Getting to the Island
By and large, there are two ways to get to Orcas Island: the Washington State Ferry system and through one of the airlines that services Orcas (Kenmore Air and San Juan Airlines). The Washington State Ferry system is the method most often used by our guests and by most of the visitors to the island. Whether you approach by sea or by air, the view is something special. Check out our Ferry Tips and Tricks page for more information on ferry reservations and scheduling.
From the Washington State Ferry:
When the Washington State Ferry pulls up to the Orcas Island Ferry Terminal, take a left onto Orcas Road. The cottages are just up the hill, on the left. It’s really that easy!
From Eastsound Airport:
When leaving the airport parking lot, take a right onto Mount Baker Road. You’ll see a road on the right showing that Mount Baker Road turns right there but keep going straight onto what is now Lovers Lane. Lovers Lane turns into Orcas Road at the intersection with Main Street. Continue down Orcas Road for a little over 8 miles. You’ll know you’re close to the ferry landing when you see the sign showing that the ferry terminal is 1/2 a mile away and the speed limit changes to 20 miles per hour. You’ll see the entrance to the ferry terminal on the left, go around a curve to the left, and the cottages will be on your right as you exit that turn.
Getting Around on the Island
Should I bring my car?
When guests ask about getting around on the island our first question is: what is your vision for your trip? If you’re coming to Orcas Island to relax in one of our cottages and just get away then you don’t need a car. Take the ferry from Anacortes to Orcas Island, walk off, and walk into your home away from home. Don’t stress about ferry reservations (you don’t need one to walk on) or the price of gas.
If your trip is an exploratory one and you want to drive to the top of Mt. Constitution or check out the Doe Bay Resort, however, a car is definitely a good idea. Depending on the number of people in your party, bringing a car on the ferry can actually be cheaper than a rental. Specifically if you’re exploring Orcas during the Fall, Winter, or early Spring, know that your secondary options for transportation are more limited (for example, the San Juan Transit shuttle that operates during the summer stops after Labor Day).
Renting a Car
When looking to rent a car on the island, take a peak at Orcas Island Shuttle. They will drop your rental car off wherever it’s convenient for you so long as you book at least 24 hours in advance (this is especially nice if you’re flying rather than sailing to the island as the car can be waiting for you when you get off of the plane). Orcas Island Shuttle rentals can be left anywhere on the island and are available year-round.
San Juan Transit Shuttle
During the summer (June 17-Sept 5 for the 2016 season for example, here’s the 2016 schedule), San Juan Transit operates a shuttle Friday thru Sunday that hits most of the main points on the island: the ferry landing, West Sound, Turtleback Trail Head, Deer Harbor, the Golf Course, Eastsound Island Market, Moran State Park (Cascade Lake), and Rosario Resort. The cost is $5 for a one-way trip, $10 for a round-trip, and $15 for an all-day pass.
If you’re a casual cyclist, Orcas may prove to be a bit challenging for you. If you’re just looking to cruise around Eastsound and explore the village, however, head over to Wildlife Cycles.