Chuckanut Drive

A premier byway sometimes referred to as Washington’s Big Sur (perhaps Little Sur would be more fitting), the 24-mile curvy route hugs the sheer sandstone cliffs of the Chuckanut Mountains. The only place where the Cascade Mountains meet the sea, Chuckanut Drive overlooks Samish Bay and offers gorgeous views of the San Juan Islands and Chuckanut Bay.

Stroll through tulip fields in spring or find a cozy restaurant and feast on fresh shellfish. Search for treasures in shops or for beach glass along the water. Take a hike up past the tree line, or down along a white-sand beach. Chuckanut Drive is one of those byways that will leave you wanting to linger just a little longer.

CLICK TO EXPLORE ON MAP to find more things to do, places to stay and eat along this route.

1. Bow

Bow is an unincorporated community in Skagit County, Washington. It is located near the towns of Bay View, Edison, Burlington, and Mount Vernon. This tiny hamlet is home to a fantastic bakery and art galleries, along with under-the-radar gourmet restaurants.

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2. Oyster Dome

Enjoy one of the finest hikes on Chuckanut Drive. Oyster fishing and logging were the dominant industries in the Chuckanut area from the late nineteenth to early twentieth centuries. The forest lands of Blanchard Mountain became state trust lands in the 1920s and 1930s, giving the forest a needed respite. Much of the forest on Blanchard is second-growth; logging artifacts can be seen on the trail, and giant stumps inspire imagination about the towering cathedral forests that blanketed the mountain prior to logging.

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3. Larrabee State Park

Set on the seaward side of Chuckanut Mountain near Bellingham, Larrabee State Park is known for its postcard views of Samish Bay and the San Juan Islands. It is also Washington’s first state park.This unique camping park on famed Chuckanut Drive offers access to great hiking, boating, fishing, shellfish harvesting and diving. A ¾-mile hike takes you to the rare sandstone cliffs and teeming tidepools of Clayton Beach. This is the perfect spot for a quiet time out, an exploratory jaunt with the kids or a romantic date.

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4. Woodstock Farm

Woodstock Farm is a one-of-a-kind Pacific Northwest venue, beautifully situated with panoramic views of Chuckanut Bay. Woodstock Farm is available for rent for your special event including weddings, family reunions, retreats and memorials. Park access is from dawn to dusk.  Buildings at Woodstock Farm are available for viewing by appointment only.

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5. Historic Fairhaven

Founded in the 1890s, the Fairhaven district provides a great opportunity to stop and browse. Walk the cobblestone streets of the historic district, with restored nineteenth-century brick buildings now housing bookstores, boutiques and restaurants, and go back to a time when Fairhaven was predicted to become a major city.

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6. Bellingham

90-minutes north of Seattle, you will find yourself in the northwest corner of Washington State. Known for its unique and local museums, shops, galleries, breweries and restaurants, Bellingham is a must-see town when visiting the West Coast. 

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