Orcas Island, an Idyllic Summer Getaway
Collected by Kate Appleton, AFAR Contributor
Majestic old-growth forest, paddleboat rides, the freshest seafood, a whimsical tree house, and more highlights from a long weekend on Orcas Island—with my husband and 3-year-old daughter in tow.
107 Doe Bay Rd, Olga, WA 98279, USA
From the ferry, it’s about a 40-minute scenic drive through the main town of Eastsound and Moran State Park to reach Doe Bay Resort & Retreat on the island’s southeastern edge. This seclusion is part of the appeal and adds to the sense of...
Cascade Lake, Washington 98279, USA
Old-time summer pleasures feel new again at Cascade Lake, where you can rent paddle boats or kayaks and go fishing along the dock. Kids run wild here, the hardiest souls splashing in the chilly water and others digging in the small strip of sand,...
3572 Olga Rd, Olga, WA 98279, USA
Hike, bike, or drive: However you choose to reach the top of Mount Constitution—the highest point in the San Juan Islands at 2,409 feet—it’s well worth the effort. From this observation area within Moran State Park, you’ll take in a sweeping...
171 Main St, Eastsound, WA 98245, USA
This casually elegant café at the Outlook Inn makes a lovely first impression with its pastel walls, stained glass trim, and Impressionist-style art. Dishes like onion soup gratinee and seared Alaskan Weathervane scallops with Hempler’s bacon...
9319, 338 Old Pottery Rd, Eastsound, WA 98245, USA
There’s a fairytale-like quality to Orcas Island Pottery, accessible by driving through old-growth woods from Eastsound and then following a short flower-canopied walkway. It opens up to reveal an expansive yard with pottery displayed on picnic...
1400 Rosario Rd, Eastsound, WA 98245, USA
Sit down to dine at The Mansion, and you may come face to face with a spread that looks like this: Skagit River sockeye salmon with green risotto and confit tomatoes; Snake River flat iron steak with beet sauce; and sprigs of fresh lavender in a...
Eastsound, WA 98245, USA
On Saturdays, from May through September, farmers and artisans from across Orcas Island set up their stalls on the Village Green. The atmosphere is lively, and the goods for sale go beyond organic produce, jams, snacks, and drinks. You can also...
296 Main St, Eastsound, WA 98245, USA
Darvill’s is the kind of independent bookstore that will make you fall in love with bookstores all over again. It stocks a well-curated mix of new releases, local guidebooks, gift items, and music. It has a children’s section—complete with a...
5164 Deer Harbor Rd, Deer Harbor, WA 98243, USA
Deer Harbor is a picturesque marina at the midpoint between two peninsulas on the island’s sleepy west side. From here, you can join a guided kayak tour or whale-watching excursion or charter a sailboat for a day on the water. Bikes are also...
29 N Beach Rd #1966, Eastsound, WA 98245, USA
If you’re looking for a breakfast pick-me-up, look no further—the lines attest to the popularity of the eye-poppingly large and satisfying baked goods at Brown Bear. Blueberry muffins, almond bear claws, croissants filled with fruit or chocolate,...
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