Things to Do
Getting to Orcas Island
The Washington State Ferry (206/464-6400) docks at Orcas Landing on the south end of the island. See the Getting to the San Juan Islands for details on ferry service and flights to Orcas Island. Magic Air Tours (360/376-2733 or 800/376-1929, $299 for two passengers) offers scenic biplane tours from Eastsound Airport.
Rent cars at the Orcas ferry landing from Orcas Moped (360/376-5266, $60 per day) or at the Eastsound Airport from San Juan Airlines (360/293-4691 or 800/874-4434, $50–70 per day).
Local taxis are operated by Orcas Island Taxi (360/376-8294). Typical fare for two between the ferry landing and Eastsound is $27.
Public bus service is available June through September from Orcas Island Shuttle (360/376-7433, $6 one-way, $12 all day pass). The buses circle the island five times a day and are equipped to handle bikes ($1 extra). This shuttle service also offers group charters and tours of the island by reservation starting at $50 per hour.
Once you are settled in. Orcas Island, called “The Gem of the Islands,” is filled with fun adventure opportunities for adults and kids alike. Here are some highlights:
Hiking in Moran State Park. (360/376-2326). The park boasts four beautiful lakes; Cascade Lake, Mountain Lake and Twin Lakes. You might try an easy and peaceful walk on the well maintained nature trails around one of these lakes or, for the more advanced hiker, one of the rugged out-of-the-way hikes. You are likely to see black-tailed deer along the way. The lakes are stocked and fishing is quite popular. You might also choose to enjoy nonmotorized boating or swimming, if you don’t mind braving cold water. You might also rent a rowboat or paddleboat in the summer at Mountain and Cascade Lakes. Mount Constitution, reached by car or a most challenging hike to the 2,409-foot summit, affords stunning views of the sound and Cascades in all directions, including Mt. Rainier all the way to British Columbia. Climb to the top of the 52-foot stone observations tower for the best photo and viewing opportunities. In winter, be sure to bring warm clothing. It’s chilly up there at the top of the highest point in the San Juans! The new Turtleback Mountain Preserve includes 1,576 acres of forest, grasslands and Garry Oak woodlands. Its high meadows and rocky ledges provide unparalleled views of the San Juan and Canadian Gulf Islands. More information and a trail map are available on the San Juan County Land Bank web site. Sea Forever Guest House has proudly contributed to the San Juan County Land Bank and the San Juan Preservation Trust.
And if you just enjoy an easy stroll, Racoon Pt. Rd. just outside your own cottage is a great place for a hilly stroll on the wooded dirt road. You’ll see the water and Cascades peeking through the trees and are only as far from your cottage as you wish to be.
Biking. In Eastsound you can pick up a rental cycle from Wildlife Cycles (350 N Beach Rd., 360/376-4708, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 10:15 a.m.–4:45 p.m. Sat.–Sun., winter hours vary so call ahead, $30 per day). Orcas is hilly and a most challenging bike haven, but it’s popular for this activity!
If you prefer to rent a bike at the ferry and take the long haul into Eastsound or other remote parts of the island, Dolphin Bay Bicycles (360/376-4157) is right at the ferry landing and rents bikes for $30 per day.
A biplane ride. To really have an overview of the stunning mountain ranges, islands and marine life, including our resident whales, book your space on the room-for-two, open front cockpit, candy-apple red biplane. You won’t regret this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Sea kayaking. Contact Shearwater Adventures for kayak tours designed to match any level of experience. Not only will you feel relaxed after your vigorous adventure but you will dream visions of the marine life and shorelines of the lovely San Juans for years to come. This is the way to make your vacation last a lifetime.
Whale watching. You have many options for enjoying the whales of our lovely waters as well as porpoises, seals, sea lions, eagles and many other sea birds. On a beautiful day, you might just ask to check out our guest binoculars and whale watch from the edge of the cliff just steps from your own cottage. Likely a deer will join you! For a closer look, contact Deer Harbor Charters, Eclipse Charters, or Outer Island Expeditions.
Other adventures: The San Juans are a sailor’s paradise. Contact Orcas Boat Rentals or Classic Day Sail to rent a sail, or if you prefer a different boating experience, a row or powerboat. Or perhaps you’d enjoy leaving the driving to another while you delight in a dinner cruise with Cruise Control. They also invite you to charter a yacht! You might go golfing at our local golf course. You’ll see it on the right as you travel to your cottage from the ferry. Or you could go horse back riding! Walk the rocky private beach that comes with your cottage rental when the tide is out. Or you may wish to sample the wonderful galleries and shops (this is the perfect place to do your early Christmas shopping!), or attend a musical or theatrical performance at the Grange, the Orcas Center or the Living Room. Enjoy a massage in town or in your own cottage (please let me know in advance) or attend a yoga class.
Late August and early September is the time for the always-sold-out Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival (360/376-6636,).
Dining. Of course, your cottage has a fully equipped kitchen, but should you choose to dine out, here are some of the many choices on the island.
171 Main St
New Leaf Cafe
310 Main St #105
The Madrona Bar & Grill
382 Prune Alley
Roses Bakery Cafe
123 N Beach Rd
249 Prune Alley
11 Point Lawrence Rd
Point Lawrence Rd, Olga, WA
The Lower Tavern
46 Prune Alley
Eastsound, WA 98245