Step onto horseshoe-shaped Orcas Island, drop your suitcase or backpack, and drink in the green paradise the locals call “the emerald isle” and “the gem of the San Juans” -- a happy combination of stunning shoreline, the highest mountain in the islands, and a handful of charming hamlets. Discover this beautiful island through a Scenic Byway driving tour.
Most of Orcas Island’s 57 square miles are rural and hilly, a challenge for cyclists and a pleasure for drivers, with curving roads that wind through forests and past artists’ studios, fields with old apple barns, and the occasional turn-of-the-century prune dryer.
Visit one of the nation’s most beautiful parks to hike, bike, swim, or go horseback riding through the forest—the 5,252-acre Moran State Park, with several lakes and more than 38 miles of hiking trails. There, you can drive, bike, or hike up Mount Constitution, the islands’ highest point, for a spectacular view of island-dotted sea and snow-capped Mount Baker.
Head out on the water on a kayak trip (guided or alone), whale-watching tour, or fishing or sailboat charter. You can book any of these adventures on the island, as well as rent bikes and check out guided horseback rides.
At the center of Orcas Island, at the top of a beautiful fjord, Eastsound is a walker’s village, alive with art galleries, boutiques, restaurants, cafes, and visitor attractions. Enjoy strolling among historic homes and buildings from the 1880s and picnicking on the village green, summer home of the Saturday Farmers’ Market and live music performances. In the heart of town lies the not-to-be-missed Orcas Island Historical Museum, bursting with island artifacts and photos, with six settlers’ cabins on the grounds. The Funhouse Commons and Orcas Center are a short walk or drive just north of the village. Start your day with an invigorating yoga class at Orcas Mandala Yoga Studio. After a long day of fun, relax and feel rejuvenated with a massage overlooking the water at Massage by the Sea.
Olga, Doe Bay and Deer Harbor
South of Moran State Park, the little hamlet of Olga is famous for its artists’ co-op, Orcas Island Artworks, with an extensive selection of pottery, painting, jewelry, art glass, fiber and wood by more than 50 island artists. You’ll find it housed in a historic 1936 strawberry packing plant along with the popular Cafe Olga, a charming eatery renowned for its homemade cinnamon rolls and delicious fresh-baked pies.
Past Olga on the water, you’ll come upon Doe Bay Resort & Retreat, where you can dine over the water at the Doe Bay Café on mostly organic food, often harvested just hours earlier. A rustic Northwest icon, Doe Bay Resort & Retreat offers lodging, massage, yoga, sea kayaking, hot tubs and relaxing Adirondack chairs overlooking the spectacular water view.
On the other side of the island, at the farthest western point, Deer Harbor is a hub for all things marine — kayak (and bike) rentals, whale/wildlife tours, sailing excursions, power and sailboat rentals, and Deer Harbor Marina which features the Marina Barge Gift Shop — along with a wood sculptor’s studio, eateries and lodgings.
Potters, jewelers, painters, photographers, sculptors — Orcas Island draws artists like salmon draw orcas. Just a few examples (in addition to Orcas Island Artworks co-op in Olga) include Crow Valley Pottery, near the golf course south of Eastsound, features the works of more than 70 artists (there’s a gallery in downtown Eastsound, too), as well as Orcas Island Pottery, the oldest pottery in the Northwest.
From waterfront cabin resorts to elegant hillside B & Bs to a wide variety of vacation rentals, Orcas Island lodging can fit any need. With its many parks, shorelines, hamlets, and galleries to explore and its multitude of activities, make sure and plan your visit long enough to enjoy all Orcas Island has to offer.
Orcas Island is not named for the orca whale, but for Juan Vicente de Güemes Padilla Horcasitas y Aguayo, 2nd Count of Revillagigedo, the Viceroy of Mexico who sent an exploration expedition to the Pacific Northwest in 1791. "Orcus Island" or "Orca Island", visitors sometimes get confused. However you choose to spell it, you will be welcome here.
Escape with TerraTrek on a two- to six-day bicycle and multi-sport vacation through the San Juan Islands. Only a short drive from Seattle or Vancouver B.C., the San Juan Archipelago is an ideal getaway because of our long days of sunshine and plenty of activities. Enjoy cycling along quiet two lane country roads lined with wildflowers that wind down to spectacular vistas of neighboring islands and snowcapped mountain ranges, hiking around lakes that lead down to waterfalls, and kayaking past pebble stone coves and rocky islets in orca whale territory! [more...]
The cottage Gift Shop has the best selection of t-shirts on Orcas Island. The shop is full of quirky, weird and fun gifts as well as souvenirs, jewelry and toys for young and old. We are located near the Orcas ferry dock so you can browse while waiting for the ferry. [more...]
Buck Bay Shellfish Farm offers fresh locally caught crab, prawns, salmon, halibut and other seasonal seafood. We also offer our own gourmet oysters and clams as well as our organically grown vegetables.
Come and enjoy yourselves on our picnic tables overlooking Buck Bay. Pick up our freshly made sauces, salads and desserts to go along with your fresh seafood feast. [more...]
Voted #1 Eco-Adventure in Western Washington 2010-2012-2013 by Evening Magazine and King5 News! Join us on a sea kayaking adventure to the most rewarding destinations in the San Juan Islands. We offer tours departing from San Juan Island, Orcas Island, and Anacortes. We offer Half Day, Full Day, and Overnight sea kayaking expeditions. Anacortes Kayak Tours prides itself on being a family friendly kayak company, with dedicated family tours departing Deception Pass State Park. [more...]
Experience the hidden back-country of Orcas Island on horseback. Explore an enchanting old-growth forest as you meander through grassy meadows and climb a mountain trail to the top of Mt. Pickett for a breathtaking view of the San Juan Islands. Orcas Island Trail Rides offers a wide range of authentic guided horseback adventures through old growth forest. Whether you have an hour or half a day, whether you're a beginner or a seasoned rider, we have the perfect adventure for you and your family. Ride through an old growth forest-the best ride in the Northwest. [more...]
Ever wondered what allows a sailboat to sail into the wind? Do you enjoy learning new and exciting activities? Orcas Island Sailing offers hands-on lessons where you sail the boat! No experience is required. We calmly offer encouragement while explaining the how and why of sailing.
Every charter is an affordable private lesson for you and yours only, no crowds. Bring your family (max. 6), your sweetheart or come alone for one-on-one instructor time. [more...]
Visitors can create an artful vacation with a painting or drawing workshop on beautiful Orcas Island with it’s idyllic setting of Crow Valley pastures and glorious mountain and ocean views. Workshops are run by locally and nationally known art instructors, including Seattle's Gage Academy artists and teachers Terry Furchgott and Mitchell Albala. Location: 1286 Mt. Baker Rd., Suite A4; (360) 447-8387 Hours: Visit www.orcasartstudios.com for class times or to make an appointment to view the gallery [more...]
Relaxed. Rejuvenated. Awed by nature.
Our unique eco-sailing charters will leave you transformed…
Discover the hidden side of the San Juan's away from the crowds. Experience the serenity of wildlife under sail! Gorgeous 54-foot sailboat with heated pilothouse-the only pilothouse charter sailboat in the San Juans. This boat is perfect for staying warm and comfortable if the weather is chilly, while still enjoying the panoramic view. [more...]
Come join in the farm fun! Orcas Moon Alpacas is a small family farm owned by Jen and Jeff Pietsch, located on beautiful Orcas Island. They raise alpacas and chickens, purebred Romney and Cotswold sheep. The onsite farm stand is open year-round and offers raw alpaca fiber, roving, yarn, grass fed lamb and sheepskins. They also raise chickens for egg and meat production. Bring your family and meet the animals up close and personal. Tours and farm classes are offered year-round.
Address: 329 Dolphin Bay Rd.; (360) 376-2707
Call for tours and information [more...]
The Orcas Island Farmers' Market is open from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. every Saturday from the first weekend in May to the last weekend of September on the Village Green in the heart of Eastsound.
During the fall, the Market meets from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Oddfellows Hall, located on Haven Street. [more...]
Studio Mierau & Co. -- a place of beauty. We offer professional hair design, special occasion styling, make-up consultation and application as well as natural nail care, aromatherapy and reflexology. We also offer tanning in our HEX tri-filtered stand-up booth. There is a strong sense of family in our salon and we look forward to including you! Please make your appointment in advance to ensure availability. [more...]
Step aboard a famous ex-ocean racer for a fantastic sail in the San Juan Islands. Kruger Escapes is ready to create the right sailing experience for you! We offer 3 hour day and sunset sails, multi-day trips, or adventure sails combining sailing with skiing or surfing. We also love sailing with you for surprise engagements, weddings, elopements and photo shoots.
Our sailboat Tomahawk hails out of Deer Harbor on Orcas Island, but we can arrange for pick up from and transport to other islands as well, We’re real people and we know you are too. Call us, we’ll talk. [more...]
Cascade Lake is the center of outdoor fun in Moran State Park. Paddle boat rentals, a swimming area, picnic shelters and three campgrounds to choose from give you plenty of relaxation time after hiking, birdwatching or horseback riding. A great place for kids, Cascade Lake has a 3-mile trail around the lake, a wooden bridge and a quiet lagoon for paddling and swimming. Purchase day passes at the park entrance and enter a world of natural beauty. [more...]
Once in a Blue Moon Farm is a picturesque historic Orcas Island farm for overnight guests and day visitors. For lodging stays, choose among our 6 private cottages, kitchens and kitchenettes, with wifi and satellite TV. Enjoy artistically crafted interiors with mountain and pasture views. All suites have queen beds, some loft beds, private patios and gardens. Pet goats, alpaca and horses, or feed the chickens. Pick fresh produce and berries from the gardens and fruit and nuts from the historic orchards. All lodging guests receive an introductory complimentary farm tour.
Address: 412 Eastman Rd.; (360) 376-7035
Call for tours or reservations
The Funhouse Commons, just a few blocks north of the Eastsound Village is a youth focused community center where you will find all sorts of fun activities all summer long including drop in day camps, art and crafts classes, supervised free play - daily, Friday night hangout for teens and much more! [more...]