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A Weekend in Stanwood

Small town charm and the easy island.

Stanwood, Washington – located an hour and a half north of Seattle – is a getaway, a gateway to Camano Island. The Stanwood-Camano coastal area is home to wandering coastlines and tranquil farmland. Spend a long weekend unplugging here. Treat yourself to a slow meal and views that blend rolling hills and bays with distant snowcapped mountains and farmsteads. 

It’s time to explore Stanwood, Washington. 

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Day 1

Getting here is half the fun! Visitors can take the Amtrak train to the tiny station in downtown Stanwood. Arriving by rail, you can step off the train onto the platform and be within a ridesharing radius of your lodging accommodations. 

But first, you’ll want to refuel after your journey. Check out Mammoth Burger for a solid comfort food option after your long journey. Mammoth Burger lives up to its name by dishing up 1.5-lb. local beef patties topped with a quarter pound of cheddar next to a small mountain of hand-cut French fries. Wow! Enjoy the gastropub vibes, complete with a chalkboard menu and a knife ceremoniously driven vertically through each burger served.

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Where to stay? Nearby lodging options include seaside and farmland AirBnBs and a charming yurt village at nearby Kayak Point County Park. The yurts at Kayak Point are equipped with futons, outdoor fire rings, indoor electrical outlets (crucial for charging your phone), ventilated windows, and access to hot water. They’re also only a short walk from the photogenic shores of Post Susan of the Salish Sea.

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Day 2

Enjoy breakfast at the Farmer’s Café for a traditional eggs, bacon, hash-and-toast type of All American diner breakfast. If you’re a food-loving locavore, you’ll want to coordinate and book a reservation for farm-to-table dining on Camano

Stanwood is a small town that yields big surprises. You can easily spend a few hours leisurely perusing downtown shops in Stanwood. Art galleries, cupcake shops, boutiques, and antique shops are worth a stretch of the legs and a flight of fancy. 

 Then it’s time to savor Stanwood’s own SAAL Brewing Co. for dinner and drinks. SAAL stands for Stanwood Artisan Ales and Lagers. It’s located in a vintage stucco firefighter’s building. Besides all the delicious beer you’re sure to sip the food is a top local secret – try $3 mahi mahi fish tacos any time of the day. Happy hour prices are baked into the menu so that you can get your fill of quality eats without emptying your wallet.

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Headed back to Kayak Point? You owe yourself a visit. Explore hiking trails, kayaking, fishing, and crabbing. The shallow, pebbly coastline allows for a quick and easy put-in for watercraft. The 3,000 feet of shoreline here are scattered with well-worn driftwood that acts as nature’s own benches for sitting and admiring the sunset over Puget Sound. If you’re lucky, you may see a migratory grey whale surface during its seasonal migrations – Port Susan is a regular stopping point for the aquatic giants en route to Alaska. 

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Day 3

The seasonal Stanwood Farmers Market is open from roughly June through October on Fridays. The market is a gathering of farmers, local producers, makers, and more.  The Stanwood Farmers Market makes fresh local food accessible to all and cultivates long-term economic vitality for the Stanwood and Camano Island communities. Feel good about the delicious in-season Saturn peaches that you snatch from the market. Yum!

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Then, a final jaunt to Camano for a visit to Matzke Fine Art and Design and Camano Island Coffee. The Matzke Sculpture Park is a remarkable work of interactive outdoor art. The graceful site embodies a geometry of playfulness where trees, walls, lawns, and flowers come together to form a brilliant frame for outdoor sculptures. The park is open to the public Friday, Saturday & Sunday, 11 to 5, or weekdays by appointment. 

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Camano Island Coffee crafts delicious, fresh-roasted beans. Locals love it for the flavor and freshness of their roasts. When you visit the island you owe it to yourself to pick up a few bags of coffee to take back home. So good!

Finally, take a stroll along any of the waterfront trails of Stanwood. It’s good to take it slow here. There’s much to see if you take the time to reflect and relax.

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