Known as "the island you can drive to," Camano Island hangs off the edge of the Washington mainland 55 miles north of Seattle like a giant, green parenthesis. Unlike the more developed San Juan Islands to the north, you won't have to wait for a ferry here. Yet, despite Camano Island's accessibility, it's generally unspoiled.
Surrounded by Saratoga Passage to the west, Skagit Bay to the north, and Port Susan to the east, the island is naturally isolated and is protected even further by two state parks within its boundaries. Little wonder, then, that loyal visitors to Camano Island swell the population each summer to enjoy a pristine island environment free of glitzy tourist traps. Carpeted with majestic evergreen forests and rimmed by 56 miles of pristine beaches, Camano Island is 39.7 square miles of unadulterated Pacific Northwest beauty and abundance.
Your first stop, as you enter Camano Island, should be the Camano Gateway: the center where you'll find lots of useful info about parks, recreational activities, and local businesses.
Boaters will find launch sites at Utsalady Bay and Cavalero Beach. Head over to Cama Beach State Park where you'll find a restored 1930's fishing resort. And speaking of fishing, Camano Island is unparalleled. Fishing is available during every season, from salmon to Dolly Varden trout to flounder. Iverson Beach is one of the few places in Washington State where you can fish for sturgeon year-round from shore.
Hikers, rejoice: there's also a great trail that winds through Cama Beach State Park. Or, check out Camano Island State Park, where 134 acres are filled with mountain vistas and miles of beach perfect for shellfish harvesting. The east side of Camano offers stellar views of Mt. Baker, Mt. Rainier, the Cascade Mountains, and quiet Port Susan.
Camano Island isn't all wilderness, however. There are a few restaurants, grocery stores, galleries, and shops. A number of annual events will keep you entertained. You can attend the Port Susan Snow Goose and Birding Festival in February, a chili cookof in November, and a number of art shows and festivals in the summer. No matter when you come to Camano Island, you'll discover an environment filled with astounding beauty, one refreshingly untouched by human hands.