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5 Things You Must Know About Langley Murder Mystery Weekend

As a Seattle resident, I was shocked to discover I knew nothing about the Langley Murder Mystery weekend despite it celebrating its 37th year recently. So I grabbed a friend and we made plans to visit Langley, Washington, and take part in this small-town murder mystery weekend.

Now that I’m back home I’m sharing some tips and further info about the event to help future travelers plan their own murder mystery vacations.

girl jumping on street in langley washington holding murder mystery clue book

When Is the Langley Murder Mystery Weekend?

The next Langley Murder Mystery Weekend will take place February 24-26, 2023. It always takes place on the last weekend of February.

How to Take Part in the Murder Mystery Weekend

While I heard many saying this year’s mystery weekend was the busiest one yet, it’s still a charming small-town event and I suspect it will only keep growing as word spreads. To take part, there are just a few specific things you need to know.

First, you’ll want to make sure you book your accommodations early. As I mentioned this is becoming a popular tourism weekend with limited rooms available. I highly recommend you plan to stay at least one night for the weekend. However, you could technically visit on Saturday and make your guess the same day, allowing you to avoid an overnight stay.

You will want to purchase a Murder Mystery Clue Map and Ballot packet from the Langley Visitor’s Information Center. For 2022, the packet entry was $15.

You can purchase them online in advance and pick them up at will call beginning at 9 am on Saturday. If you wait until the day of, you’ll need to wait until 10 am for the general public opening to buy your packet. There will be lines, so I recommend buying in advance, or else just be sure to grab a coffee before you have to wait. :)

langley visitor's center

Once you have a clue packet, you’ll see a location map of local businesses where you can gather clues to solve the mystery. Clues are available at each location on paper pads, or via a QR code if you want to go paper-free!

langley murder mystery weekend clue booklet and clue paper

You’ll also receive a copy of “The Langley Gazette” with news stories that will help you understand what’s been happening in the town. The paper is your first glimpse of clues, but there will also be clues and stories shared on the Langley visitor’s website.

You have until 4 pm on Sunday to turn in your guess for “whodunit”. With your guess, you’ll say who you think did it as well as why you think they did it. The murderer will be revealed by the Visitor’s Center at 530 pm on Sunday, and prizes will be awarded as well. You do not need to be present to win.

crowd gathered to listen to guilty verdict of langley murder mystery weekend

TIP: Be sure to make a dining reservation for lunch and dinner early. I’d recommend calling a day or two before or at least stopping by the restaurant when they open to put in a reservation time. There are limited dining options in Langley and the weekend brings a lot of visitors so the restaurants fill fast! I highly recommend the Saltwater Fish House & Oyster Bar, their fish & chips and lobster roll were very tasty!

Tips for Solving the Murder Mystery

While I’ve only attended the murder mystery weekend once (2022), my biggest tip would be to not overthink things.

This past year there were 40 clue locations and I went to every single one. My friend and I worked for over an hour re-reading all the clues at night and making our list of what questions to ask characters the next day. In the end, none of our intense thinking mattered and the culprit was the person who had the most to gain — or rather their loved one had the most to gain.

two women reading langley murder mystery clues at small table looking over puget sound

Characters are located around the town and you can go to them and ask them questions. However, this was not useful at all and more just for the fun of the event. The characters often might not know their storyline that well and it’s more of a fun volunteer actors event rather than a seasoned method actor situation. So have fun seeing the characters, but take what they say with a grain of salt. :)

kids interviewing a character for langley wa murder mystery
characters for langley murder mystery weekend

All of the clues are located within walking distance of the town. This means it’s the perfect opportunity to explore Langley and spend a bit of money in the small shops. I enjoyed plenty of shopping, wine tasting, and we loved our lunch and dinner at local restaurants.

I already mentioned above that you don’t have to be present to win a prize, and you don’t even have to solve the mystery correctly to be eligible to win. The winning guesses are drawn from the grand prizes which recently included hotel stays and wine. But after those are drawn, all the guesses are put in a large bin to select winners for the remaining prizes.

Where to Stay for Langley Murder Mystery Weekend

On my recent trip to Langley, we stayed just outside of the main city of Langley at the lovely Comforts of Whidbey B&B. This is an operating winery and also has six rooms upstairs for weekend stays. It’s a beautiful spot to stay with some rooms looking onto trees and the waterfront of the sound. Rooms that face the front of the winery might even see the resident alpacas!

room at comforts of whidbey B&B

In addition to comfortable rooms, you’re also provided an absolutely delicious breakfast as part of your stay. It’s made fresh every morning by the owner, Rita, and let me just say it is a true amenity that should be enjoyed.

breakfast at comforts of whidbey b&b

Upstairs the rooms also have access to a communal lounge room and a kitchenette. They even have bottles of wine available for you to grab and charge to your room if you have a craving for wine at night. And let me say that the Comforts wine was some of my favorite on the island and I might have come home with a few bottles!

Beyond our excellent stay at Comforts of Whidbey, some may choose to stay in the town of Langley. The Inn at Langley is an extremely popular hotel in the heart of town on First Street with waterfront access. I also walked past the Saratoga Inn in Langley, which looks charming and seems to be a bit more affordable than the Inn at Langley. You can find a full list of accommodations on the Visit Langley website.

What Else to Do While in Langley, WA

Beyond the Langley Murder Mystery weekend, one of my favorite things I discovered about Whidbey Island is the number of wineries on the island. We visited five different wineries, many with their own unique specialties, two of my favorites were:

  • Comforts of Whidbey – small winery with delicious wines created on site. Definitely a stop for those that like sparkling wine!
  • Spoiled Dog Winery – located in the backwoods, this is a great spot for those who are wanting to do wine tasting with their dogs. They have a 2018 Reserve Pinot Noir that came home with me, in addition to one of their dog label bottles of Malbec.
wine tasting at spoiled dog winery whidbey island wa

As I mentioned above, one of the great things about walking around Langley is the small shop shopping. A few of my favorite spots:

  • Moonraker Books – I love book stores and this small store has some really cute and unique books that you might not have realized you needed to add to your collection!
  • edit – a boutique shop specializing in linen and felt in addtion to some unique Swedish homegoods.
  • Feather & Fox Print Co – I found the cutest books and stickers here, it’s a great spot for artists and creatives.
  • Mykens Gifts for Pet Lovers – if you’re a dog or cat owner, this is the perfect shop to find a gift for your four-legged friend.
  • Fairtrade Outfitters – this boutique shop is an ideal place for women to shop who want to help buy apperal and accessories that support fair-trade businesses.
  • Music for the Eyes – if you’re looking for an imported rug for your home while on vacation, this is the store you must visit!
women shopping in feather and fox store in langley wa

Lastly, I’ll mention that Whidbey Island can be a great place to explore. If you drive over from the mainland, you’ll pass Deception Pass, a great area filled with local parks with simple hikes and views. Langley is also near the famous Double Bluff beach where you might catch some kite surfers off-shore. There are also a few state parks like Fort Ebey, South Whidbey, and Possession Point.

driftwood on double bluff beach

Best Way to Get to Langley, WA

Langley is located on Whidbey Island, Washington in Puget Sound. It’s located on the eastern side and southern end of the island. The nearest large city is Seattle, WA. Langley is an excellent day trip from Seattle and the murder mystery weekend is a great weekend getaway for Seattle-area residents.

Getting to the island is possible by three main routes, two rely on ferries, but you can drive to Whidbey Island. I highly recommend having a car for exploring the island and getting around. There aren’t rideshare services from what I could tell, although there is an island community bus system.

Option 1: Drive Across Deception Bridge (North of Seattle)

If you don’t want to deal with ferry schedules and waits, you can drive to Whidbey Island. This is also especially convenient if you live or are visiting the North Sound region of Seattle (i.e. Everett). You can take I-5 North to Burlington where you’ll catch Highway 20 West and go across Deception Pass Bridge.

seattle to langley via deception pass google map

Deception Pass State Park is a beautiful area and worth the visit if you’re planning a longer trip with extra stops. This northern route can also be slightly re-routed to take you past the famous Skagit Valley Tulip Festival near La Conner, WA if you’re headed to Langley during the spring — not during Murder Mystery Weekend which happens the last full weekend of February every year.

I appreciate this route since Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays are the busiest days for WA State ferries and you can often wait for 2+ hours in the parking lot for your spot to open on a ferry. I’d rather drive farther with beautiful views versus sit still in a parking lot.

Option 2: Mukilteo to Clinton Ferry (Most Direct)

If you’re in Seattle, or in the north end, the Mukilteo to Clinton ferry is the most direct way to get from the mainland to the island. Langley is only about 7 miles, 12 minutes away from the Clinton ferry terminal.

seattle to langley map via mukilteo clinton ferry

Again, this route does rely on ferry schedules, and since the Langley murder mystery weekend occurs on a Saturday and Sunday, you might have long waits. Our WA State ferry system currently operates with reduced boats and schedules. Hopefully next year, 2023, will have a second ferry operating and not cause such a backup.

I talked with one couple who waited 2 hours to catch the ferry, which was not a surprise for me and one of the reasons we chose to drive around for the event. The other reason this ferry route is not ideal is that you can’t make reservations for this ferry route so you won’t really know when you’ll be able to get on board.

Option 3: Port Townsend to Coupeville Ferry (Longer – Avoids Seattle – Ferry Reservations)

If you’re coming from the south end (Tacoma or Olympia) or the Olympic Peninsula area, you can skip the Seattle traffic and get to Langley via the Port Townsend to Coupeville Ferry. This can be a slower route, however, the Port Townsend to Coupeville ferry route does accept reservations, making planning your trip easier and offering you the chance to avoid waiting long for a ferry.

olympic peninsula to langley via port townsend to coupeville ferry map route

Conclusions about Murder Mystery Weekend in Langley, WA

This was such a fun weekend. It’s the perfect getaway for couples or friends who are looking for something to do near Seattle. It’s fun to try and solve the mystery, but one of the best parts was enjoying the food, shopping, and wines around the area of Langley. I highly recommend attending the weekend and I know I’ll be marking my calendar to try and go back for 2023!

langley murder mystery weekend pinterest collage with text

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Friday 11th of March 2022

How much does it cost to participate?


Monday 14th of March 2022

It's $15 for the brochure with a guessing form. For a family, essentially you could buy just one packet and work together. Although it is a small town event and I'm guessing the entry fees go towards helping them plan and organize the whole event so it would be a good idea to buy a packet/entry for each person that wants to take part. :)