Once called the village of Sea Captains, Coupeville is perched on the edge of Penn Cove in the heart of Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve, where the pace of island life is still gentle. Step back in time as you stroll the historic waterfront district with its many shops and restaurants, filled with gifts, garb, decor, desserts, baubles, and books. Enjoy a self-guided history tour with a free map from the Island County Historical Society Museum or contact the museum to arrange a group tour. More than 50 structures in Coupeville, including The Blue Goose Inn, are on the National Register of Historic Places. Look for plaques noting the construction dates and original owners of these Victorian homes and commercial buildings. Enjoy the historic Coupeville Wharf for a close look at Penn Cove and check out the skeletons of Rosie the gray whale and Dahl’s porpoise. A stroll through Sunnyside Cemetery reveals headstones of the founding families of the area, many of whom still live in this unique and beautiful area.
Start in Town Park, where you can catch a Concert on the Cove on a summer afternoon, or walk the short trail down to the Penn Cove beach. A waterfront footpath from Town Park leads through the Front Street shopping area to Captain Thomas Coupe Park and the town boat launch.
Fort Casey State Park
Five minutes away is Fort Casey State Park, a showcase of a coastal artillery battery that included disappearing guns and mortars. It offers a campground, picnic area, the Admiralty Head Lighthouse, driftwood-strewn beaches, and an underwater park for SCUBA divers. Climb the steps up the tower of the lighthouse for a sweeping vista of Admiralty Inlet, the Whidbey Island shoreline, and the Olympic Peninsula.
Ebey’s Landing is a popular point of departure for walks along the beach to Perego’s Lake or inland to historic Sunnyside Cemetery. Probably the most popular uphill walk in the area is the climb up the bluff above Ebey’s Landing. The endless vistas include crops growing on the prairie, thick forests, Mt. Baker, Mt. Rainier, the Olympics, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and Vancouver Island. You’re guaranteed to spy container ships and tugs hauling huge barges between ports, or a cruise ship heading to sea.
Fort Ebey State Park
Just a little further down the road, you’ll enjoy Fort Ebey State Park with its panoramic views of the Olympic Peninsula, Strait of Juan de Fuca, and Vancouver Island. Notable natural attributes are “kettles” left behind by the retreating glacier that shaped Whidbey Island geography, and dense second-growth forest. Kettles Trail connects the park to Coupeville. On blustery days you can also watch the paragliding as solo and tandem flights rise on the wind blowing up the bluffs from the beach.
Artist owned and Operated Art Galleries
This is small town shopping at its best, where the merchant behind the counter is the owner, artist, or artisan. If you don’t have a thing to wear to dinner at one of our well-regarded dining establishments, check out the threads at Front Street shops Several artist owned and operated art galleries offer unusual value in a range of inspired creations. Enjoy Arts and Antiques Walks the first Saturday of March, June, September, and December; when the shops stay open late to show their latest creations and serve refreshments.