True, Edison is little more than a wide spot in the road. But this particular wide spot has a disproportionate number of seriously fine eating establishments and unique art galleries. Edison embodies the farm-to-table, healthy (with a side of local pastured bacon), environmentally conscious, creatively quirky ambiance that infuses much of the Pacific Northwest.
Leaving Winthrop and our adventures in the North Cascades, the drive along the North Cascades Scenic Byway and through the pastoral farmland of the Skagit Valley was a beautiful one. One hundred and forty miles later, we pulled into our favorite campground in the area—Bay View State Park, overlooking Padilla Bay. At only nine miles from the ferry landing in Anacortes, it puts us on the doorstep of the San Juan Islands—and it’s also perfectly positioned for a visit to Edison.
It’s an easy six-and-a-half mile bike ride along the bay and through acres of blueberry fields from Bay View State Park to Edison. Our destination is always Tweets, a former gas station turned café. (There are more good choices; this just happens to be our favorite.)
The big garage doors roll up Friday through Sunday, revealing a rustic interior with a charmingly eccentric décor of roughhewn wood tables, local artwork, random trinkets, and a twinkling chandelier. The food offerings are equally eclectic, prompted by what’s in season in the neighborhood (including eggs from the proprietors’ chickens and vegetables from their garden). The food is delicious, the atmosphere casual and relaxed, and the coffee excellent.
The two-block town is worth a leisurely exploration, including locally made treasures from reclaimed materials at the Lucky Dumpster; curiosities at Shop Curator that rival a small natural history museum; and lovely cheeses and wines at Slough Food. Even though breakfast is more than satisfying, we can never resist picking up a couple of bite-sized cocoa nib shortbread cookies from Breadfarm. (It’s also worth biking an additional mile to the even tinier hamlet of Bow; we’ve enjoyed both the Rhody Cafe and their sidekick Farm-To-Market Bakery.)
In the never-ending cycle of new adventures that traveling fulltime brings, we’ve found that we appreciate the familiarity of favorite places that we return to time and again. Stopping at Bay View State Park and biking into Edison has become something of a small tradition for us—a couple of days here gives us the opportunity to catch our breath from our long cross country journeys, and eases us into the laid-back island life that awaits.
About the campground:
At only nine miles from the ferry landing in Anacortes, Bay View State Park is perfectly located for a journey to the San Juan Islands. The best sites for RV’s are sites 1-9, which have partial hookups (water and electric) and also happen to be nearest Padilla Bay (the end sites even have views of the bay). There’s a nice biking/walking trail just a mile from the park that wends around the bay. Verizon coverage is good.
Next Up: Summer On Lopez Island [portfolio_slideshow]
Edison looks like a great find. I can see why you keep returning. While working in WA, we would jump on a ferry to anywhere. Just for the day or two. This is a place we will have to check out. Nice to see you back at blogging.
Debbie, we love island hopping on the Washington ferries, too. Next time you’re in the neighborhood, definitely pay a visit to Edison. (I’ve been steadily blogging away. I just can’t keep up with my life. :-))
What a darling place with a nice looking spot to camp as well. I love your traditions. We have some too but they aren’t as neat as yours. Your pictures are so bright with color love the North Cascade Highway it looks like a wonderland as do the little restaurants. Lucky dumpster, what a great name. I assume you just stumbled on this spot once upon a time. Don’t blame you at all for returning.
Sherry, the North Cascade Byway, from the mountains to the Skagit Valley, is spectacularly scenic. We happened to drive through Edison several years ago and found it irresistible. We love our little traditions, too. :-)
Lovely post! I love a sweet little town off the beaten path…looks like a laid back, tasty place to stay.
Lisa, we’re always delighted to find interesting little towns off the beaten path. Edison is especially sweet—the local food offerings of the Skagit Valley are phenomenal.
Lovely! It’s very true that when living a somewhat nomadic life it feels good to be somewhere familiar and then just slow the pace down. Looks like you found a great spot to do just that! Nice green and lush campsite.
Peta, you understand exactly! We love this nomadic life, but we also enjoy the familiarity of special places. Many little “homecomings” across the country keep us grounded.
Yes! We are in the midst of a homecoming in Hoi An, Viet Nam. We first spent three months here in 2013, fell in love with this charming Unesco city and have returned years later…it is amaxing how comforting it is to be in a familiar place and to feel so at home here!
Hey, Cascadian farm! We were there last week. Got us a pumpkin and some ice cream. Cool place!
Henry, I was so happy to find the Cascadian Farm farmstand—we’ve been buying their organic fruits and veggies for years. So….I had raspberry chocolate chip ice cream. What did you have? :-)
Hoping to get this way next summer! That’s the route we are taking! I love the little town of Edison. Very neat that you can bike there. I must confess that when the email came in for this post and I saw the title, I laughed:) All I could think was…just getting to Lopez Island…haha! Sorry:) Hope you two are well:)
Pam, this is a spectacular area of the country. You guys are going to love hiking in the North Cascades and all of the beauty that the Pacific Northwest has to offer. Yeah, I know, I’m pathetically far behind. I’ve thought about just skipping to the present, but there’s too much good stuff to write about. I hope you still enjoy the posts. :-)
We may have passed this way on our way to Anacortes but did not bother to glance at this cute little town. I would love a taste of those yummy cookies at the Breadfarm.
That lake just looked like one of the many lakes in the Canadian Rockies!
ML, Edison would be easy to pass through—but I talked Eric into stopping a few years ago, and we’re really glad we did. It’s one of our favorite tiny little towns. (Not even big enough to qualify as a town, actually.) Diablo Lake is an amazing color, isn’t it? We’re looking forward to seeing those lakes in the Canadian Rockies.
Love that little town, you’ve just made it famous! These little finds are the real gems of this lifestyle. We enjoy decompressing in familiar surroundings and then, once refreshed, moving on to new adventures. We’d love to know where you are, right now, but are content to read about where you were.(perhaps a little hint now and then?)
Oh, so you know Edison, too! (Why am I not surprised!;-)) I agree, Sue—the little finds like Edison are the gems of this lifestyle. (p.s. We’re in our hometown of Ashland for a bit, getting caught up with stuff here that we need to take care of.)
We’re here on N. Whidbey by Deception Pass until mid-October. Love the area. We also stopped at Cascadian Farms for ice cream coming from Glacier. Maybe we could cross paths.
Ed, we’re in our hometown of Ashland, OR until sometime in November. If you’re heading this direction, let’s plan to meet up!
That lake photo is stunning! Edison looks like a little piece of heaven and a wonderful tradition for making the transition. The little bird nest is so cute :-)
Thanks, Jodee. :-) We look for the baby barn swallows each time we visit Edison—and they’re always there.
We plan on staying on the west coast this next year. Edison is now on our list. I’m slowly updating our blog from this summer, very slowly. lol good to see yours.
Haha, we’re in slow-mo with catch up, too. If you’re nearby, Edison is worth a stop, Pam. Try to get there when Tweets is open.
I am finally able to get into some of my favorite blogger sites. I’ve got some catching up to do. I wish we would have known about this place when we were in Washington. It looks just like my kind of place. Edison will definitely be on the list the next time we are in the area.
LuAnn, you and Terry will enjoy Edison when you get back to Washington. I’m amazed that you’re able to keep up with blogging in the midst of your European adventure! You’re inspiring, my friend. :-)