It might not be as scenic as Whidbey’s more idyllic towns, but Oak Harbor can be just the right post on which budgeting families can hitch for the night. Lodging options are less expensive and the town has an abundance of fast-food joints and grocery stores.
Among the cheapest is Queen Ann Motel (450 S.E. Pioneer Way, 360/675-2209, $59–79 d). Interiors are plain painted cinderblock and are worn, but the rooms have kitchenettes with stove, microwave, and fridge. The property has a heated indoor pool and an outdoor picnic area with a barbecue.
Kitchenette units are more expensive at Auld Holland Inn (33575 Hwy. 20, 360/675-2288 or 800/228-0148, $59–149 d) but worth the extra couple of bucks, as they are a bit more charming and clean. This Dutch-style motel has a whirling windmill outside and old country furnishings with floral linens within. The property is flush with amenities, including an outdoor pool and hot tub, a sauna, tennis court, exercise room, and lawn games.
Though slightly more expensive than the motel competition, Coachman Inn (35959 Hwy. 20, 360/675-0727 or 800/635-0043, www.thecoachmaninn.com, $105–209 d) is a good option to keep on the summertime short list. The well-tended rooms range from basic units to suites and even a townhouse apartment. There’s an outdoor pool and exercise room, and continental breakfast is included.
Nicest of the bunch is Best Western Harbor Plaza (33175 Hwy. 20, 360/679-4567 or 800/927-5478, $149–169 d), which kids love for the deluxe breakfast’s do-it-yourself waffle maker and the fresh popcorn and cookies served in the afternoon. Rack rates here are some of the priciest in Oak Harbor, but you’re also more likely to get a deep discount online for this place than any other accommodations in Oak Harbor. The property has an outdoor pool, hot tub, and fitness center.
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition