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Sanity Staycation

Location: Whidbey Island Washington USA

Not everyone is up for a staycation right now. But for me, getting away even for a day, or two, or three, is a great boost to mental health during pandemic paralysis. Since it looks like it might be awhile until we can fly off to the Alps, or the Cote d’Azure or the Azores…a little sanity staycation is a perfect pandemic prescription.

Whidbey Island Staycation
Our Cottage at Quintessa

We’ve decided to do several sanity staycations in the weeks and months ahead, visiting places within a few hours or a few days from home. Places reachable by car with low impact as far as crowds or contact with humans. Our first sanity staycation was to the beautiful Whidbey Island less than two hours from my home in Washington State where we have been on travel pause for two months.

Whidbey Island

Whidbey Island Staycation
The Quintessa

First, traveling mid-week is a great way to avoid crowds. On Whidbey we felt like we were the only visitors, and that was okay with us. We rented a cottage on the grounds of the Quintessa, a wedding and events location. But on a Tuesday, we were the only guests and it felt really special to have it all to ourselves.

Whidbey Island Staycation
Langley Washington

Whidbey is easy to get around by car. We’ve been here before so didn’t need to see everything, but if you haven’t visited before the cute shops especially in Langley and Coupeville are my favorites. If you are game there are also wine tasting rooms, distilleries and taprooms. Greenbank Farms will serve you wine and cheese and send you off with a delicious berry pie to take home – giving you a chance to savor your sanity staycation for a day or two more. Or pick up some world famous Penn Cove Oysters while here…the tiny sweet delicious mollusks are the best.

Whidbey Island Staycation
Joe’s Wood Fired Pizza

If you are an experienced cyclists it’s a great place to ride, but we left our bikes at home this time and opted for some easy hiking. We chose to do a really fun day hike in the Fort Ebey State Park, perfect for any fitness level and offering some really beautiful views. Exactly what my mental health was craving.

Whidbey Island Staycation
Fort Ebey State Parl

Although we didn’t have a reservation (highly recommended) we were able to slide in for an early dinner at the highly rated Prima Bistro in Langley. Both indoor and outdoor dining and a really great menu makes the Prima Bistro a top choice. If you want to social distance try to get a reservation off peak, although the restaurant was following all State of Washington distancing rules. On our second night we got take-out at the highly rated Joe’s Wood Fired Pizza. Excellent New York style pizza, in the Bayview area halfway between Langley and Freeland. We also made a quick stop for a treat at Coupeville’s Red Hen Bakery – killer cinnamon rolls, take out only.

Whidbey Island Staycation
The historic building in Langley,home to Prima Bistro

Plan Ahead

A sanity staycation takes a bit of planning…don’t assume everything is open and running regular hours. For instance Joe’s is only open for take-out currently (July 2020).

Also very important is that you check the current schedule for the Washington State Ferries (unless you plan to arrive from the North over the Deception Pass Bridge). Currently due to reduced staffing Washington State Ferries are running at half capacity (July 2020). The Mukilteo to Clinton Ferry (closest from Seattle and King and Snohomish County and all points east) is usually a 2-3 boat wait unless you can travel during non-peak. Another option is the Port Townsend to Coupeville Ferry. If you are coming from points west and south ( Pierce, Kitsap, Thurston, Mason or Jefferson Counties) this is definitely the way to go. The great thing about this boat is you can make a reservation and be secured a spot on whatever sailing you want.

Ebey Landing

But that’s all part of the “fun” (she says tongue in cheek) during the time of Covid. Learning to live with new rules and guidelines will serve us all in the long run…and taking a mental health sanity staycation is a highly recommended way to feel better and wash away the blues – but only if you are comfortable being out. We plan to choose safe, quiet and unpopulated places to visit on upcoming sanity staycations.

Not a soul around. Enjoying a cinnamon roll outside Red Hen Bakery

Be safe. Be smart. And above all else, please be kind.

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  • Reply Alison

    I’ve been seeing all your pics on FB Laureen. I must admit I was a bit envious. We love Whidbey and have friends with property there so have visited many many times. It’s one of our fave close by destinations, but not at the moment since we’re north of the border. It sounds like you had a lovely time. Just what was needed!

    July 3, 2020 at 9:07 pm
  • Reply Lynnette

    Great post! It’s so important to still get out and have a little adventure right now. Even if it’s just a trip to a close-by destination, it’s good for the soul. Thanks for taking us with you on your trip.

    July 4, 2020 at 8:25 am
    • Reply Laureen

      Thank you Lynnette. Be safe..

      July 4, 2020 at 5:07 pm
  • Reply Katie

    Staycations are a must for my sanity right now! Love your suggestion about going midweek! Thanks for the post. Loved reading about your adventures.

    July 4, 2020 at 1:10 pm
    • Reply Laureen

      Thanks Katie. Be safe.

      July 4, 2020 at 5:06 pm

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