Published: October 2009Best Adventure Towns

Eastsound, Washington

Plan a long weekend getaway with our Eastsound adventure guide, featuring great outdoor escapes, where to stay, and where to eat. Then chime in with your picks.

Photograph courtesy of Robert Demar

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Eastsound, on the north bend of Orcas Island, is a sort of Nantucket of the west, with a style a bit more Birkenstock than Sperry Top-Sider. As the largest city on the largest island in the archipelago, Eastsound is a good jumping-off point for exploring the San Juans.

Your Turn: Tell us about your favorite Eastsound adventures, restaurants, and hotels in the comments section below.

The 5,000-acre Moran State Park has over 30 miles of hiking trails, just minutes away from Eastsound. Start with Mount Constitution Trail, which climbs 2,400 feet above sea level for 360° views of the San Juan Islands, the Cascade Range, the Whistler Mountains, Vancouver, and Victoria ( Hikers also have the 1,578-acre Turtleback Mountain Preserve, recently opened after a stunning $18.5 million fundraising effort by San Juan Preservation Trust; take the South Trailhead, off of Deer Harbor Road, to catch a glimpse from the other side of the island to pastoral Crow Valley ( Or rent two wheels from Eastsound’s Wildlife Cycles and hit Orcas Island’s well-paved roads. For a longer cycling jaunt, hop on the ferry to explore Lopez or San Juan Islands; the ferry is free for cyclists ($30 for a one-day road-bike rental; Paddlers can explore the Puget Sound’s countless bays and inlets with Shearwater Adventure. On a three-hour guided kayak tour, you could even catch a glimpse of the island’s namesake Orca whale. ($60 per person;

Rose’s Bakery Café is a casual eatery housed in Eastsound’s old firehouse. They have a stellar wine selection and use fresh, local ingredients for their homemade bread; the olive-rosemary buns are worth the trip alone (360-376-5805).

Turtleback Farm Inn, a 19th-century farmhouse turned cozy B&B, affords views of Crow Valley, Turtle Mountain, and the surrounding fir and maple forests. Breakfast picks include homemade pastries and granola with fresh-picked wild berries (doubles from $100;

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  • As a long time native I think that the lead photo to your article is a picture of Doe Bay not Easts…
  • For an in-depth look at Life on Orcas Island from the viewpoint of a longtime islander, check out th…
  • Moran State Park is the place to go on Orcas but head out to North Beach for a romantic evening. For…
  • Moran State Park is the place to go on Orcas but head out to North Beach for a romantic evening. For…
  • Moran State Park is the place to go on Orcas but head out to North Beach for a romantic evening. For…
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