Guemes Island Weekend
Guemes, WA 98221, USA created by Jacob Hartsoch
Ever feel like you got away with something special on a travel weekend?
Guemes Island is just such a place.
Small and quiet and just an 8 minute ferry ride from Anacortes, it's infinitely more accessible than the San Juan's and in many ways, more compelling. It's got miles of world class beach on the North end with drop dead views of Mt Baker, a nice general store right next to the ferry terminal with live music on the weekends, and a sweet little resort.
Guemes Island Resort is the best launching pad for a great weekend there. They have very cool new yurts up in the trees and quaint little cabins on the water, both reasonably priced. Most importantly, they've got Boundary Bay IPA in the store and miles of beach with no one around (http://www.guemesislandresort.com/).
The ferry is a short ride from downtown Anacortes and arriving 30 minutes early is plenty on most weekends (http://www.skagitcounty.net/common/asp/default.asp?d=publicworksferry&c=general&p=ferry.htm).
On the return trip, simply park in the ferry line early and walk across the street for a burger and beer at the general store.
If you're leaving Bellingham, heading down Chuckanut and through Edison and onto Bayview road is definitely the way to go. It only adds 15 minutes to the 40 mile trip and links up a few incredible stretches of road.
A good weekend would definitely include dinner at the Anderson general store, and a hike up Guemes Mountain. The Skagit County Land Trust recently completed a great trail that is well worth the trip. The trail is done and open, though the WTA site is a bit out of date. (http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/guemes-mountain).
Cycling is also great. You can circumnavigate the island in 15 glorious miles of beach and mountain views.
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