Friday, December 14, 2018

Winter Wanderlust: Christmas By The Sea

Cruising on the Victoria Clipper just got even more fun, thanks to Christmas By the Sea, an inaugural day trip series to Whidbey Island that pushes off from downtown Seattle every weekend this December.

Courtesy Clipper Vacations

Hop aboard a merrily decorated boat that departs from Pier 69 at 11:30 a.m., getting passengers (perhaps a bit more jolly after a morning mimosa or spiked cider) to Langley around 12:45 p.m.

Courtesy Clipper Vacations

Sail by Mount Baker and other breathtaking PNW sites, as “Jingle Bells” and “Winter Wonderland” play overhead and the happy banter of family and friends fills the cabin.

Courtesy Clipper Vacations

Once the boat docks, a short walk up the hill (or shuttle ride, if preferred) takes you to a sleepy, friendly town where island time prevails. Slide in among the locals—who all seem to know one another—as you get a dose of knowledge at the Langley Whale Center, feel the heat at Callahan’s Firehouse glassblowing hub, or browse for the perfect gift at shops like Wish in Langley and Chocolate Flower Farm, where the alluring aroma is worth a visit in itself.

Courtesy Clipper Vacations

Grab a coffee at Useless Bay, clink pints at Double Bluff Brewing, and grab lunch at Braeburn, Spyhop or Prima Bistro. After you’ve had your fill of wandering, set up shop in the cozy tasting room of Ott & Murphy Winery. Here water views, dark paneling, vibrant artwork and live piano music fill a welcoming space, where delicious wines (“deep in the artisan traditions of rural France and Whidbey Island”) attract loyal fans. Be sure to sample the 2013 Possession Columbia Valley and the newly released 2014 Saratoga, a rich blend of Syrah from Boushey Vineyard with Grenache and Mourvedre from Rattlesnake Hills.

Courtesy Clipper Vacations

The Clipper heads back from Langley at 4:45, getting passengers back on Seattle soil by 6 p.m. All in all—a festive way to spend a December day!

Tickets are going fast; book now to get in on the holiday cheer.

About Corinne Whiting

Corinne, an east coast native who relocated here from the other Washington in 2011, was bit by the travel bug early on. She lived in Strasbourg, France (during her junior year at Georgetown University) and in Edinburgh, Scotland, where she got a masters degree in Cultural Studies. She feels very grateful to have explored incredible spots on our globe ranging from Bolivia and Egypt to Turkey and China, but there are passport pages yet to fill (and travel tales yet to be written!). After serving as associate editor at Where magazine in D.C. for five years, Corinne has embarked on a new adventure here in the PNW as a freelance writer and photographer, contributing to publications like National Geographic Traveler, the Alaska Airlines in-flight magazine, Amtrak's OnTrak, 1889 Washington, 1859 Oregon, Visit Seattle and so on. She loves exploring this incredible corner of the country while debunking the rain myths, upping her coffee quotient, hearing heaps of live music and finding her Zen near the water as often as possible.
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