Travel Articles

Traveler Magazine on Orcas Island Getaways

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Why Washington's Orcas Island Should Be Your Next Family Getaway

Condé Nast Travel writer Rebecca Misner wrote a lovely piece on why remote Orcas Island should be your next family vacation destination. We think it’s one of the articles that gives a real authentic feel for life on Orcas. Maybe that’s because she is married to a local!

The summer is short on Orcas Island, the days are long, and the empty beaches, gin-blue lakes, and dense forest trails add up to the castaway vacation you’ve been dying to take.
— Rebecca Misner, Traveler Magazine
Cascade Lake bridge. Photo by Alex Grossman for Traveler Magazine

Cascade Lake bridge. Photo by Alex Grossman for Traveler Magazine

We love her take on a little bit of the history of our island, too:

“The 1960s and ’70s somewhat predictably brought artists, organic farmers, and other idealists looking for utopian simplicity, while the 1980s, when my in-laws moved to Orcas from Oregon to take over the local newspaper, saw a bizarrely diverse set of transplants. They included followers of the spiritual sect Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment (leader JZ Knight, who claimed to channel a 35,000-year-old sage named Ramtha, moved her publishing operations to the island—Ramtha’s sword is supposedly buried somewhere on Mount Constitution); Hollywood types like producer Richard Donner (of Goonies and Lethal Weapon fame); and outdoor-brand moguls such as surfboard and sailboat designer Hobie Alter and Oakley eyewear founder Jim Jannard. In the 1990s, Microsoft money quietly flowed into the San Juans (Bill Gates owns property on nearby Shaw, Paul ­Allen on Lopez) in the form of subtly expensive, beautifully constructed post-and-beam summer homes. Recently, in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, a wavelet of young entrepreneurs, artists, and farmers relocated to Orcas to pursue their passions without the high risk, rent, and competition of big cities.”

To read more about how to live like a local and take advantage of our vast shoreline, visit the full article at Traveler Magazine.

Outlook Inn Gets Shout-Out by NY Times

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We are so proud and honored (but not surprised) that our beautiful island gem and our Outlook Inn were listed in the recent NY Times article (January 2019) entitled 52 Places To Go in 2019. The travel article described the beautiful unspoilt nature spots on Orcas Island and went on to describe us as “A small Island attracting big-time foodies. . .gaining fame in recent years for its impressive tide-to-table culinary scene and experimental wines, attracting among others, Oprah Winfrey.”

Our beautiful waterfront cottages received a worthy mention, as did our friends at Doe Bay Wine Company, and James Beard-nominated chef Jay Blackinton of Aelder & Hogstones.

Orcas Island is part of the San Juan Islands, which were last honored on a New York Times annual best of the world list in 2011.