It’s a great feeling to live on Whidbey Island, from the marine island climate, the stunning culture and community, the beautiful beaches and scenery, and so much more, but if there is one down side that is having to wait in ferry lines trying to leave or get back onto the island. Whether you’re sailing on the Mukilteo – Clinton Ferry, or the Coupeville, Port Townsend Ferry, if you try to sail during peak times or peak seasons, you’re probably gonna spend awhile on the dock. There are several ways to minimize your ferry frustration and plan your trips to avoid the long Whidbey island ferry wait times.


This may seem like a no brainer, but if everyone followed this rule, then there wouldn’t be any peak traffic times, would there? Below are the peak times you should absolutely avoid attempting to drive a car on the ferry.


Foot passengers, cyclists, and motorcyclists will always be allowed on the first available whidbey island ferry sailing after they show up at the dock. If you can avoid driving on and utilize alternate transportation once you arrive on the other side, you’ll avoid any potential long ferry wait times.


You can often find regular ferry commuters looking to sell their Whidbey island ferry passes online. You can end up paying quite a bit less than you would normally.

While you may easily spend $50 bringing your family over to Whidbey and back, you could purchase a Wave2go pass with several trips left on it for around $20.


Best option to avoid the whidbey island ferry altogether. This isn’t really an option if you’re on the peninsula, but you can easily head up north and drive across the Deception Pass bridge if you want to avoid the Mukilteo/Clinton ferry. It really depends on where your ultimate destination is, and how worried you are about sitting in line at the ferry. There have been plenty of times, you can avoid long waits and make the drive around. It’s a beautiful drive, it costs roughly the same in gas as riding the ferry, and it’s still a very scenic trip. Your call!


Lately, Whidbey island ferry hassle has been getting to me less and less. Sure, it can be frustrating to have to sit around and wait two hours to travel a few miles across the water, especially when there is a crying baby in the back seat, but you can always get out of the car, stroll over to the edge of the water and stare out at one of the most beautiful places in the world. You could also head into Ivarr’s or Diamond knot and drink the ferry wait away.

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