Here's a State Park unlike any other in the country. Where should we start?
The bridge I guess... the 2 sections of bridge span 1500' in length 180' above the water. Connecting Whidbey Island's norther end to Fidalgo Island the bridge is located smack dab in the middle of the park. On both ends of the bridge have small parking lots and pull off's for visitors to park and take in the views. There is a walkway the entire length of the bridge allowing you to see the beaches, the strong (and dangerous) currents below, and the islands that pepper the area. If you're looking for a place to get out of the car and simply stretch your legs this might be the most scenic place in WA to do it. But wait there's more...
If you're up for a little bit of a more adventurous walk take the stairs down that lead underneath the bridge. There you'll find a labyrinth of small unofficial trails wandering all around the cliffs. This is where the majority of selfies inside the park are taken. That may not be entirely true we sorta made that stat up but chances are you'll take a couple while you're down there. There are no rails along the cliff side so be careful. In addition to these short little wandering trails is an official hiking trail that leads into the south half of the state park and down to the beach. It's about 1.2 miles long and has a pretty steep decent the first 1/8 mile or so. This trail does have railings and stone walls to help keep people nice and safe. Once you're to the end of this trail you'll find yourself all the way out at the point you were once looking down at from the bridge. You'll quickly realize that there is a giant parking lot right there. As you look up at where your car is currently parked you may be wishing that you would've simply driven to the point and avoided the big hill. It pays to read the entire article ;)
The park has a few other neat things about it. Most Puget Sound coastal parks have plenty of water but they rarely also have a lake! Separated by only a few feet, a bbq pit, a bathroom, and an outdoor shower you'll find that you can hop from lake to ocean all day long and watch the kids from the same beach chair if you wanted. The southern half of the parks seems to get the most visitors so if you're feeling a little crowded then the other beach is simply on the north side of the bridge. A short drive away and you'll find a very different but equally cool beach to visit.
There is a large pier stretching over Bowman Bay that get's you on the water without getting wet. If you came to play in the water then head to this beach first as they have a small boat launch that's perfect for kayaks and paddle boards. Remember what I said about dangerous currents up above... you'll be safe in this bay but venture too far out and you may find yourself in a situation most would rather just avoid. Just off the beach is a small playground, a field with room to play, a plethora of small trails to hop around on the rock formations and some additional camping if you're looking to extend your stay for a day or two. But that's not all...
This park also has an underwater park. If you snorkel or scuba dive you know exactly what that means. If you don't let me explain. Washington has some underwater park that are no boating/ no fishing zones and are set aside to preserve rich pockets of wildlife. These areas are reserved for divers. You might be surprised to find all sorts of colorful tropical looking fish and things swimming around in the Puget Sound. Often times the wildlife has been enticed to live in these area and have been growing around some artificial art pieces, or old ships and other large items that now has been taken over by mother nature and acts like an artificial reefs or sorts. So if you're after an underwater adventure I'm told that Deception Pass is one of the best spots WA has to offer.
As you approach the area you'll find signs directing you to each half of the park, both are worth a visit and there's no need to cram them into one trip. Below is a list of links that should help you get started planning a trip to Deception Pass. If you do go please share your experience on our Facebook Group! This is also a great group to ask questions about destinations all around the state to find one that's perfect for your next big adventure.
State Park info