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.
A treasured Orcas Island destination for visitors and locals alike, the Artworks in Eastsound offers one of the finest selections of local art and crafts in the San Juan Islands. The co-op represents over forty Orcas Island artists and craftspeople, working in pottery, sculpture, jewelry, glass, wood, paintings, prints, wearable art, fiber and more. As the gallery is owned and operated by the artists themselves, there is the unique opportunity to meet one or more of them on any given day.
Location: 217 Main St., Eastsound; (360) 376-4408
Hours: 10:00 a.m - 5:00 p.m., daily [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...]
On Orcas Island, come by Pawki's for healthy, natural foods and treats, toys to amuse and exercise your pets (and yourself!), items for pet care and grooming, travel supplies and a wide variety of accessories and gifts. We love to share info about local pet resources. Our shop is in Eastsound, across from the water, just east of the Outlook Inn. Pets welcome! [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...]
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...]
Orcas Center is the focal point on Orcas Island for community theater and the performing arts, presenting both local and professional artists. More than 40 performances a year has this center teeming with artistic activity. The facility features a 213-seat theater and a beautiful lobby that functions as a gallery for the visual arts. Location: 917 Mt Baker Rd., Eastsound; (360) 376-2281 Hours: Visit www.orcascenter.com for showtimes and gallery hours [more...]
Monkey Puzzle is a unique store in Eastsound on Orcas Island. Not only does the store offer custom made clothes and jewelry, and it features items that are designed by the owner, Sallie Bell. All the clothing is made in Portland and you can watch as Sallie designs her jewelry and the clothes in workshop. Visitors are welcome to select fabric for a vest or jacket and then create a piece of jewelry to go along with it. There are stations set up for people to create their own statement. [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...]
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...]
Outer Island Expeditions offers whale watching tours -- see whales or ride again free! -- from Orcas Island, Lopez Island, San Juan Island and the Bellingham area. Last year we saw orcas on over 95% of our summer tours, and whales on 97%. [more...]
A father and son shared a dream to craft the finest wines that Washington has to offer, and that dream has become a reality in Orcas Island Winery. Randy and Alexander Schemkes are ready to share their fine-crafted wine with both Orcas Island visitors and those who call the island home.
Address: 2371 Crow Valley Rd.; (425) 314-7509
Hours: Thurs.–Mon., noon–7:00 p.m. [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...]
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...]
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...]