I had so much fun on my first visit to Orcas Island. Read about some of the awesome things we did while we were there!
Orcas Island in Washington was our last stop on our 2 1/2-week long road trip before we officially became residents of Ohio. You can follow along on our road trip by clicking the links below:
Stop 1: Destin, Florida
Stop 2: Tampa, Florida
Stop 3: Harry Potter World and Orlando, Florida
Stop 4: Charleston, South Carolina
Stop 5: Seattle, Washington
Stop 6: Orcas Island, Washington
Stop 7: Our new home in Dayton, Ohio
Prefer to watch our visit to Orcas Island?
I had never actually heard of Orcas Island before we were getting on the ferry from Seattle. Even when Kyle and his family talked about Orcas Island, they referred to it as “the island.” If you’ve never heard of it either, you’re not alone, but also, it’s worth the ferry ride to this cute little island. I love the few days that we got to spend here, and I’m already trying to scheme on visiting again.
Kyle and I got on the ferry after spending a long morning and afternoon at MoPop in Seattle. We drove to Anacortes to get on the ferry then took the hour-long ferry ride to the island then drove about half an hour before we got to see Kyle’s fam.
Our first night was pretty low-key. We hung out with Wendy and Kyle’s niece and nephew (who I’ll probably refer to as “the twins” for the rest of the post). Wendy made homemade carnitas and Spanish rice, which I had seconds of because they were so good. Kyle also made some Moscow mules because he’s the best. We spent the rest of the night hanging with the babies and catching up with Wendy after they were put to bed.
We woke up early with a mission to find a place to go whale watching. Wendy said it would be a neat thing to do since it’s not something you can do just anywhere. I jumped onboard real, real quick. I borrowed a jacket and hat from Wendy since I was 0% prepared for the cold, and then we set off on a whale watching adventure with Outer Island Excursions.
We had breakfast at a cute spot called Brown Bear Bakery. The line was long, so I grabbed some things to go while Kyle walked over to the nearby grocery to get some snacks for our boat ride. I had the ham and leek quiche, which was so very good.
While we were whale watching, we hung out with a family of orcas (aka killer whales). We also saw some seals, a sassy sea lion, lots of different birds, including a bald eagle and a heron, and lots of other animals. We went under Deception Pass and saw a few different islands, including Strawberry Island. It was such a cool experience, and if you ever get the chance to go whale watching, I highly recommend. We had a fun captain and crew, and they were all very knowledgeable and made sure that we got as much out of the experience as possible.
After hangin’ with the whales, we (really just I) were pretty chilly, so we decided to warm up with some time in Emmy and Wendy’s hot tub. Kyle made us a couple of Moscow mules and we also brought some chips along because, ya know, snacks. Kyle found these Korean BBQ chips at the store on the island, and we haven’t been able to find them anywhere else.
When the twins got home from preschool, Kyle, Wendy, the twins and I walked over to the private beach that the neighborhood shares. Kyle tried to teach me how to skip rocks. I did one, but I’m convinced it was on accident because I couldn’t do it again. The twins had fun walking around and seeing some of the baby crabs that were scurrying and hiding under rocks.
For dinner, Kyle and I went to New Leaf Cafe, which I definitely recommend making a reservation for if you plan on going. The only area not reserved is the bar area, which only has a bar top and three tables. We didn’t have to wait too long to get a table though. After ordering a couple drinks, Kyle and I shared some oysters that were served with Pinot Noir grinata. Neither of us knew what this was, but it was one of the specials, and we love oysters, so naturally we had to give it a try. Of course it was delish. I wanted more! We also shared the duck mac and cheese, a goat cheese pistachio salad and some scallops. It was such a great meal, y’all. 10/10 recommend.
We ended the night with some drinks at The Barnacle, which had a really neat vibe and an eclectic crowd. Even though the name of the bar suggests some oceanic themes, we didn’t find any, but it was still a nice place to grab a drink at the end of the night.
For our last day on Orcas Island, Wendy took us to a place called Catkin Cafe for breakfast. While we were enjoying our mimosas and waiting on our food to come, the power went out. Unfortunately, we found out that it was out on the entire island, so we ended up having to leave. I grabbed a snickerdoodle cookie to go because they’re my favorite, and they seriously are the most underrated cookie.
We ended up at Brown Bear Bakery again. They had a few items that were already made before the power went out, so that was very fortunate. I had another ham and leek quiche, and again, it was so, so good.
After breakfast, Kyle and I decided to go for a hike, which was honestly the perfect idea since the power was out on the island. Plus, it was such a beautiful day. We hiked up Mt. Constitution via Mt. Summit, and we made it all the way to the top to see the tower. There were some gorgeous views, and I didn’t want to leave! Unfortunately, we had to (obviously), and even more unfortunate is the fact that I rolled my ankle on the way down. I was riding the struggle bus for several hours.
Our hike was the last thing we did on Orcas Island before heading back to the ferry to get back to Seattle. Wendy and the twins were also going to Seattle, so we drove in separate cars and then stopped for some dinner at Mod Pizza. We said our goodbyes because the twins would need to get to bed pretty much as soon as they got to Seattle since they hadn’t taken a nap.
We met up with Emmy for one last drink in Seattle at 13 Coins before we got on our super late (and super delayed) flight back to Charleston where we would grab my car and then drive to our new home in Dayton. It was a hell of trip getting back with all the hiccups – them not seating us together, delayed flight after delayed flight and them losing my bag (shout-out to Frontier Airlines who we will never be using again), but eventually we made it, had one last meal with my dad and step-mom and then made the ten-hour drive to Dayton.
I was super bummed to see our vacation come to an end, but I was also really excited about our new lives in Dayton. We’ve been really enjoying it here so far. If you haven’t read my post about places we’ve been loving in Dayton, be sure to check it out!
Have you ever been to any of Washington’s islands?