Orcas Island is considered the jewel of the San Juan Islands. Evergreen arbutus trees and towering firs and hemlocks range over its mountain terrain, and bald eagles nest on the shores of its shimmering blue lakes. Sheep graze in its valleys, and great blue herons rest in its seaside coves. Orcas Island lies in the “rain shadow” of coastal Washington, receiving a third less rainfall a year than Seattle and lots of sunshine.
During the summer months through early winter, the Island offers a vast array of vacation activities, including hikes through old-growth forests, sea kayaking trips, picnics by pristine waterfalls, whale watching boat trips, golf, sailing, and scuba diving. In Eastsound, the main village on the island, there is a fully equipped athletic facility, art galleries, shopping, a movie theatre, a fine independent bookstore, a library, and a number of fine restaurants.
There is also the Orcas Arts Center that hosts theatre productions and a world-class chamber music festival, as well as many other events. In addition, there are fine craft galleries and artists’ collectives throughout the island. Inter-Island ferries are also available for trips to Friday Harbor and the Gulf Islands of Canada.