Freeland was founded in 1900 by a utopian group of socialists. They formed a cooperative, the Free Land Association, and each contributed $10 toward five acres of land; the balance was to be paid off through cooperative labor. Their experiment didn’t last long, but the name stuck. Today it is an unassuming little town with a few quiet parks ideal for picnics on the way to the ferry terminal or Oak Harbor .
Also worth a stop is the pinprick-small “town” of Greenbank. The turn-of-the-20th-century general store, restaurant, and post office are easy to miss—but you can’t miss the big red barn marking Whidbey Island Greenbank Farm , an icon for the entire island.