A fifteen-minute drive from the ferry lies the historic village of Eastsound, Orcas Island’s downtown. Nestled above Fishing Bay, this walkable village bustles with life—a visitor’s dream of galleries, boutiques, restaurants, cafes, and a history museum. After spending a day whale watching, or hiking up Mt. Constitution or Turtleback Mountain, you can relax with a massage or couples massage in a beautiful studio overlooking the water. Then enjoy happy hour or dinner at a local restaurant, and enjoy a concert or play in the evening.
Art and Music
In Eastsound’s galleries, you’ll find a heady sampling from talented local artists—paintings, ceramics, wood sculpture, photography, jewelry, and fiber art. You’ll find more local art on display on the Village Green on summer Saturdays at the Farmers’ Market, and for traditional native Northwest and Asian art, visit Crow Valley Pottery. The Funhouse Commons and Orcas Center are a short walk or drive just north of the village. For more serious music aficionados, Orcas hosts a Chamber Music Festival in August.
Casual is the norm on Orcas, which includes most of Eastsound’s restaurants, where you can enjoy a range of favorites from Northwest to Southwest cuisine. Whether you’re in search of simple pub fare, family-friendly cafes, or fine dining with a water view, you’ll find an eatery to fit your taste (and your taste buds)—many featuring organic, Island-grown food.
In your stroll through Eastsound, you can’t miss the village’s historic homes and buildings from the 1880s. For a stronger dose of history, the Orcas Island Historical Museum, in the heart of town, is rich in island artifacts and photos, hosts an annual Historical Day Fair and Parade in early July, a tour of the Island’s B&B historic lodgings in the spring, and various traveling exhibits throughout the year. The museum is housed in a unique arrangement that links six original homestead cabins (1870s–1890s), important historical artifacts in themselves.
Adventures & Fun for Kids
In Eastsound, you can rent a bike or a sea kayak, sign up for a whale-watching or kayak tour, or reserve a spot on a boat tour of the San Juans and Canadian Gulf islands. Especially for kids, The Funhouse Commons, just a few blocks north of the village, has hands-on interactive exhibits about science, sports, geography, music, history, and the human body—along with a pitching cage with speed gun, an art studio, a recording studio with musical instruments, a climbing wall, and DSL computers to surf the net or check e-mail.