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Day Trip: Things to do on Orcas Island

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This horseshoe-shaped addition to the San Juan Island archipelago is not only beautiful but there is also a ton of fun and adventurous things to do on Orcas Island. As the third stop from Anacortes on the ferry boat, Orcas Island is the largest and perhaps the most visited of the islands. You’ll want to continue to the last dock in Washington at Friday Harbor to San Juan Island first, as it’s the best place to make your home base to explore the extent of amazing activities in the area.

Our San Juan Island Inn Collection offers an array of lodging options that can be tailored to the variety of getaway you’re looking for—whether that be family-friendly, pet-friendly, or romance-focused, we have an option for you. And you don’t have to take it from us, recently, Travel + Leisure recognized our lodging accommodations as one of the best places to stay in Friday Harbor, and we couldn’t be more honored!

Better yet, all of the best things to do on Orcas Island are just one stop away on the ferry, which departs from Friday Harbor and is within walking distance from our Inn. Before planning your island-hopping itinerary, head to our availability calendar and book today!

Things to do on Orcas Island

The Best Things to do on Orcas Island on a Day Trip

Enjoy a fresh-baked and scratch-made breakfast—delivered straight to your door—before you hop an early ferry over to explore all of the things to do on Orcas Island. Also known as the Emerald Isle, this 57-square-mile island is covered in lush, old-growth forests, offering expansive wilderness for hiking and biking, as well as a burgeoning artist community for some of the best northwest-inspired works.

Here are the best things to do on Orcas Island for a day trip:

  • The scenic byway driving tour is one of the best things to do on Orcas Island to get a lay of the land and take in the stunning views from this hilly landscape. Starting in Orcas Village, the map route hits 12 stand-outs on the island not to miss.
  • Deer Harbor is home to one of the few sandy beaches on Orcas Island, and the Deer Harbor Marina is a great stop for boating tours and pretty views.
  • Orcas Island Pottery is the oldest pottery shop in the Pacific Northwest, featuring works from local artists since 1945. Stroll the magical grounds and support these talented island artists!
  • Eastsound, Washington is about 15-minutes from the ferry dock; this historic village on Orcas is ideal for shopping for local wares and arts, cafes for lunch, or upscale dining for dinner (the newest addition, Matia Kitchen and Bar, has drawn the attention of the James Beard awards). Check the Orcas Island Historical Museum for an in-depth history of the island.

Things to do on Orcas Island

  • Head along the scenic byway to the beautiful Moran State Park and the highest point on the San Juan Islands, Mount Consitution. Donated by Robert Moran, the park encompasses 5,252 acres, including five freshwater lakes and more than 30 miles of hiking trails with waterfalls along the way.
  • If you still have the energy to explore more of the things to do on Orcas Island after hiking at the park, jump back in the car and head to the village of Olga. You’ll find Orcas Island Artworks, an artist co-op representing more than 45 local creatives. Stop Buck Bay Shellfish for locally caught bi-valves, Dungeness crab, lunch fare, and more.
  • If you’d like to check out the array of adult beverages freshly brewed, distilled, and barrelled on the island, you could focus your itinerary of things to do on Orcas Island just on that! Add these stops to your list: Orcas Island Winery, Island Hoppin’ Brewery, Boathouse Cider Works, and Orcas Island Distilling.

Things to do on Orcas Island

Cozy Spaces to Relax at our San Juan Inn Collection

The staff of Tucker House Inn & Harrison House Suites enjoys providing our guests with a long list of luxurious amenities and personalized service during each stay. Depending on your selection of lodging in one of our guest rooms, suites, or cottages, accommodations can differ slightly. Still, all of our guests will be served a gourmet breakfast each morning, fresh baked cookies in the afternoon, have access to our kayaks and bikes, enjoy luxury linens on pillow-top beds, and appreciate our homemade soaps and bath products in each en suite.

Join us on San Juan Island and come see for yourself why Travel + Leisure voted us one of the best places to stay in Friday Harbor. Book today!

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