Orcas Island: A Foodie & Nature-Lover’s Retreat

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It seems that tiny Orcas Island in Washington’s San Juans is gaining big-time notoriety. And, it’s well deserved. In fact, the island with a growing foodie reputation was recently included on the New York Times’ list of “52 Places to Go in 2019.”  Make this the year you discover the delights of Orcas Island!

The horseshoe-shaped Orcas stands as one of the largest islands that make up the San Juan archipelago and also one that has been attracting some notable food aficionados, from Oprah to James Beard chefs. The newspaper aptly describes the cuisine as “tide-to-table” served with some “experimental” wines, such as Doe Bay Wine Company.

This isn’t the first time the New York Times has noticed the archipelago in Washington state. It made the annual list of nods in 2011 as well, giving credit to the island group’s  “bold-face restauranteurs and unspoiled nature.” The historic Outlook Inn on the island with luxurious waterfront accommodations and the expansion of Moran State Park are testaments to the natural beauty that envelops the island.

Photo by Barbara Marrett

Since that honor, both the restaurant scene and standard of excellence has grown, as well as the natural beauty. Many large waterfront parcels have been preserved on Orcas or annexed to national or state parkland.

Photo by Robert DeMar

The New York Times describes the unique beauty best of the San Juan Islands best: the “eternal lure of the San Juans” is credited to its landscapes where “pastoral hills give way to broody forests and scrappy escarpments that overlook fjordlike inlets.”

Photo by Carl Silvernail

For more information for your trip the San Juan Islands, check here.

Courtesy photos/Featured photo by Barbara Marrett

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