North America > United States of America > Pacific Northwest > Washington (state) > San Juan Islands > Orcas
Orcas Island is located off the northern coast of Washington State. It is the largest island of the San Juan Islands. Orcas is about 57 square miles, and takes the shape of a horse shoe. Population of the island is 4,453 with Eastsound and Orcas Village being the busiest areas.
- 1 Eastsound is the largest populated area on Orcas Island.
- 2 Orcas Village town built around the ferry terminal on Orcas Island.
From Anacortes you can take a Ferry, but when planning to do so look at schedules ahead of time considering they change seasonally and be prepared for long waits in the summer.
- Washington State Ferries, 2901 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle, ☏ .
- Kenmore Air, toll-free: , fax: , ✉ reservations@KenmoreAir.com. Kenmore Air seaplanes make several flights daily from downtown Seattle's Lake Union to seven locations in the San Juan Islands including Orcas Island. Kenmore Air Express also offers daily land plane service between Seattle's Boeing Field/King County International Airport (BFI IATA) and Friday Harbor Airport (FRD IATA). Complimentary shuttle transfers are available to/from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA IATA) for passengers on either Kenmore Air service. A quick and spectacular, though not cheap, way to arrive. $75-139.
Orcas Island is large enough that most travelers require a car for exploring. You can bring your car on the ferry (but car passage is more expensive than foot passage). But there are also a few local options for renting.
- Orcas Island rental car (Car delivered at time and location you specify.), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Used but clean cars, mini-vans and convertibles. Delivered to you anywhere on Orcas Island. When you are done with the car, just lock the keys in it and leave; they come pick it up. Available year-round. 4-door midsize car $64.95, mini-van $84.95, convertible $104.95.
- M & W Car rentals (Orcas Ferry Landing), ☏ . May 15 - Oct 15 only. This Orcas Island branch of a Friday Harbor-based business usually has just one size of car available (though a van may be available on request) and only during peak season. $59.95/day.
Perhaps the most pleasant way to get around the island, especially if you aren't in a hurry, is by bicycle. You can bring your own bike on the ferry, or rent one at various outlets around the island.
- Wildlife Cycles, 350 North Beach Rd PO box 1048 Eastsound, ☏ . A full Service Bicycle Shop - Rentals, Sales, Repairs, Accessories.
- Orcas Island Taxi, Eastsound, ☏ , toll-free: , ✉ email@example.com. 24 hours per day. Example fare: Eastsound to Ferry dock $27.00. 5.50 drop + $2.50 per mile.
The island provides many attractions to see and do.
- Atop Mt. Constitution there is a near 360 degree view from a stone tower built by the public works of the Roosevelt era (television broadcast tower for KVOS TV makes it less than 360 degrees, but still worth it).
- the Magic Air tour allows you to see the entire island from a bird's-eye view.
- Moran State Park consists of 5,252 acres of camping park with five freshwater lakes and over 30 miles of hiking trails as well as going to the Obstruction Pass State Park.
- Go to the farmers markets and see what the vendors have to sell.
- Orcas Island Historical Museum.
- Go sea kayaking with biologist guides in the prime orca whale watching waters. Abundant seals, eagles, and other marine wildlife are seen on day tours or camping trips from 2, 3 or 5 days to the smaller islands.
- Go bird-watching anywhere in the San Juan Islands, home to 300+ species of birds.
Orcas Island provides a variety of restaurants. From fine dining to just relaxing in a cozy cottage. Serving American dishes, Mexican dishes, southwestern and Latin cuisines not to forget about the fresh seafood.
From your typically bottle of water to fresh squeezed lime margaritas.
With a variety of Inns you are able to pick what suits you the most. From new to vintage, small cottages to your traditional Inns, as well as resorts and hotels.
- The Outlook Inn. This Inn is a perfect location for a relaxing retreat. The location places it in the middle of the island. All of your outdoor sights and sounds are easily accessible. Best of all, the setting is idyllic.
- Moran State Park. There are 151 tent campgrounds that can be reserved through the Washington State Park website. There are also a few RV spots. The Midway and Southend campgrounds have sites on the shore of Cascade Lake.