I started my journey on the Olympic Peninsula at Port Townsend. It’s a cute waterfront town to explore with marvelous Victorian architecture, interesting local shops and good restaurants.
From Port Townsend, I took the ferry to Whidbey Island. There are several small towns to explore, my favorite being Langley, on the south eastern part of the island. Here, you will find neat local shops, including Moonraker bookstore (well worth your visit) and a great restaurant (The Braeburn) which is perfect for breakfast or lunch.
Drive north on the island to Deception Pass State Park on your way to Anacortes and the ferry to Orcas Island. I’ve stayed on Whidbey Island and also use it as a connection between the two ferries. If you have the time, it is definitely worth a visit or at least a luncheon stop.
Passing beautiful Deception Pass, take Rosario Road and Marine Drive (west side of Fidalgo Island) rather than Highway 20. Either route takes you to Anacortes, with the local roads being far more scenic.
If you have time, explore Anacortes, enjoy lunch before boarding your ferry to Orcas Island. I’ve done this trip several times and depending on my schedule, I usually drive thru Whidbey Island as a connection between the two ferries and have a late lunch on Orcas Island.
Orcas is a magical place, a beautiful island any time of the year. From the moment you step on the ferry bound for the San Juan’s, consider yourself on “island time.” I’ve stayed several times at Rosario Resort and recommend it. There are beautiful grounds to walk about, a good restaurant on site and it’s only a few miles drive from the town of Eastsound. If you are lucky, you will see deer on the property as you explore the area.
On this trip, I took a whale watching cruise (great fun and I’ll do it again) plus taking the ferry to nearby Friday Harbor. I parked near the ferry terminal on Orcas Island and was a walk-on passenger. The town of Friday Harbor is at the ferry terminal so no need for a car as you explore this picturesque town. Be sure to check out The Whale Museum.
Orcas is the largest of the San Juan Islands and it’s enjoyable to drive about and explore the island. Drive to the top of Mount Constitution in Moran State Park for a gorgeous view, stop at local pottery places, investigate winding roads and breathe in its beauty and serenity.
Leaving Orcas, I took the ferry to Anacortes, walked about the Marina and then headed north via beautiful Chuckanut Drive to Bellingham.
On this trip, I used Bellingham as a base for exploring not only Bellingham but also the gorgeous Mt. Baker and North Cascades National Park areas. One rainy morning I drove to Lynden, a nearby Dutch town (terrific bakeries).
Favorite restaurants include:
- Port Townsend ~ Silverwater Café. Terrific salads, fish n chips, crab cakes and special deserts. https://silverwatercafe.com/ ** Doc’s Marina Grill https://docsgrill.com/ Terrific Fish n chips, Dungeness crabs.
- Whidbey Island, Langley ~ The Braeburn Restaurant. Terrific breakfast and lunch menu, including a magnificent bread puddin’, French toast, and many delicious specials. You will want to come back. https://www.braeburnlangley.com/
- Bellingham ~ Mykonos has an extensive menu, featuring Greek specialties (the Moussaka is incredible), seafood and pasta. https://www.mykonosbellingham.com/ ** Anthony’s is a very good chain in the Pacific Northwest, the food is always good and the restaurant in Bellingham has an incredible view https://www.anthonys.com/restaurants/detail/anthonys-at-squalicum-harbor/
- Anacortes ~ also has an Anthony’s restaurant — good food and a great view https://www.anthonys.com/restaurants/detail/anthonys-at-cap-sante-boat-haven/
- Orcas Island ~ Brown Bear Baking – fabulous pastries and quiches, etc. Open for breakfast and lunch https://www.brownbearbaking.com/menu ** The Mansion Restaurant (Rosario Resort) always a terrific dinner menu from appetizer to dessert, beautiful view and also a good place for breakfast. https://rosarioresort.com/the-mansion-restaurant
When planning road trips, always be flexible. You may want to stay in a favorite place longer or completely change your itinerary as you meander along. Weather may also cause you to change plans and improvise. That is the joy and fun of a road trip.
Savor your journeys … past, present and future … real or imagined…. near or far …
Links to additional photos:
Photos ~ Orcas Island, Washington ~ Whale Watching
Photos ~ Whidbey Island, Washington
Photos ~ Mt Baker, North Cascades, WA
Photos ~ Chuckanut Drive, western WA
Photos ~ Anacortes Marina & Deception Pass, WA
Photos ~ North Cascades National Park, WA
Photos ~ Orcas Island, San Juans, Washington
Photos ~ Bellingham Park & Bellingham, western Washington