Step back in time come to Coupeville Washington

Welcome to Coupeville sign at Tyee Restaurant
Welcome to Coupeville sign at Tyee Restaurant | Source

This quaint historical town in the heart of Whidbey Island is one of our favorites. It's like stepping back to the good old days of yesterday along Main street and the waterfront. So when traveling to Whidbey Island you need to add Coupeville to your viewing list. This very historical waterfront town offers so much history everywhere you go. The downtown area has been painstakingly built to keep the historical architecture in tact. Each new building that gets built has to stay within a certain guideline to keep it's historical status alive. When visiting be aware that you are now on Whidbey Island time, so be patient with the locals because around here we stop and smell the flowers and chat with the cashiers - it's Whidbey Island living at it's best!

Coupeville is just a few minutes drive south of Oak Harbor and about 40 miles from the south end of the Island. When we have company Coupeville is the first place we go for dining, shopping and just sightseeing. There is a popular restaurant on the waterfront called Toby's Tavern, it is very popular among the locals and tourists. It's such a fun place, it features a large wooden bar, pool tables, booths and an amazing view of Penn Cove, Mt. Baker and cliffs on the other side of Whidbey in Oak Harbor. The tavern has so much memorabilia hanging from the ceiling, a huge canoe, deer, moose head, mounted salmon, and a truckload of other souvenirs of long ago. You will always be assured of having a splendid meal here at Toby's, I didn't even like mussels until I had them there. There is also a local hang out which offers good home cooked meals and lodging called the Tyee Restaurant and Motel, this is where I took the photo of the welcome sign with the flowers. Where ever you decide to dine, I am sure you will love the food, hospitality and you will have lots of fun. Any of these places will surely make your vacation more memorable.

Coupeville Warf in summertime
Coupeville Warf in summertime | Source

The Historical Wharf

While today this place may seem out of the way, it was once the heart of Whidbey Island. Early settlements relied on boats for both goods and travel. Regular steamboat service - the famous "mosquito fleet" - ran from the 1890s until 1937, connecting Coupeville with Seattle, Everett and numerous small towns. The growing popularity of the automobile and the construction of the Deception Pass Bridge in 1937 brought this era to an end. This was the town's fourth wharf, built in 1905 by a group of local farmers and merchants who wanted a structure long enough that boats could unload at low tide. This wharf extends 500 feet into Penn Cove. It is now owned and operated by the Port of Coupeville.

As you can see in summertime the flowers along the edge of town frame the wharf very nicely!

Penn Cove Mussel Farm
Penn Cove Mussel Farm | Source

Penn Cove Shellfish Farm

When you go down to Toby's restaurant or any other place that serves mussels in Washington they are more than likely from Penn Cove, they are delicious. Usually we order the mussel and clam combo and dip in butter, if you haven't ever tried them it's a must have while on Whidbey Island. The numerous mussel farm platforms are shown in the photo, are located all along Penn Cove, you will see these as you drive along the scenic Madronna roadside. These platforms have ropes that are submerged into the water which the mussels cling onto. Penn Cove is ideal temperature for the growth of these delicious little beings and brings some jobs to the area as well. In 1996, Penn Cove Mussel Farm has merged with an oyster company called Coast Seafood's Company, and is now known as Penn Cove Shell Fish, LLC. This is the oldest commercial mussel farm in the United States.

Blue Goose Inn
Blue Goose Inn | Source

Historical homes on Main Street

When you drive down Main Street in Coupeville you will be delighted with all the beautiful historical homes along the way. The beautiful Methodist and Catholic Churches are absolutely stunning. These homes are kept up nicely and offer so much character to this quaint town. I have taken a few pictures of these homes for your enjoyment. Some of these historical homes are bed and breakfasts and restaurants, such as the Blue Goose Inn, and the famous Compass Rose B & B. If you are looking for a place to stay with a water view, well Captain Whidbey Inn is the place to go, it's a charming and very rustic place to stay. At Captain Whidbey Inn you can rent these cabins with no phone or television. They are mostly for individuals wanting to get away from it all. Another Inn is right on Main Street within walking distance to the waterfront, is the lovely Anchorage Inn. Whatever your taste is in lodging you will be sure to find it in Coupeville.

More photos of the area.....enjoy!

Compass Rose B & B
Compass Rose B & B | Source
Race week at Penn Cove 2008
Race week at Penn Cove 2008 | Source
Methodist Church on Main St.
Methodist Church on Main St. | Source
You are bound to see eagles while on Whidbey Island
You are bound to see eagles while on Whidbey Island | Source
Olympic mountain range as seen from Coupeville at Ft. Casey St. Park
Olympic mountain range as seen from Coupeville at Ft. Casey St. Park | Source
Captain Whidbey Inn
Captain Whidbey Inn | Source
Admiralty Head Lighthouse
Admiralty Head Lighthouse | Source
Another cool sight that is often seen on Whidbey
Another cool sight that is often seen on Whidbey | Source
Coupeville Prairie - Ebby's Landing
Coupeville Prairie - Ebby's Landing | Source
Victorian home on Main Street
Victorian home on Main Street | Source
View of Coupeville waterfront from the water
View of Coupeville waterfront from the water | Source
Dramatic Whidbey Sunrise
Dramatic Whidbey Sunrise | Source
Block house by cemetary in Coupeville
Block house by cemetary in Coupeville | Source
Deception Pass Bridge
Deception Pass Bridge | Source
Shops along waterfront
Shops along waterfront | Source
Ft. Casey Ferry terminal - early sunrise Ferry takes you to Port Townsend & Olympic Peninsula
Ft. Casey Ferry terminal - early sunrise Ferry takes you to Port Townsend & Olympic Peninsula | Source
red luscious tulips found anywhere on Whidbey
red luscious tulips found anywhere on Whidbey | Source

Some help to get you around the Island

show route and directions
A markerCoupeville, Washington -
Coupeville, WA, USA
[get directions]

Coupeville is centrally located on Whidbey Island with awesome views of Penn Cove and within minutes to Deception Pass or the southend.

B markerCoupeville Ferry Terminal, Coupeville -
Coupeville, Ebey's Landing, Central Whidbey, WA 98239, USA
[get directions]

This ferry takes you to Port Townsend and Olympic Peninsula and leaves every 45 minutes.

C markerToby's Tavern -
8 Front St NW, Coupeville, WA 98239, USA
[get directions]

D markerTyee Restaurant and Motel -
405 S Main St, Coupeville, WA 98239, USA
[get directions]

E markerAnchorage Inn -
807 N Main St, Coupeville, WA 98239, USA
[get directions]

F markerCompass Rose B & B -
508 S Main St, Coupeville, WA 98239, USA
[get directions]

G markerAdmiralty Head Lighthouse -
Admiralty Head Lighthouse, Ebey's Landing, Central Whidbey, WA 98239, USA
[get directions]

H markerDeception Pass Bridge -
Deception Pass Tours, Deception Pass Bridge, Oak Harbor, WA 98277, USA
[get directions]

I markerMukilteo Ferry -
Clinton: Clinton Ferry Dock (Ferry to Mukilteo), Clinton, WA, USA
[get directions]

This is the ferry that takes you from Clinton on Whidbey to Mukilteo on the mainland.

J markerCaptain Whidbey Inn -
Madrona at Captain Whidbey Inn, Central Whidbey, WA 98239, USA
[get directions]

© 2011 Mary Gaines

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You all come back you hear!! 10 comments

RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

Thank you so much! This is helpful to us as we plan to visit that area.


Whidbeywriter profile image

Whidbeywriter 5 years ago from Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, Washington Author

RTalloni, very cool hope it helps you on your trip, I know you will have a wonderful time!


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 5 years ago from Upstate New York

Excellent hub! I have a newphew out in Seattle whom I hope to visit, maybe even next summer. I'll keep this in mind. Thank you!


Whidbeywriter profile image

Whidbeywriter 5 years ago from Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, Washington Author

Paradise7, yes you must visit the area when you go to Seattle, it's only a couple hours drive and you will be so glad that you did. Thanks!


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 5 years ago

Lovely hub, lovely town. It looks so inviting.


Whidbeywriter profile image

Whidbeywriter 5 years ago from Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, Washington Author

Hi Pops! Thanks for stopping in hope you get to visit sometime - Blessings!


50 Caliber profile image

50 Caliber 5 years ago from Arizona

Whidbey, a great hub, I looked at the map and way back in 1983 I was out of work and took a job hauling Christmas trees on a flat bed trailer in huge bundles, south for the holidays and was so close, I wish I had known to stop and take a rental car about to see the area! It looks so inviting thanks, dusty


Whidbeywriter profile image

Whidbeywriter 5 years ago from Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, Washington Author

Hi 50 Caliber, yes it's a great place to live and enjoy that carefree lifestyle - next stop do stop in and say hello - blessings to you Dusty.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

Thank you taking me on this lovely journey. I love the exquisite photographs. The Blue Goose Inn is gorgeous! I have been to Seattle, once, but missed Whidbey Island. If'n I ever make it back out that way, I won't make that mistake again.


Whidbeywriter profile image

Whidbeywriter 5 years ago from Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, Washington Author

Howdy James, so glad you came to this hub and next time you are in Seattle do stop in at Whidbey Island you will be glad you did....blessings!!

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