Located on the southeast corner of Orcas Island near Olga, Lieber Haven Marina Resort (360/376-2472, www.lieberhavenresort.com) offers charming and affordable beachfront lodging in cottages, apartments, studios, and rooms, most of which contain full kitchens. Rates are $135–165 for up to four people. This is a great family place to relax and take in the harbor scene. Kayaks and motorboats are available for rent at the protected marina, along with sailing trips, whale-watching, and fishing charters. The property also offers free Wi-Fi access.
For classic lodging, stay at beautiful Orcas Hotel (360/376-4300 or 888/672-2792, www.orcashotel.com), a 12-room century-old Victorian inn overlooking the ferry landing in Orcas,. Rates are $89–114 d for modest rooms with shared baths, or $138–208 d for those with private baths. The nicest of these is a suite with a private deck and hot tub. For ease of access, the location can't be beat; just get off the ferry and you're at your hotel. The hotel is a popular place for weddings and family gatherings, though it isn't exactly quiet, being so close to the ferry traffic.
On the north end of the island, Bartwood Lodge (178 Fossil Bay Dr., 360/376-2242 or 866/666-2242, www.bartwoodlodge.com, $159–239 d) is a beachfront lodge with 16 private rooms. Amenities include a tennis court, boat launch, and private moorage for guests. Kids are welcome. Bartwood is home to one of the finest restaurants in the San Juans, Sean Paul’s.
The Inn at Ship Bay (326 Olga Rd., 360/376-5886 or 877/276-7296, www.innatshipbay.com), just east of Eastsound, features 10 state rooms ($195 s or d) and an executive suite ($250 s or d), all with king-size beds, private balconies with water views, gas fireplaces, and fridges. Rates include a big continental breakfast, and a fine restaurant (Ship Bay Oyster House) is also on the premises. There’s a two-night minimum stay in the summer, and kids are accepted.
North Beach Inn in Eastsound (360/376-2660, www.northbeachinn.com, $135 s or d, $17 extra person) has beachfront cottages on a beautiful private beach. The cabins contain kitchens and fireplaces. Two bedroom and larger cabins are or $210–250 for four people. Kids are welcome, as are pets with an extra fee of $10 per pet per day. The inn is closed December to mid-February. Reserve far ahead for this popular place.
Outlook Inn (171 Main St., 360/376-2200 or 888/688-5665, www.outlookinn.com) is a beautifully restored 1888 hotel right in Eastsound with its own private beach. Classic economy rooms with shared baths and no TVs are available in the historic hotel for $84 s or d. Standard rooms in the hotel with private baths and TVs are $140 s or d, and a newer building contains deluxe suites with king-size beds, whirlpool tubs, and mini-bars for $245 s or d.
The kangaroo is long gone, but the name remains at The Kangaroo House (just north of Eastsound Village, 360/376-2175 or 888/371-2175, www.kangaroohouse.com, $150–190 s or d), an attractive 1907 home outfitted with a big fireplace, period furnishings, decks, and a garden hot tub. Bought in the 1930s by a sea captain, Harold Ferris, the house picked up its name when he brought a young female kangaroo on one of his Australian voyages. Nowadays you'll only see the innkeepers bouncing around the house—during morning time, that is, when a truly memorable multi-course breakfast is served. Bird-watchers will appreciate the many species that come to the feeders in the surrounding yard. The five guest rooms have private or shared baths. Families are welcome, and the whole inn can be rented for $850.
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition