Travel Guide to Orcas Island Washington

Orcas Island View from Beach

Ferry Boats, Resorts, Gourmet Dining, and a Great View

We took the State ferry from Anacortes to Orcas Island for a weekend getaway. Orcas is one of the renowned San Juan Islands, known for beautiful Pacific Northwest nature, Moran State Park, and gourmet food restaurants. Indeed, the view from the top of Mount Constitution was an amazing vista of all surrounding islands. I had a sweet day of shopping around Main Street. I was traveling with my mother and we found some pitfalls of staying on the Island. We are both Vegetarians who found the restaurants to be unaccommodating. Otherwise, it was a fun weekend getaway on Orcas Island, Washington.

Orcas Island Open Rainy Spring Day Museum

Main Street Shopping

Our weekend on Orcas began with a storm, both windy and rainy. This didn’t stop me from walking around Main Street with my umbrella in hand. A few shops chose to shut their doors due to the weather, but several remained open. I did find gorgeous artsy décor items, jewelry, yard decorations, and more. Both local handmade goods, as well as imports. I stopped several times for a good cup of coffee to warm me up in the rain. However, none of the shops and café’s had their own bathroom, they pointed me to the Public Restroom. Warning: the public restrooms are a terribly cold for ladies because the seats are made of cold stainless steel! Orcas Island Coldest Public Toilet EverA trip to the ladies room will leave your bottom end freezing cold for the next two hours on a rainy day. I guess we can live with that, but no wonder no one was out-and-about! Next stop was lunch at Brown Bear Bakery.


Lunch and Dinner Gourmet Style

The Brown Bear Bakery has an open view of their kitchen. Customers can sip delicious espresso drinks and watch the bakers preparing quiches. I had a mushroom and cheese sandwich on their homemade bread. It was delicious and I thought to myself that maybe all food on this island has to be gourmet and pricey. A Simple lunch can easily run you twenty bucks. My main problem with the trip to Orcas Island was all the delicious and expensive food my mother and I ordered over the weekend. We ate dinner at Rosario Resort and then again at Doe Bay Resort after I enquired about the best place for a Vegetarian to dine. Both occasions we easily spent Forty dollars each (sans alcoholic beverages) and walked away from the restaurant feeling hungry.

Brown Bear Bakery Orcas Island Vegetarian Lunch Brown Bear Bakery

No Man’s Land for Vegetarians

We left the resort restaurants not full because the portions were tiny, perfectly cooked veggies – that had no protein or substance. Everywhere I went there was only a single meat-free entrée on the menu. Our advice to any traveling vegetarians is to eat all your meals at the Co-op Deli or bring your own food.

Because the Co-Op store is the only place with options that are filling and will not break your bank account. Surely, the resorts had fancy menus and delicious food; the taste was not the problem. They got the fresh and locally grown style going on in their fancy gourmet food but they are only catering to the meat lovers and drinkers with no budget limitations. Rabbit anyone?

Resort Life and View from Mt. Constitution

The Rosario Resort was built in the early 1900s. It was big, beautiful, and right on the water. We dined, visited the spa, and heard live music in the bar area. Boats were docking at the beach, a nice place for a walk. The next morning was a clear day so we drove over to Moran State Park. All the way up the mountain road is a beautiful vista point on Mt. Constitution. Moran State ParkLooking around we could see all the San Juans, as well as the main lands in Washington and up North, Including Canada’s Vancouver city skyline. Absorbing this view was the peak of our experience on Orcas Island. From there we had dinner and made it back to the ferry dock where our place on the boat was reserved.

Conclusion: Romantic Island Getaway with Downfalls

Overall, Orcas is a beautiful town with lots of farmland, fancy resorts that are great for camping or lodging, including Moran State Park. The shopping experience was delightful minus the public restroom. The food was delicious although we were frustrated and hungry vegetarians that wished the cooks would cater to us as well as the meat-lovers. A nice low-key getaway, but not a cheap vacation; vegetarians beware.

Indian Island Orcas Washington




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