Visitors and residents alike are fond of Lummi Island because of its bucolic, peaceful setting. Life on Lummi moves at a slower pace, with islanders feeling an intimate connection with each other and the natural world that enriches the everyday island experience. Residents are less inclined to worry about locking doors, walking after dark, or keeping track of their children's every move. Community spirit abounds; friends and neighbors organize the delivery of evening meals for those recovering from illness or the stresses of settling in with a new baby. We’re also the only San Juan island with easy access via a short ferry trip to the mainland and urban services, which is one of the main reasons Lummi can remain as commercially undeveloped as it is. Here, Mother Nature is at her best with spectacular water and island views, an abundance of seabirds, eagles, herons, and even passing pods of Orca whales.
Read on to learn more about what to find on Lummi Island including things to do, where to eat, accommodations, and other information about our island community.
The island community association newsletter, The Tome, keeps residents up-to-date on events such as the annual pancake breakfast, salmon barbecue, the fire department's open house, the island-wide talent show, and our much anticipated annual Christmas Bazaar (to name a few!).
Many resident islanders use the social media app, Nextdoor, to stay connected with and up-to-date on island activities. Ferry news, orcas sightings, lost and found objects, missing pets, and other important information is often shared on Nextdoor.
Lummi Island children attend the island's elementary school, Beach Elementary. A part of the Ferndale School District, Beach Elementary became an International Baccalaureate School and is considered a community hub, as its campus and community graciously host all-island events like the annual Veterans’ Day Assembly, Harvest Festival, Halloween haunted house and party, and Holiday Bazaar. In the summer, island kids and visiting children participate in the annual theater camp and other programs. Our middle and high school students take the school bus to nearby Ferndale, on the mainland. To learn more about our school, visit Lummi Island Foundation for Education.
The Whatcom County Lummi Island Library branch is open on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday with a well-curated selection of books and the ability to order any book an islander may want. The library also offers board games and dvds for rent, WiFi, and and computer stations, and board games. There is a children’s room as well as a teen room for island youth to explore. The library also hosts many monthly events, talks, and activities like storytime for children and crafts for adults and youth. Monthly presentations are well-attended and offer an opportunity to showcase our creative and adventurous residents including local well-known authors, illustrators, wildlife specialists, photographers, and world travelers.
The Lummi Island Post Office is open 24-hours for PO Box access, and the window is open for a fews hours daily during the week; it’s located just in front of our office at 2211 North Nugent Road, Bldg 2.
THE ISLANDER STORE
The only general store on island stocks a limited supply of groceries, sundries, snacks, wine and beer, movie rentals, and souvenirs. It’s open daily, year-round. The Islander also provides the island’s only ATM. Call (360) 758-2190 2106 or stop in at South Nugent Road, just south of the ferry dock.
There are two churches on the island. The Lummi Island Congregational Church is affiliated with the United Church of Christ but opens its arms to people wherever you are in your spiritual journey. The congregation is very active in the community, sponsoring the Island Plant Sale and hosting the All Island Fair, Rummage Sale, Vacation Bible School, Parish Nurses and Care Team, Adult and Children's Choir, and Sunday Church on the Beach events. The Congregational Church also offers weekly yoga, monthly parish dinners, book clubs, Elderberries for island seniors, and other programming developed by islanders for islanders. They are located on Legoe Bay Road. The Island Chapel meets at the Grange Hall for Sunday services and offers Bible study groups, vacation Bible school, Family Camping events, Youth Groups and multiple activities for both adults and children.
Lodging & Dining
Unlike many of the other islands in the San Juans, there are no resorts or large hotels on island. However, there are plenty of places to stay on Lummi Island. Many islanders offer up their properties as well-appointed vacation rentals; you can find these listings on Lummi Vacation Rentals, VRBO, and Airbnb.
Fine dining and lodging can be found at The Willows Inn. The Willows hosts guests in comfortable rooms at the Inn and in spacious guest houses and cottages nearby.
Full Bloom Farm is a local island peony farm and produce stand offering two well-appointed options: a cottage as well as a loft for visitors.
Nettles Farm, a bed-and-breakfast farm retreat, offers two units (studio and a suite) for guests.
The Beach Store Cafe is an islander favorite hangout. Serving up fresh, local fare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the Cafe is an ideal spot to enjoy a meal, wine, or coffee with friends. If you’re in the mood for takeout, grab a pizza to go. Their front porch is perfectly situated for soaking up views of Mt. Baker or idly watching the ferry make its way back and forth across Hale Passage. Enjoy live music every Friday night, and in the summer months, the back beer garden becomes an open-air music venue for local and traveling bands. Check their website for hours, menu, and event information.
The Willows Inn, lead by James Beard award-winning Chef Blaine Wetzel, is an ode to the Pacific Northwest. The Willows features a full tasting menu of fresh ingredients of superb quality that are fished, farmed, or foraged on the island or sourced from the surrounding region. The restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch without a reservation, but dinner is the main attraction with a twenty-course culinary exploration of the flavors of Lummi Island. Reservations for dinner are required and often book out months in advance. Visit their website for information on menu, accommodations, and to make a reservation.
*Willows Inn photo by Charity Burgraaf.