July 6, 2016 by Terumi
Windy turns and hidden bakeries, scenic pull-outs and switchbacks reminiscent of the old Sea-to-Sky highway from Vancouver to Whistler are all reason to drive the Chuckanut Route that hugs the coast from Mt Vernon to Bellingham for about a 30 minute drive. With small kids and family up north, we were always in a rush when we used to head north from Seattle. How fast can we get there from door to door? What is our most direct route? So years have gone by since we’ve ambled along this delightful detour off the I-5 between Seattle and Vancouver. But recently since we’ve been driving electric we’ve had to stop to charge, and our kids have gotten a little older and a little more flexible with their needs and schedules, so it’s easier to slow down a little and take the scenic route.
The Tesla Burlington Super-Charger is actually only a few minutes from the exit off the I-5 to Chuckanut Drive so it’s not much of a detour. It’s just important that if you’re driving electric that you factor in the extra distance it takes to drive the Chuckanut to get to your destination. I have no idea how much extra charge you’ll need-please consult your car before you attempt this route! I am more interested in the bakeries and coffee that you’ll consume or if you’ll stop for blueberries or cheese. (I also do not know whether these items can be brought into Canada from the USA so I only buy these when we do this route from Bellingham to Seattle.) You will probably, most-likely need cash as many of these places only take cash. We’ve noticed that there is a really delicious fruit stand that has popped up near the Supercharger too and apparently they’ll be there all summer. We have bought some really delicious fruit from this stand.
Another cash-only delicious place is the Breadfarm. Thank goodness, as it is dangerous here NOT to be limited by the amount of cash you have in your wallet. Apparently there is an ATM nearby too if you need it but I don’t do banks or bank machines (it’s one of my phobias….yes, scared of bank machines is a thing) so I was stuck counting my pennies and nickels to see how many pastries would accompany me home. I only know about the Breadfarm because I often buy an ACME farm box that sources many ingredients from this area.
Along the drive, there is reason to stop at so many other places. We’ve made it to Bow Hill Blueberries which has delicious blueberries and ice cream. And also Samish Bay Cheese which I’ve also had in my farm box. You can even watch the cheese being made at this cheese shop! (I love this farm box by the way! It has introduced me to so many wonderful foods!) I am not really a shellfish girl or I’d probably make it to Taylor Shellfish along the Chuckanut Drive too. There are really too many places to stop and we spotted a few new places under construction so each time we come we try something new.
On days we have more time it’s easier to stop and take in a lookout. I’d like to stop and hang out on one of the beaches we pass by during low tide too. But we still use this as a route to a destination, so it’s still a journey. I also read that there are bat caves on the Chuckanut drive. Have you seen these bats???!!!
But there is one place you probably won’t hear about anywhere else on this drive. We stumbled into it quite by accident and I’m not even sure of its exact name or location. All I know is I spotted a garden store on the way into Bellingham as we exited the windy Chuckanut road and started entering the city. This garden shop is hard to miss because it has glass sculptures and lush greenery and I wanted to take a peek.
As we wandered the garden, a man walked up to me and said. “Do your kids want to feed the chickens?”
We never say no to questions like this.
And there is good reason.
Can you imagine a more perfect find on a road adventure?
I hope you find it too!
(They also have an alpaca…..)
Have you driven the Chukanut? I’d love to hear your favorite stop!
Category British Columbia, DAILY LIFE, electric cars, FAMILY TRAVELS, Road Trips in a Tesla, seattle, seattle with kids, vancouver | Tags: Bat caves near Bellingham, Chickens in Bellingham, Chuckanut Drive in an electric car, Places to hang out near Burlington Supercharger, Road Trip to Vancouver from Seattle, Where to eat on the way between Vancouver and Seattle