Hotel at a Glance: Orcas Hotel
It’s been more than a century since Orcas Hotel began inviting guests to rest up in homey guest rooms along Orcas Island, but the hotel hasn’t lost any of its charm. Visitors can lounge on rocking chairs, snapping pics of the property’s colorful foliage in autumn or taking in the sweet scents of wisteria in spring.
- Orcas Island Ferry Landing is right outside. Ferries can take you to shop and dine across the harbor.
- Gluten-free and organic vegetarian entrees are part of the scrumptious selection at Octavia’s Bistro, where guests can also dine on wild-caught salmon and flame-broiled burgers. Your stay includes one dinner entree per person.
- Onsite café: Indulge in eye-opening espresso and such yummy dishes as biscuits slathered in pork gravy with your included breakfast.
- Stylish guest rooms feature quilted bedding and are individually decorated; some have private balconies with views of the harbor.
Orcas Island: Rural San Juan Island Off the Northwest Coast of Washington
In the straits north of Seattle and south of Vancouver lies the San Juan Island chain, a hilly archipelago composed of close to 100 tiny islands. Orcas Island is the largest of them all at 57 square miles and is connected to the mainland by the Washington State Ferries system. At the heart of the island is the 5,000-acre Moran State Park and Mount Constitution, which showcases 360-degree views from Canada to Seattle. Hikers can traverse the 30 miles of lakes, trails, and waterfalls surrounding the mountain. Small hamlets dot the island; just a 15-minute drive from the hotel is East Sound, know for its artist studios and cafés.
Waits for ferry rides with a car can be long; consider leaving your car on the mainland and renting one at the agency just beside the hotel. Or hop aboard the 45-minute ferry ride to Orcas Island, where there’s an abundance of restaurants and shops that stock jewelry and handcrafts by local artists, all located right beside the ferry landing. On the water itself, the hotel can schedule whale-watching and sea-kayaking excursions, and back on land, will arrange spa and massage services.