Orcas Island Visitor Information

Orcas Island, the Emerald Island, is the largest of the San Juan Islands by land mass and is shaped like a horseshoe. Covering an area of 57 square miles, it displays a diverse terrain that includes picturesque coastlines, lush forests, pristine lakes, and verdant valleys dotted with grazing sheep. From the heights of the highest elevation within the San Juan Islands to its stunning fjords, Orcas Island provides visitors with stunning views and magical surroundings that mesmerize the senses from every spot on the island.

Visit Mount Constitution for a breathtaking 2,400-foot high panoramic view of the scenic 172-island archipelago and stunning mainland peaks. Picnic in Moran State Park, or explore the hiking trails that wind through 5,000+ acres of forest dotted with waterfalls and lakes suitable for swimming.

Explore Turtle Back Mountain Preserve on foot or horseback, or hit the greens for a round of golf. And don’t forget to take a whale watching tour, indulge in exciting kayak adventures, or charter a boat from the many public and private marinas.

Embarking on a ferry ride to the idyllic Lopez Island or Friday Harbor is a fantastic way to discover the exquisite beauty of the neighboring San Juan Islands. Alternatively, scenic flights proffer a dramatic panorama of Puget Sound and the surrounding mountain ranges. Scheduled and charter flights facilitate seamless transportation to and from Seattle, Bellingham, or Victoria BC. Coming by ferry? Upon your arrival on the Washington State Ferry from Anacortes, be sure to stock up on provisions at the fabulous market on the Orcas landing or make a beeline for the town of Eastsound, a charming village bursting with a rich assortment of local businesses, shops, galleries, and critically acclaimed restaurants (Sunset Magazine named Eastsound in their top 10 dream small town list!)

Located just 15-30 minutes to the East of the town, you will find charming villages like Rosario Resort, as well as Doe Bay and Olga to explore. Go West, and you’ll discover other delightful hamlets such as Orcas Landing, Westsound, and Deer Harbor. These quaint settlements have post offices, general stores, marinas, and excellent dining options.

During Orcas Island’s summer high season, be sure to book restaurant reservations in advance of your stay, given the island’s limited number of eating options and longer wait times.

Orcas Island is home to an eclectic population of 5,000 full and part-time residents. Pioneers of industry, entrepreneurs, notables, characters, and creative artists alike find refuge from urban babble in this just-out-of-the-mainstream setting. Islanders are private individuals but actively participate within the community and generously support its many organizations. Be forewarned that many visitors return time and again with the dream of becoming an Islander, too!

Small Town Holiday Magic in the San Juans