Bow, Edison and Chuckanut

Unwind down the Drive


Head northwest from Mount Vernon and Burlington through picturesque farmland, and along the water you’ll find the tiny towns of Bow and Edison. Exit 231 off I-5 North leads visitors towards a quaint sojourn from the chaos of everyday life.

Perched on the banks of a slough, Edison is all about escaping the city to embrace one’s passions. This one-intersection town with an estimated population of 316 is home to artisans and artists of all sorts. Journalist Edward R. Murrow graduated from Edison High School, and the community continues to foster and nurture creative minds today. Edison’s Smith & Vallee Gallery, housed in a restored turn-of-the-century schoolhouse, showcases artwork from emerging artists.

Bow and Edison draw in food lovers from all around, with a variety of food producers and restaurants. Both Breadfarm Bakery, specializing in handcrafted small-batch breads, and Farm to Market Bakery, which bakes a variety of delicious pastries, are masters of their craft. Bow has artisan cheese makers, and Edison has several cafés and restaurants, most of which have an intensely local focus.

Chuckanut Drive is an experience visitors should take advantage of. The 21-mile stretch of road between Bow-Edison and Fairhaven allows visitors the chance to ramble along high above the shoreline. The cliffs fall to Chuckanut Bay on one side and steep rock faces climb the other side of the drive.

Road bikers be forewarned – the winding road is narrow with no passing room. It’s safest for everyone when drivers keep their eyes on the road and wait for one of the many scenic overlooks before lifting a camera to memorialize the view.

The Chuckanuts offer hiking for all ages and experience levels – Larrabee State Park on Chuckanut Drive alone has seven trails, ranging from the easy trek down to Clayton Beach to the 6.5-mile grind to the top of Oyster Dome. Though it involves a 2,000-foot gain in elevation, Oyster Dome is worth the climb for the spectacular view of Bellingham Bay and the San Juan islands waiting at the top. The trails at Larrabee State Park all require a day-use Discover Pass to park, but there are state-wide free days every year.

Fresh oysters are plentiful on Chuckanut Drive, as they grow right in the mudflats of Samish Bay. Stop in at The Oyster Bar to try oysters from the bay or take the lane down to the renowned Taylor Shellfish Farms to visit the oyster farm and buy fresh oysters, clams, geoduck, mussels and crab right from the source.

In Bow, Edison and Chuckanut, visitors find that they cannot help but feel connected to the bounty of the Pacific Northwest.

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