8 Things to Do on Lummi Island, Washington

Dramatic Aerial Sunset View of Orcas Island, Washington.
Edmund Lowe Photography / Getty Images

Bordering the San Juan Islands west of Bellingham, Lummi Island may be lesser-known than its popular neighbors, but it’s a true Northwest gem. Home to fewer than 1,000 full-time residents and reachable only by ferry, the island is charmingly tiny and isolated. The beauty of Lummi Island lies in how wonderfully, pristinely rural the land is—there’s very little in the way of development, and you might see more deer and rabbits than people. Don’t count on being able to go to the movies or bar-hop; entertainment on Lummi comes in the form of leisurely bike rides, hikes, and rosé-and-cheese picnics on the beach. Luckily, the island is so beautiful—lush forests, gently rolling hills of farmland, and sparkling, slate-colored water as far as the eye can see—that something tells us you won’t exactly mind the lack of shopping malls and fast food joints.   

01 of 08

Go Hiking in a Preserve

Overlook at the Baker Preserve on Lummi Island, Washington.
Edmund Lowe Photography / Getty Images

There are three preserves maintained by the Lummi Island Heritage Trust: the Curry Preserve, the Otto Preserve, and the Baker Preserve. Curry and Otto are both lovely, easy strolls through fields and forest, but if you’re looking to sweat, plan to hike Baker Preserve. This vigorous, 3.2-mile round-trip hike winds up Lummi Mountain to an overlook with stunning views of Rosario Strait and the San Juan Islands. The trail is mostly shaded, but be sure to bring ample sun protection and plenty of water. (Note that Curry and Otto are both dog-friendly, but Baker is not.) 

02 of 08

Eat at the Beach Store Cafe

Beach Store Cafe

Courtesy of Beach Store Cafe

2200 N Nugent Rd, Lummi Island, WA 98262-8659, USA
Phone +1 360-758-2233

Situated in a sunny yellow house near the ferry dock, the Beach Store Cafe makes for a delightful place to grab a bite. A recent dinner menu included pasta in a white anchovy and garlic creme fraiche sauce, fish and chips, and Vietnamese chilled rice noodle salad with summer vegetables. Weekend mornings are for espresso and homemade pastries—take your pick from lemon poppy seed muffins, frosted cinnamon rolls, and blueberry poppy seed scones, or better yet, try one of each.

03 of 08

Explore the Saturday Farmers Market

Every Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., the small community of Lummi gathers at Marketplace Field to buy homegrown produce and shop for locally made goods like spices, pottery, quilts, jewelry, and more. The only grocery store in town, the Islander Store, is right next door, so you can round out your leafy greens with snacks and wine. Don’t forget your reusable shopping bags.

04 of 08

Stay at Full Bloom Farm

Full Bloom Farm

Courtesy of Full Bloom Farm

2330 Tuttle Ln, Lummi Island, WA 98262, USA
Phone +1 360-758-7173

Wake up to sunlit rows of fresh veggies and the smell of fragrant peonies when you stay the night at Full Bloom Farm. A lovely, airy guesthouse called “The Loft” is available for rent—guests can explore the tranquil property, take advantage of fresh eggs and produce, and enjoy the peaceful rhythms of farm life. Check the calendar to see if any fermentation or gardening classes are going on during your stay.

Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08

Picnic at Sunset Beach

Sunset View of Orcas Island from a Lummi Island Beach.
Edmund Lowe Photography / Getty Images

The island’s Willows Inn has become a globally known fine-dining destination in the last few years. Unfortunately, a New York Times investigation recently uncovered a history of abusive treatment of the restaurant’s employees. While it’s up to you to decide whether to check out the Willows Inn, personally, one of our favorite spots on the island is located right across the street. Sunset Beach is a stretch of rocky beach that’s usually sparsely populated, even in the summertime. It’s the perfect place to bring a picnic and a good book. Keep your eyes peeled for pods of orca whales.

06 of 08

Bike Around the Island

Bicycling around the entirety of this quiet paradise is a profound pleasure. Because there’s only a two-lane road with very little traffic, you’ll feel at ease as you cycle along, glimpsing farms, open fields, towering forests, and ocean views. Bring your own bike or inquire to see if your lodging has them. Just don’t bike anywhere after dark—there are no streetlights on Lummi, so you won’t be able to see (or be seen) well. 

07 of 08

Experience Nettles Farm

Nettles Farm

Courtesy of Nettles Farm

4300 Matia View Dr, Lummi Island, WA 98262, USA
Phone +1 360-758-7616

Since 1992, Riley Starks has run Nettles Farm, a small, family-owned farm that grows organic food for both the Lummi Island Farmer’s Market and the Bellingham Farmer’s Market and the Willows Inn and Taproot Cafe. Aside from providing fresh food for the community, the farm is a bed-and-breakfast, with unique, bucolic accommodations in the form of a farmhouse and farmhouse suites. Guests are encouraged to use the fully-stocked on-site kitchens to prepare their meals in—there’s a wood-stone pizza oven, plentiful farm-fresh herbs, and other perennial produce, depending on the season. Starks can even access fresh salmon and other seafood from Lummi Island Wild upon request. And, be sure to take a look at the Upcoming Workshops page when planning your visit. The farm regularly hosts gourmet cooking classes, butchery workshops, outdoor paella parties, and more.

08 of 08

Have a Kayak & Camping Adventure

Kayaking at Sunset Through the San Juan Islands of Washington State.
Edmund Lowe Photography / Getty Images

If you’re an experienced kayaker, kayaking to Lummi Island is a total thrill. And, bring your overnight gear: On the southeastern end of the island, there’s a boat-in-only campground with lovely views of Samish Island and Bellingham Bay. In terms of how to get there, you have a few options—you can either launch from Fairhaven, Bellingham (LFS Marine & Outdoor has kayak rentals), or from the ferry dock on Lummi. Or, from Wildcat Cove in Larrabee State Park, it’s a straight shot across the bay to the island. Moondance Sea Kayak Adventures offers (female-only) guided kayak tours of Lummi Island if that’s more your speed. 

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8 Things to Do on Lummi Island, Washington