Greg Vaughn

Step onto horseshoe-shaped Orcas Island, drop your suitcase or backpack, and drink in the green paradise the locals call “the gem of the San Juans.” ­It’s a magical mix of arts and culture, lush forests, pristine lakes and endless outdoor possibilities. Most of Orcas Island’s 57 square miles are rural and hilly, a pleasure for drivers and a challenge for cyclists, with curving roads that wind through forests and past artists’ studios, fields with old apple barns, and the occasional turn-of-the-century prune drying barn. Take this driving tour around Orcas Island to experience all it's hidden gems and notable stops! 

Considering a day trip? Use this itinerary to find the must-visit stops for your day of exploring!

Let us acknowledge that we reside on the ancestral lands and waters of the Coast Salish people who have called this place home since time immemorial and let us honor inherent, aboriginal, and treaty rights that have been passed down from generation to generation. 

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, it's a perfect place to stay and play year-round. Hike the rugged old growth trails to see the expansive marine vistas from the summit of Mount Constitution. On your way, watch for soaring bald eagles, deer, rabbits or more than 250 species of birds that can be seen here throughout the year. You can also drive or bike to the observation tower at the top of Mount Constitution, the islands’ highest point, for a spectacular view of the island-dotted Salish 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 these adventures and more from Deer Harbor, Eastsound, or Olga.  Take the scenic route and consider renting bikes or checking out guided horseback rides. There are endless activities on "the Emerald Isle" year-round and we hope you enjoy!

Fun Fact: Orcas Island was named by a Spanish explorer for his expedition’s sponsor, Viceroy Juan Vicente Guemes de Padilla Horcasitas y Aguayo. It's just a coincidence that it’s also habitat for orca whales!

South of Moran State Park, the little hamlet of Olga is famous for its artists’ co-op, Orcas Island Artworks, with an extensive collection of pottery, painting, jewelry, and more from over 50 island artists. You’ll find it housed in a historic 1936 strawberry packing plant along with Lascaux, a charming cafe that sources local ingredients. 

You’ll also find a Northwest icon, Doe Bay Resort & Retreat, where you can dine with a water view at Doe Bay Café and enjoy cozy lodging, massage, yoga, sea kayaking, soaking tubs and more.

At the farthest western point or Orcas Island, you'll find Deer Harbor - a hub for all things marine. Rent kayaks, bikes, power or sail boats, or take whale/wildlife tours right from Deer Harbor Marina.

Knit Night with Salish Sea Yarn Co.
Tuesday, Jul 23, 2024
6:00 - 8:00 pm
Orcas Island Public Library   500 Rose St, Eastsound, WA 98245
Occurs: Every week on Tuesday until September 24, 2024
Summer Pop-Up Dinners at Orcas Island Golf Course
Tuesday, Jul 23, 2024
4:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Orcas Island Golf Course  2171 Orcas Rd, Eastsound, WA 98245
Occurs: Every week on Tuesday until August 20, 2024
Tuesday Night Scramble
Tuesday, Jul 23, 2024
5:00 pm
Orcas Island Golf Course  2171 Orcas Rd, Eastsound, WA 98245
Occurs: Every week on Tuesday until October 29, 2024
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San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau
1-888-468-3701 | (360) 378-9551
P.O. Box 1330, Friday Harbor, Washington 98250
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