Coupeville and the Central Whidbey area are known for being an outdoor recreation destination. Biking, Bird Watching, Clamming, Crabbing, Fishing, Hiking, Kayaking, Paragliding, Walking Trails, Whale Watching, and more, it’s all here!
The Cascade Loop--Best Road Trip Vacation in Washington State:
Washington State's Best Vacation-The Cascade Loop Scenic Highway! Beginning just 28 miles north of Seattle, circle through the Cascades mountains, along the semi-arid Columbia River Valley, past glacier-fed Lake Chelan, through the wildlife-filled Methow Valley and North Cascades National Park, and into the Puget Sound. We are a path into nature, a road through friendly towns, and a rest stop at the end of your day with comfortable lodging and delicious Northwest cuisine. The Cascade Loop is the best road trip vacation in Washington State! http://www.cascadeloop.com/
Island County Tourism
Washington Scenic Byway, SR 20 passes through the Central Whidbey area. The Main Highway and the scenic loops draw road cyclists from all over the Northwest. If the trails are more to your enjoyment, just North of Coupeville are the Kettles Trails and Fort Ebey State park, home to miles of trails of varied terrain.
Whidbey Island lies in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains. It is part of the San Juan archipelago of over 100 forested islands. Wildlife habitats include old growth and mature second growth Douglas fir forests, old orchards and open fields, fresh and salt-water wetlands, and miles of scenic coastline.
- Crockett Lake - Adjacent to Fort Casey (see #8).
Brackish lake, large sandy spit, open bay. Lakeside: abundant wading birds, waterfowl, eagles, harriers, peregrine falcons, other raptors. On spit: swallows, savannah sparrows.
Open bay: auklets, cormorants, guillemots.
- Ebey's Landing - From Hwy 20, SW on Ebey Rd.
High and low bluff, beach, farm fields, hiking trail. Loons grebes, waterfowl, meadowlarks, blackbirds, raptors.
- Fort Casey - From Hwy 20, S on Main St, becoming Engle Rd.
Rocky beach, forest. Loons, grebes, auklets, guillemots, mergansers, gulls, great horned owls, passerines including chickadees, nuthatches, creepers, winter wrens, warblers.
- Fort Ebey State Park - From Hwy 20, W. on Libbey Rd, S. on Hill Valley Road.
Second growth forest, thickets, lake, high bluff, beach. Seabirds and waterfowl, kingfisher, crossbill, woodpeckers, other forest birds including nuthatch, creeper, kinglets.
- Kennedy Lagoon - From Hwy 20, E on Madrona Way.
Sheltered lagoon. Kingfishers, waterfowl including hooded mergansers, goldeneyes, bufflehead, scaup, scoters.
- Penn Cove, Coupeville Wharf - From Hwy 20, N on Main St, W on Front St.
Large saltwater cove. Kingfishers, herons, loons, goldeneyes, bufflehead, scaup, pigeon guillemots. Look for river otters, harbor seals, jellyfish, sea stars.
From the Shore Fishing from Keystone Spit, Fort Casey State Park Beach and Ebey’s Landing Beach.
Clams and Oysters:
Available from West Penn Cove. The north access is a gravel pullout just off of Hwy. 20. From Oak Harbor, take Hwy. 20 South until you see Penn Cove. The pullout is on the left shoulder, just south of Zylstra Road and just north of Madrona Road. Public tidelands are to the right when you reach the end of a short trail. To reach the south access site drive another one quarter mile south on HWY 20 and turn left onto Madrona Way. Go about one half mile and look for a small public parking lot on the left.
Farms and Gardens:
Central Whidbey has an abundance of farms to see as you drive across our historic landscape, not all are open to the public. However there are some where you can walk through colorful gardens or just enjoy the scenery that surrounds you:
- Coupeville Farmers Market: www.coupevillefarmersmarket.com Open April through October 10am – 2pm and offers a wide variety of local produce, plants, as well as tasty treats such as homemade chocolates and fresh local honey. We also feature local artisans and crafters and hot food vendors. Spend an enjoyable morning strolling around the market and soaking up the local atmosphere.
- Greenbank Farm: www.greenbankfarm.com offers walking trails, for strolling with family, friends or bring you dog, lovely scenic views, art galleries, shops and a restaurant.
- Hummingbird Farm and Gardens: www.hummingbirdfarmnusery.com A favorite destination for avid and amateur gardeners alike, as well as those who simply enjoy the tranquility of our beautiful display gardens or a leisurely time in our picnic and recreational area, includes a certified backyard wildlife sanctuary. A game of Bocce or horseshoes, anyone?
- Lavender Wind Farm: www.lavenderwind.com Offers stunning views of the Strait of San de Fuca and the Olympic Mountains. Lavender Wind Farm is home to over 9,000 Lavender Plants, a lavender labrynth, a gazebo, ponds, and flower gardens. Explore the fields, walk the labrynth and enjoy the views.
- Meerkerk Rhododendron Gardens: www.meerkerkgardens.org A not-for-profit garden open to the public, encompasses ten acres of display and educational gardens enveloped by forty-three acres of woodland preserve with 4+ miles of nature trails. Friends of Meerkerk memberships, plant sales, admission and contributions combine to care for the Gardens. We hope you enjoy your visit and visit often.
Central Whidbey is home to Ebey’s Landing National Historic Reserve (see more on the Reserve under Things To Do), the Kettles Trails and Fort Ebey State Park. Here you will find miles of varied terrain hiking and bicycle trails.
Launch your Kayak right at Capt. Thomas Coupe Park in Coupeville or rent one at the Coupeville Wharf. The calm waters of Penn Cove are ideal for Kayaking.
Fort Casey State Park and Greenbank Farm have plenty of open space for kite flying activities.
Open area near the gun emplacement at Fort Ebey State Park is a popular place for Paragliders.
Camp Casey has an Outdoor Swimming Pool which is open to the public during the summer season. For more information call Camp Casey at 360.678.5050
The Town of Coupeville, the Admiralty Head Lighthouse and Fort Casey State Park, Ebey’s Landing National Historic Reserve, Meerkerk Gardens* and Greenbank Farm* are all home to scenic walking trails with ocean, and prairie views. Self Guided Historic Walking Tours of Coupeville are a great way to spend a morning or afternoon and guide books (free) are available from the Visitor Information Center in downtown Coupeville. (*see descriptions under Farms and Gardens)
Whale Watching and Boat Tours: Available seasonally from Deception Pass and Langley or take a short ride to Anacortes for year round tours.
- Aeolian Adventures – When S.V.CUTTY SARK is not sailing in the San Juan Islands, she is available for "day sails," May -September from the Port of Coupeville; and from the Oak Harbor Marina, October-April. www.svcuttysark.com
- Deception Pass Boat Tours - www.deceptionpasstours.com Learn about Deception Pass, the Bridge and surrounding area on this amazing tour aboard the “Island Whaler.” One Hour Tours start April 1st – October.
- Deception Pass Gray Whale Watching Tours: www.deceptionpasstours.com/whale-watching-tours/ Uniquely positioned in the inland waters of Puget Sound, where Gray Whales have been migrating for millennia, Deception Pass Tours offers an exciting tour of our own “Inside Passage”. Saratoga Passage is the best place in the Puget Sound to view the majestic Gray Whales.
- Island Adventures: www.island-adventures.com offers Whale Watching tours out of Anacortes and Everett, WA. The Pacific Northwest is home to a huge diversity of wildlife, incredible scenery and calm protected waters. In addition to whales, our guests often see harbor seals, Stellar and California Sea Lions, Harbor and Dall’s porpoise, Bald Eagles and a wide variety of Seabirds.
- Mystic Sea Charters: www.mysticseacharters.com offers Gray Whale Watching Tours March through April from the Port of Langley, and Orca Tours May through September from Anacortes.
- SUVA - 1920 Yacht moored at Coupeville Wharf is well worth a visit. Sailings of Penn Cove on SUVA available by booking at the Boat. Tours of the Yacht available daily through the Coupeville Historic Maritime Foundation. visit us here
- Whidbey Island Charters - Custom Leisure Cruises on a 30ft Byliner Cruiser based in Langley