Orcas Island Visitors Information

The Emerald Island, Orcas Island, the largest of the San Juan Islands in land mass, is shaped like a horseshoe. The terrain covers 57 square miles of diverse scenery, from rugged coastline to the highest elevation within the San Juan Island group. It's a magical setting of sparkling fjords, rolling hills, small mountains, densely wooded forest, lakes, beaches, and green valleys dotted with sheep. Visitors soon realize there’s a beautiful view from everywhere on Orcas Island!

Drive 2,400 feet up Mount Constitution to see a breath-taking panorama of the 172-island archipelago and mainland mountain peaks. Picnic in Moran State Park. Hike 30 miles of trails weaving through 5,000+ acres of forest complete with waterfalls and lakes where you can swim. On another day, head up Turtle Back Mountain, a superb walking and horseback-riding destination or play a round of golf. Whale watching tours, kayak adventures, and boat charters depart from numerous public and private marinas. A day trip by ferry to Lopez Island or Friday Harbor is a wonderful way to see more of the San Juan Islands. Scenic flights offer a dramatic perspective of the surrounding islands, sea, and mountain ranges. (Scheduled and charter flights also offer transportation to and from Seattle, Bellingham, or Victoria BC.) When arriving by Washington State Ferry from Anacortes, shop for provisions at the excellent market on the Orcas landing, or head directly into Eastsound, a charming village filled with local businesses, shops, galleries, and acclaimed restaurants (Sunset Magazine named Eastsound in their top 10 dream small town list!)


Drive 15-30 minutes east of town to find Rosario Resort, Doe Bay and Olga; go west, and you'll come across Orcas Landing, Westsound, and Deer Harbor. These tiny hamlets also offer post offices, general stores, marinas, and excellent dining options. If you are visiting the Orcas Island during our summer high season, we strongly recommend you make restaurant reservations well in advance of your stay. The island has a limited number of eating options and wait times can be long. 


Orcas Island is home to an eclectic population of 5,000 full and part-time residents. Pioneers of industry, entrepreneurs, notables, characters, and creative artists alike find refuge from urban babble in this just-out-of-the-mainstream setting. Islanders are private individuals, but actively participate with in the community and generously support its many organizations. Be forewarned that many visitors return time and again with the dream of becoming an Islander, too! 

Small-Town Holiday Magic in the San Juan Islands