Date of Stay: July 18-31, 2011 (we came for 5 days, ended up staying for 2 weeks).
Weather During Stay: All the locals bemoan the “missing summer”, as it has been cool and mostly cloudy much of the time with frequent showers and intermittent sunny days. With most of the rest of the country setting heat records, we’re happy with our cool temperatures.
Site Description: 56 FHU sites (30 amps) are arranged in the shape of an L, with one road running north/south, the other east/west. Roads are asphalt, all sites are level gravel back-ins, and each site has a substantial picnic table.
On the N/S leg (photo above), sites are arranged in two rows that face each other across the access road; on the E/W leg (photo below), sites back up to each other within the loop access road. Though the campground wasn’t built for big rigs, we all managed to squeeze ourselves in comfortably.
The campground (Staysail RV Park) is part of - and immediately adjacent to - Windjammer Park, an Oak Harbor city park. Though the campsites are close together (large enough for slides and awnings), the views across green grass lawns and out to the water provide a feeling of spaciousness.
Rate: $20/night for FHU (30 amps), a very good price for this area, where many RV parks charge in excess of $30/night this time of year. First come, first served. No reservations taken. Self pay at the kiosk at the south end of the N/S road. Tent sites can be used for overflow ($12/night) only if all the FHU sites are filled. Thirty day stay limit - don’t know if/how it is enforced.
Phone/radio/TV: Good Verizon signal for phones and aircard. Roof mounted satellite TV dish will work in the spaces on the N/S road, but probably not on the E/W loop, where big trees to the south are likely to block the signal. We didn’t try the air antenna. NPR from Seattle on 88.5. No park-provided WiFi.
Elevation/Landscape/Terrain: This is a flat park at sea level. Lots of green space and paved walking paths through the adjacent city park. Views are of neighboring rigs, trees, grassy expanses and the waters of Penn Cove. Families picnicking, sailboats sailing by, kids skateboarding, dogs walking, kites in the air - the public aspect of the city park offers a lot of action.
Lighting/Noise: Though there is quite a bit of daytime activity - and attendant noise - during the day, our site was very quiet at night. We appreciated our blackout shades here.
Favorite Sites: We were in site 16, which seemed to us to be one of the nicest in the park, situated at the south end of the row with an expansive view of the park rather than other rigs. On the other hand, we were just across from the dump station and self-pay kiosk and facing the Windjammer park parking lot, so it was exceptionally busy in our area. Most of the bigger rigs were in the N/S row, probably for satellite TV reception.
Hiking/Walking: A walking trail runs from Windjammer Park for 3 miles, out to a point across the water, a 6 mile round trip. Since the park is IN the small city of Oak Harbor, you can walk to grocery stores, downtown, all sorts of services.
Comments: We love first-come, first-served parks and decided to stay longer than anticipated as soon as we settled into our site. Because the campground is part of a city day-use park, there are a lot of people in the area, coming and going. We felt secure here, but didn’t feel it was a good idea to leave anything temptingly loose outside the rig overnight (like the grill).
Oak Harbor is in a central location on Whidbey Island, with easy access to several state parks and trails, to the ferry to downtown Port Townsend on the Olympic Peninsula, to Anacortes and the ferries to the San Juan Islands, to great eating in Coupeville, to charming La Conner… LOTS to explore from here.