Our island- green paradise is referred to by locals as “the emerald isle” and “the gem of the San Juans” — a mélange of stunning shoreline, the highest mountain in the islands, and charming hamlets.
Orcas Island is a diverse playground. There are lots of outdoor adventure activities for all ages and activities for casual relaxation.
There is a spirit of natural wildness about our Island and to truly absorb that feeling we recommend the activities of Orca whale watching, kayaking and hiking. But, there are many other activities to absorb you as well……keep reading.
Outdoor Adventure Pleasures
Most of Orcas Island’s 57 square miles are rural and hilly, a challenge for cyclists and a pleasure for drivers, with curving roads (included in the national scenic byways program) that wind through forests and past artists’ studios and fields with old apple barns
Visit one of the nation’s most beautiful parks to hike, bike, swim, or explore—the 5,252-acre Moran State Park with several lakes and more than 50 miles of hiking trails. There, you can drive, bike, or hike up Mount Constitution, the islands’ highest point, for a spectacular view of the sea and snow-capped Mount Baker.
Head out on the water on a guided kayak trip (great for the whole family too), whale-watching tour, or fishing ,sailing or sightseeing charter. You can book any of these adventures on the island, as well as rent bikes and check out guided horseback rides.
At the top of a beautiful fjord in the center of Orcas Island, lies our Landmark within Eastsound Village and it’s 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 famous Orcas Island Historical Museum, bursting with island artifacts and photos, with six settlers’ cabins on the grounds. The Children’s Funhouse Commons and Orcas Theater Center are an easy short walk on the north side of the village. Start your day with a yoga class, exercise workout, massage or swim or combing the beach for shells.
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. Past Olga on the water, you’ll come upon Doe Bay Resort and Retreat, where you can dine over the water at the Doe Bay Cafe 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
Art on Orcas Island
Potters, jewelers, painters, photographers, sculptors — Orcas Island draws artists like salmon draw orca whales. Just a few examples (in addition to Orcas Island Artworks in the village) include Crow Valley Pottery, near the golf course south of Eastsound, and Orcas Island Pottery, the oldest pottery in the Northwest and a fabulous visual treat.
Dining on Orcas Island
Just search the internet on “dining Orcas Island” and you’ll see that we have received widely acclaimed attention for our variety of really good dining venues. No matter what your tastes, our staff will point you in the right direction for gastronomic adventuring. You will quickly see that agritourism has gained a foothold here as we boast a goat-cheese creamery, a brewery and a winery. Restaurants serve fresh as in “farm to market”. To quote a recent foodie blog: “the distance from farm to market to table can sometimes be measured in yards. Long an artists’ haven, Orcas now has a tightly woven fabric of passionate food folks, including restaurateurs who’ve retired to the farm, farmers who’ve opened a restaurant, chefs breeding rare pigs, and artisans bent on preserving the island’s heritage.”