Whenever our families come to visit we try to show off the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Last Memorial Day weekend my parents suggested we head out to Whidbey Island to do a little exploring. Mike and I were happy to oblige.
Whidbey Island is just north of Seattle and one of our favorite day trips. It really deserves more than a day’s exploration but we haven’t managed a weekend long trip yet. An hour drive north and a quick ferry ride later we were all happily cruising along the winding main road through this laid-back island. There is so much to see, but we only had a few hours. We focused our attention on the historic town of Coupeville in the middle of the island.
First thing was first. We needed some grub. My folks aren’t big on seafood so we settled for a hearty meal at the Knead and Feed. Seating can be limited in this small shop, especially on a holiday weekend, but we were seated fairly quickly. Dek munched on blueberries while we waited for our sandwiches prepared on freshly made bread and salads to appear. If you come for a visit try to get a seat by the windows. Lunch is even better when you can gaze down at boats drifting through Penn Cove and spot a bald eagle soaring by.
Once we were fueled up we hit the streets. Coupville is a history lovers dream with 50 structures on the National Register of Historic Places. Pick up a free map at the Island County Historical Society Museum and take a self-guided walking tour of the town.
We generally go to Coupeville to soak in the sea air blowing off of Penn Cove, wander along the dock, check out critters in the water, and gaze up at Rosie, the young male gray whale skeleton hanging from the ceiling of Coupeville Wharf. Rosie, which I still don’t understand why they named a boy whale Rosie, sadly passed away on his swim south with his mother and was found on Whidbey Island. He is now on display along with two other water mammal skeletons as part of a wildlife conservation exhibit.
No trip to Coupeville is complete without a stop at Kapaw’s Iskreme, a tiny ice cream shop in the middle of town. You won’t be able to resist the smell of freshly made waffle cones tempting you in the door. This creamy treat will recharge your batteries as you finish up your tour of the town. Don’t be daunted by the line that winds its way out of the front entrance. It moves fast and the wait is worth it. If you need a little caffeine pick me up to keep you upright pop into Local Grown, a go-to stop for espresso, farm food, general first aid gear and marine supplies on the wharf.
If you can’t leave town without a little shopping fix bring the kids by Honey Bear to wander through the maze of toys. Tell the kids to stick their hands in their pockets when you step into the Jan McGregor Gallery though. This Japanese import shop carries antiques and stunning furniture that transport you to a land of mystery that is more museum than shop. For a little more touchable fun head over to A Touch of Dutch and browse their selection of artwork, linens, delicious treats and a few goofy souvenirs.
No matter how you tackle Coupeville you are bound to have a great time. We once again showed off a Pacific Northwest gem, giving my parents a glimpse of why we love it out here so much. We’d also managed to wear Dek out with all of the fun. It was time to get home for dinner, put our feet up and head to bed.