Explore the charming seaport town of Coupeville on Whidbey Island.
To get to Coupeville, take the Mukilteo Ferry that docks at the south end of Whidbey Island, or drive across the Deception Pass Bridge at its northern end.
If traveling from Seattle, drive 30 minutes north to the Mukilteo Ferry, take the 20-minute ferry to Whidbey Island, then drive 35 minutes north to Coupeville.
Coupeville has a nice selection of restaurants, wine bars and quaint shops along Front Street, and a cafe and gift shop on its historic wharf.
The Island County Historical Museum is also just off Front Street (908 NW Alexander Street), with exhibits on the local history of the area.
Coupeville's central location also makes it an easy drive to some of Whidbey Island's top attractions. See the gorgeous rhododendrons at the Meerkerk Gardens, two breathtaking coastal state parks and a lighthouse at Fort Ebey and Fort Casey, and yummy sweet treats and produce at Greenbank Farms. Learn more about Whidbey Island.
10 best things to do in Coupeville
1. Explore the restaurants and shops along Front Street at Coupeville.
Many of the restaurants have water views, like the Front Street Grill.
Visit the Vail Wine Shop and Tasting Room on Front Street at Coupeville.
Stairs lead from Front Street, down to the beach.
This is the cosy Kingfisher Bookstore on Front Street at Coupeville. This whole street just oozes charm!
2. Walk along the historic Coupeville Wharf at Penn Cove.
Coupeville has an idyllic setting on Penn Cove in Whidbey Island, instantly recognized by the red, historic warehouse at the end of its long wharf. The wharf has played a central role in Coupeville's history, as the first port of call for settlers arriving on the island, and the drop-off point for Whidbey Island's supplies. Coupeville's protected harbor made it the perfect place to locate the wharf in 1905.
Today the wharf caters to tourists, with the red warehouse now housing a relaxed coffee shop and gift shop. Stretch your legs and walk along the wharf to the coffee shop, then step outside to the outdoor patio with tables, and enjoy the distant views of snowcapped Mt Baker, while taking in the bracing, sea air. You can also rent kayaks out on the wharf.
Look at those gorgeous, translucent waters in Penn Cove!
The tide is way out in this photo, exposing the rich sea life on the shore at Coupeville.
Step inside the red warehouse at the end of the Coupeville Wharf, to see the Whale Experience exhibit in the lobby.
The Whale Experience exhibit has lots of interesting information on marine life in Penn Cove.
There's plenty of seating at the end of the wharf, to enjoy a patio meal or coffee, and on a clear day Mt Baker can be seen in the distance.
Stroll back along the wharf, to see Coupeville's historic waterfront buildings.
Stairs lead down to a small beach at the start of the Coupeville Wharf. Baby seals can often be found resting on this beach during breeding season.
3. Rent a kayak at the end of the Coupeville Wharf.
Explore the enchanting waterway of Penn Cove by renting a kayak at the end of the Coupeville Wharf.
4. Visit the Island County Historical Museum.
The excellent Island County Historical Museum is conveniently located near the start of the Coupeville Wharf (908 NW Alexander Street).
The upper floor is dedicated to early settler history, and the lower floor focuses on the Native Indian tribes that once lived in this area.
This is the irish owned L.P. Byrne store operating out of Oak Harbor in Whidbey Island, built in 1880 but burned down in 1920.
Here's the first car on Whidbey Island, a 1902 holsman, horseless carriage.
In 1919, the township of Langley on Whidbey Island had an all female city council, with mayor Helen Coe at the helm. The suffragette movement gained momentum on Whidbey Island, and women finally gained the right to vote in 1920.
These are some Native American cedar dugout canoes on display at this heritage museum in Coupeville.
These Columbian Mammoth tusks and bones were found on Whidbey Island, dating back from 10,000 to 30,000 years ago.
It's fascinating to learn how Whidbey's Island's landscape was carved out by retreating glaciers from the Ice Age.
See Native America tools, some thousands of years old, like axe heads, arrow shaft straighteners, adze blades, knifes and hooks.
5. Walk up to the Coupeville Town Park and playground.
Take the short, pedestrian trail up to the bluff, leading straight off Front Street in Coupeville.
There are picnic tables along the way.
The path eventually ends at the Coupeville Town Park.
The park has a playground with swings and a climbing structure.
There's also a tennis court, picnic tables, bandshell and restrooms, and peep through views of Penn Cove from Coupeville.
Take a picnic lunch up to Coupeville Town Park, and eat at this table with lovely views of Penn Cove.
6. Stay overnight in one of Coupeville's Victorian B&Bs.
The striking pink Blue Goose Inn (702 Main Street) was built in 1887 in the Italianate style.
The classic Anchorage Inn (807 North Main Street) is another Victorian-themed B&B (although built around 1990).
7. Visit the cute Cook's Corner park.
Cooks Corner Park is also on North Main Street and has an adorable sculpture. Pick up some lunch, and sit at one of the picnic tables at this charming park.
8. Stroll along the bluff-top at Coupeville and spot deer.
Continue east along Front Street at Coupeville away from the commercial district, to take in more amazing water and Mt Baker views.
Deer freely roam the streets of Coupeville, and seem relatively tame, unperturbed by visitors.
9. Stop by the Coupeville Visitor Center at 905 NW Alexander Street.
The Visitor Center is in the old Coupevillle Firehouse. There are fun sculptures outside of a dog and a seated child, popular with tourists for photo opportunities.
10. Visit the Lavender Wind store in Coupeville.
The Lavender Wind Store (15 NW Coveland Street) is a real treat, just one street back from the main commercial area in Coupeville. Purchase lavender scones, cookies and icecream at the bakery there, or stock up on aromatics like bath salts, spritzer, candles, and essential oils. You can also drive 5.5 miles northwest of Coupeville to visit the Lavender Wind Farm where everything is grown in lavender fields.