Scenic Drive - State Route 11...

Popularly known as Chuckanut Drive, it meanders down the coast of Washington State between Bellingham and Burlington. The 24-mile curvy route hugs the sheer sandstone cliffs of the Chuckanut Mountains.

The Chuckanut Mountains (from “Chuckanut,” a native word for “Long beach far from a narrow entrance”), or Chuckanut’s, are located on the northern Washington state coast of the Salish Sea, just south of Bellingham, Washington. 

This gorgeous drive is sometimes called Washington’s Big Sur. It is one of those drives that if you are in the neighborhood, you have to take it! Throughout this lovely drive, you will be treated to views of the Chuckanut Mountains, overlooks of Samish Bay, and peek-a-boo glimpses of the San Juan Islands and Chuckanut Bay below.

The woodsy bends and gorgeous island views provide a natural backdrop for showcasing cars on this infamous road. This is why many world-class companies have been used as a commercial filming location, including Cadillac, Chevy, Ferrari, Ford, Nissan, Porsche, and Toyota.

You’ll find the Interurban Trail (H1) on the northern end of the road, a favorite with hikers and bikers alike. This trail runs about 5 miles from Larrabee State Park to Old Fairhaven Parkway. Camp or meander through Larrabee State Parks easy paths through stands of madrona trees down to water’s edge, where the tidepool exploring is always fun, it’s known for its postcard beaches and views. Stop for a picnic at one of the several observation points and enjoy Samish Bay’s sights and the San Juan Islands.

Fairhaven Park (H2) has some excellent walking trails along Padden Creek and is also a great place for a picnic. If it’s a nice day, kids may enjoy wading in the pond or feeding the local duck population.

If getting out and adventurous isn’t your speed, don’t let that deter you from enjoying this stretch of scenic highway. It is also home to some of the best food found in any rural area in the Pacific Northwest.

Along the drive, you will come across the tiny hamlet of Bow. This little village has four buildings, and they’re all worth a visit. One is home to a renowned artisan cheesemaker. One is a quirky junk store. The third and fourth are an unassuming remodeled house and gas station where you’ll find what is widely regarded as two of the Northwest’s finest restaurants.

And if hiking is your passion, be sure to check out Oyster Dome. It’s one of the areas finest! They are some of the easiest to access and offer perfect year-round trails for hiking and biking. Explore the Bat Caves at Boulder Cave Trail #962, 5 miles round trip, with a 2,000-foot elevation gain. Biking is also beautiful along the Chuckanut’s.

Suppose you’d instead take a stroll through tulip fields in spring or find a cozy restaurant and feast on fresh shellfish. Search for treasures in shops or beach glass along the water. Take a hike up past the tree line or down along a white-sand beach. Chuckanut Drive is one of those byways that will leave you wanting to linger just a little longer.

Be sure to enjoy the magnificent sunset before you head back north on i5 to your cozy getaway at the Oostema Farmstead. We will keep the light on for ya. 

The following Youtube is not affiliated with Oostema Farmstead.  The channel is created by locals who love to hike. 

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