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. After a long day of fun, relax and feel rejuvenated with a massage overlooking the water at Massage by the Sea.
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).
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.
Visit this original Orcas Island farm and learn more about Orcas Island history on a 1 - 1.5 hour tour. Pet and feed goats, alpaca, and horses. Feed chickens and collect eggs, pick fresh fruit, flowers and herbs, as well as alpaca and wool yarn, plus fleece & roving for spinners. Rate is $60 for the first 3 people and $10 per person for additional visitors. Ask about fees for children and special needs accommodation.
Address: 412 Eastman Rd.; (360) 376-7035
Call for tours or reservations
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...]
"To preserve, enjoy, and interpret the natural history of Orcas Island.”
Enrich your stay on our amazing island with a guided kayak tour. Beginners are welcome, gear and instruction are provided. Our rates are reasonable; our equipment is top-notch. Our goal is to provide you with a safe, enjoyable experience that will leave you more knowledgeable about our local environment and about kayaking. [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...]
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...]
Orcas Boat Rentals and Charters is located in sunny Deer Harbor on Orcas Island, and in downtown Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. We also service Lopez Island. We offer power and sailboat rentals and custom-skippered charters.Great for fishing, sailing, exploring outer islands and wildlife sightseeing. Let us get you on the water. [more...]
Professional guided whale and wildlife tours. Boat departs next to the Orcas Island ferry landing. See abundant wildlife and 172+ islands. 56-foot Orcas Express offers heated cabin with seats and tables inside, and top and lower viewing decks. Historic guided lighthouse tours, too. Celebrating 25 years in the whale watching and wild life business! [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...]
The Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival is dedicated to the highest standards of musical excellence, through creative programming and Festival-related events throughout the year. It is our mission to share stimulating musical experiences with all midst the beauty of Orcas Island, creating Classical Music with a View!
Aloysia Friedmann, Artistic Director and Jon Kimura Parker, Artistic Advisor [more...]
Enjoy an informative, narrated cruise through the San Juan Islands in search of orca whales and minke whales. The thrill of seeing one of these majestic creatures will be an unforgettable experience. Discover the other abundant marine life and wildlife that call these waters home. You'll pass by unspoiled, pristine islands and historic landmarks. Established in 1988. [more...]
Island Hoppin’ Brewery produces quality beers using only the best ingredients on beautiful Orcas Island, which serves not only as their home, but as an inspiration for their brewing mentality. Nate Schons, Becca Gray, and Jim Parker began brewing as a team in 2009, expanding to a larger space in 2012. Building on their mutual ardor and Nate’s extensive training under brew masters including Joe Nester of Cashmere Brewing, their combined 10 years of brewing experience soon drew the attention of friends all over the island. [more...]
We offer the highest quality fishing experience in the San Juan's. From the boat to the bait. We don't cut corners on your vacation. Pro anglers, families and first timers our mission is to give you the safest most memorable experience possible. We don't just take you fishing, we teach you to fish. Seasonal lodging specials and combination tours custom to suit your vacation desires. Over 25 years experience. 360-376-4855 [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...]
At Christina Orchid’s Red Rabbit Farm, a dirt road takes diners to this small historic farm and orchard on beautiful West Sound on Orcas Island. Orchid’s cookhouse kitchen is just steps from her open-air dining room with doors that look out onto views of fields, apple trees, a small garden, down to the West Sound marina and the water beyond. [more...]