[This was written as an email reply, November 1997.]
> Mike, > > I've 2 scenerios to choose from: The Whidbey Is. winery with a B&B in > Langley or Clinton is my first choice. (Given our friends would be > coming down from Vancouver, accessibility for them is an issue too.) > My second choice, which I'd proposed to my wife back in the summer, was > to have a dinner on the Spirit of Washington c/w the St Michelle tour.The wine train now goes to Columbia winery. I'm sure the wine train is a neat experience, but it's only a few hours, and I doubt it would compare to your overnight alternative.
Whidbey Island is a nice place with some neat little towns. My wife and I really like both the folks at, and the wines of, Whidbey Island Winery. The town of Langley is nice, perhaps a bit cute, but that's all right. Be sure to get dinner reservations at The Capt. Whidbey's Inn. It's an old log building (don't worry, modern fittings) with a fine restaurant. We've not tried any of the lodgings in the island as my parents have a cabin there, so you can report back to me afterwards and I'll include your info on the website. You can also visit the place that was Whidbey's, where Chateau Ste. Michelle used to make the Whidbey's Loganberry liquor. I gather they sold the property a few months ago and it's recently reopened as a new business. I'd love to hear what it is now, it may be months before I get up there to check it out...
> On one hand, I'd love to surprise her, and on the other, I don't want to > disappoint her if she really has her heart set on the dinner train. > (It's so hard being a sneak...Whidbey Island is a lot more convenient for your BC friends too!
If you've got a few days, I'd recommend one night on Whidbey Island, and any remaining nights in Port Townsend. Tons of stunningly gorgeous B&B's there, and several wonderful personable wineries on the Olympic Penninsula.
Also, from Whidbey Island, it's not far to Anacortes, where the Anacortes ferry will take you to Lopez Island Vineyards and San Juan Cellars -- don't undertake this trip lightly though, it would certainly take the entire day.
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