Lummi Island and The Willows Inn in Washington

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Lummi Island Baker Preserve Overlook View of Surrounding Islands

Melanie and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary with a trip to Washington. We spent a couple of days in Seattle meeting up with friends and doing touristy stuff around the city. We then drove north a couple of hours to Lummi Island and stayed overnight at The Willows Inn.

We enjoyed an excellent dinner at The Willows Inn, enjoyed the amazing view from our beachfront room, and woke up the next morning to an amazing breakfast back at the inn. We then did a hike up the Baker Preserve and got a spectacular view of the surrounding islands, including the San Juan islands, from the overlook. Lucky for us, the weather during the two days on Lummi Island was perfect – sunny and in the seventies.

I thought it’d be fun to post some pics from our stay there, especially the fantastic meal that we had there.

Lummi Island Sheep Farm

Lummi Island is a 9.25 sq. mile island in the Puget Sound and belongs to Whatcom County, Washington. To get there, you have to take a 6-minute ferry from Gooseberry Point. It’s probably the quickest ferry ride I’ve ever taken.

The first thing I did once we got settled in was to go for a quick run. I ran on the very quiet main road where no more than half a dozen cars passed me during the forty minutes I was jogging.

Lummi Island Beach

Lummi Island Beach

The island is pristine and I was struck by how empty it was. Maybe it’s because we were there right before July 4th and perhaps it gets more crowded as the weather gets warmer. I was told that summer in the Pacific Northwest really begins after Independence Day.

High Tide at The Willows Inn

We stayed in a unit of The Willows Inn called High Tide (the top level one). It’s about half a mile down from the restaurant/inn base and right on the water. We had a fantastic view of the water from our bed.

Lavender growing at The Willows Inn

Outdoor seating at The Willows Inn

We went over to the restaurant at 5PM for cocktails. We sat outside and enjoyed the view of the water.

I enjoyed a couple of very herbal concoctions, one which featured cynar and another that had acquavit. Mel enjoyed a non-alcoholic mocktail. Around 6PM, the food started coming out. These were “pre-meal snacks” to get our appetites going.

Cocktails at The Willows Inn

Kale with truffle at The Willows Inn

Lettuce wrap with fish at The Willows Inn

Bun filled with cod at The Willows Inn

Smoked wild salmon at The Willows Inn

Venison skewers at The Willows Inn

Octopus and morel skewers at The Willows Inn

Once we enjoyed our snacks, we made our way into the dining room inside and the dishes began to come out one by one.

The menu was very seafood forward with fruits, herbs, and vegetables all being sourced from the island. The wine pairing, save the dessert wine, was all white wines (and 1 rosé), which made sense with all the fish and shellfish.

A ceviche-type dish with island berries at The Willows Inn

Shrimp at The Willows Inn

Oysters at The Willows Inn

Diver scallops at The Willows Inn

Smoked mussels at The Willows Inn

Clams at The Willows Inn

Razo clams at The Willows Inn

Geoduck at The Willows Inn

Asparagus cooked in skunk cabbage at The Willows Inn

Flowers on a toasted something at The Willows Inn

Sourdough bread with chicken fat and butter at The Willows Inn

One of the servers showed us the halibut and the turnips as a preview of the ingredients that would be used in the main course.

Halibut with turnips at The Willows Inn

I was actually hoping for a more generous cut of halibut, but the dish itself was quite good. The turnips had a nice wasabi-like kick to them.

One of the servers showed us the halibut and the turnips as a 

After the main course, we made our way back out to the deck where we started to see the sun begin its descent. We also enjoyed a few different desserts. The most memorable one was the candied pine cone with a pine-flavored ice cream served on a pine tree branch. I thought it was interesting. Melanie really didn’t like it.

Pine tree dessert at The Willows Inn

Rose ice cream at The Willows Inn

Birch creme brulee with a birch-flavored broth at The Willows Inn

The sunset was beautiful. And this was around 9:30PM, which made the day feel incredibly long.

Beautiful sunset at The Willows Inn

At 10PM, there was still a good amount of light. It made me wish we could have extended days like this back on the East Coast.

The view at 10PM on Lummi Island

The next morning, we went right back to the restaurant for breakfast. We started off with some yogurt and then came a really nice spread featuring buckwheat crepes.

Breakfast yogurt at The Willows Inn

Breakfast crepes and spread at The Willows Inn

I also really enjoyed the freshly pressed apple juice they served us throughout breakfast.

After the meal, we packed up, checked out, and headed for Baker Preserve where we took a leisurely hike up about 1,000 feet and close to 2 miles in distance to the overlook. The thing I love about the Pacific Northwest are the incredibly tall trees. You just don’t see trees like this back in New York.

Tall trees on Lummi Island

Banana slug on Lummi Island

We saw only 6 or so other people the entire time we were on the trail and when we got to the overlook, we were able to enjoy it privately as another couple left just as we got there.

View from the Overlook at Baker Preserve on Lummi Island

Happy anniversary to my wife, Melanie! So grateful we got to spend such a memorable time together.

I was fortunate that a friend told me about Lummi Island, otherwise I never would have found out about it. I highly recommend it as it was very easy to get to from Seattle. I wouldn’t have minded staying an extra day there to go on a bike ride or check out some other trails, but beyond The Willows Inn, the food options there seem very limited and their lone grocery store is pretty understocked. Then again, you can always take the 6-minute ferry and go buy stuff on the mainland and come right back.

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