Many national parks let you imagine life in America in days gone by. At Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve, located on Central Whidbey Island, life goes on much as it has for two hundred years.
The first national park to incorporate privately held property, Ebey’s Landing encompasses 17,500 acres of homes, farms, and businesses still operating in stately buildings that date to the mid-1800s.
Begin your visit with a stroll through Coupeville, a scenic seaport town. Pick up a copy of the self-guided tour, and walk a little slower than usual. People don’t rush here. Take time to notice the details in the elegant Victorian architecture. Have lunch in one of the cafes, or pick up provisions for a picnic on the beach.
If you like to hike, head for the bluff trail that begins near Ebey’s Landing. The sea views and ocean breezes will refresh every cell in your body.
A self-guided bike/drive tour lets you see more of the reserve, including a patchwork of farms, Fort Casey State Park, and the Admiralty Head Lighthouse. Wayside exhibits along the route tell you more about the history of the Pacific Northwest.
Ebey’s Landing is named for Isaac Ebey, the first European-American to purchase land on Whidbey Island. A visit to the reserve is an opportunity to see how much life has changed since then—and how much remains the same.