Few towns let you take in the stunning natural beauty and quiet atmosphere of Whidbey Island quite like Freeland. With a population of just over 2,000 residents, the small unincorporated community is perfect for those looking to leave behind bustling cities like Seattle and just admire the stunning sights of rural Washington in a peaceful vacation rental. From its intriguing history and small-town atmosphere to the stunning natural wonders surrounding you, Freeland is only missing one thing: you!
Freeland wasn't given its name on a mere whim. This southern Whidbey Island town was founded in the early 1900s as a socialist commune - a land where everyone could be truly free. The budding experiment picked up additional residents that were settlers of the nearby Equality Colony, a similar experiment hoping to explore alternative methods of government decades before such ideas began picking up traction in the mainstream.
Today, the town has abandoned its revolutionary roots, but maintains a sense of quirkiness that you just won't find anywhere else on Whidbey Island. There are plenty of nearby sites to ponder the town's fascinating history, from the gorgeous gray beach of Freeland Park to the rolling greens of Holmes Harbor Golf Club. Just don't forget to fuel up between outings - local restaurants like Gordon's on Blueberry Hill offer a surprising variety of culinary choices for such a small town!
If you can only visit one park during your stay in Freeland, make it Double Bluff County Park. This beach is truly unique, covered with an eclectic, ever-changing assortment of driftwood that slowly gives way to soft sands perfect for an afternoon of reading by the waves. A nearby forest lets you stretch your legs with relaxing hikes, culminating in the tiny Oliver Lake surrounded by swaying green pines.
More sights await just south of town - the ironically-named Useless Bay Golf Course sits between the hikes of Earth Sanctuary and the wildflower fields near Sunlight Beach. To the north, meanwhile, lies the tranquil old-growth forest of South Whidbey State Park.
For those yearning for more than the small-town atmosphere of Freeland, you're in luck - your vacation rental is just south of more of Whidbey Island's settlements! The town of Greenbank, less than seven miles to the north, is a charming community that welcomes you in after exploring the nearby beaches. Just 11 miles farther north, meanwhile, is the town of Coupeville, a bustling port settlement with a vibrant waterfront featuring restaurants, galleries, and more.
If you're willing to make the trek, Anacortes is only 48 miles north. On top of offering all the shopping, dining, and bustling atmosphere you'd expect from a city eight times larger than Freeland, the town's ferry landing puts everywhere from the San Juan Islands to Victoria, BC within your reach.
Make your next Washington retreat special by booking a stay in one of our comfortable vacation rentals.
Photo Credit: Scott Smithson via Flickr