Washington is gifted with San Juan County which adorns beautiful islands of orcas, San Juans, Lopez etc. Orcas and San Juans being the prominent tourist attractions. My parents were here from India and I decided to take them to Orcas to celebrate my birthday.
I took a car2go which was the most convenient option than renting a car. They charge around 45 cents/ min or straight rate of $80 /day, insurance and fuel included. The only limitations were, driving within 100 miles of Seattle and you cannot cross the border. I got a Mercedes and we were set on the road to Orcas.
All the ferries to San Juan county leave from Anacortes which is a 1.5hrs drive from Seattle. I would recommend making a reservation in advance so you don’t need to be on the waiting list for the ferry. I did not make a reservation but got lucky and could make it for 1:00 PM ferry. Anacortes itself is a beautiful port.
It’s a 1.5hrs ferry ride to Orcas Island. The view is beautiful from the ferry and you pass Shaw, Blakely, Decatur, Lopez islands on your way to Orcas. We were staying at Kangaroo Bed and Breakfast. I would definitely suggest making reservations in advance because summer is the time when everything is pretty much booked and you are left with little or no options. Booking at least a month in advance would be a pretty good choice. San Juan county is known for its B&B and a recommended thing to try if you are here. The B&B was absolutely gorgeous, a beautiful house secluded away from the town with a hot tub in the backyard. It was perfect.
Note: The other B&B’s that you can try are Blue Heron B&B, Otters Pond, Turtleback Farm Inn, Old Trout Inn B&B,
First stop: Moran State park
Moran state park a small and quaint state park. You can find campgrounds over here by the Mountain Lake. There are water activities here like paddle boarding, kayaking. You can enjoy small hikes here like Cascade Falls trail, Cold springs Trail,
Second stop: Doe Bay
We then decided to check out Doe Bay Resort and Retreat which is known for its eco-friendly gourmet restaurant. It faces the southern tip of the island. We decided to get some dinner here. It’s one of the must try restaurants in Orcas.
After some good dinner, we left for Orcas downtown which is a 15mins drive away from the ferry. It’s a very small historic village of Eastsound. You will find shopping, restaurants, art galleries here. Roses cafe, The barnacle, Mijitas Mexican kitchen are some good restaurants to try.
We then went back to our B&B and decided to relax in the hot tub. Star gazing with a wine, it was perfectly quiet evening. We left the next day as we had a ferry to catch.
Orcas is a great getaway for a weekend if you need some solitude and peace from the busy city of Seattle.