The first European-American settlers arrived on Whidbey Island in the early 1850s. Penn Cove was recognized as an excellent harbor, and the town of Coupeville was developed at the water’s edge. During the town’s boom years, Coupeville was a contender for the Puget Sound’s leading city predating even the early development of Seattle.
Most of Coupeville’s original structures have been retained and are used today by retail, residential, and related uses similar to those common at the town’s founding. At least 57 historical buildings are located within a 12 block grid oriented about the designated historical downtown or waterfront district.
Coupville has developed a network of local scenic driving, hiking, and biking trails that access these historical buildings and scenic vistas. Notable building concentrations are locted on the north and south side of Front Street (the downtown shopping street) and Main Street.