With its bucolic farmland, densely wooded ridges, and steep shoreline bluffs, Ebey’s Landing has the most striking coastal view on Whidbey . No wonder parts of the 1999 movie Snow Falling on Cedars were filmed here.
Unfurling over 25 square miles of rich farmland, Ebey’s Landing was the first designated national historical reserve in America. The rolling hills and whispering winds of the sound are the main attraction here, easily enjoyed by car or bike over the quiet ribbons of scenic blacktop that run through the reserve.
Much of the land in Ebey’s Landing is privately owned—in fact, the reserve’s boundaries encircle the entire historic town of Coupeville —but there are a trio of scenic state parks perfect for throwing down a picnic blanket or going for a nature walk.
Among them is the tiny Ebey’s Landing State Park, the site where island pioneer Isaac Ebey landed his boat to gain access to the nearby fertile land that he homesteaded in 1850. Because this is the thinnest point in the island, Ebey’s Landing later became a popular beach for locals to land in order cross overland to the eastern shores of Whidbey at Penn Cove. There is still an 1858 ferry house that serviced these travelers standing at the site.
In Coupeville  you’ll find one of the original Whidbey Island  fortifications: The Alexander Blockhouse, built in 1855, stands outside the museum, along with a shelter housing two turn-of-the-20th-century Native American racing canoes. Historical Reserve headquarters are upstairs from the museum (360/678-6084, www.nps.gov/ebla ). Also out front are attractive gardens with herbs and drought-tolerant plants. Additional blockhouses can be found at the Sunnyside Cemetery, just south of town, and near Crockett Lake.