A Beginner’s Guide to Getting Out on the Water to Explore Whidbey Island

You don’t need to own a boat or have years of sailing experience to get out on the gorgeous water that surrounds Whidbey Island! This post is all about helping beginners “get their feet wet” and learn how to take advantage of one of the very best things about living on Whidbey—having the shimmering Puget Sound right at your fingertips.

Kayaking: Rentals & Tour Adventures

Exploring Whidbey’s shoreline via kayak is one of the easiest, most affordable ways to take advantage of the waterfront. Whidbey Island Kayaking is a great local business that makes it easy to do just that, and you can rent kayaks (they have both single kayaks and tandem kayaks available) by the hour or by the day from the Langley Marina. If you’d like an activity that’s a bit more structured, they also offer a few different types of tours including a short 2-hour tour (perfect for beginners!), a half-day tour that’s focused on viewing wildlife, a nighttime bioluminescence experience, and more. Paddleboarding is another great way to experience the water, and you can also rent stand-up paddle boards from Whidbey Island Kayaking. 

Boating: Whale Watching & View Seeking 

Deception Pass Tours is your go-to if you want to experience a shorter 1-hour boat ride, charter an entire boat, or go for a memorable whale watching tour. On the 1-hour rides, you’ll cruise around Deception Pass on an open-deck boat with 360-degree views and observe wildlife while a tour guide talks about the history of the area. During the whale watching tours, you have the opportunity to see orcas, humpbacks, minke, and gray whales. 

Sailing: From DIY to Chartering 

The South Whidbey Yacht Club offers sailing lessons for both adults and youth, so if you’ve always dreamed of learning how to harness the winds, here’s the perfect opportunity. And if you end up becoming a member of the SWYC, you have the opportunity to attend their events throughout the year, which include happenings like the Maxwelton Parade, the Community Fun Sail, Crab Feast, and more. 

Not ready to learn how to sail, but still want to see what it’s like to be on a sailboat? You can charter the 1925-built Schooner Suva for 2-2.5 hour sailboat rides in Penn Cove! 

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