March 24, 2009

Chuckanut Drive, not just a road but an experience

Chuckanut Drive is one of my favorite places to go for a drive or to get away for the day. On in given day the beauty of the ocean and the northwest rainforest prevails. There are several places to visit, park & enjoy the view along the way.chuckanut 027

If you want a little more adventure you can take a hike on a number of trails around Chuckanut. I recall a hike to Fragrance Lake. My family has many different versions of that particular hike, in fact I recall it ending with my Dad placing crawdads in the foot of my bed. He is always the prankster. You can only imagine a teenage girls reaction. I don't recommend this part for your family but the hike is wonderful.

You can also enjoy the day at Larrabee State Park. From walks on the beach, having the train pass by and climbing a rock wall there is something for everyone. Young and old love traversing tidepools or just enjoying the waves lapping on the shore.  This is a wonderful place to look for special treasures from the ocean, just be sure to put back all living creatures from the sea back where you found them :).

There  are a few notable places to dine along Chuckanut Drive as well. chuckanut 001 Should you care for a romantic sunset and wonderful meal or just an appetizer with a view. Oyster Creek Inn, which has closed recently and is currently looking for another revival. I had a wonderful mother/daughter moment with chocolate chip cheesecake and will always have fond memories of that day. The Oyster Bar, which poses wonderful views and food to match. A wonderful dinner with friends was enjoyed at this restaurant. I especially remember the mussels. Chuckanut Manor which holds a spot near and dear. This was a place that was a favorite of my late grandfather. It is always a pleasure to reminisce with the owner and the stories he tells. It has an opportunity the others do not, in that you can stay in one of the bed and breakfast suites. What a way to wake up in the morning and look out upon that gorgeous view. Last on the journey would be the Rhododendron Cafe where you will find the great history of Chuckanut Restaurants.

chuckanut 005 If you would like to take home some of the seas bounty then stop by Taylor Shellfish farm for fresh Dungenous crab, oysters, and Mussels.

This is the freshest we could find for chuckanut 003our neighborhood crab feed. There is no better way to get to know your neighbors than by cracking crab together and finding out who eats theirs as they go or who piles it up for a one course meal.  The mussels are just wonderful. It's funny, I never ate mussels until I was probably 32 and wow was I missing something. Of course the oysters are over the top and myfavorite is on the barbecue with a little butter, Tabasco and a gentle squeeze of citrus. My grandfather always had them raw on the half shell.There's a Swede for you. There is a story about Lutefisk for another day.

chuckanut 014The drive out Chuckanut is enjoyed by many motorists whether it be by motorcycle, sportscar with the top down or a mini van full of children so please drive carefully. The curvy road and amazing views lends itself to an enjoyable ride. There are many auto and motorcycle clubs that like to take this drive as a group. I remember watching  a gaggle of Porsches cruise by as a teen thinking what a life...chuckanut 015

During the winter, Chuckanut Drive may have closures due to rock slides, so please be aware of the road.

You will need to see if the road has been closed due to slides. 

chuckanut 010So next time you decide to visit Bellingham or live here and need to get away for the day take a drive out on Chuckanut and enjoy all the beauty it has to offer.

It is a great way to spend the day whether with family, friendschuckanut 035 or just a loved one for a romantic drive.

-Katharine Carey- Real life, Real estate in Whatcom County

*special thanks to my daughter for taking the drive herself (another story for another day) and taking these wonderful photos. Please do not copy them as they are her work.

Much appreciated and Thank you for taking time out of your day . Comments welcome

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