Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Big Horseshoe

Orcas Island beckons you for a weekend getaway

Full_orcas

The rain is here. But guess what? San Juan County is the driest part of Western Washington.

So milk those last few days of sun with a trip to Orcas Island. Here are the essentials to get you there.

SET SAIL
Unlike nearby San Juan Island, you need your car on Orcas. The island's shaped like a big horseshoe, so it can take a while to get from Point A to Point B. Car ferries leave every few hours from the terminal in Anacortes, and take a little under an hour to arrive at the island.
2100 Ferry Terminal Rd, Anacortes

DINE FINER
Under the direction of French Laundry veteran Lisa Nakamura, Allium has become a destination restaurant for Washington foodies. Their seasonal menus are unparalleled, and if you're not going Paleo, the gnocchi with white truffle oil and Parmesan are worth the carb splurge.
310 Main St, Eastsound (360-376-4904)

TRIP OUT
Looking for something completely different? Explore Anthony Howe's insanely complex kinetic sculptures. His mountaintop studio on Double Hill Road sits on nine acres that he's dotted with undulating stainless-steel constructions. See for yourself.
236 Double Hill Rd, Orcas Island (360-376-2945)

SHUCK SHELLS
Orcas' island shellfish are some of Washington's best, so stop by Buck Bay Shellfish Farm to harvest your fill of organically-raised oysters, clams, and fresh-caught Dungeness crab. If you don't feel like filling a cooler, stop and down a dozen freshly-shucked on the beach. They'll even spot you a lemon.
77 EJ Young Rd, Olga (360-376-5280)

SLEEP SOUNDLY
Doe Bay Resort & Spa, located on the farthest tip of the island from the ferry landing, is a bucolic getaway with spectacular views and steaming hot springs. Bonus: staying there is the only way to sign up in advance for the annual Doe Bay Festival, a three-day music extravaganza that's otherwise impossible to get into.
107 Doe Bay Rd, Olga (360) 376-2291. $85-700/night

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