Island Paradise Off Washington’s West Coast: Orcas Island

Accessible by ferry from Anacortes, Washington

Looking for grand scenery, rustic adventure, and places to shop and dine in style? Orcas could be your island paradise. Eastsound, the main township, is brimming with boutique shopping, galleries, eateries, entertainment, and welcoming folks. For island history visit the local museum, a unique facility constructed of original homestead cabins from the late 1800s.

Orcas Island, Washington© 2009 iStock/twphotosAn orca, or killer whale, breaches the waters off Orcas Island. The orca belongs to one of the three Southern Resident whale pods that frequent the San Juan Islands off the northern Washington coast from April to October.

The 5,000-plus-acre Moran State Park offers a full menu for outdoors lovers: five freshwater lakes for fishing, swimming, and boating; hiking, biking, and horse trails; picnicking, camping, and a wealth of wildlife to observe. Head up Mount Constitution for breathtaking panoramic views of land and sea.

Orcas, the largest of the San Juan Islands off Washington’s west coast, is accessible by ferry and boat or seaplane and airplane, but day trips are a realistic option.

Moran State Park open year-round.

(888) 468-3701 San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau

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