As the fifth longest and largest island in the United States, Whidbey Island is one of nine beautiful islands located in Island County, Washington. The picturesque town is conveniently situated approximately 30 miles north of Seattle, and lies between the Olympic Peninsula and the Interstate 5 corridor of western Washington. Interstate 5 is the westernmost interstate highway in the continental United States.
Whidbey Island, WA real estate forms the northern boundary of Puget Sound, one of the most beautiful areas in the nation. The Puget Sound offers a rich quality of life like no other, which includes island retreats such as Whidbey Island, as well as access to big city-life. The spectacularly pristine area offers plenty of sightseeing, hiking, kayaking and boating activities for residents and visitors to enjoy.
Whidbey Island, WA real estate is steadily growing. The island is home to more than 58,200 residents as of the 2000 U.S. Census. Whidbey Island residents are commonly referred to as "Whidbey Islanders."
Whidbey Island residents enjoy beautiful, peaceful scenery, a strong economy, bountiful recreation, and close proximity to the thriving city of Seattle.
The island is between 36 and 62 miles long and from 1.5 to 12 miles wide. Being the fifth largest and longest island in the nation, Whidbey Island ranks just behind Padre Island in Texas, Long Island in New York, and Isle Royale in Michigan.
A Thriving Economy
Whidbey Island, WA real estate is comprised of several different population centers, which include the City of Oak Harbor, Town of Coupeville, City of Langley, Village of Freeland, Community of Greenbank, and the Village of Clinton.
There are two different economic regions that divide Whidbey Island, WA real estate. The northern end of the island encompasses Oak Harbor as well as the Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, while the southern end of the island consists of Coupeville, Langley, Freeland, Greenbank, Clinton, and the smaller communities that lie in-between.
Like Whidbey Island, WA real estate, the economy of the island is strong. It is mainly influenced by the existence of the Whidbey Island Naval Air Station (N.A.S. Whidbey), which is located near Oak Harbor. The N.A.S. Whidbey is the city of Oak Harbor's largest employer. The economy of the northern end of the island is thus chiefly a service-based economy, providing more overall stability than an economy that is dependent on tourism. Several national chain stores have moved into the Oak Harbor area, further strengthening the local economy.
The southern end of Whidbey Island is the part of the economy that is heavily tourism-based. The towns of Coupeville and Langley are two of the most popular towns on the island, which attract scores of tourists each year. Visitors, as well as commuters, use the Washington State Ferries system, which runs between Clinton and Mukilteo. A minor bedroom community to the nearby cities of Everett and Seattle, Whidbey Island, WA real estate offers charming access to many amenities and local attractions.
Other factors that contribute to the island's economy include farms-most notably the Penn Cove Mussel Farms, which export highly renowned Penn Cove mussels.
Fun on Whidbey Island
In addition to the beauty and growing economy, Whidbey Island, WA real estate is also popular for the array of parks, reserve areas, and cultural events that can be found on the island.
The first national historic reserve in the United States makes its home on Whidbey Island. Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve was created by the National Park Service to preserve the rural history and culture of the island and to protect the area's rare and sensitive plants.
There are also several Washington State parks located in Whidbey Island, which include Deception Pass State Park, Joseph Whidbey State Park, Fort Ebey State Park, Fort Casey State Park, and South Whidbey State Park. Notably, Deception Pass State Park is the most visited state park in all of Washington.
Residents of Whidbey Island take great joy in the many festivals and celebrations held throughout the year in the community. The Island County Fair is a big event that takes place every August, and includes rides, food, and animal shows. Other events in the summer include the Loganberry Festival at the Greenbank Farm in July, the Choochokam, an annual street fair and arts festival held in downtown Langley in July, and the Maxwelton Beach Fourth of July Parade and fireworks show. After the parade, festivities include three-legged races, egg tosses, and more.
Each September the sky is riddled with color for the Whidbey Island Kite Festival. The area also hosts the Tour de Whidbey, a bike race that spans the length of Whidbey Island.
The month of March is also a big time of year for Whidbey Island, WA real estate owners and other residents. The Town of Langley turns its setting into a fictional murder mystery, and is known as Langley's Mystery Weekend. The Penn Cove Mussel Festival also takes place in March, and celebrates this rich bounty of the sea.
Getting Around Whidbey Island
Home buyers who are interested in Whidbey Island, WA real estate will most likely travel to the island via ferry. Visitors and residents can use the ferry service that is available via Washington State Route 525 on the Clinton to Mukilteo ferry service on the southern east coast.
There is one bridge that connects the island via Washington State Route 20 over the Deception Pass Bridge on the north end of the island. An extensive county road system on Whidbey Island feeds into the two state highways of Washington State Route 525 and Washington State Route 20. The state routes are the only nationally designated scenic byways on the island, and are known as the "Whidbey Island Scenic Isle Way."
Public transportation on Whidbey Island is provided by Island Transit, a free bus service that is paid for by a 6/10 th of 1 percent sales tax within the county. Ten bus routes presently serve the area encompassing Whidbey Island, WA real estate.
Those who wish or need to travel by air are serviced by two small public airports on Whidbey Island. The first is located just two miles southwest of Langley, and the second is Oak Harbor Airpark situated three miles southwest of Oak Harbor. Kenmore Air Express provides airline service to Whidbey Island, using the waters of the Oak Harbor marina as a landing and takeoff area for flights to and from Seattle's Union Bay. It also offers connections to the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. There are also two airports on Whidbey Island that are run by the United States Navy.
Washington State's Island County is home to a growing population of over 72,000 residents. The city of Coupeville on Whidbey Island is Island County's county seat, while the largest city in the county is Oak Harbor. Other cities, census designated places and communities in Island County include Langley, Ault Field, Camano, Clinton, Freeland, Arrow Head Beach, Austin, Baby Island Heights, Bayview, Bells Beach, Beverly Beach, Cama Beach, Camp Grande, Camp Lagoon, Cavelero Beach, Columbia Beach, Cornell, Glendale, Greenbank, Indian Beach, Lona Beach, Mabana, Madrona Beach, Pebble Beach, Possession, Mountain View Beach, Sunset Beach, Terrys Corner, Tyee Beach, Utsalady, Woodland Beach, and others.
Whidbey Island real estate and Camano Island make up the two largest islands of Island County. The seven smaller islands of the county are Baby, Ben Ure, Deception, Kalamut, Minor, Smith, and Strawberry.
Island County is the eighth-oldest county in the state of Washington. The legislature of Oregon Territory first created Island County out of Thurston County on December 22, 1852. Island County originally encompassed the areas that are now Snohomish, Skagit, Whatcom, and San Juan Counties. Kitsap and Jefferson Counties border the area of Island County as well. The average income for a household in Island County is around $45,500.
For more information about Island County and Whidbey, WA real estate, please contact expert Realtor Gary Ingram at 360.331.0373 today.
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