Orcas Island is a beautiful evergreen island off the northwestern coast of Washington State. It is one of the two largest islands in the San Juans and takes a little over an hour to arrive to by ferry from the mainland. If you are seeking a romantic getaway, this island is filled with artisans and cottages; and it is easy to find quiet spaces on lakes that are surrounded by walking paths and old growth fir trees; providing perfect romantic Pacific Northwest backdrop. While on Orcas Island, here are ten things that you absolutely must do to reconnect, create new memories and enhance the romance your relationship.
Choose a beautiful place to rest. There are many types of accommodations on the island and the inns and bed and breakfasts on Orcas Island are most romantic because they offer an intimate room for two that is furnished beautifully, includes delicious breakfasts and many times present picturesque island views. Cuddle under the covers in the evenings and wake to the smell of breakfast wafting through the air as you enjoy the culinary cuisine of what the owners have cooked up for you in the morning.
Take a tour of the islands by boat. Various charter boat and whale watching companies offer you stunning views of the northwest and present unique wildlife opportunities; such as viewing bald eagles, searching for a salmon or witnessing wild orca whales swimming with their young. A day on the water is relaxing, scenic and creates lifelong memories and great photo opportunities for the two of you.
Rent a bike and tour the island on two wheels. The enchanting forested roads will lead you past small farms, rural artisan galleries and through small island villages where you can stop for a break. Head into Moran State Park for miles of unspoiled forest and hiking opportunities. Take a walk around a lake or head down to a beautiful waterfall where the two of you can take a dip to cool off.
Book a tee time. There is a stunning golf course that allows the two of you to enjoy a friendly game of links together. As long as you don’t get too competitive, it promises be a lot of fun for the two of you.
Enjoy a candlelit dinner on the water. Various restaurants are scattered along the shore, allowing you to enjoy local seafood and various other Northwestern treats while watching the tide come in.
Look for souvenirs. There is a wide variety of artisans on the island and you are sure to find something to take home. Walk hand in hand while you check out island pottery and and glass, to works of precious metals and paintings; you can find just about everything in terms of crafts.
Drive to the top of Mount Constitution. If you are looking for a scenic spot to pop the question or celebrate someone special, there is no better place than here. A drive through Moran State Park to the top of Mount Constitution offers the perfect location for a champagne lunch because it is the highest peak in the San Jan Islands and boasts a 360 degree view of Canadian islands and mountains, the Skagit Valley, the Cascade and Olympic Mountains and all of the San Juan Islands. Just remember to keep the bubblies under the limit because you will have a steep drive down the winding mountain and laws to abide.
Doe Bay Hot Springs. Clothing optional, the tubs at Doe Bay offer hot and cold spring fed water as well as a dry sauna. Located right on the waters edge, you can enjoy soaking your muscles while watching the sunset behind the island. Does it get any steamier than that?
Hike Turtle Back Mountain. Recently named as a permanent conservation area, Turtle Back Mountain offers 1,587 acres of unspoiled land to hike with your love through dense forests, wet lands and open prairies where it is common to see herds of deer and bald eagles. This protected area leads hikers to scenic rocky areas with views of the San Juan Islands.
Kayak the coastline. Book a kayak tour for two to see the island’s less developed shores and rocky coast. Paddle past pebble stone beaches and beds of kelp floating in the water while your guide leads you along the shoreline. One of you can take photos of harbor seals and great blue herons while the other paddles.