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Originally published Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at 7:03 PM

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Car-free getaway | Sounder, ferry and free bus to laid-back Langley

Avoid gas-price pains. Take the Sounder, a ferry and a free bus to Langley Amtrak and your bike from Seattle to Camano Island State Park for a car-free getaway.

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Is $4 gasoline blowing a hole in your budget? Then ditch that gas burner and go green. Here's a summer getaway that gets you there with no time behind the wheel.

The objective: An overnight on Whidbey Island.

The place: Langley. This small town overlooking pretty Saratoga Passage and the North Cascades is full of artists, writers, musicians and folks who love the gray whales that wander through local waters in spring.

What makes it special: It's a short ferry ride, but you're far from the hustle of the city, in kind of a New Age Mayberry.

What makes it tasty: The Braeburn Restaurant (197 Second St.; www.thebraeburnrestaurant.com). Food Network Magazine last year named its Corned Beef Mash "Washington's Best Breakfast." The Inn at Langley's restaurant pleases fine-dining foodies with fare such as seared scallops with leeks, nettle purée and brown butter (400 First St.; www.innatlangley.com/dining).

Where to stay: The Inn at Langley (see above), The Boatyard Inn (200 Wharf St.; www.boatyardinn.com), or choose from more than a dozen nearby B&Bs; see www.visitlangley.com.

Getting there with no car: Go during the week; weekend transportation is trickier. Catch a 4:33 p.m. Sounder train from Seattle's King Street Station to Mukilteo (four trains between 4:05 and 5:35 p.m.; $4) and be in Langley by 6:30. From Mukilteo, walk aboard Washington State Ferries to Clinton ($4.20 round-trip), then hop the fare-free Island Transit Route 7 (Langley Loop). Homeward bound, from Mukilteo catch the Community Transit Route 113 bus and connect to Sound Transit Route 511, which gets you within a five-minute walk of King Street Station ($4.75). Total travel cost: $12.95. Details: www.soundtransit.org; islandtransit.org; www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries.

— Brian J. Cantwell

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