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About our Island

Orcas Island, “the Gem of the San Juan Islands” with its abundance of evergreen trees, is the largest of the San Juan Islands of Washington State. In the Pacific Northwest of the USA, Orcas Island was once a primary producer of orchard fruit in Washington State. Now Orcas Island is home to a lively community of artists, contractors, resort owners, and country folk.

Moran State Park, the largest land public access park in the San Juan Islands, occupies a large portion of Orcas Island’s eastern half providing over 30 miles of hiking trails as well as numerous campsites, sightseeing vistas, and lakes for boating and fishing.

Orcas Island also features more state and local public access parks for picnics and recreation. Resorts, marinas, and vacation rentals can be found across Orcas Island for the benefit of seasonal and quick-trip visitors.

The local artistic community presents exhibitions and festivals throughout the year including annual gatherings and concerts by musicians from across the nation and the world. Food is also a highly enjoyable aspect of Orcas Island with many resorts and restaurants specializing in fresh seafood as well as locally grown beef, pork, fruits, and vegetables.

Come to the Anacortes Ferry Terminal and board a Washington State Ferry to Orcas Island today. It’s a delightful and refreshing experience not to be missed. Discover the San Juan Islands!

An ISland Of Whales?

If you ask folks how Orcas Island got its name you will get a varied response, all depending on who you ask. Some will say it came from the Viceroy of Mexico, Don Juan Vicente de Guemez, Pacheso de Padilla, Orcazitas y Aguayo, Conde de Revilla Gigedo. He claimed these islands for Spain in 1790. Other folks will say its name came from the Spanish word for toothed whale- “Orca”. Still others will say it was named after the nickname of one of Lt. Eliza’s 1791 survey ships, the “Boca de Orcasitas”. There are even more fascinating and sometimes quite curious stories that the locals may tell you if you don’t lose interest first. We just tend to accept its name and move on with our lives…


How to Get Here

By Car: Travel North on I-5 from Seattle (approx. 2 hours), and Take Exit 230 (Burlington/Anacortes). Go West on Highway 20 into Anacortes and Follow signs to the ferry terminal. Washington State Ferry Information Online Ferry Schedule

By Plane: Daily flights to and from Orcas Island and other San Juan Islands are available from Seattle. Consult your travel agent for flight arrangements. Facilities are also available for private planes. For more information, contact Eastsound Airport at 360-376-4176.

By Bus or Passenger Ferry: A number of commercial transportation companies operate tours in the San Juan Islands. For service from SeaTac airport and other predetermined pickup locations including Bellingham, Marysville, and the Washington State Ferry terminal in Anacortes, check out the Airporter Shuttle.

The Ferries

To visit our island, you will need to take a Washington State Ferry from Anacortes. This experience is part of the reason that Orcas is so special – it is not accessed so easily as any other destination on the mainland. This makes Orcas more private and slightly more secluded…a real treasure and a fabulous getaway.

Planning ahead is an excellent thing to do when you know you will be taking the ferry; especially in the summer season. The large parking area is filled with cars waiting for considerable periods of time to load the ferry so bringing something to do is a wise choice.

Frisbees (which do less damage to cars than footballs or baseballs) are a handy thing to pack along, as are magazines, books, and any other reading material. A pack of cards can be useful as well, and dogs on leashes are always welcome to sniff around on the trails that lead down to the beach. Picnic tables are also available for the ferry-goers’ convenience.

For ferry times I suggest you follow this handy ferry hyperlink. The ferry ride over here is a beautiful experience which surely makes up for any ferry wait. There is food service available during the summer season on the ferries which is reasonably priced. You can expect to pay around 30 dollars for a car and 2 passengers to board the ferry, which is a bargain considering the astounding scenery and the exquisite beauty of your destination.

A really handy link to look up right before you leave for the Anacortes ferry is right HERE. It takes you to a Washington State Ferry page that includes updated ferry information about ferry lines. How updated? Well, that is the $10,000 dollar question.

You can find more information about getting to Orcas at


It takes more than a day to enjoy all the wonders of Orcas Island and there are plenty of lodging options available. Inns, hotels, motels, and bed & breakfasts are located across the island offering accommodations with country themes or after the manner of modern motels. Find the perfect place to enjoy your stay in the San Juan Islands right here at


There’s nothing quite like a trip to beautiful Orcas Island, and nothing makes it more memorable than a homemade souvenir or piece of local island art to take with you. Find all the curiosity shops and retail stores providing books, art, and locally made collectibles of every kind from Orcas Island and across the San Juan Islands in the shopping center of Eastsound.


Good food has been a part of Orcas Island life for over one hundred years. Restaurants and inns serve a wide variety of foods including prime seafood, Mexican, and good old-fashioned burgers.

Enjoy local lunchtime favorites or the high-class dinners of Ship Bay Inn and Rosario Resort. Come to Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands for a delightful experience from sunrise to sunset.


Orcas Island has a wonderful selection of San Juan Islands parks to choose from. The close proximity to a number of San Juan Islands that are Washington State Park islands for boating visitors adds to the allure of Orcas Island. Moran State Park is the 4th largest park in the Washington State Parks system. Wonderful lakes and miles of trail mark the Moran State Park experience. Every local child has spent their fair share of time at the Cascade Lake swimming area. At its pinnacle, and accessible by car or by foot starting at a number of trailheads, Mt. Constitution offers the visitor a panoramic picture of Victoria and Mt. Baker to the northeast, the picturesque Olympic Mountain range, and even Mt. Rainier is visible on the clearest of days.


Orcas Island Real Estate agencies are eager to assist you in finding the right house in which you can enjoy and experience life in the San Juan Islands. Orcas Island rental housing and suites are available for part time visitors to San Juan County and long term vacationers to Orcas Island.

Enjoy waterfront views, wildlife sightings and all the amenities of a luxurious San Juan County summertime jaunt to the beautiful San Juan Islands of Washington State. Catch a Washington State Ferry from Anacortes, the “gateway to the San Juan Islands”, on Fidalgo Island and discover the San Juan Islands today!


Unless you are in Moran State Park, it’s hard to go somewhere on Orcas Island without a place to eat nearby. Local Orcas Island chefs and bakeries provide a wide variety of foods including fresh seafood, Mexican food, oven-baked pizza, and tavern burgers. Yum!

Be sure not to miss out on the cuisine and service offered by exquisite resorts and hotels like Rosario Resort and the Deer Harbor Inn Restaurant. Come visit Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands!


For all your needs on Orcas Island, whether you’re a visitor or resident, look no further than Eastsound’s collection of medical, financial, home improvement, and grocery services. All of the equipment and supplies you need for your local endeavors are available on Orcas Island in the San Juan Island.


Find everything you need to make the Wedding you always hoped for on beautiful Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands. Catering services, event hosting, and professional photographers are readily available through the many inns, community centers, and churches populating the island.

Come to Orcas Island; one of the most beautiful places in Washington State, and make your special day the most memorable event you’ve ever enjoyed!