Deception Pass in Washington has been one of my favorite places to take my visiting family and friends for its gorgeous views of the beaches and sunsets; and for the delicious, fresh seafood nearby. What more can you ask for?
Whether you’re having a day trip from Seattle or staying for a weekend, Deception Pass has so many activities to offer.
Looking for other activities near Seattle? Check out my post on the Best Locations to Catch Squid in Seattle.
1. Take the ferry and drive up Whidbey Island
If you’re coming from Seattle and have an extra hour, I’d recommend taking the scenic route by taking the ferry from Mukilteo and driving up Whidbey Island. Down this scenic drive, you’ll hit many viewpoints, cute little farms, and towns. It’s a nice drive if you’re not from Washington and want a new scenery from Seattle.
2. Camp at Deception Pass State Park
If you have a weekend available and want to go camping, I’d recommend reserving a campsite at Deception Pass State Park. Because the campgrounds are highly sought for, make sure you reserve well in advance. I’d recommend reserving a campsite near Cranberry Lake and West Beach (here), if you’re into water activities, like kayaking, fishing, and want to be by the beach sand.
To reserve a campsite at Deception Pass State Park, visit the Washington State Park site.
3. Fish at Cranberry Lake
One of my favorite things to do while I’m at Deception Pass State Park is to fish at Cranberry Lake. Although I’m a complete fishing noob, I’ve had the best luck at catching fish here. Whether it was before dusk or the middle of the day, I was able to catch 3 rainbow trout near the north-side of the lake.
4. Watch the sunset at West Beach
Sunsets in Washington and specifically at West Beach are insanely gorgeous! In the summer, I’d recommend taking a walk down the beach for an hour or so before sunset, then post up with a blanket, charcuterie board, and drinks.
Note that the Discover Pass is needed to park at the parking lot.
5. Kayak around Cranberry Lake
I love the fact that I can use my kayak more ever since it started getting warmer in Seattle, and Deception Pass is definitely a spot to take my kayak out. West Beach at Deception Pass State Park has many kayaks for rent available near the restrooms.
If you have your own kayak or paddleboard, there’s a boat launch north of the lake, right before the parking lot at West Beach.
6. Find Clams on the Beach
My recent and most favorite activity near Deception Pass is digging up butter clams on the beach shore!
It’s so much fun walking down the beach at the peak of low tide hour with your rake and cooler in hand. Keep an eye out for “8”-holes or water squirting from the ground. Once you know what you’re looking for, you’ll be able to fill up your cooler with butter clams and cockles very quickly.
Clamming at Deception Pass is seasonal, so check the Washington website if clamming is currently available. If not, you can always find a different location in Washington.
Note that you must have a fishing license when clamming. Pick up a day or annual pass at a local Fred Meyer’s.
7. Eat at Shrimp Shack
One of my MUST DO things when I’m visiting Deception Pass is to grab a bag (or two) of fresh shrimp at Shrimp Shack. The long lines on the weekends are no lie; if you want to bypass the 1-hour wait, I’d recommend trying to go on a weekday, possibly either Friday or Monday.
Bonus tip is to bring your own scoop of rice and other fixings.
Visiting Deception Pass has become one of my favorite spots in Washington because of the many activities and breathtaking views. If you have a weekend or only a day, I’d definitely recommend visiting!