Live Like a Local: Fall Getaway to Guemes Island - Visit Skagit Valley - North Cascades National Park to Farmlands to Pacific Ocean
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Live Like a Local: Fall Getaway to Guemes Island

The beaches are empty, save for local collectors of flotsam and jetsam and agate hunters. With a distinct chill in the air, shorter days, and a bit less sun, islanders have tucked in to their rainy season routines. Meandering hikes up Guemes Mountains to watch the leaves change color. Walks along North Beach Road watching cloud banks snake their way through Sinclair, Lummi, Jack and Vendovi islands. Spending a few hours inside around a table taking turns winning and losing at cards. Endless pots of hot tea. Crockpots full of slow-cooked, warm food. Meeting at the Store for a pint. If this sounds like your speed, then come on over for taste of what life is really like in the off-season on Guemes Island.

You won’t have trouble catching the Friday evening ferry. The tourists have long since gone home. Not everyone wants to drive the hour and a half from Seattle just to sit inside, cozied up with a blanket and a good book. Lucky for you! You’re getting in on the secret. It’s worth the drive, no matter how far. When you pull on your boots and take your sunset walk on the beach, watching the peachy, rosey, purple sky melt into evening, you’ll get it. It’s slow, thoughtful, easy and good.

There are a variety of rental options on Guemes Island that are stocked with supplies for getting cozy. The Guemes Island Resort offers nostalgic beach front cabins, modern cabins with hot tubs, and large houses complete with wood-burning stoves and wrap-around decks, fireplaces and lots of nooks to sit and watch rain meet the dramatically beautiful Salish Sea. After you arrive and have your Friday evening beach walk, it’s time to cook up some comfort food and cuddle up with a book, or a buddy and watch a movie with a glass of something good. It’s all part of the routine.

Though Islanders love hiding away like hermits in the rainy season, there’s nothing they love more than a good party. It’s an excuse to take a shower, leave the house, and socialize. Routine is good, but so is breaking routine. On Saturday, October 28th, the Guemes Island General Store is hosting a Halloween Costume party with musical guests, Kuinka. If you’ve never seen the boot-stomping, hand-clapping, feel good performance of this modern folk band, you must! Be sure to pack a costume, because it’s $10 without costume and $5 in costume at the door (kids under 12 are free). The Store will have a buffet of ghoulishly good finger foods plus soup and chili available for $12 per person ($6 for kids under 12). There’s no better way to mix it up with the local crowd than at the Store, as it’s called on the island.

guemes_island_general_store_fallIf you’re staying at the Guemes Island Resort rent the saltwater hot tub and enjoy your post-party al fresco. You can peel off your alter-ego and melt under the stars or the light mist of a fall night, and relish the quietness of the island with only the soundtrack of the water lapping on the beach and the occasional hoot of barred owls in the distance.

Ready to slow down and be a local? Then pack your boots, your crockpot and a good book and get on over here. The quiet season at the Resort paired with a Halloween Costume Party at the Store is the perfect weekend dose of local island life.