Hop in the Car For a Quick Trip to Whidbey

Take a springtime road trip to Coupeville for the 29th annual MusselFest

By Elsy Pawelak February 2, 2015

0315roadtrip

This article originally appeared in the March 2015 issue of Seattle magazine.

Where: Historic Coupeville, Washington, on Whidbey Island.

Why: For the 29th annual Penn Cove MusselFest (3/6–3/8; Coupeville Recreation Hall, 901 NW Alexander St.; thepenncovemusselsfestival.com).

Where: Founded in 1986 by locally based Captain John Colby Stone, the festival is dedicated to the sweet, meaty, nationally revered mussels grown in Whidbey’s Penn Cove. (A member of the U.S. Merchant Marine, Captain Stone also offers charter tours of Penn Cove on his 52-foot ketch, Cutty Sark; svcuttysark.com.) Shellfish lovers delight in consuming approximately 3,500 pounds of mussels over the weekend, by way of a mussel-eating contest (who in the crowd can eat three keg cups of mussels the fastest?), a chowder competition (with local restaurants going head to head), cooking demonstrations and plenty of samples. Adults can wash ’em down in the beer garden with craft brews from Flyers Brewery, while kids rock out to live children’s music.

Side Trip: On the way to Coupeville from the Clinton ferry landing, stop in Langley at the quirky Kalakala Co. Mercantile (138 Second St.; 360.221.0161; kalakala.co), an artist-owned café and curio shop peddling strong local coffee, tasty local provisions and appealingly unusual local art. 

 

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