Vacation on Orcas Island

Stay with us as your jumping off point to enjoy the Island’s many offerings, including kayaking, whale watching, sailing, hiking, nature photography, and birding. We are open year round and look forward to helping you find the activities that suit you. You can travel here via car ferry (details below) or by air- check out Kenmore Airlines for details on traveling via scenic flight from Seattle to several different spots on Orcas. We recommend flying with Kenmore to Rosario Marina, minutes away from Otters Pond Bed & Breakfast. We partner with Kenmore Airlines to offer packages, occasionally.  

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To Orcas Island by Washington State Ferry from Anacortes, WA

The ferry service from Anacortes to Orcas Island is on a reservation basis. We highly recommend making a reservation, especially from May through September and for holiday weekends. If you can’t get a reservation on your desired day or sailing, no worries. Reservations are released in three tiers to accommodate long and short-term planning by visitors and residents.

  • The first 30% are released two months before the start of each of the four seasonal sailing schedules for all sailings during that season, meaning these reservations may be available up to five months in advance. (Reservations for summer sailings from now to Sept. 19 are available.)
  • The second 30% are released two weeks prior to the specific sailing date.
  • The third 30% are released two days prior to the specific sailing date.
  • Each tier release of space opens online at 7:00 AM.
  • The remaining 10% on each sailing is set aside for emergency vehicles, customers with medical documentation, and drive-ups. (Drive-up/stand-by space is often available on many ferries, so if you don’t have a reservation don’t let this stop you from visiting. See this Best Times to Travel chart from last summer.)

Arrive in line for your reserved sailing 60-90 minutes in advance of the sailing departure time due to staging requirements, and bring your printed reservation sheet with barcode for easy scanning.

There is no extra charge for a reservation, however, to secure a reservation you must provide a debit or credit card which will only be charged $10 if you are a ‘no show.’ Ferry tickets are purchased separately at the Anacortes terminal or online. Tickets include round trip.

To Victoria (Sidney B.C.) from Orcas Island by Washington State Ferry from Orcas Island

Reservations must be made for travel to Sidney (Victoria) B.C. We recommend that you stay first on Orcas Island and then travel on to Victoria (Sydney, B.C.). The Victoria to Orcas sequence isn’t as user friendly because of an intermediate stop, need to change ferries and the timing of the ferry schedules.

To Orcas Island by Walking onto the Ferry and Renting a Car on Orcas Island

Rental cars are available by reservation with Orcas Island Shuttle.

Relying on your bicycle?

Otters Pond Bed and Breakfast is approximately 20 minutes from the ferry landing and a few hundred yards from Moran State Park.  The closest restaurants are 3 miles away, a challenging up-hill climb if arriving by bicycle.  Other forms of island transportation are the Orcas Island Shuttle from late June-Labor Day, a taxi, a shuttle service and hitchhiking.

Weather and Clothing

Pack light! Orcas Island is a place where casual attire rules. Comfortable sportswear is all you will need. Think layers—with a light rain parka included. Summers are warm (temp. range 68-80 degrees F with very little rain—80 to 85F are considered hot days here). Spring and Fall are mild (45-65F with rain not so predictable and generally not lasting more than a few hours intermittently—again, we advise clothing layers). Winters are quiet and beautifully cold (30-50F) with some snow and pond freezing. For hiking and general browsing, good, all-purpose trail shoes (low-cut casual hiker or cross-trainer) are fine all-around.