Orcas Island, the largest island in the San Juan Islands, is located off the northern coast of Washington State. Home to a diverse landscape of mountains, wooded countryside, pastoral valleys, scenic ridges, beautiful parks, lakes, and spectacular vistas. Orcas Island is a popular destination for both day trips and extended vacations. Whether you want to go for sailing, kayaking, watching orca whales, or just sit by the shore and watch the sun sink across the ocean waters, Orcas Island has it all! If you're planning a family trip or you're an adventure enthusiast looking for a memorable experience, here are some helpful resources that will help you plan your next trip to Orcas Island.
Things to do and see in Orcas Island
Beautiful Parks: Moran State Park features an amazing forest, five freshwater lakes, waterfalls, wildflowers, and more than 38 miles of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. There are five camping areas, with 150 camp sites between them. All the lakes in Moran State Park allow fishing and swimming. Visit Eastsound's Buck Park, where you will find a 15,000-square-foot, world-class skate park. Discover the hidden back-country of Orcas Island on horseback and explore an enchanting old-growth forest. Visit the secluded Obstruction Pass State Park and explore Pebble Beach that features ocean-smoothed, marble-sized pebbles in rainbow colors. Land your kayak on Pebble Beach, hike to explore the 80-acre park and enjoy camping at one of the many campsites. You can enjoy kayaking and camping at the 57-acre forested preserve of Point Doughty Recreation aas well. If you are an avid bird watcher, visit Frank Richardson Wildlife Preserve where you can find an aviary of local species. Olga Marine State Park offers some fine crabbing opportunities while in season.
Shoreline and Beaches: Orcas Island has pristine coastline and boasts of beautiful beaches that are open to public. Olga Village has a small pebble beach that is suitable for beach picnics. Doe Bay Resort also features a small beach for visitors. Obstruction Pass State Park Beach is filled with driftwood and campsites nearby. Cascade Lake inside of Moran State Park has a small beach that is suitable for all ages. North Beach in Eastsound is a great place to watch the sunset. Another beautiful stretch of beach in Eastsound is Crescent Beach. If you are thinking about a place to relax and enjoy your vacation in Orcas Island, you can visit any or all of these beaches.
Adventurous Activities: With such beautiful scenery and protected coves, Orcas Island is actually better known for its adventurous activities. From whale watching or kayaking, to golfing, you will find a mix of activities to enjoy while visiting Orcas. Whale Watching Tours in Orcas are seasonal, typically from April to September. Three pods, knows as the “Southern Residents” are found in the waters surrounding Orcas Island. The best chance to see them is from late May through September, but some pods stick around all year. On your whale watching tour, you can also expect to see different species of whales such as gray, minke, humpback whales, and not to mention seals, porpoises, sea lions, otters, bald eagles, and numerous seabirds. There are so many great hiking places in Orcas that may make it impossible to pick which ones are the bigger priority for you. Moran State Park has over 30 miles of hiking trails with fantastic views all around. Located on Orcas Island's west side, Turtleback Mountain Preserve has 2 trailhead locations. Obstruction Pass State Park's half-mile trail is suitable for nature lovers & hikers. Bask in calm waters and tranquil sunshine as you enjoy sailing in the area. Kayak the hidden coves and the serene locations for an adventurous experience. In a saltwater sea or freshwater lake, fishing in Orcas Island is definitely a pleasurable time with fertile waters all around and throughout. Cascade Lake of Moran State Park is the most well-known freshwater fishing lake in the Orcas. Another lake in Moran State Park known for fishing is Mountain Lake. In both these lakes, you can fish for kokanee, rainbow, cutthroat trout and bass. If you’d like even more wilderness with your fishing, Twin Lakes are the perfect spot for you! If you're out for a saltwater fishing adventure, then expect to catch yellow-eye rock cod, salmon, and lingcod. Not far from Eastsound, Orcas Island Golf Club offers an amazing playground for golfers of every skill level. Orcas is also perfect for bird lovers and photographers. At any given time you may see bald eagles, rhinoceros auklets, harlequin ducks, marbled murrelets, black oyster catchers, and rare tufted puffins.
Tourist Attractions: The Orcas Island Historical Museum is located in the center of the Orcas Island. It is the only object-based heritage facility for the island, with a permanent collection of 6000 objects, paper documents and photographs. Olga village is famous for its artists’ co-op. Orcas Island Artworks has an extensive selection of pottery, painting, jewelry, and artworks. Rich in agricultural heritage, you can enjoy food and farms tours while visiting Orcas Island. James Hardman Gallery is another place to explore Orcas' rich history and culture.
Shopping and Dining: Unique glassware, jewelry to home décor, and from eclectic products to traditional items, you can find anything in the shopping streets of Eastsound village and others places on Orcas. Some of the popular shopping destinations include Cottage Gift Shop, Maple Rock Farm, Orcas Island Pottery, Nest, Faraways Boutique, Orcas Arts and Gifts, Atelier Vintage Market, Olga's Boutique, Orcas Village Store, Local Goods, and Moon Glow Arts & Crafts to name a few. Romantic dinner or culinary adventure, whatever your mood is, you’re sure to find an Orcas Island restaurant prepared to please you. From fresh-brewed gourmet coffee, to innovative dishes made with local ingredients, Orcas has so many restaurants for visitors to enjoy Orcas Island's specialties. Try out dishes at some of these places including The Kitchen, Doe Bay Cafe, Random Howse Dining, Ship Bay Restaurant, Catkin Cafe, and New Leaf Cafe to name a few.
Day Trips: When you're in Orcas, do not forget to explore both San Juan Island and Lopez Island. Each of these San Juan Islands has a personality all its own. Lopez Island blends forests with rolling farmlands, quiet bays and driftwood-strewn beaches. San Juan Island has everything you need for an enriching experience – an alpaca ranch, beaches, parks, and more. You can also take your private yacht to Seattle, Desolation Sound, Whidbey Island, and even to Vancouver and Victoria in British Columbia.
Set sail to Orcas Island aboard your private luxury yacht with us. At Pacific Northwest Yacht Charters, we will help you make your next getaway to this destination a vacation of your dreams. This coastal paradise of Pacific Northwest has everything that you want for a dreamy vacation – parks, hiking trails, amazing restaurants, shopping destinations and great water activities to enjoy. Start planning your yacht charter vacation now! Click on the Type of Yachts link provided here, and find out which charter suits your vacation needs and budget. To learn more about the places where we provide charter services in Pacific Northwest, click on the DESTINATIONS link here. If you have queries regarding yacht charter, you can call us directly at 702-401-4284.