The entire 55-mile long island of Whidbey Island, with its 196 miles of shoreline, is a culinary treasure-trove. The bounty of this island and the relaxed way of life here easily makes this a place to visit for a long weekend, week or longer.
But here, I’ve chosen just small southern part of the island, around the villages of Clinton and Langley and up into Greenbank, for an excellent overnight trip. It’s perfect either for Seattle-area residents wanting to get out of the city or to take out-of-town visitors, or out-of-towners themselves without a lot of time to see this beautiful piece of Puget Sound.
Pack a cooler to bring home the many treats you’ll find along the way.
The drive from Seattle to Mukilteo is less than an hour and the Washington State Ferry terminal that takes you to the island on a 20 minute crossing. (If you’re going mid-week and off-season, you may be able to drive right on the ferry, while weekends and high season will likely require a wait in the ferry line. Routes are frequent—usually every half hour from 4 a.m. to around midnight—but unfortunately, reservations can’t be made for this route. Times change, so check the schedule.)
Once on the ferry, sit back and enjoy the view—you’re officially now on “island time.”
At Glendale Shepherd Farm, you have the chance to taste and purchase some of the freshest and best tasting cheese direct from where the sheep graze and the cheese is made.
Stan and Lynn Swanson’s Grade A dairy farm, has been in the family for three generations. Fourth generation farmer Lynn Swanson makes the cheese and she’s happy son Erik has decided to continue the legacy.
Lynn Swanson enjoys both working with her sheep and making cheese.
Enjoy a tasting and if possible, take a farm tour. Glendale Shepherd Farm sheep not only have space to roam and graze on rich, beautiful land, they also have fantastic water views. Happy sheep (and great skill and care) equals delicious cheese. Seasonally, you can purchase lamb meat from the Farm store. (They are Animal Welfare approved.)
The flagship cheese is their Island Brebis, which won a Good Food Award in 2014. It’s got a great bite, slightly salty, and is semi-hard with a dry rind. Truly a complex, high quality cheese that will stand out on the cheese plate. Drizzle their yogurt with some good quality honey and savor the fresh and slightly bitter flavors you won’t find in store-bought brands. My favorite though, is their Tallulah. This cheese has a flavorful and nutty rind that isn’t at all course or dry. The interior is creamy and mild with a fabulous aroma. This is a complicated and delicious cheese, with a lot going on in front and end tastes.
Take home your favorites—this is why you brought that cooler. (Call ahead for hours.)