Frequently Asked Questions

Contact us

    (206) 395-5540


  1. 1.   Is Sunset Beach Haven under new ownership?

    Yes.  We are thrilled to be the new owners and managers of Sunset Beach Haven, what was previously called “Fair Winds on West Beach.”  The change of name does not mean we have changed the previous owners’ management style.  As always, feedback is very much appreciated, and we try to quickly respond to all questions.

    Guests who have stayed here in the past will find new broadband WiFi internet service and HD cable.  There are a few new pieces of furniture, new light fixtures upstairs, new paint and lighting on the ground floor, and a laundry sink.  We will soon be adding a propane grill and some fishing gear for use outside, and hope to have some bicycles (with a separate waiver) available to use for the summer of 2016.  Also in the works is a “dock ladder” over the bulkhead, and some new outdoor seating and furniture.

2.    Is the calendar up to date?

    Yes.  As dates are reserved and paid for, we update the calendar.   We prefer all payments to be made online to streamline the transaction process as much as possible.

3.    Do I have to take a Ferry to get to Sunset Beach Haven? 

    You do not need to take a ferry to get to Sunset Beach Haven, but may want to.  The Washington State Ferry system is unique, and always enjoyable. 

    We are located about 2/3 of the way “up” Whidbey Island.  At the north end, cars can drive across one of the most spectacular bridges in the country over Deception Pass.  This normally does not take much longer (if at all) than taking the ferry from Mukilteo to Clinton, but you will probably want to stop at the overlooks and at the Deception Pass State Park.  This is always time well spent.

4.    How long does it take to get to there from downtown Seattle?   

    As far as travel times, this is always a difficult question in the Seattle area.  On a Friday afternoon in the summer, plan on congestion at the Mukilteo/Clinton Ferry as well as some on I-5 northbound at least through Everett.  Still, seriously consider driving “around” across Deception Pass at the north end of Whidbey Island.  This might well save some time.  Google says about two to two and a half hours.  Your experience may vary.

5.    Can I make a ferry reservation?

    It depends... Reservations are only available on the Coupeville/Port Townsend ferry.   This ferry does not actually depart from Coupeville, but from Keystone Harbor a few miles SW of Coupeville on the west side of the Island.  Reservations can be made online or by calling the Washington State Ferry reservation line at (888) 808-7977.  On weekends and holidays they may well be booked days in advance.  But you can still get on the boat.  Only 75% of spaces can be reserved, so plan on showing up about an hour early if no more reserved spots are available.  Spend you time strolling on the beach or exploring Fort Casey.

6.    You mention Sunset Haven is a “reduced allergen” environment. What do you mean?

    As an owner of Sunset Beach Haven and a person dealing with chronic asthma, one of my goals is to reduce indoor airborne allergens.  We have done this in a number of ways, including removing wall to wall carpets, prohibiting pets and ALL smoking on the property, thoroughly cleaning after each use, and running a HEPA air filter when the unit is unoccupied.  All bedding is washed on a frequent schedule, and mattresses, pillows, and box spring are all inside allergen-proof encasings.  We are in the process of making additional upgrades so check back in the future for more information.

7.    Do we have to clean Sunset Beach Haven when we leave?

    A complete list of the “Checkout Procedures” will be provided with your rental agreement.  We attempt to keep cleaning fees reasonable.  You can help by picking up, doing the dishes, running one load of laundry, removing all perishables, and taking out the garbage.  We have the cabin professionally cleaned after each visit.  Failure to follow the checkout procedures may result in additional cleaning charges which will be withheld from your deposit.

8.     What if we find a problem with the condition of  Sunset Beach Haven when we arrive?

    Please, call us immediately.   We want your stay to be as trouble-free as possible, but if something is amiss, we need to be informed so that we can take steps to correct the problem.  Although we live in the Puget Sound region, we do not get the chance to inspect Sunset Beach Haven before each new guest.  We will do our utmost to correct any issues.

9.    Where can I dig clams, mussels and oysters?

    Our tidelands are private, and you may dig there.  Also, we provide information on where other public tidelands are located.

10.    Is it safe to eat shellfish from your beach.

    As far as we know, yes.  Contact the state Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) Hotline (800) 562-5632 and check the Island County Health Department at (360) 679-7350.  Check the website links as well, but these may not be completely up to date.  If we are aware of any problems, we will let you know.

11.    Do I need a license to dig shellfish?

    Yes.  It must be worn and visible while digging.  See links for locations to purchase a license or buy your own online and print it prior to your trip.  Currently, we do not have printer at Sunset Beach Haven.

12.    Where can I fish and what can I fish for?

    Whidbey Island offers many options, ranging from lakes, to quiet coves, to wild beaches.  They are too numerous to list.  Some very good information is in the Cabin, as is a copy of the current State rules.  Licenses are required.  A selection of poles and tackle is provided for our guest to use.  Please read this BLOG entry from our sister property for more information.

13.    Can I bring a boat and where can I launch it?

    There are a few launch site on the west side of Whidbey Island, and we will try to provide more information on request.  There is room a Sunset Beach Haven to store a small boat and trailer.  It may be possible to hand launch a small boat over the bulkhead, but there is no place to leave it on the beach at high tide, and conditions can change very quickly.

14.    Can I anchor my boat off of Sunset Beach Haven?

    No.  The area is too exposed to wind and wave action.

15.   Can I launch my kayak at Sunset Beach Haven?

    Yes, but keep in mind that there is no exposed beach at most high tide levels.  Also remember that currents and the exposed nature of this part of West Beach can make kayaking challenging. 

16.     Can I build a fire on the beach?

    No.  Fires are allowed in the outdoor fire pit only.  Usually, there is some wood on hand for your use.  This is stored in the woodbox.  Please do not burn driftwood from the beach.  Driftwood burns poorly, and if we or someone else informs you that there is a “burn ban” in effect, all outdoor fires are prohibited.

17.  Should I bring my bicycle?

    Yes.  Whidbey Island is big enough to allow for some very nice longer rides.  In fact, my first visit to the Island was by bicycle over 25 years ago, when I came across on the ferry to Keystone, and rode north to Anacortes before taking the ferry up to the San Juan Islands and Vancouver Island.   Ebey’s Landing, Fort Casey, and Coupeville are closer destinations.  A good quality map is available in Sunset Beach Haven.

18.   Do I need to have a car?

    Probably, although there is a shuttle service from SeaTac Airport or downtown Seattle to Coupeville and Oak Harbor that runs several times a day, and car rentals in Oak Harbor as well.  Island County does have a transit system.

19.    Should I visit Port Townsend?

Yes.  Yes.  Yes.  The visit to Port Townsend is well worth it, and the Victorian downtown is an easy walk from the ferry (hint - you don’t need to take your car.)  See the Blog for more information.

The stuff we have thought of... so far

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At Sunset Beach Haven  we have a strictly enforced NO SMOKING and NO PETS policy.  Failure to observe these rule will result in the forfeiture of your entire security deposit with no exceptions.