidbey Island. This seahorse-shaped isle in Puget Sound is one of the largest islands in the continental United States and transforms into the perfect getaway once the weather gets nice. But even with the summer rush that happens every year, the island doesn’t have many accommodations available to house all the out-of-towners, so visitors must turn to the great outdoors to find a place to stay.
Camp in romantic tents under the forest canopy.
In the midst of all the evergreen trees and salty ocean water, there’s a pair of romantic glamping tents waiting to draw guests into a safe space from the elements. But the thing that makes glamping more appealing than a hotel for many is that you get the perfect balance of staying in an enclosed shelter while still hearing the peaceful chirps of the birds in the morning and breathing in the aroma of fresh woodsy air.
The WT on Whidbey is a glamping ground tucked away in the Greenbank woods. As you pull into the property, the hosts are there to greet you happily and inform you of all you need to know for your glamping holiday. There are two luxury tents, each with a different theme. The World Traveler tent gives you a taste of the adventurer life, with a vintage aesthetic reminiscent of the golden age of travel. In the Moroccan tent, you’ll find lanterns, teapots, and North African-inspired furniture and textiles. Both tents have a comfy double bed, heater, a basket of snacks and water, a bottle of wine, Wi-Fi, and the most important thing of all: insect repellent.
There are outdoor showers and a bathroom that you won’t believe is an outhouse because it’s beautifully decorated and fully stocked with toiletries. If you want to cook your own meals, there’s a kitchen with an oven, stovetop, barbecue, and sink, as well as pots and pans. The hosts also provide fresh eggs from their chickens for breakfast, as well as s’mores fixings for a campfire. And if you bring your own spirits and mixers for a cocktail, there’s a tiki bar on site stocked with mixing tools and glassware.
Eat your way around Whidbey Island.
In the morning, you’ll want to make the most of your day by exploring all that Whidbey Island has to offer. Begin on the south end of the island in the town of Langley. In this seaside spot, there’s a myriad of places to grab a meal. Start out with a cup of coffee at Useless Bay Coffee Co., then grab a slice of pesto pizza at Village Pizzeria. Or, if you want a more upscale meal, Prima Bistro has a French-inspired menu and a beautiful view of the water below. If you fancy seeing a play, Island Shakespeare Festival performs various works of the Bard for free in an outdoor theater over the summer months. And for those who love to thrift shop, Good Cheer has a great selection of vintage items, and the profits go to the local food bank.
On your way out of Langley, you could make a quick pitstop in Bayview. There’s a farmers market, the farm-to-table restaurant Orchard Kitchen, and the craft beer and cider bar Taproom. If you’d rather not continue any further into the island, settle down at Dancing Fish Vineyards, where you can spend the whole afternoon drinking vino under the sun.
As you drive north on the highway, take a short break from eating at Meerkerk Gardens, where you can walk the easy woodland trails and enjoy the local flora and fauna. Then, stop at Greenbank Farm for a slice of Whidbey Pies (try the loganberry). You’ll soon arrive in Coupeville, in the middle of the island, and a town made famous by the film Practical Magic. Knead and Feed is a waterfront spot with tasty homemade sandwiches, soups, and baked goods. Walk off all of the day’s hearty food down at the wharf, or walking past the town’s impressive Victorian-style homes.
Explore the island’s natural wonders.
Continuing up the island, your chances to get out into beautiful landscapes will multiply. Ebey’s Landing National Historic Reserve is a protected spot and popular for sunset walks along the bluff. You can spot tons of local wildlife here, so bring your camera with a long zoom. Lavender Wind Farm opens in June and sells lavender products from its nearby field, which allows you to pick your own stems as well. If you like a bit of history, stop at Fort Casey State Park to visit the old military base and lighthouse. Right before you hit Oak Harbor, you can pull off to Blue Fox Drive-In for an old-timey night out at the movies.
No visit to Whidbey Island is complete without going to Deception Pass State Park. This famous bridge is Washington’s most visited area, and it’s clear why. The view from the top is a bit daunting as you walk across the bridge, but on a sunny day, the water below is a stunning shade of aquamarine. Even if its a bit rainy, the bridge cloaked in fog can be mystifying. If you’re glamping over the weekend, we recommend spending the entire day here hiking on the trails and chilling on the beach, but at the very least, you should squeeze in a visit to the bridge.
Fall asleep under the starry sky.
At the end of the day, make a fire and roast some s’mores under the stars, then head back to your tent, zip up the bug net, and collapse onto your cozy bed. Whether you flaunt your luxury glamper status on social media or pretend that you roughed it in the great outdoors is up to you.