An hour north of Seattle, a hidden gem is found in the small town of Coupeville, located on Penn Cove in the central part of Whidbey Island. Its claim to fame is that is Washington’s second-oldest community, and it maintains much of its historic flavor today. Buildings that once housed necessary establishments to take care of its residents now are occupied by wineries, gift shops, and restaurants. The most prominent building in Coupeville is the historic (1905) red wharf with a wooden pier that juts into Penn Cove.

Accommodations at and near Coupeville are eclectic. Bed & Breakfasts in beautiful old homes are frequently desired. The Compass Rose at 508 South Main St. in Coupeville is one stay that is an 1890 Queen Anne Victorian. It is on the National Register of Historic Places that offers elegance and taste.  Like the Compass Rose, Anchorage Inn Bed and Breakfast is a Victorian style Inn within the town our Coupeville, overlooking Penn Cove. With views of Mt. Baker and Penn Cove, the Float On Inn at 401 Front St. offers an upstairs suite, and a quick stroll into town. There are many types of accommodations in the area, from the smaller B&B’s to camping sites, making a stay in or near Coupeville affordable.

Coupeville is known for its seafood, particularly mussels that are cultivated in Penn Cove. You may have seen the name “Penn Cove Mussels” on Tri-City restaurant menus. They are considered top quality. One of Coupeville’s historic taverns on the waterfront is Toby’s, located at 8 Front Street NW. Here you can feast on fresh mussels and choose a drink from a wide variety of draft beer or wines. At the Front Street Grill, visitors are treated to waterfront dining in the heart of Coupeville, and it also specializes in Penn Cove Mussels prepared in seven different ways!

While visiting Coupeville, many enjoy the magnificence of surrounding nature. Coupeville sits within what’s called Ebey’s Reserve, a conservation of land surrounding this town in coordination with the National Park Service. Points of interest include transportation to astounding scenery…ocean…forest…historical buildings. The peaceful nature of this area offers a relaxing vacation.

Three of Whidbey Island’s seven state parks are located near Coupeville. Ebey’s Landing offers agricultural tradition with tours of various farms that are part of the National Historical Reserve. Fort Casey was built in the late 1800’s as a defense battery that protected the entrance to the Puget Sound. Fort Ebey is at Patridge Point and was built in 1942 as a coastal defense for our engagement in World War II. Beautiful sunsets await from Fort Ebey’s picnic areas. Highly rated is the Price Sculpture Forest, a 16.3-acre outdoor collection of sculptures with walking trails.

Coupeville offers a quiet, relaxing, and scenic destination for Tri-Citians who are looking for a few summer days on the largest of Washington’s San Juan Islands.

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