Favorite Photos ~ Orcas Island, San Juans, Washington

As I was not able to visit one of my favorite places, Orcas Island, this year, thought I’d post some favorite photos from my past journeys.

Your vacation starts when you board the ferry in Anacortes and immediately you are on island time. The views from the ferry are spectacular, as is driving about Orcas Island. Eastsound is a beautiful town to explore with good restaurants, a neat bookstore, local shops beckoning you to browse and a labyrinth to walk. It is magical anytime of the year and I am eagerly looking forward to visiting next year.

Check out the following site to virtually explore events on Orcas in October:

https://www.visitsanjuans.com/savor

Savor your journeys… real, imagined or virtual, near or far

I feel we are all islands – in a common sea ~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Your life is an island separated from all other islands and continents. Regardless of how many boats you send to other shores or how many ships arrive upon your shores, you yourself are an island separated by its own pains, secluded in its happiness ~ Khalil Gibran

We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep  ~ William James

Road Trip ~ Western Washington: Port Townsend, Whidbey Island, Orcas Island, Bellingham, Mt Baker, North Cascades National Park

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:

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

Orcas Island, San Juans, Washington

              The largest of the San Juan Islands, Orcas is gorgeous any time of year, especially spring and fall. Your adventure starts when you board the ferry at Anacortes. Go outside, enjoy the spectacular scenery of the Puget Sound. You will need a car to get about the island and explore.

It’s a short, scenic drive from the ferry to the main town of Eastsound. Restaurants to check out include Mia’s Café (fabulous breakfast), Brown Bear Baking and Madrona Bar and Grill.

Walk the labyrinth at Emmanuel Episcopal Church on the water, enjoy the beautiful gardens at the library, stroll about the town, and browse local shops including Darvill’s book store (terrific collection plus great coffee drinks) and find treasures at Orcas Island Pottery.

Visit Moran State Park with its many hiking trails, opt to go on a whale watching tours or go kayaking. Take the ferry to Friday Harbor for a fun filled day, either as a walk on passenger (free) or with your car.

There are numerous hotels, BandB’s and camp sites. My favorite is Rosario’s Resort and Spa: beautiful property, nice bar & restaurant; plus if you are in luck, you can see deer outside your room. Orcas is a special place and too soon your ferry awaits for your return to reality.