Deception pass is a narrow passage between Whidbey Island and Fidalgo island in the Puget Sound of Washington State, straddled by a bridge over which runs highway 20 (See wikipedia’s entry here).
This highway connects Whidbey Island and the Whidbey Island Naval base to the main land and gets many local and visiting tourists passing through.
Deception pass is a moderately well known tourist attraction, but is of special interest to the traveler/explorer because of how much around it there is that most tourists miss. One could spend days upon days wandering around all the trails, beaches, parks, and overlooks that occupy the area around Deception pass.
There are a number of camp grounds from which the relaxed adventurer could base explorations of the area on the cheap (find campground information here
The actual passage between the two islands is an incredible sight to see in itself: as tides move in and out, the flow of water through this narrow pass creates extreme whirlpools, eddies, and standing waves. The currents are so strong that swimming in the straight is almost certainly fatal; accidents resulting in death do happen on occasion, so use extreme caution when walking around or near the water-side cliffs!
The region surrounding the pass is indescribably breath taking, however, and is an absolute “must see” for anybody visiting (or living in!) Washington State. It is a short drive from I-5, so if you are passing through the area do not miss it. You will be happy you took a little extra time to explore this area.
To get there from Seattle: drive north on I-5 approximately 60 miles to Burlington, then head West on highway 20 towards Anacortes. After 15 miles, follow highway 20 south as it turns left at a traffic light, to Whidbey Island (there are plenty of signs but it is possible to miss, so pay attention). Follow highway 20 for another few miles and arrive at Deception pass. Park and enjoy!
Alternatively, drive North from Seattle and take the Mukilteo ferry exit (approx 30 miles) and follow signs to the ferry. This ferry services South Whidbey Island, and you can drive North up Whidbey Island to Deception Pass (approx 60 miles).
Also of interest in the area: Whidbey Island is large (approx 60 miles long) and mostly forested with many beaches, trails, parks, camping areas, and out of the way spots open to public access, making it a really fantastic place to explore. Fort Casey is a fascinating Pre-WW I era fort that still has original 10 inch cannons on display in the original pop-up swivel gun placements and is open to the public (Fort Casey).
Also, visit Anacortes and the San Juan Islands while you are in the neighborhood. There is a great deal of breathtaking scenery in this area, so be prepared to take more time than you originally budgeted for.