NAVIGATING THIS WEBSITE
Click on any underlined subjects or on any of the logos or pictures to go to the associated website.
Getting to Orcas Island is part of the fun of visiting. We'll try to give you all the options we can think of...which are many. A word to the wise, summer is prime tourist season in the San Juan Islands, so we recommend making reservations as soon as you know your plans. Orcas does have a new scheduled public shuttle, and we do have a taxi service which can be reserved ahead (Orcas Island Taxi 800-942-1926 or 360-376-8294)
For those of you arriving from far away, Seattle Tacoma International Airport in Seattle and Vancouver International Airport in Vancouver, BC are nearly equidistant. However if you don't want to rent a car, transportation options from Vancouver are more limited than from SeaTac. If you do plan to fly in to Vancouver, don't forget you'll need your passport to clear US customs.
In addition to the information below, a fairly complete website for transport options is available at Guide to the San Juans
One airline flies from Seattle to Orcas.
More fun perhaps, also has 5 float plane flights each day from Seattle's Lake Union to Rosario Resort and Westsound on Orcas for about $110 each way. Lake Union is in downtown Seattle about 10 miles or so from SeaTac. Kenmore Air also provides free scheduled van shuttle service between SeaTac and their Lake Union terminal. And if you're afraid of flying in smaller planes, a friend always reminds people "It's runway all the way."
Is a charter service, run by my former flight instructor, a retired Air Force fighter pilot!, based on Orcas that can fly to anywhere in the Northwest you might want to go. Barrel rolls are not included in the usual charter fare.
On the Orcas end, a limited number of rental cars are available at the Ferry terminal (360-376-3883), the airport (360-376-4176) and Rosario Resort (360-376-2222 ext 501). Orcas Island Taxi (800-942-1926 or 360-376-8294) is also available. The Eastsound Airport is about a mile from "downtown" Eastsound. Rosario Resort if about 7 miles from Eastsound.
RENTAL CARS -
The usual suspects' rental cars are available at both SeaTac airport and the Vancouver Airport.
On the Orcas end, a limited number of rental cars are available at the Ferry terminal (360-376-3883), the airport (360-376-4176) and Rosario Resort (360-376-2222 ext 501). Orcas Island Taxi (800-942-1926 or 360-376-8294) is also available.
VAN SHUTTLE SERVICE -
For those coming from Vancouver who are gluttons for a long travel day, provides bus service from Vancouver International Airport to Bellingham Airport. From there you can catch the Bellair Airporter Shuttle to the Anacortes ferry terminal or fly to Orcas on San Juan Airlines.
From Seattle (south) - Follow the signs to I-5 North (the main North/South expressway through Seattle). Take I-5 North about 75 miles through Everett and just past Mt. Vernon to the Anacortes/San Juans exit (Exit 230). Turn left (west) onto Highway 20 and follow the signs( well-marked) through Anacortes to the San Juans ferry terminal. The drive usually takes 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours depending on traffic in Seattle and Everett.
From Vancouver (north) - Look for the signs for 99 South Seattle/US Border. Head south through the border (border crossing times these days can be anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour or more) where 99 becomes I-5 South. Continue through Bellingham about 60 miles to the Anacortes/San Juan Islands exit (Exit 230). Turn left onto Highway 20 going west and follow the signs through Anacortes to the San Juans ferry terminal. Driving time about 1:15 plus waiting time at the border.
For those of you who haven't found them, directions to our house are on the back of your party invitation!!
From Anacortes - Washington State Ferries provides about 9 sailings a day between Anacortes and Orcas Island, a scenic 1 to 1 and 1/2 hour trip. The ferries carry both cars and walk-on passengers, and they can be quite crowded in the summertime. We recommend trying to arrive at least 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours ahead of the sailing time you want, though waits can be as long as 4 hours or more. It's hard to predict and just depends on the weather and other events on the island. Round trip cost is about $45 for car and driver plus another $10 for each passenger (kids and seniors cost less).
If walking on, there is parking at the Anacortes ferry terminal charged by the day, ~$7-10/day. Allow extra time to drop off passengers and bags at the terminal then go park. Walking to the terminal from the parking lots can take 10 minutes or so. The parking lots can fill up in the summer time.
See the section below for transportation options once you're on the island.
ISLAND SHUTTLES AND TRANSPORTATION
If you decide to walk on the ferry, Orcas does have some options for getting around the island:
1) A brand new bus service on the island provides scheduled service from the ferry landing to most places on the island you might want to go including the ferry terminal, downtown Eastsound, Rosario, Moran State Park, Westsound, Deer Harbor and the Eastsound Airport. Their summer schedule is on their website. Islanders are excited about this new service. The small green and yellow buses are very nice and do have bike racks.
2)Orcas Island Taxi (800-942-1926 or 360-376-8294) - a regular taxi service that has both cars and vans running by appointment during the summer. The drivers can be a bit eccentric, but they'll get you where you need to go.
3)A limited number of rental cars are available at the Ferry terminal (360-376-3883), the airport (in Eastsound) (360-376-4176) and Rosario Resort (360-376-2222 ext 501).
This site was last updated 01/07/06