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All About Coupeville, WA (Whidbey Island)

- by Jodie Vinson

Coupeville is situated at the center of Whidbey Island on its eastern shore in a broad bay known as Penn Cove. Visitors can enjoy the peaceful harbor town adorned with victorian age buildings housing shops, galleries and eateries. The surrounding agricultural landscape stretches westward to the sand cliffs overlooking the straits of Juan De Fuca and Admiralty inlet in a scene reminiscent of the Scottish isles. Life in Coupeville is anything but hectic. The laid back carefree attitude of the areas inhabitants inspires a sense of being far away from the buzz of the metropolitan core only 40 miles to the south.

Charles Wilkes sailed the USS Vincennes into Penn Cove in 1841, where he found a Native American settlement nestled in the stunning island landscape. The beauty of the land he saw then has been preserved into the present through the establishment of the nation's first historical reserve, Ebey's Landing, in 1978. Its twenty-two square miles encompass Coupeville and its surrounding farms and state parks, protecting the rural landscape that first attracted settlers over a century ago. One of these first pioneers was Isaac Ebey, who farmed the shores of Admiralty Inlet and rowed to his job at the post office of Port Townsend across the water. Ebey was eventually beheaded by the Haida Indian Tribe in an act of retaliation. When Fort Ebey was established in 1942 to protect Puget Sound from possible invasion by the Japanese, it memorialized Ebey as a foundational member of the community now flourishing on Central Whidbey. Coupeville's rural history as one of the oldest towns in Washington state is preserved through the efforts of the historical reserve that bears his name.

Community Links:

Central Whidbey Chamber of Commerce

Whidbey Island Chamber of Commerce

Coupeville Historical Waterfront

The Whidbey Examiner - Whidbey Island's only locally owned community newspaper--covering Coupeville, Greenbank, and Freeland

Coupeville Arts Center

Coupeville Lodging Association