Once called the village of Sea Captains, Coupeville is perched on the edge of Penn Cove. This small seaside village is 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 100 structures in Coupeville, including both homes of 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.
Take a short walk to Town Park, where you can catch a Concert on the Cove on a summer afternoon . From there take a walk down the short trail 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.
Local Shops and Galleries:
While visiting Coupeville, you’ll find just about everything you need in local shops and galleries. Coupeville boasts a well-stocked local market, and two great wine shops. Check out the great gift ideas from the museum and lighthouse stores, festival vendors and the colorful farmers’ markets in Coupeville and Greenbank.
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.
Fort Casey State Park:
Just five minutes out of Coupeville, you’ll find Fort Casey State Park, a showcase of historic coastal artillery battery that included disappearing cannons and vast underground bunkers. 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.
This 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 likely to spy container ships and tugs hauling huge barges between ports, or a cruise ship heading to sea. If you’re lucky you might even catch a glimpse of a submarine or aircraft carrier headed in or out of nearby naval bases.
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.