Lummi Island is in Puget Sound region of Washington State. Lummi Island is best known for its unique reefnet salmon fishery, eclectic population of artists, picturesque seascapes, and rural setting.
Lummi Island lies at the southwest corner of Whatcom County, Washington, between the mainland part of the county and offshore San Juan County. The Lummi Indian Reservation is situated on a peninsula east of the island, but does not include Lummi Island. The island has a land area of 23.97 km² (9.255 sq mi) and had a population of 822 as of the 2000 census. The population nearly doubles in summer when property owners from both Canada and the U.S. arrive for summer fun and relaxation.
The island was called Sa nam a o ("High Mountain") and Skallaham by the native Indians. In 1792 Spanish explorers dubbed it Isla de Pacheco, and it was later known as McLoughlin Island. In 1853, the U.S. National Geodetic Survey charted the island as Lummi, naming it after the tribe. It is believed the name comes from luminara, referring to the bonfires the Spanish saw upon arrival and whence the tribe also took their name, though there are also theories that it is derived from a native word or phrase. The Island post office came into existence in 1882. At that time mail was addressed to "Beach Washington" which was the name of the town. Today Island mail is addressed to "Lummi Island Washington", though the Beach School and Beach Store Cafe retain the Beach community name.
The island is accessible by a 22-car ferry, the Whatcom Chief, run by Whatcom County Public Works. It is 6-minute passage from Gooseberry point on the mainland to the island. The ferry ride may take longer depending on weather conditions. There is no gas/fueling station on Lummi Island, so if you are taking your car over on the ferry, be sure you have enough fuel to get around. The departure schedule varies between weekdays, weekends and holidays, so be sure to check the Lummi Island Ferry schedule for times and fare information. Note in particular that the ferry skips certain trips on some Tuesdays and Thursdays.
The island hosts a weekly farmers' market in the spring and summer, a chili festival in mid-July, and a Christmas party for island children. Lummi Island is also home to many artists who conduct studio tours on Memorial Day, Labor Day, and the first weekend of December.
Its narrow, scenic and winding roads are popular with bicyclers.
A trail to Lummi Mountain takes hikers through the Baker Preserve to stunning high views of the San Juan and Gulf islands. The trail is maintained by the Lummi Island Heritage Trust.
- The Beach Store Cafe is a popular local hangout with a small bar, and serves seafood and traditional café fare.
- The Willows Inn serves more expensive fare, featuring seasonal treats from island farms and fishers.