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San Juan Island
bow, edison and chuckanut.
Miles of scenic vistas and windy roads, with world-class food along the way.
No one should miss beautiful Chuckanut Drive. The 21-mile stretch of two-lane road between Burlington and Fairhaven takes travelers high above the shoreline with dramatic cliffs and rock faces on either side. The trip is popular both with motorcyclists and road bikers but be forewarned: the road is narrow with no passing room.
Keep your eyes on the road until you reach one of the viewpoint pullouts. Stop by the Oyster Bar for some fresh oysters as well as other culinary choices. See where those tasty mollusks come from and visit the Taylor Shellfish Farm, where you’ll find fresh oysters, clams, geoduck, mussels, crab and more.
The Chuckanut Mountains are home to some of the finest hiking in the region, ranging from the easy trek to Clayton Beach in Larrabee State Park to the 6.5-mile grind to the top of Oyster Dome – a 2,000-foot gain in elevation.
Once you reach the flats of Chuckanut, don’t miss the towns of Edison and Bow. Here, local is the watchword, especially when it comes to culinary pursuits.
First up is the Rhododendron Café, with its made from scratch food that is locally sourced. In addition to its regular menu, the Rhody Café explores a new region or country every month, providing patrons with a delightful “ethnic odyssey.”
Edison, population 133, is known as the town where journalist Edward R. Murrow graduated from high school. Look for Slough Foods, which offers regional artisan cheeses, meats and wine. Next door, Breadfarm Bakery is known throughout the region for its hands-on, everything-from-scratch approach. Grab a beer and pub fare at the Old Edison Tavern, or head a few blocks south to the Farm to Market Bakery. The bakery was featured in Sunset magazine, and offers an eclectic, ever-changing array of pies, pastries, sandwiches, soups and their signature lime-soaked polenta cakes.
Head north on Farm to Market Road and stop by Rosabella’s Garden Bakery to have some coffee and a piece of their apple pie outside on a picnic table.
For more info, visit chuckanutdrive.com.
Things to do in Bow, Edison and Chuckanut:
Ride a Bike: Ride along the Interurban Trail, a mostly flat, wide trail that stretches from Fairhaven to Larrabee State Park.
Hit the Beach: Walk down to Clayton Beach or Teddy Bear Cove to explore tidepools, rocky coves and cliffs dotted with madrona trees.
Savor the Views: Hike up to Fragrance Lake or Oyster Dome for a more strenuous workout. On the Fragrance Lake trail, branch off at the viewpoint a mile up for stunning views of the San Juans.
Take a Culinary Tour: Enjoy fresh baked goods at Edison’s Farm to Market or Breadfarm bakeries, grab some artisan meat and cheese from Edison’s Slough Food, bring home a five-pound apple pie from Rosabella’s, stop for fresh seafood at Taylor Shellfish Farm or fresh oysters at the Oyster Bar, and enjoy a locally sourced dinner at the Rhody Café.
Get Some Culture: View American art at the Chuckanut Bay Gallery and Sculpture Garden.