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As cabin fever sets in during stay-at-home orders that will last until May 4, many Washingtonians are yearning to get outside and enjoy spring in the Pacific Northwest.

Luckily, there are still ways you can travel during quarantine. With the help of engaging videos, Whidbey and Camano Islands are offering seaside escapes in a new virtual series that highlights the natural and cultural beauty of both islands.

“As we weather this worldwide health crisis, we want to connect the creativity and beauty of the islands with our visitors,” said Sherrye Wyatt, PR and marketing manager at Whidbey and Camano Island Tourism. “Until we can physically welcome our visitors back, we are offering a series of experiences available at home.”

One of the first virtual experiences featured on the website is a tour of Saratoga Passage in Puget Sound to showcase the annual migration of gray whales as well as transient and resident orcas.

From late March to June, approximately 18,000 gray whales migrate north from their breeding grounds in Baja California up to the Bering Sea. During this annual northern migration up the coast, several pods of gray whales will turn east into the Salish Sea and stop in the calm protected waters of the Saratoga Passage to eat and rest.

While whale watching opportunities are limited due to stay-at-home orders and closure of many parks, the video opportunity allows residents to take in the wonders of this annual migration that will occur pandemic or not.

The virtual vacation also includes a tour of artist Georgia Gerber’s studio. Gerber is probably best known for her bronze sculpture of Rachael, the Pike Place Market pig. Camano Island Honey is also profiled in the first week.

New sightseeing videos and digital tours of the islands’ natural beauty and cultural locations will be added to the site every Monday and Friday. Other virtual doses of the outside world include livestreams of University of Washington’s iconic cherry blossoms and adorable sea otter cams from the aquarium.


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