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COUPEVILLE & CENTRAL WHIDBEY VISITOR GUIDE Historic Coupeville
The Arts Scene
A Romantic Getaway
Central Whidbey Parks
Fun for Kids
Fresh from Central Whidbey
Finding Your Way
A Sense of History
Calendar of Events
On the Cover: At low tide, the beach beneath the century-old Coupeville Wharf is a great place to explore on a sunny summer day. Photo: Justin Burnett / The Whidbey Examiner
The loganberry pie-eating contest is a big draw each year at the Greenbank Farm Loganberry Festival, scheduled for July 25 & 26, 2009. Photo: The Whidbey Examiner The Whidbey Examiner would like to acknowledge local residents who contributed text and photographs for this guide. Photo contributors include: Mark Gaggia/Gaggia Photograhy (ScenicWhidbey.com), Howard Garrett, Stacey Neumiller (for the bones of the map), Dan Pedersen, Robert Pelant and Jim Ramaglia. Story contributors include Cheryl Bradkin, Karen Bishop, Dan Pedersen, Lynda Richards and Paul Whelan.
The 2009 Coupeville & Central Whidbey Visitor Guide is a special publication of The Whidbey Examiner, Whidbey Island’s only locally owned, independent community newspaper. To subscribe, call 360-678-8060. Visit the Examiner online at www.whidbeyexaminer.com. Whidbey Examiner staff: Publisher & Editor Kasia Pierzga, Marketing Representative Jim Hilles, Photographer Justin Burnett, Production Artists Sueann Carter and Abbie Martin and Editorial Assistant Joan Soltys. © 2009 The Whidbey Examiner, Coupeville, Washington. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from The Whidbey Examiner. Read the Examiner and the Coupeville & Central Whidbey Island Visitor Guide online at www.whidbeyexaminer.com.
Examiner The Whidbey
News from the Heart of Whidbey Island
2009 Coupeville & Central Whidbey Island Visitor Guide
The Whidbey Examiner 3
Coupeville's historic waterfront district offers intriguing shops and cafés.
Photo: The Whidbey Examiner
n the heart of Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve – the only reserve of its kind in the United States – is the small town of Coupeville, a place steeped in history. Founded in 1852 and named after Captain Coupe, a New England sea captain who settled on Whidbey, Coupeville is the second oldest town in Washington, having been founded two years before Seattle. Much of the town’s history has been carefully preserved, with more than 100 buildings on the National Historic Register. Coupeville’s historic glory days began in the mid 1800s, when its bustling little business district caught the attention of sea captains from New England, some 50
of whom eventually sailed into the pristine waters of Penn Cove and settled into their new home. Coupeville thrived from the middle 1800s to the early 1900s. Businessmen sold goods to prospectors headed to Alaska to seek their fortune, steamboats built in Coupeville plied the waters of Puget Sound, and the town’s residents built beautiful Victorian homes that boasted of the town’s prosperity. In the late 1930s, as development shifted to other parts of Puget Sound, Coupeville settled in as a sleepy little agricultural village. Then in the late 1960s, a modest coffee shop opened and became a new focal point for the revitalization of
Coupeville’s historic waterfront shopping district. The owners of the Wet Whisker, Jim and Dave Stewart, went on to found Seattle’s Best Coffee – part of the Northwest coffee culture that forever changed the way Americans think about their favorite caffeinated drink. Surrounded by scenic farms, the shimmering waters of Penn Cove and Admiralty Inlet and the majestic mountain beauty of the Olympics and the North Cascades in the distance, Coupeville seems frozen in time. The town’s beautifully preserved historic buildings, peaceful charm and interesting, unique shops and restaurants attract visitors looking to experience a bit of the past while enjoying a relaxing getaway.
4 The Whidbey Examiner
LEFT: Coupeville's own Penn Cove mussels are a local favorite. ABOVE: Mount Baker provides a spectacular backdrop to colorful spinnakers during Whidbey Island Race Week in July. Photos: The Whidbey Examiner 2009 Coupeville & Central Whidbey Island Visitor Guide
June 27– Strawberry Social. Coupeville United Methodist Church. An honest-to-goodness, old-time social featuring waffles, shortcake or sundaes made with fresh strawberries from Bell’s Farm near Coupeville. 360-678-4256. June 27 & 28 – Wharf Fest, Coupeville. This family-oriented maritime celebration features vintage boats, maritime activities, kids’ stuff and best of all, pirates! An exhibit of model ships and maritime artifacts will be on display at the Island County Historical Museum. coupevillehistoricwaterfront.com 360-678-5434.
Visitors find a vibrant business district housed in the original buildings of early Coupeville, charming bed and breakfasts, colorful and ornate Victorian homes, breathtaking views, a chance to see gray whales and orcas, and a warm welcome from locals eager to share the best of their hometown. Coupeville also is home to the oldest working wharf in Puget Sound. The historic, barn-red granary at the end of the 450-foor pier was built in 1905 for the Mosquito Fleet and ships bringing supplies to Whidbey Island and carrying away the produce from local farms. see Coupeville, page 13
ctic toys, books c ar d s & ca n dy
The Honey Bear 23 Fr ont Street in
wn Coupeville d to l o ric histo Open every day
Aug. 1 & 2 – Coupeville Arts and Crafts Festival. Artists and craftspeople fill the streets of Coupeville for this community celebration, held annually since 1964. coupevilleartsandcraftsfestival.org. 360-678-5116. October – Scarecrow Corridor. Coupeville. Vote for your favorite scarecrow on display all month in front of homes and businesses throughout historic Coupeville. centralwhidbeychamber.com. 360-678-5434. Dec. 5 – The Greening of Coupeville and Christmas Parade. Stake out your spot along Main Street or Front Street to watch an old-fashioned holiday parade led by Santa Claus aboard a decorated fire truck. Tree-lighting and caroling follow. centralwhidbeychamber.com. 360-6785434.
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508 S. Main St., Coupeville, WA 98239 360-678-5318 • Toll-free 800-237-3881
VISITORS & RESIDENTS SHOP CENTRAL WHIDBEY FOR A CHANCE TO WIN
A taste of italy
• Pick up a FREE Central Whidbey First card at the Central Whidbey Chamber or any participating business • Drop your completed card in a collection box • $100 awarded monthly • Winners need not be present to win * For complete details, and for all visitor information, please contact the Chamber at 678-5434 or www.centralwhidbeychamber.com.
coupeville confections & italian selections organic wedding favors bakery espresso bar www.mariti.com 1-877-4mariti 17 nw front street coupeville, wa 2009 Coupeville & Central Whidbey Island Visitor Guide
Visitor Information Center • 107 S. Main • Coupeville
The Whidbey Examiner 5
VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS
Students from the Pacific Northwest Art School capture a scene at the historic Coupeville Wharf. Photo: The Whidbey Examiner
t’s no wonder that Central Whidbey is home to so many artists. Endless inspirations are found in Central Whidbey’s bucolic landscapes of open prairie, bluffs, trails and beaches. Soaring eagles draw the eye upward to an ever-changing sky. On the clearest days, the light illuminates the nuances of the island scenery. When clouds blow in, they move fast, shape-shifting and sending shadows scudding across the fields of Ebey’s Prairie. On foggy days, the jagged horizon of evergreens fades into a mist, intriguing the imagination. And on those gray days when clouds hang low in the sky, the colors of nature, with all the greens and punctuations of flower brights, glow all the more intensely. Galleries representing regionally and nationally recognized artists and craftspeople are found in Coupeville, Greenbank and San de Fuca at the head of Penn Cove. Artist-owned and cooperative galleries offer opportunities for visitors to converse with local artists about their work, inspiration and techniques. Four times a year, Coupeville’s galleries and shops hold an open house for browsers and shoppers to enjoy the Art Walk ambiance late into the evening. 6 The Whidbey Examiner
The Pacific Northwest Art School pairs students with some of the nation’s best artists, bringing together those who are eager to learn and those who are eager to teach. Set in the beautiful natural setting presented by Whidbey Island’s varied landscapes, the school’s diverse programs emphasize the visual arts. Formed as the Coupeville Arts Center in 1986, today the school attracts both students and professional artists seeking a creative and beautiful atmosphere. In addition to classes, the Pacific Northwest Art School sponsors the annual Plein Air Painters’ U.S. Open. Now in its fourth year, the five-day event
celebrates painting outdoors. Artists compete to capture, in a few hours, the fleeting effect of light on the Island landscape. The only painting event of its kind in the nation, it allows both professionals and amateurs to work side by side. The closing evening includes a gala celebration, where the winners are recognized and the week’s works are sold in live and silent auctions. Many local artists also offer classes and workshops at their own studios. Whidbey Island is home to two annual self-guided tours of artists’ studios, one in spring and one in the fall. The Art Studio Tour, held each spring, features members of Whidbey Working Artists throughout Central Whidbey and the north end of
Sept. 8-12 Plein Air Painters’ U.S. Open, Coupeville, Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve and Langley. Meet artists from around the world as they converge on Whidbey Island to paint outdoors in this one-of-a-kind event. Observe as both professionals and amateurs paint at three distinct venues on Friday, Sept. 11. The five-day event closes with an evening gala at the historic Crockett Barn on Saturday, Sept.12, at which the new paintings are auctioned. pleinairopen.com, 866-678-3396. Sept. 26 & 27 Whidbey Island Open Studio Tour. Over 90 artists open their doors from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for two days of self-guided tours. Purchase art from the artists themselves as you experience creation at its point of inspiration. The $10 ticket includes a map of studio locations and a full-color 2010 wall calendar featuring the artists’ work. whidbeyopenstudiotour. org, 360-221-4121. 2009 Coupeville & Central Whidbey Island Visitor Guide
the Island. Now in its 13th year, the Whidbey Island Open Studio Tour offers an intimate glimpse into the artists’ world. There is no better way to see and appreciate creation than at the point of inspiration. The two-day tour gives guests the rare chance to meet nearly 100 artists and to purchase their work directly from them in the environment where it was created. The $10 admission includes a map of studio locations and a full-color wall calendar featuring the artists’ work. Proceeds support scholarships for local aspiring artists. This year’s tour is set for Sept. 26 and 27 and features more than 90 artists with studios scattered around the Island. The performing arts are well represented on Central Whidbey, with a busy season of concerts in Coupeville Town Park and other venues presented by Concerts on the Cove. The family-friendly concert series features a wide range of musical styles, and each season culminates with a barn dance and concert held in one of the historic barns on Ebey’s Prairie. Burning Word, the Festival of Poetic Fire, comes alive each year at Central Whidbey’s Greenbank Farm. The festival was created by the Washington Poets Association as a celebration of poetry, music, performance and workshops, with talent ranging from award-winning poets to new discoveries. The fiber arts communities also gather at Greenbank Farm for special textile events. Whidbey Island’s Quilters on the Rock transform the big barn for a big quilt show, and the Whidbey Weavers Guild offers handspun and hand-dyed yarns, weavings and jewelry at their annual show and sale. In Langley on the south end of Whidbey Island, the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts presents a full schedule of theater, concerts, dance, readings, movies and special events, such as Youth in Arts. No matter what the season, visitors stepping into historic Central Whidbey Island will be surrounded by a rich and varied art experience. Dive in and enjoy! 2009 Coupeville & Central Whidbey Island Visitor Guide
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W H I D BE Y I SLAN D O PEN S T U DI O TOU R September 26 & 27, 2009 Meet artists in their studios, in the unique setting that is Whidbey Island. When studio doors open wide each year, you can experience the inspiration and dedication of painters, potters, sculptors, jewelers, fiber artists, woodworkers, glass blowers, photographers and others. The artists will demonstrate their unique processes and share their inspiration with you!
Call for information on weekend packages including lodging, rental cars, exquisite dining options and more.
Information: 360.221.4121 www.whidbeyopenstudiotour.org The Whidbey Examiner 7
he serene and relaxing environment of Central Whidbey is a perfect place for romance. Whether you’re celebrating an anniversary, escaping for a honeymoon or looking for just the right place to “pop the question,” we offer a variety of accommodations ranging from private getaway vacation homes and intimate Victorian bedand-breakfasts to traditional hotel suites and quaint country inns. No matter what your taste – or budget – we’ve got just the perfect place for you to stay as you spend time on the Island. During your visit, the historic waterfront town of Coupeville is a great place to spend a quiet day connecting with each other. Wander through the one-of-a-kind
shops and galleries along Front, Coveland and Main streets, where you can discover local and regional art, interesting and offbeat antiques, home and cabin décor, apparel, jewelry and unique Northwest gifts. Need help finding your way around? The friendly shopkeepers are glad to help! At lunchtime, grab a bite at one of several local eateries, with menus ranging from tavern and roadhouse fare and homemade pies to Northwest bistro-style dining, Thai and Vietnamese cuisine and memorable fine dining featuring mussels grown right here in Penn Cove. A great way to relax and enjoy the spectacular local scenery is a drive along some of our most scenic routes. From down-
town Coupeville, follow Coveland Street west to where it becomes Madrona Way, a winding route lined with majestic red madrona trees that follows the shoreline of Penn Cove, where a floating mussel farm grows Central Whidbey’s signature shellfish. Following Main Street south across Highway 20, the road becomes Engle Road as it heads out of town across the pastoral farmland of Ebey’s Prairie National Historical Reserve. Follow the road uphill and take a right on Hill Road, which takes you out along the bluff above our island’s rugged western shore. From Ebey’s Landing – the beach at the bottom of the hill – you can see tugboats and container vessels on the waters of Admi-
June 20 – Summer Solstice Barn Dance. Join the locals for a good old-fashioned barn dance in historic Crockett Barn near Coupeville. concertsonthecove.org. 360-678-5581. July 12 to 17 – Whidbey Island Race Week. Whether you’re a sailor or you just enjoy watching the action from the Coupeville Wharf, you’ll enjoy these annual sailboat races from Oak Harbor to Coupeville on the scenic waters of Penn Cove. whidbeyislandraceweek.com. Nov. 14 & 15 – Fall Crush Wine Market, Greenbank Farm. Taste and select local and regional wines for your holiday celebrations, and shop a gourmet gift market. greenbankfarm.com. 360-678-7700. Dec. 5 – Art and Antiques Walk, historic downtown Coupeville. Enjoy refreshments as you wander the town’s galleries and shops late into the evening. centralwhidbeychamber.com. 360-678-5434. 8 The Whidbey Examiner
2009 Coupeville & Central Whidbey Island Visitor Guide
ralty Inlet, along with cruise ships headed north to Canada and Alaska. This stretch is Central Whidbey’s premier spot for a romantic stroll, with miles of unspoiled beach and the perfect place to enjoy a spectacular sunset any time of year. Another lovely place to discover is the Admiralty Head lighthouse, located high on a bluff overlooking Admiralty Inlet within Fort Casey State Park, just south of Coupeville. From the bluff, you can see the Keystone-Port Townsend ferry traveling back and forth between Whidbey Island and the Olympic Peninsula. A popular spot for weddings, the lighthouse is open for tours. In Greenbank, explore the shops and restaurant at Greenbank Farm. On the first Friday of each month, the farm’s
wine shop offers special wine tastings, and the farm’s restaurant offers a special menu that often features locally grown produce. The farm also has walking paths in the rolling fields above the barns, where you can enjoy the pastoral scenery and the waters of Saratoga Passage beyond. Just south of the farm, in the tiny hamlet of Greenbank, a small, scenic winery offers a place to taste local wines – and buy a bottle to take home. Back from a day of shopping and exploring, you’ll want to find a place to enjoy dinner before returning to your accommodations. Coupeville offers a variety of dining establishments ranging from waterfront see escape, page 13
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Welcome to the Coupeville Inn Located in downtown Coupeville
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2009 Coupeville & Central Whidbey Island Visitor Guide
360.678.6668 • 200 Coveland St. • WA & BC Reservations 1.800.247.6162 The Whidbey Examiner 9
Story by Dan Pedersen
Photo: Dan Pedersen
he red-tailed hawks have seen it all. Centuries of Salish canoes. Tall ships. Trucks and tractors. Screaming Navy jet planes. Yet the elegant raptors still hang on thermals and swoop over fields along the graceful shore of Ebey’s Landing near Coupeville. They watch for something to move in the grass below, dismissing the handful of hikers making their way up the bluff-side trail at this exhilarating place where the prairie collides with the sea. Raptors, coyotes, salmon, shellfish, wildflowers and whales thrive amid the fields, skies, beaches and waters of rural Central Whidbey. Tame deer graze all day on the parade grounds at Camp Casey. It’s a natural paradise that draws hikers, bicyclists, birders, whale-watchers, artists, photographers – and anyone looking for a serene island escape. Over the years, farmers have signed over the development rights to thousands of acres, now set aside as open prairie forever in the Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve. Central Whidbey’s spectacular natural environment beckons visitors to explore. Here’s a list of suggestions for enjoying the best of what the region has to offer:
Birding at Crockett Lake Hands down, the state-designated Important Bird Area at Crockett Lake is 10 The Whidbey Examiner
Howard Garrett / Orca Network
Whidbey Island’s top birding spot, among several great ones. Watch bald eagles devour their kill at the water’s edge while gangly great blue herons step deliberately in the marsh, necks coiled to spear dinner with their bills. This large marsh and adjacent saltwater shore attract dozens of migrating species, plus hawks, owls, swallows, red-winged blackbirds, waterfowl and shorebirds.
Watch gray whales in Penn Cove and Saratoga Passage The large, leisurely grays often travel solo. Several take up residence in Saratoga Passage in March during their spring migration northward, staying through early June to feed on ghost shrimp in the sandy shallows. Watch for plumes of spray, arching backs and tail flukes from public access points at Monroe Landing, west Penn Cove beach access, Coupeville Wharf, Captain Coupe Park or Long Point. Book a springtime trip on a whalewatching boat from Coupeville Wharf. The grays will be found almost anywhere along the Whidbey shorelines from Coupeville to Langley.
See orcas from the shoreline Watch for agile, black-and-white orcas traveling in groups led by a female elder. Pods of Puget Sound resident orcas often prowl the west shore of Whidbey from Oc-
tober through January and may be seen from any high ground or from the deck of the Keystone ferry. Visiting transients pass through our waters at any time of year on either side of the island.
Admire majestic trees along scenic Madrona Way There may be no more delightful canopy of madrone trees anywhere than along the several-mile stretch of Madrona Way, which hugs the southern shore of Penn Cove between Highway 20 and Coupeville. These rare, red-barked, broad-leafed evergreens grow mainly within sight of saltwater and reject human assistance of any kind, including watering!
Mingle with mussels and marine life at Coupeville Wharf Gaze down from Coupeville Wharf at clusters of blue-shelled mussels, the succulent local bivalve that appears on restaurant menus worldwide. The world’s largest commercial mussel farm, Penn Cove Shellfish, grows them from lines suspended from dozens of aquaculture rafts anchored a mile west of this pier. Visit the marine exhibits at the end of the pier to learn more about the cove and what swims here. And enjoy the wealth of waterfowl that visit the cove from September through May, including grebes, loons, scoters and goldeneyes. 2009 Coupeville & Central Whidbey Island Visitor Guide
Explore trails & watch birds at Greenbank Farm Explore Whidbey’s narrow neck. The water on both sides of the Island can be seen from this rolling hillside, once a vineyard and now set aside as public land for all to enjoy. Walk the farm and woodland trails, watching for herons, hawks and other birds hunting in the grassy fields. Take your dog – and please bag any pet waste.
Admire underwater marine life at Keystone Jetty Acres of anemones and coral-encrusted rocks await scuba divers at the underwater marine park next to the Keystone ferry
landing. Divers find a wonderland of riotously colorful rockfish, large Pacific octopus and lingcod, schools of forage fish and undulating forests of kelp. A diver who visits on a weekend will often have the company of a lot of other visiting divers. But those who arrive on a weekday often get the entire dive site to themseves. These waters are cold and the currents dangerous; consult a pro with local experience at a dive shop in Oak Harbor or Anacortes.
Hike through majestic old-growth forest at the Island’s Classic U Marvel at rare monarchs of the forest – centuries-old cedars – when you walk the Wilbert Trail through the Classic U Forest at South Whidbey State Park. Visitors looking for a detailed guide to Whidbey Island’s spectacular natural landscape should pick up a copy of “Getting to the Water’s Edge on Whidbey and Camano Islands,” available for $15 at local bookstores and shops. The book, written by local residents with extensive knowledge of the Island, provides maps and descriptions of 57 public places to enjoy the Whidbey shore and includes many trail maps and recreation suggestions. The book also is available by mail by placing an order at www.island.wsu.edu.
A free family festival
Penn Cove Water Festival continuing the tradition in Historic Coupeville
Tribal Canoe Races Storytelling Native Arts & Crafts Children’s Activities Saturday, May 16, 2009 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Additional events May 15 & 17 Save the Date: May 22, 2010
Photo: Jim Ramaglia
Don’t miss the whales!
Spring Rates: $49 Child, $69 Senior, $79 Adult Summer Rates: $49 Child, $79 Senior, $89 Adult Fall Rates: $49 Child, $69 Senior, $79 Adult
Reservations: 1-800-308-9387 firstname.lastname@example.org 2009 Coupeville & Central Whidbey Island Visitor Guide
GUARANTEED WHALE SIGHTINGS!
Orca Whale Cruises May-October Anacortes
Gray Whale Cruises March-May Coupeville
The 100’ Mystic Sea is also available for group and private charters up to 75 people.
mysticseacharters.com The Whidbey Examiner 11
Adjacent to Fort Casey State Park, Seattle Pacific University's Casey Conference Center has a sweeping view of Admiraly Inlet and the spectacular Olympic Mountains. Photo: The Whidbey Examiner
ids of all ages enjoy visiting Central Whidbey’s beautiful parks, each offering something unique, including beautiful hiking trails, pristine beaches, tent and RV camping, playfields, a historic fort, a retired lighthouse, spectacular gardens and an underwater park. At Fort Casey State Park, families enjoy exploring the old fort structures that once were part of the U.S. Army’s “Triangle of Fire” – three military forts that together protected the entrance to Admiralty Inlet. Activated in 1901, the fort was equipped with batteries of “disappearing guns,” so named for their ability to disappear behind the walls of their emplacements during reloading, protecting the gun and crew from enemy bombardment. In its day, the disappearing gun was the height of military technology. The fort was used as a trooptraining facility during both World Wars. Fort Casey State Park and adjacent Fort Ebey State Park offer RV and tent camping, hiking trails, fishing, miles of pristine beach to explore and lots of opportunities to see wildlife ranging from seals, waterfowl and shorebirds to our majestic national symbol, the American bald eagle. Fort Casey offers beach access, restrooms and a public-access boat ramp adjacent to the ferry terminal at Keystone Harbor. The site also boasts an underwater marine park that is a popular destina12 The Whidbey Examiner
tion for scuba divers. Fort Casey also is home to Admiralty Head lighthouse, located high on a distinctive red bluff overlooking Admiralty Inlet and the Keystone-Port Townsend ferry crossing. During its working life, the lighthouse was an important navigational aid for sailing ships headed to Puget Sound from the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Built in 1903, the lighthouse, which replaced the original wooden structure, boasts 18-inch, stucco-covered brick walls designed to withstand the concussion from Fort Casey’s big guns. Admiralty Head lighthouse was operated only until the early 1920s, when steamships replaced sailing ships and the lighthouse lost its importance as a navigational aid. Today, the lighthouse houses an interpretive center and offers free tours. It has also become a popular spot for weddings,
and in December, when the building is dressed in its best holiday attire, it hosts a special holiday gift shop. Island County-owned Rhododendron Park, about 2 miles south of Coupeville off Hwy. 20, offers RV and tent camping, trails, ball fields, picnic shelters, restrooms and a playground. Patmore Pit off-leash dog park offers 40 partially fenced acres with a separate fenced agility area. The big, grassy meadow is a great place for exuberant, unrestrained canine games of Frisbee or fetch. Water and waste bags are available on site. From Hwy. 20, turn onto Patmore Road, then onto Keystone Hill Road a short distance to the park entrance on the right. A great place for a picnic is Coupeville Town Park, located about a block west of Coupeville Wharf. The park, which offers a picnic area, restrooms and a tennis court, also features a covered outdoor stage that hosts summertime concerts and other events. Looking for a playground where your children can burn off some energy? Try the swings at Coupeville Town Park and the playgrounds at Coupeville Elementary School and at Rhododendron Park. At Meerkerk Gardens near Greenbank, visitors can enjoy a Northwest-style woodland garden surrounded by a lush, 43-acre woodland preserve. Be sure to visit in spring to enjoy a spectacular wonderland of rhodies in full bloom.
Fort Casey State Park is a great place to enjoy a stroll on the beach.
Photo: The Whidbey Examiner
2009 Coupeville & Central Whidbey Island Visitor Guide
COUPEVILLE & CENTRAL WHIDBEY VISITOR GUIDE Coupeville, from page 5
Today, the remodeled wharf building houses a restaurant, an espresso bar and shops featuring gifts and souvenirs, Whidbey-made products and marine supplies for those arriving by boat. The building also houses an interpretive display focusing on the marine life in Penn Cove, the preserved skeletons of a gray whale and a Dall’s porpoise and an interactive underwater camera you can use to check out the sea life beneath the wharf. The wharf also offers public restrooms and showers for visiting boaters. An 80-foot-long fuel pier provides access to diesel fuel and unleaded gasoline. Floats attached to the wharf provide about 400 feet of mooring space for pleasure craft. No electricity or fresh water is available at these floats. Just west of the wharf are four mooring buoys for boats 32 feet or less. One of the more unusual destinations for visitors to Central Whidbey is historic Sunnyside Cemetery, just south of Coupeville. Located high on a wooded ridge above Ebey’s Prairie, the peaceful grounds have a broad, sweeping view of Admiralty
Inlet and the beautiful farmland below. In the distance, the white-capped peaks of the Olympic Mountains to the west and the Cascade Range to the east provide a majestic backdrop. Established in 1865 with the burial of Winfield Ebey, the cemetery is the final resting place of many early pioneers. Also buried at Sunnyside are Chinese laborers, Native Americans descended from Whidbey island’s early occupants and sea captains from the eastern United States who sailed into Penn Cove in the
early 1850s, found their idyllic vision of safe harbor, and stayed. The cemetery is also home to Davis Blockhouse, a small structure originally built as a log cabin in 1853 and later remodeled into a blockhouse after pioneer Isaac Ebey was beheaded by a raiding party of Haida Indians in 1857. Ebey and his wife were the island’s first white settlers, having arrived in 1852. These days, visitors to Whidbey Island can expect a much more hospitable welcome!
9B Front Street • Coupeville, WA 1-888-877-5841 Original Watercolors and Prints by Robert Howard Hunter
escape, from page 9
restaurants and a Northwest bistro to a friendly tavern and several cafés. If you’re still not ready to turn in for the day, take your honey for a drive just north of Coupeville to the Blue Fox Drive-In, one of the few remaining old-fashioned outdoor cinemas in Washington. Coupeville also has a tradition of barn dances, which continue today with the Summer Solstice Barn Dance in June, and again in November as part of the Whidbey Island Farm Tour and Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve conference. 2009 Coupeville & Central Whidbey Island Visitor Guide
ART SCHOOL On Beautiful Whidbey Island
the 4th Annual
Plein Air Painters’ U.S.Open
Painters compete September 8 - 11, 2009 Juried Art Auction at GALA September 12 • $50 • Coupeville
www.pleinairopen.com • 866.678.3396 The Whidbey Examiner 13
ACH WEST BE ES
Mu Ba t
★ iny y
TO MUKILTEO & I-5
To find out about local events and activities, pick up a copy of The Whidbey Examiner, Whidbey Island’s only locally owned, independent newspaper. Find the paper online at whidbeyexaminer.com. To subscribe, call 360-678-8060.
Check in with the locals
R O RB HA
With Inset Map of Historic Coupeville
HAPPY VALLEY VALLEY VALLE
SILVER VER LAKE
Boat & Fuel
Towns & Cities
ON UST HO
1. Deception Pass 2. Libbey Beach 3. Fort Ebey 4. Fort Casey 5. South Whidbey / Classic U Forest
Admiralty Head Lighthouse
scent Cre rbor a H
The Central Whidbey Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center at 107 S. Main St. in Coupeville has staff and volunteers ready to help you find your way around. Find the Chamber online at centralwhidbeychamber.com. Call 360-678-5434 or e-mail email@example.com.
TO PORT TOWNSEND & OLYMPIC PENINSULA
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FUN FOR ALL AGES
Central Whidbey hosts plenty of family-friendly events. From left: The Greenbank Farm Loganberry Festival, WharfFest and the Penn Cove Water Festival in historic downtown Coupeville, and HarvestFest at the Coupeville Farmers Market. Photos: The Whidbey Examiner
entral Whidbey offers lots of things for kids to see and do. In downtown Coupeville, kids can walk out on Coupeville Wharf and look down at dozens of starfish hanging out underneath the pier. In the historic building at the end of the Wharf, they can visit Rosie and Rudy – a display of the complete skeletons of a gray whale and a Dall’s porpoise that once swam in the waters off Whidbey. An educational display on marine life offers an underwater video camera through which you can see the starfish and other sea life thriving beneath the wharf. And when the tide is at its lowest, it’s easy to spot tangles of bright-orange starfish and squirting clams from the pier. Families with older children may enjoy renting kayaks from the Harbor Store at the end of the wharf. At the Island County Historical Museum, you can see the largest collection of woolly mammoth artifacts in the Puget Sound region, most of which were found in glacial deposits on Whidbey. Kids are especially impressed by the big tusks and teeth. The museum also is home to Whidbey Island’s first car, a 1902 Holsman with black leather seats, 48-inch wheels and a maximum speed of 25 mph. Each October, the museum hosts Mammoth Day. By digging for and identifying different characteristics of real mammoth bones, kids are transformed into real, certified amateur paleontologists. Fun, 16 The Whidbey Examiner
hands-on activities include making and playing “prehistoric” musical instruments in a Caveman Band. A scavenger hunt in the museum and on its grounds is tons of fun, and along the way, kids get to learn a little about mammoth life. At Greenbank Farm, kids can check out a herd of fuzzy llamas, admire ducks on the pond next to the big red barn or run through the fields where the farm’s signature loganberries once grew. On Sundays from spring through fall, the farm hosts a farmers market with fresh produce and local crafts, and the annual Loganberry Festival features an old-fashioned hayride. In October, the Coupeville Farmers Market hosts its annual Harvest Fest, fea-
turing a giant pumpkin contest, silly scarecrows and a pumpkin-pitching trebuchet. Be sure to wander through town to check out the community scarecrow competition! Kids love to explore the beach at Ebey’s Landing, just south of Coupeville. Walk for miles along a pristine shoreline, looking for agates and other beach treasures and keeping an eye out for passing container ships, cruise ships, tugboats and even the occasional submarine! A few miles north of Coupeville, the Blue Fox Drive-In is one of Washington’s few remaining outdoor cinemas. Open since 1959, the theater also offers go-carts, miniature golf and a game arcade.
Playing on the beach is a favorite family pastime.
Photo: The Whidbey Examiner
2009 Coupeville & Central Whidbey Island Visitor Guide
May 23 – Memorial Day Parade and Remembrance Ceremony. Historic downtown Coupeville. A quintessential smalltown parade honoring America’s veterans with music, food and celebration. centralwhidbeychamber.com. 360-6785434. June 27 & 28 – Wharf Fest. Coupeville. This family-oriented maritime celebration features vintage boats, maritime activities, boat rides, kids stuff and best of all, pirates! An exhibit of model ships and maritime artifacts will be on display at the Island County Historical Museum. coupevillehistoricwaterfront. com. 360-678-5434.
A boy puts his all into the kids' tractor pull at the Island County Fair.
Photo: The Whidbey Examiner
July 25-26 – Loganberry Festival. Greenbank Farm. Visit historic Greenbank Farm for this annual wine tasting, food, music and art extravaganza with activities for kids and a lip-smacking loganberry pie-eating contest. greenbankfarm.com. 360-678-7700. Aug. 8 – Whidbey Island Highland Games. Greenbank Farm. Bring the kids and check out the Whidbey Island’s Celtic Society’s annual celebration of all things Scottish. Enjoy pipe bands, pipers, dancers and athletic events along with food and fun to spare. wihg.org. 360-331-5437, 360-331-4688. Oct. 24 – Coupeville Halloween Torchlight Parade. A fun children’s costume party by torchlight (flashlight) begins at dusk. Lots of kids’ activities follow the parade. coupevillehistoricwaterfront.com. 360678-5434. Nov. 28 – Tree-lighting Celebration. Greenbank Farm. The whole family will enjoy an evening of caroling, hot cider and cookies, an arts and crafts fair and treelighting. Santa will be on hand for a visit with the kids. greenbankfarm.com. 360678-7700.
Saturday & Sunday
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The Whidbey Examiner 17
FRESH FROM CENTRAL WHIDBEY
There's nothing better than a romp through an autumn pumpkin patch. Photo: The Whidbey Examiner
successful farmer on Whidbey Island has always been one who is optimistic, entrepreneurial and able to adapt to changing market conditions and climate. In the 160 years since settlers first began farming on the Island, farms have gone from small to large and, it seems, back to small again as farmers continually adapt to market conditions. Rich pockets of agricultural lands on Whidbey Island carry a deep history of the evolution of farming. Salish tribes regularly burned the broad, open prairies to encourage wild camas and provide forage for game. As the early settlers arrived,
they found the deep, loamy prairie topsoil and mild climate with good year ’round rainfall a sought-after gift. Land that settlers claimed on Whidbey eventually produced a wheat crop that broke the record for the highest yield per acre in the entire United States. Early farms raised cattle, produced milk, grew hay, wheat, rye and oats as well as peas and potatoes. While the first farms were subsistence operations, Central Whidbey farmers went on to provide supplies for passing sailing ships and, later, for those headed north to seek their fortunes in Alaska. Between the 1880s and 1920s, Chinese tenant farmers were known for their impressive potato crop. Remnants of their tiny, one-room shacks can still be seen tucked away at the edges of the prairie.
From the turn of the century to the 1960s, Central Whidbey was known for poultry production, and the early 1900s brought the first dairy creamery. Perfect climate conditions and the ability to grow top-quality forage crops kept dairies a mainstay of farming until the late 1990s, but changing market conditions and other factors led to the closure of the last dairy farm in 2007. Today, the Holstein heifers you see at local farms are being raised for farms elsewhere. The Central Whidbey agricultural scene currently includes cattle, sheep, llamas, goats, vegetable seed crops, hay, squash, lavender, potatoes, organic fruits and vegetables, flowers and even shellfish. Families can get an up-close look at our working farms during the Whidbey Island Farm Tour, held the first weekend
Aug. 13-16 – Island County Fair, Langley. Bring the whole family to our old-fashioned country fair, where you’ll enjoy music, carnival games and rides, food booths and lots of lots of animals. islandcountyfair. com. 360-221-4677. Oct. 3 & 4 – Whidbey Island Farm Tour. Free, self-guided tour of working farms on beautiful Whidbey Island featuring locally grown food and products, farm animals and a tour of the largest mussel farm in the United States. On Saturday night, head to Greenbank Farm for a dinner featuring locally grown food, followed by a rollicking, family-friendly contra dance in the big red barn. whidbeyfarmtour.com. Oct. 10 -- Harvest Fest, Coupeville Farmers Market. Celebrate the end of the market season with food, art, music, a giant-pumpkin contest, wacky games and races, a pumpkin-pitching trebuchet and lots more. coupevillefarmersmarket.com. Camas blooming on Smith Prairie. Robert Pelant 18 The Whidbey Examiner
2009 Coupeville & Central Whidbey Island Visitor Guide
in October. It’s a chance to visit with local farmers, purchase locally grown food, fiber and farm-related products, and soak up the rural character of our beautiful island. Some of the most scenic farmland is protected as part of Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve, which encompasses the fertile prairie surrounding Coupeville. Among the most profitable crops grown by Central Whidbey farmers today are vegetable seeds such as beet and cabbage. Seeds produced on Whidbey are distributed by multinational seed companies and may be planted as food crops all over the world. Central Whidbey also is home to several farms that specialize in organic produce. Some sell their fruits and vegetables through community-supported agriculture, at local farmers markets or direct to local restaurants that try to “buy local.” During the growing season, local produce is available each Saturday at the Coupeville Farmers Market, located in the field behind the library, within walking distance of downtown Coupeville. At Lavender Wind Farm on Darst Road west of Coupeville, you’ll find a pretty purple labyrinth in a spectacular scenic setting above the Strait of Juan de Fuca. A gift shop offers lavender gifts, as well as ice cream and other treats made with lavender essential oil.
Whidbey Island is home to a few more unusual agricultural operations as well, including the largest mussel farm in the nation. Driving along scenic Madrona Way just west of Coupeville, you can see floats bobbing on the waves of Penn Cove, where the workers of Penn Cove Shellfish grow mussels from “seed.” Penn Cove mussels have emerged as one of Central Whidbey’s best-known farm products, and many local restaurants feature the small, shiny black shellfish on their menus. The mussels are delivered fresh daily to restaurants all over the region, including some of the finest restaurants in Seattle. The Central Whidbey farm scene also see farms, page 21
For the best in what’s local, shop the Coupeville Farmers Market Saturdays 10 am-2 pm April thru mid-October • 8th & Alexander coupevillefarmersmarket.com
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LAVENDER WITH A VIEW Have a wedding at the farm or come for a picnic. Taste lavender ice cream, get lavender gifts, watch us distill lavender essential oil during harvest season. We make most products here at the farm. We are unique! • Labyrinth • Lavender Fields • Sunflowers • Gifts and Plants
Mussels encrust rocks along the shore of Penn Cove, where an aquaculture operation produces mussels that are then sold through local grocery stores and restaurants. Photo: The Whidbey Examiner 2009 Coupeville & Central Whidbey Island Visitor Guide
Open all year 10-4 Summer 10-5
2530 Darst Road, Coupeville I 360.678.0919 The Whidbey Examiner 19
Finding your way to Coupeville and Central Whidbey Map: Washington State Ferries
From Seattle, Portland and points south: From I-5 northbound, take exit 189 just south of Everett. Follow signs for the Mukilteo-Clinton ferry. Take the ferry to Clinton on Whidbey Island. Follow Hwy. 525 north, which takes you through the tiny village of Greenbank and past scenic Greenbank Farm. The highway joins with Hwy. 20 just south of Coupeville. About eight miles north, a traffic light on Hwy. 20 marks the intersection with Coupeville’s Main Street. Turn right (north) and drive one-half mile into the Coupeville Historic Waterfront District.
Greenbank is about eight miles south of Coupeville.
Taking the ferry? Ferry schedules
are available in Coupeville at many local businesses, including Prairie Center Red Apple Market, and at the Central Whidbey Chamber Visitor Center. Port Townsend/Keystone ferry: This ferry route is currently using a single, smaller vessel that carries up to 50 cars. Full sailings and cancellations due to weather and tides can be expected. For vehicle traffic, advance and same-day reservations are en-
From Mount Vernon, Bellingham, Canada and points north: From I-5 southbound, take Burlington exit 230 and follow signs to Whidbey Island on Hwy. 20. Once on Whidbey Island, follow Hwy. 20 south from the scenic Deception Pass Bridge and through Oak Harbor. About 10 miles south of Oak Harbor, a traffic light on Hwy. 20 marks the intersection with Main Street. Turn left (north) and drive a half-mile into historic Coupeville. To get to Greenbank, continue south on Hwy. 20, which becomes Hwy. 525 a few miles south of Coupeville. 20 The Whidbey Examiner
couraged, but stand-by space is available on every crossing. There is no reservation fee. Reservations are required for vehicles with trailers or RVs weighing 6,000 lbs. to 80,000 lbs. at least 1 day prior to sailing. You must arrive at the terminal at least 30 minutes before departure time or you will forfeit your reservation. Making reservations: The Central Whidbey Chamber Visitor Center at 107 S. Main St., Coupeville and many local businesses can help you make a reservation for the Keystone ferry. Reservations also may be made by phone at 206-464-6400 or 1-888808-7977. For information, visit www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries. Mukilteo/Clinton ferry: Expect delays during periods of heavy traffic, such as when headed north to the Island on weekday afternoons and evenings, especially on Fridays. When headed south to Mukilteo, expect delays on Sunday afternoons and evenings. No reservations are available for this route.
These girls had a great time making jellyfish hats at the Penn Cove Water Festival. The Whidbey Examiner
Whidbey Island also is accessible from the I-5 corridor via Hwy. 20 and Deception Pass Bridge. 2009 Coupeville & Central Whidbey Island Visitor Guide
farms, from page 19
includes a project aimed at increasing the populations of native prairie plants that might otherwise disappear as open land is developed or used for more traditional farm production. At Au Sable Institute just southeast of Coupeville, volunteers save seeds from about 20 endangered prairie plants, and those seeds are used to restore the native prairie environment that settlers found when they first arrived in the 1800s. Spring is a great time of year to see these rare wildflowers in bloom, and Au Sable welcomes visitors who would like to roam its trails. To get there, follow Hwy. 20 south from Coupeville, and turn left at Parker Road. The entrance to Au Sable is on the right. Stop in at the office to ask directions to the trails. While you’re there, keep an eye out for Au Sable’s pet pheasants. The land once housed a state-owned game farm that raised the birds to be released at hunting locations around Washington. Today, Au Sable keeps a few of the colorful creatures as a way of preserving a link to the historical use of the land. At Greenbank Farm, a gorgeous sweep of land that started out as a dairy and later became the largest loganberry
farm in the country, visitors can roam trails through rolling fields for a spectacular view of the sparking waters and distant mountains that surround Whidbey Island. The huge, iconic red barn and adjacent buildings house art galleries and a restaurant as well as shops featuring fine wines, cheeses and gifts. Outside, ducks and geese float on a pond next to a demonstration garden that beckons visitors to take a stroll. The farm hosts a training program in sustainable farming as well as a community-supported agriculture program. The farm is home to the Sunday Farmers Market, and is a great place to enjoy a picnic on a sunny afternoon.
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A SENSE OF PLACE
Spring wildflowers bloom along a field above the beach at Ebey's Landing. Photo: The Whidbey Examiner
ore than 30 years ago, local residents and committed citizens came together to protect Ebey’s Prairie from development. Their efforts made history, helping to establish our nation’s first historical reserve. The enduring pioneer spirit and vision continues to be a part of our working rural community today. Established in 1978, the 17,400-acre Reserve preserves and protects a rural community and an unbroken historical record of Pacific Northwest history, from
19th century exploration and settlement to the 21st Century. The landscape is a bucolic tapestry of fields, farmhouses and wooded hills that reflects the pattern of settlement from the 1800s. The historical landscape of Ebey’s Landing appears much as it did a century ago. Historic homes, farmsteads and commercial buildings remain in their original settings. Within the fast-growing Puget Sound region, the Reserve is the last place where visitors can see a broad spectrum
of Northwest history still intact within a large-scale landscape. Within the Reserve is one of the largest concentrations of historic architecture in the state, from pioneer blockhouses and Victorian homes to historic Coupeville storefronts. Ebey’s Landing is one of the places where Washington began. Originally cleared by the Northwest’s native Salish Indians, the fertile land – an ancient lakebed – is still in production today. The Reserve reaches beyond Ebey’s Prairie to
Surf fishing along the beach at Ebey's Landing offers an opportunity to enjoy a late-summer evening outdoors. Photo: The Whidbey Examiner 22 The Whidbey Examiner
2009 Coupeville & Central Whidbey Island Visitor Guide
include the boundary lines of the original 1850s land donation claims. Many of the roads we use today are the same roads that farmers used more than 100 years ago. Ebey’s Landing is unique in the nation. While the Reserve is part of the National Park System and is protected from development, it is by no means a static museum of the past. Within its borders are the thriving small town of Coupeville, neighborhoods tucked away in the trees, and productive farmland still being worked by
May 16 – Penn Cove Water Festival. Coupeville. Penn Cove comes alive with canoe races between Native American tribes from all over the region. In town, streets are filled with arts and crafts, demonstrations, Native American music and dance performances, storytelling and children’s activities. penncovewaterfestival.com. Nov. 6 & 7 – Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve annual conference. Coupeville. Bring the family for a weekend of handson learning about farming, history and historic preservation. www.nps.gov/ebla; 360-678-5787. June 20 – Summer Solstice Barn Dance. Join the locals for a good old-fashioned barn dance in historic Crockett Barn near Coupeville. concertsonthecove.org. 360678-5581.
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descendants of some of the families who first established homesteads in the prairie landscape. In 2008, the Reserve celebrated its 30th birthday, and 30 years of protecting the unique historical and cultural landscape of Ebey’s Prairie. As Whidbey Island’s population continues to grow, awareness of the value of protecting this landscape is key to its continued preservation. Development rights are purchased from willing landowners who want to see their land preserved as part of the prairie’s unbroken historical record, and sustainable building and land-use practices are encouraged as a way to limit our footprint on the land and protect our historic resources for future generations.
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Examiner The Whidbey
News from from the the Heart Heart of of Whidbey Whidbey Island Island News
www.whidbeyexaminer.com • 6 NW Coveland St. • Coupeville
Welcome to Central Whidbey!
Find art, candy, cabin décor and whimsy at Mariners Court
On Front Street in Coupeville’s historic waterfront district 2009 Coupeville & Central Whidbey Island Visitor Guide
District 10 is represented by Rep. Barbara Bailey, R-Oak Harbor, Rep. Norma Smith, R-Clinton, and Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, D-Camano Island The Whidbey Examiner 23
CENTRAL WHIDBEY CALENDAR OF EVENTS Make Plans for 2009! Fridays through Dec. 4 – First Fridays at the Farm, Greenbank Farm. Wine tastings from a different winery each month, artisan cheeses, music and art. greenbankfarm.com. 360-678-7700. Saturdays through Oct. 10 – Coupeville Farmers Market. Fresh produce, herbs, flowers, crafts, hot foods and baked goods. coupevillefarmersmarket.com. Sundays through Sept. 27 – Sunday Farmers Market, Greenbank Farm. Organic produce, honey, arts and crafts of all kinds. Hot food and coffee. greenbankfarm.com. 360-678-7700. Weekends through May 31, daily June through August, weekends September - December – Admiralty Head Lighthouse, Fort Casey State Park. Explore the rich historical exhibits at this 1860s-era lighthouse. Free admission. admiraltyhead.wsu/edu
May 23 – Memorial Day Parade and Remembrance Ceremony. Historic downtown Coupeville. A quintessential small-town parade honoring America’s veterans with music, food and celebration. centralwhidbeychamber.com. 360-678-5434. June 6 & 7 – Arts and Antiques Walk, historic downtown Coupeville. Art and antique galleries in downtown Coupeville stay open late for shopping and mingling. centralwhidbeychamber.com. 360-678-5434. June 19-21 – Art at the Farm, Greenbank Farm. Members of the Whidbey Art Gallery, an artists cooperative, will show and sell their varied works in painting, ceramics, fabric and glass art, sculpture. whidbeyartists.com.
24 The Whidbey Examiner
June 27 & 28 – Wharf Fest. Coupeville. This family-oriented maritime celebration features vintage boats, maritime activities, boat rides, kids stuff and best of all, pirates! An exhibit of model ships and maritime artifacts will be on display at the Island County Historical Museum. coupevillehistoricwaterfront.com 360-678-5434.
July 11 & 12 – Spirit of the Northwest Art Show. Coupeville Recreation Hall. This juried show of fine art from notable Whidbey Island artists is also a fundraiser for Whidbey General Hospital. centralwhidbeychamber.com. 360-678-0382.
May 15 – Rural Recollections, downtown Coupeville. Listen to stories from the late 1920s through 1942, when Coupeville’s original Indian Water Festival featured war canoe races, a parade and thousands of visitors every August. A traditional “Coming Ashore” ceremony led by the Swinomish Tribe will start the evening on Coupeville’s waterfront. islandhistory.org. 360-678-3310.
May 23-25 – Spring Wine-tasting and Farmers Market, Greenbank Farm. Painters, photographers, handcrafters, growers and producers bring the creativity of Whidbey Island and the region to this market. greenbankfarm.com. 360-678-7700.
June 27-28 – World’s Biggest Garage Sale, Coupeville Elementary School. Get there early for the adrenalin rush when the starting gun blasts at this Coupeville Lions Club event. coupevillelions.org. 360-678-4541.
July 10 – April Verch concert, Coupeville Performing Arts Center. Virtuoso fiddler, vocalist and stepdancer April Verch and her band perform a blend of folk, jazz, old-time, bluegrass and roots music. concertsonthecove.org. 360-678-5581.
May 10 – Mother’s Day concert, Meerkerk Rhododendron Gardens. Treat Mom to a relaxing afternoon of folk harp music surrounded by a forest of blooming rhodies. meerkerkgardens.org. 360-678-1912.
May 16 – Penn Cove Water Festival, Coupeville. Penn Cove comes alive with canoe races between Native American tribes from all over the region. In town, streets are filled with arts and crafts, demonstrations, Native American music and dance performances, storytelling and children’s activities. penncovewaterfestival.com.
longest-running art group’s annual show and sale. greenbankfarm.org. 360-678-5558
July 12 to 17 – Whidbey Island Race Week. Whether you’re a sailor or you just enjoy watching the action from the Coupeville Wharf, you’ll enjoy these annual sailboat races from Oak Harbor to Coupeville on the scenic waters of Penn Cove. whidbeyislandraceweek.com.
Boats on the beach at Penn Cove. June 20 – Summer Solstice Barn Dance. Join the locals for a good old-fashioned barn dance in historic Crockett Barn near Coupeville. concertsonthecove.org. 360-678-5581. June 27– Strawberry Social. Coupeville United Methodist Church. An honest-to-goodness, old-time social featuring waffles, shortcake or sundaes made with fresh strawberries from Bell’s Farm near Coupeville. 360-678-4256. June 27-28 – Greenbank Artists Show and Sale, Greenbank Farm. Central Whidbey’s
July 17-19 – Art at the Farm, Greenbank Farm. Members of the Whidbey Art Gallery, an artists’ cooperative, show and sell their varied works in painting, ceramics, fabric and glass art, sculpture. whidbeyartists.com. July 25-26 – Loganberry Festival. Greenbank Farm. Visit historic Greenbank Farm for this annual wine tasting, food, music and art extravaganza with activities for kids and a lip-smacking loganberry pie-eating contest. greenbankfarm.com. 360-678-7700. July 31 – Juried Art Gallery and Wine Tasting. Coupeville Recreation Hall. Enjoy art created by a wide range of talented artists at this annual reception that serves as 2009 Coupeville & Central Whidbey Island Visitor Guide
the traditional kickoff for the Coupeville Arts and Crafts Festival. coupevilleartsandcraftsfestival.org. 360-678-5116.
Colorful kites fill the sky in the parade grounds at historic Camp Casey, with kite making, ground and air displays, competitions and children’s activities set against the backdrop of the Olympic Mountains and Admiralty Inlet. whidbeykites.org. 360-678-9358.
Aug. 1 & 2 – Coupeville Arts and Crafts Festival. Artists and craftspeople fill the streets of Coupeville for this community celebration, held annually since 1964. coupevilleartsandcraftsfestival.org. 360-678-5116.
Sept. 26 & 27 – Whidbey Island Open Studio Tour. Some 100 working artists and craftspeople welcome visitors into their studios. whidbeyopenstudiotour.org. 360-221-4121.
Aug. 8 & 9 – Lavender & Wind Art Festival with a Taste of Provence. Enjoy art, music, food and wine amidst fields of lavender and sunflowers and a fabulous view of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. lavenderwind.com; 360-678-0919. Aug. 8 – Whidbey Island Highland Games, Greenbank Farm. Bring the kids and check out the Whidbey Island Celtic Society’s annual celebration of all things Scottish. Enjoy pipe bands, pipers, dancers and athletic events along with food and fun to spare. wihg.org. 360-331-5437, 360-331-4688. Aug. 9 & 16 – Whidbey Island Music Festival, Greenbank Farm and other venues. Celebration with performances of works by Henry Purcell and Handel. whidbeyislandmusicfestival.org. Aug. 13-16 – Island County Fair, Langley. Bring the whole family to our old-fashioned country fair, where you’ll enjoy music, carnival games and rides, food booths and lots of lots of animals. islandcountyfair.com. 360-221-4677. Sept. 5 – Arts and Antiques Walk, historic downtown Coupeville. Art and antique galleries in downtown Coupeville stay open late for shopping and mingling. centralwhidbeychamber.com. 360-678-5434.
October – Scarecrow Corridor, Coupeville. Vote for your favorite scarecrow on display all month in front of homes and businesses throughout historic Coupeville. centralwhidbeychamber.com. 360-678-5434. Market-ready organic produce from a farm near Coupeville. Sept. 13 – Outdoor Concert. Coupeville Town Park. concertsonthecove.org. 360-678-5581. Sept. 12 – Old-Time Bluegrass Pickers Festival. Meerkerk Rhododendron Gardens. Greenbank. Listen to the twang of bluegrass in a laid-back festival on the lawn amidst a spectacular garden. meerkerkgardens.org. 360-678-1912. Sept. 26 – Tour de Whidbey, Coupeville. This annual bicycle event to raise money for the Whidbey General Hospital foundation attracts cyclists from all over for 10, 40, 50 and 100-mile routes. whidbeygen.org. 360-678-7656, ext. 4020. Sept. 26 & 27 – Whidbey Island Kite Festival. Camp Casey Conference Center, Coupeville.
Sept. 11-13 – Art at the Farm, Greenbank Farm. Members of the Whidbey Art Gallery, an artist cooperative, show and sell their varied works in painting, ceramics, fabric and glass art and sculpture. whidbeyartists.com. 2009 Coupeville & Central Whidbey Island Visitor Guide
Your Guide to Lodging in Coupeville 28 lodgings to choose from! Inns • B&B’s Cabins • Studios Chalets • Cottages Vacation Houses We offer water & mountain views from Coupeville North to Oak Harbor & South to Greenbank.
Sept. 5 & 6 – Antiques and Collectibles Show and Sale. Greenbank Farm. Eighteen dealers show their furnishings, linens, silver, collectibles, books, trunks and more in the farm’s historic barn. greenbankfarm.com. 360-678-7700. Sept. 8-12 – Plein Air Painters’ U.S. Open, Coupeville and Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve. Artists from around the country converge on Central Whidbey to paint outdoors in the plein air tradition. A gala and silent auction of paintings takes place the evening of Sept. 12. coupevillearts.org. 866-678-3396.
see calendar, page 26
Blue Goose Inn B&B
Historic Victorian homes, private baths, water views, gourmet breakfast, walk to waterfront, shops, & dining. www.bluegooseinn.com 877.678.4284 702 North Main, Coupeville
The Coupeville Lodging Association www.coupevillelodging.com 877-230-1313 The Whidbey Examiner 25
calendar, from page 25 Oct. 3 & 4 – Whidbey Island Farm Tour. Free, self-guided tour of working farms on beautiful Whidbey Island featuring locally grown food and products, farm animals and a tour of the largest mussel farm in the United States. whidbeyfarmtour.com. Oct. 3 & 4 – Rhododendron Sale, Meerkerk Gardens, Greenbank. Fans of Washington’s beautiful state flower enjoy checking out the amazing variety of rhodies. meerkerkgardens.org. 360-678-1912. Oct. 10 – Harvest Fest from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Coupeville Farmers Market. Celebrate the end of the market season with food, art, music, a giant pumpkin contest, wacky games and races, a pumpkin-pitching trebuchet and lots more. coupevillefarmersmarket.com. Oct. 10 – Oktoberfest. Greenbank Farm. Get ready for lots of fun with polkas, pretzels, authentic German fare, accordion music and a beer tent. greenbankfarm.com. 360-678-7700. Oct. 10 & 11 – Uniquely Whidbey Biz Expo. Coupeville High School campus. Join the locals at this showcase of products, services and foods from throughout Whidbey Island. islandweb.org/edc. 360-678-6889. Oct. 24 – Coupeville Halloween Torchlight Parade. A fun children’s costume party by torchlight (flashlight) begins at dusk. coupevillehistoricwaterfront.com. 360-678-5434. Oct. 31 – Halloween Party and Kids’ Costume Parade, Greenbank Farm. A day on the farm with pumpkin carving, kettle corn, cider, apples, crafts and more. greenbankfarm.com. 360-678-7700. Nov. 6 & 7 – Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve annual conference, Coupeville. Bring the family for a weekend of hands-on farming and historic preservation workshops. www.nps.gov/ebla; 360-678-5787. Nov. 6 & 7 – Whidbey Weavers’ Guild Show and Sale, Greenbank Farm. A community of fiber artists offers unique weaving, spinning, dyeing, basketry, felting and jewelry in the farm’s iconic red barn. greenbankfarm.com, whidbeyweaversguild.org. 360-678-7700. 26 The Whidbey Examiner
Nov. 7 & 8 – Coupeville Lodging Open House. From Victorian-era bed-and-breakfast inns and old-time farmhouses to quaint beach cabins and modern waterfront homes, our local lodging establishments open their doors for visitors. coupevillelodging.com. 360-678-5434. Nov. 14 & 15 – Fall Crush Wine Market, Greenbank Farm. Taste and select local and regional wines for your holiday celebrations, and shop a gourmet gift market. greenbankfarm.com. 360-678-7700.
Street to watch an old-fashioned holiday parade led by Santa Claus aboard a decorated fire truck. Tree-lighting and caroling follow. centralwhidbeychamber.com. 360-678-5434. Dec. 5 – Jingle Trail Run, Fort Ebey State Park, Coupeville. 5K run and 1-mile walk/run along scenic park trails. centralwhidbeychamber.com. 360-678-5434.
Plan Ahead for 2010!
Nov. 23-Jan. 4 – Christmas Exhibit, Island County Historical Museum. Annual tradition celebrates one of the highlights of the social season for Islanders since the 1850s. 360-678-3310. islandhistory.org.
Feb. 6 – Sound Waters, Coupeville. A fascinating one-day “university” with classes on marine life, plants and wildlife of Whidbey Island. beachwatchers.wsu.edu/ island/soundwaters. 360-679-7327.
Nov. 28 – Tree-lighting Celebration, Greenbank Farm. The whole family will enjoy an evening of caroling, hot cider and cookies, an arts and crafts fair and tree-lighting. Santa will be on hand for a visit with the kids. greenbankfarm.com. 360-678-7700.
March 5-7 – Penn Cove MusselFest, Coupeville. Celebrate Coupeville’s signature shellfish with a weekend of music, dancing, mussel chowder-tasting and a tour of the country’s largest mussel farm. thepenncovemusselfestival.com. 360-678-5434.
Nov. 28 through December – Holiday Gift Shop. Admiralty Head Lighthouse, Fort Casey State Park. admiraltyhead.wsu.edu. 360-240-5584. Nov. 28 through Dec. 20 – Holiday Gift Market, weekends at Greenbank Farm. Local artisans create a festive marketplace in the farm’s historic red barn. Be sure to bring the kids for a visit with Santa. greenbankfarm.com. 360-678-7700. Dec. 4 – Concerts on the Cove holiday concert. Coupeville. concertsonthecove.org. 360-678-5581. Dec. 5 – Art and Antiques Walk, historic downtown Coupeville. Enjoy refreshments as you wander the galleries and shops late into the evening. centralwhidbeychamber.com. 360-678-5434. Dec. 5 – The Greening of Coupeville and Annual Christmas Parade. Stake out your spot along Main Street or Front
April 4 – Garden Faire, Greenbank Farm. Visit with Whidbey Island landscapers, nurseries and garden artists and get ideas for your gardens at home. greenbankfarm.com. 360-678-7700. April 4 – Brave New Words Poetry Festival, Greenbank Farm. A celebration of poetry, music, performance and educational workshops. www.bravenewwords.org. 360-678-7700. May 9 – Mother’s Day concert, Meerkerk Rhododendron Gardens. Treat Mom to a relaxing afternoon of music surrounded by a fabulous forest of blooming rhodies. meerkerkgardens.org. 360-678-1912. May 22 – Penn Cove Water Festival, Coupeville. Penn Cove comes alive with canoe races between Native American tribes from all over the region. Arts and crafts, Native American music and dance performances, storytelling and children’s activities. penncovewaterfestival.com. May 29 – Memorial Day Parade and Remembrance Ceremony. Historic downtown Coupeville. A quintessential small-town parade honoring America’s veterans with music, food and celebration. centralwhidbeychamber.com. 360-678-5434. June 26 & 27 – Wharf Fest, Coupeville. This family-oriented maritime celebration features vintage boats, maritime activities, boat rides, kids stuff and best of all, pirates! An exhibit of model ships and maritime artifacts will be on display at the Island County Historical Museum. coupevillehistoricwaterfront.com. 360-678-5434. 2009 Coupeville & Central Whidbey Island Visitor Guide
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Greetings from beautiful Central Whidbey …
Wish you were here! Greetings from Coupeville’s historic waterfront
Greetings from scenic Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve
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