Orcas Island – locals call it “the gem of the San Juan Islands” – is a beautiful combination of magnificent shoreline, stunning mountains, 57 square miles of rural and hilly area, and a handful of charming hamlets. It is the largest of the San Juan Islands, located off the northern coast of Washington State in the Pacific Northwest. Its diverse landscape, wooded countryside locations and spectacular panoramic vistas make it a popular destination for both day trips and private yacht charter vacations. When you begin planning your excursion in Orcas Island, include these popular activities listed below in your itinerary:
• Explore The Judd Cove Preserve
This nearly 12-acre natural area encompasses a rich variety of landscape, including mature green forest, freshwater wetlands, miles of marine shoreline, and extensive tidelands. This preserved cove features a restored 1880’s lime kiln and quarry that will show the rich history of the lime industry in the San Juans County. The picturesque Judd Cove has a pedestrian shoreline and walking trail, which provide many special opportunities for wildlife watching.
• Discover Obstruction Pass State Park
Located in the south of Orcas Island, this waterside state park on Orcas Island is full of natural beauty and tranquility as it boasts beautiful rocky arcs of shoreline covered with driftwood, rainbow-colored pebbles, evergreen and madrona trees all provide for boating, fishing, kayaking and remote camping opportunities. Explore the colorful Pebble Beach at Obstruction Pass State Park and catch some spectacular views, spot ducks, geese, and even eagles soaring above the island waters. Hike to Picnic Rock, or enjoy boating or kayaking at Obstruction Pass State Park . Whatever you choose to do, be sure to explore the park and enjoy its great activities during your Orcas Island vacation.
• Hike the Moran State Park
Moran State Park is a 5,252-acre camping park boasting five freshwater lakes and over 30 miles of hiking trails. No trip to Orcas island and Moran Park is complete without a visit to the top of Mount Constitution, the highest point in the San Juan Islands which stands at 2,409-feet. A stone observation tower at the Mount Constitution offers panoramic views of the surrounding islands, the Cascade Mountains, and other beautiful cities of the Pacific Northwest. You can gain a more enriching experience by hiking the preserved trails of Moran Park including Cascade Creek Trail, Cascade Falls Trail, Cold Springs Trail, Little Summit Trail and more. A great way to experience the vibrant woodland and water of Moran State Park is the Picnic Area, where you can sit back and enjoy the natural terrain and the breathtaking wildlife.
• Enjoy Orca Whale Watching
Magnificent orca whales live in the waters surrounding the San Juan Islands, and Orcas Island is perhaps the best place to see them. Without a doubt, the best way to watch them is via whale watching tour to catch orca whales in their natural habitat. Besides watching the Southern Residents Killer Whales, you can also expect to spot sea lions, gray whales, harbor seals, porpoise, bald eagles, and much more during your tour. During your private whale watching excursion, you can also incorporate fishing, kayaking, island stops and picnicking on a remote beach into your trip.
• Enjoy beachcombing and picnicking on Orcas beaches
Orcas Island has several stunning beaches open to the public. Cascade Lake located inside the Moran State Park has a small beach that is suitable for all ages. There is a nice, small pebble beach in Olga Village suitable for picnics and extreme brainstorming. Crescent Beach is a beautiful stretch of beach, located just a 10-minute walk from Eastsound town. The North Beach of Eastsound is a great place to watch the sunset. Obstruction Pass State Park also has a beach piled high with driftwood and colored pebbles.
From spending a part of your day playing golf on the local Orcas Island Golf Course, shopping in the Village Green community in Eastsound village, exploring the beautiful scenery & protected coves through kayak tours, or taking in the majestic panoramic views atop Mount Constitution in Moran Park The idyllic parks and vast majority of water activities make up for an amazing experience during your Orcas Island vacation. Come explore the natural beauty of Orcas Island aboard your own private Pacific Northwest yacht charters and get mesmerized by the tranquility & versatility of this beautiful destination!