Head to Coupeville, Washington and you might feel that you’ve traveled back in time. After all, Coupeville is the second oldest town in Washington that was originally inhabited in the 1850s by sea captains and farmers. There is, however, much to do in this quaint town that has preserved its rich history.
If you’re a fan of nature, there’s plenty to see at Coupeville. You can hike up one of the trails and take in astounding views or admire the landscape from afar on a vintage lighthouse. During the warmer months, you can even roam through the lavender fields and take in its fresh, incredible scent. If you’re a fan of history, you’re certainly in for a treat. Coupeville strives in historic preservation and that’s evident in the fort and museums that you can visit to learn more about the town’s past.
Below, we’ve rounded up five best activities that you can partake in during your time at Coupeville, Washington.
1. Expand your history knowledge at the Island County Historical Society Museum
Step back in time and learn more about Coupeville’s rich history by heading to the Island County Historical Society Museum. They have a number of permanent attractions to pique your interest in the town’s history.
Some of their exhibits include ‘Industrial Landers’ which is an exhibit that has historical artifacts and visual pieces from previous times. Some of the artifacts that they have on display include rare medical instruments, maritime history, trade tools from hunting, logging and more. They also have a native exhibit representing over 10,000 years of history that contains a restored 28-foot Chief Snakelum family canoe, stone tools, and local basketry.
Recently, they’ve also opened a re-designed space for their Pre-History exhibit. This unique exhibit displays a 120,000-year-old Ice Age tree trunk and Columbian Mammoth remains.
2. Take in magnificent views at Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve
Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve was founded in 1978 as the nation’s first historical reserve and spans over 17,572 acres. The whole area is made up of historic farms, a seaside town, ecologically significant areas and more.
While visiting, you can take your time to hike through this reserve that will never disappoint, with its range of fields, forests, and shorelines present for your viewing pleasure. Some of the distinctive character areas that comprise the natural landscape include an eight-mile strip of narrow beach with dramatic bluffs and low ravines, a prairie that covers over 5,000 acres, woodlands with Douglas fir and Western red cedar, uplands with gentle rolling hills and the Penn Cove that provides a rich habitat for migratory birds.
One of the most famous hiking trails at this reserve is Bluff Trail. While hiking this trail, you’ll be able to view the tallest bluffs in the state of Washington. You can also partake in a self-guided walking tour if you want to learn more about the history around the area.
With so much to see, you can take your time through the reserve and enjoy the scenery, landscape, and all that nature has to offer.
3. Learn more the art of defense at Fort Casey State Park
Head to Fort Casey State Park and you’ll be able to have a taste of how the fort was like over 100 years ago. You can even stand at the gorgeous Admiralty Head Lighthouse that’s perched on a cliff-side to take in your beautiful surroundings.
Fort Casey was constructed in the 1800s and used for defense and as a training facility until the mid-1940s. At the fort, you can take a look at a rare pair of 10-inch disappearing guns, 3-inch mounted guns in their original placements and explore the grounds to your heart’s content.
If you’d like to go on more hikes, you can also head to the 999-acre marine camping park with 10,810 feet of saltwater shoreline and 1.8 miles of hiking trails. There, you can enjoy activities such as fishing, bird-watching, and kite-flying.
4. Admire the Lavenders at Lavender Wind Farm
While the Lavender Wind Farm is closed during the winter period, it’s worth a visit during the warmer seasons of June through August. The farm not only has 17 varieties of lavender that are growing in the fields at different times, but you can even pick some of the lavender to take home. During the warmer months, you can also have a picnic at the fields and take in the fresh scent of lavender while admiring their colors.
As you’re roaming the fields, you can try your hand at one of the two mazes at the farm and also visit the drying sheds to watch them extract lavender oil in centuries of old copper kettles. The views are also stunning and you can admire the Olympic Mountains and the Strait of Juan De Fuca.
After you’re done visiting the farm, pop by the lavender shop to purchase delicious treats such as the berry lavender ice cream bar. You’ll also find plenty of unique items that are perfect for gifting friends and family.
5. Learn more about aircraft at the PBY-Naval Air Museum
Expand your knowledge by visiting the PBY-Naval Air Museum that’s located at Whidbey Island. The museum showcases world war two era PBY aircraft and all naval aircraft that’s currently based on the island.
One of the most recognizable aircraft in the museum is the PBY-Catalina 5A that was one of the warbirds in world war two. You can learn more about the parts and pieces of the aircraft as well as the men who made one of the most successful aircraft of that time.
At the museum, you can also not only delve further into naval history by learning all about the conflicts that NAS Whidbey island participated in, but you can also fly an aircraft on your own with any of the museum’s two flight simulators. The museum also has multiple interactive exhibits to allow you to experience first-hand what the troops go through. There’s also a collection of historic military artifacts that the museum has painstakingly curated.
Finish off with a visit to the store to pick up some merchandise and gifts for your friends and family.
While these are the five best activities that you can do at Coupeville, Washington, they aren’t the only activities in store as there’s still much more to explore.
If you have some extra time, consider taking a look at some galleries or visiting the Pacific Northwest Art School and maybe even enrolling yourself in a class. After all, Coupeville is a hub for artists who find inspiration in the scenic coastlines, forests, and waterways. Don’t forget to also get some delicious, fresh seafood while you’re at Coupeville! The town does sit on Penn Cove which is also home to the famed Penn Cove mussels.
With so much to do, you’ll thoroughly enjoy your time at Coupeville and take in all that this charming town has to offer. For more destination guides and accommodation reviews, check out Trip101.