Day Tripping: Do the Chuckanut


Sunday, May 18th, 2008 — 10:04am PST
Comments 7

The latest in the Day Tripping series takes us south of the border and to no real destination as the journey is the trip.

When most folks head across the border from Metro Vancouver they take the I-5 although I highly suggest that next time, if you have some time of your hands, you veer off the interstate and take the more scenic Chuckanut Drive.


Photo credit: clango on Flickr

Just south of Bellingham look for the signs for Chuckanut Drive, Route 11. Along the way there is the historical town of Fairhaven and 21 miles down the road you’ll eventually join up with the I-5 again in Burlington.

There is plenty to stop check out including picnic areas, various Oyster Bars, restaurants, and Larabee State Park with hiking, waking and biking trails.


Photo credit: candescence on Flickr

Meandering along cliffs above the ocean while hugging the rocky tree-lined curves the views from the Chuckanut are breathtaking. To me, the entire course resembles a lush Pacific Northwest version of the Pacific Coast Highway.

Winding down into the valley, there is a winery (Chuckanut Ridge Wine Co), cafes, antique shops, blueberry farm, apple farms, and agricultural land.

There is also amazing camping (should you decide to stay longer than a day) over at Deception Pass which is a jog off the Chuckanut at Burlington but is worth the extra miles. Deception Pass connects the mainland to Whidbey Island, Duane’s over there right now so I’m sure he’ll have a recap or some photos up after this weekend.


Photo credit: Duane Storey on Flickr

If you’re simply looking for an afternoon drive with amazing views and fresh sea air, Chuckanut is a great way to go – and you can still go to Target and Bellis Fair on your way back home.

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7 comments

  1. Will says:

    I always do the Chuckanut with my family when we head down for the tulip festival. And at the end when it flattens out there is an Alpaca ranch where the owners are very warm and friendly and happy to let you get close and personal with their alpaca. My daughter loves that. Last time we went they had a baby alpaca just a few weeks old. Very cute. That’s the chuckanut alpaca ranch (they have a website with the same name).

  2. Mark Latham says:

    Even more than Bellis Fair, gotta hit the new Trader Joe’s (2410 James St at Alabama)! Their 72%-dark Pound Plus chocolate bar, and Lacey’s Cookies dark chocolate almond (florentines) top my list.

  3. Michael Kwan says:

    I see the signs along the I-5 every time I go the States, but I never once considered taking Chuckanut Drive. Thanks for the revelation. 🙂

  4. My wife and 3 girlfriends are going to Seattle in rented Mustang convertible next weekend. I will have to suggest this to them, but I am not sure if they’ll want to take the time away from shopping.

  5. DaveO says:

    The Chuckanut is a narrow winding road and features many pullouts for a picnic or a hoot break – and starts/ends in Fairhaven which is a historic corner of Bellingham with neat shops, brew pub and the Alaskan Ferry dock.

  6. […] destinations, the drive time is less than an hour for each: The Othello Tunnels (near Hope, BC), Chuckanut Drive (just south of the border), Hell’s Gate (take the airtram across the Fraser Canyon), Gibsons […]

  7. Ariane C says:

    We did the Chuckanut (http://chuckanutdrive.com/) on a day trip as well not too long ago. Discovered it by accident 🙂

    http://arianecdesign.com/a-quick-trip-over-the-border

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