CAMANO ISLAND, WA
Utsalady is a great place to live. Many locals enjoy spending long days here swimming, crabbing, or walking.
The native word for “land of many berries,” Utsalady is a special place for generations of people. The nostalgia of swimming, crabbing, smelting, beachcombing, and having bonfires with relatives during summertime has inspired many people to raise their own families here. Utsalady Bay is an inlet on Northern Camano Island, making for calm, peaceful waters soon after you enter the island.
The original Utsalady was just Utsalady Point but now encompasses a much larger area. Its original appeal was for logging; the Douglas Firs were logged and imported from all over the world. Saw mills were constructed, which sparked further development, and suddenly there was a blacksmith, saloon, hotel, and school. Even ships started being constructed in the area. Norwegian settlers caught on to the fishing potential. Utsalady Bay offered an abundance of salmon, trout, lingcod, and rock cod. The growing community was an impetus for the Utsalady Ladies Aid, an organization for women to get together and improve the quality of life for families in the community. It’s still going strong to this day, over 100 years later.
With childhood summers echoing laughter and splashing on the beach, it tugs on the heartstrings of adults wanting to offer the same joy to their children. The natural beauty of Utsalady has motivated a lot of residents from the Greater Seattle area to acquire a second home. Old resort cabins have been converted to summer homes. Larger, more resplendent homes have since been built to adorn the beaches with spectacular beauty.
The Utsalady Boat Ramp and Utsalady Vista offer public beach access and picnic areas where you can take in magnificent views of the Cascades, Skagit Bay, and Whidbey Island across the water. Bring binoculars to view sea birds such as alcids, sea ducks, and harlequins. Watch the boats come and go, or head out paddle boarding or kayaking. Kids can splash around in the water and search the beach for colorful pebbles. The dazzling waters and soft breeze make for delightful summer afternoons.