This picturesque village on Orcas Island is famous for its galleries and museums, wildlife spotting, farmers market and historic buildings.
Overlooking Fishing Bay, pretty Eastsound is the largest village of Orcas Island. Visit Eastsound to browse galleries and museums, join sea kayaking and whale watching tours, check out markets and cycle to state parks and viewpoints.
One of your first ports of call should be the Orcas Island Historical Museum. Find photographs and artifacts relating to the history of the island’s Native American communities and European-American settlers. Look for a bison skull, which is reputedly 14,000 years old. The exhibits are displayed in six reconstructed homestead cabins from the late 1800s. Ask about tours of the island’s historic hotels, including the 19th-century Outlook Inn and century-old Orcas Hotel.
Eastsound’s galleries showcase the artistic talents of the islanders. Go to the Orcas Island Artworks to see the pottery and ceramics, jewelry, paintings and wood sculptures of over 40 local artists. Watch a cabaret show or performance of a Shakespeare play at the Orcas Center. Throughout the year the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival hosts classical music concerts in addition to an open-air summer festival in August.
Don’t miss the village’s Farmers’ Market, which takes place every Saturday, from May to November. Sample everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to oysters and island-roasted coffee or shop for artisanal goods such as jewelry, pottery and clothing. Everything is grown or crafted by local farmers and artisans.
Join a whale-watching tour to spot gray and humpback whales and orcas. Tours depart from Brandt’s Landing and the peak spotting season is from April to October.
Sign up for a sea kayaking adventure and the chance to spot eagles and herons, otters and sea lions, among other wildlife.
Rent a bike and explore areas outside of Eastsound, such as state parks, mountains and lakes. Moran State Park, Cascade Lake and Turtleback Mountain are all about 30 minutes away by bike.
To get to Eastsound, travel by ferry from Anacortes, Washington State, to the Orcas Village ferry landing. From here it is a 20-minute drive to the village. You can also fly from Anacortes and Seattle to the Orcas Island Airport, which is walking distance from the village’s center.