Step back in time come to Coupeville Washington
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.
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 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.
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!
Things to do and visit while in Coupeville
- Best parks for picnic and camping on Whidbey Island
There is so much to do on Whidbey Island, this hub gives you detailed information on picnic areas, RV parks and camping. You are sure to find what you are looking for on this hub.
- Pacific Northwest Lighthouses
Collection of lighthouse photos in the Pacific Northwest including the famous Admiralty Head Lighthouse at Ft. Casey State Park in Coupeville, WA
- Majestic Waterfalls - natures beauties
Collection of some amazing and majestic waterfalls that I have had the privilege of visiting and bringing to you!
Some help to get you around the Island
Coupeville is centrally located on Whidbey Island with awesome views of Penn Cove and within minutes to Deception Pass or the southend.
This ferry takes you to Port Townsend and Olympic Peninsula and leaves every 45 minutes.
This is the ferry that takes you from Clinton on Whidbey to Mukilteo on the mainland.
© 2011 Mary Gaines