Visiting Orcas Island in the off-season is such a treat—it’s incredibly quiet and cozy without the summer crowds. No matter the season, Orcas always offers some pretty incredible pacific northwest scenery, so naturally I was pretty excited when Matt and I booked our trip to visit this little island with our friends from out of town.
We rented a small house through Airbnb in East Sound on Orcas. The rental ended up being further from the downtown area than we had anticipated—it was at the top of a wooded mountain—but it was the perfect little spot! The wind and rain really added to the cozy atmosphere of our short stay.
One of my favorite parts of the house was the cedar, wood-burning hot tub—I loved the woodsy, campfire smell of the stove. While you have to work a bit to get the temperature right, the soak that follows is worth the effort.
When we weren’t soaking in the hot tub or playing cards, the four of us enjoyed taking walks out in the yard. There were deer everywhere and it was so refreshing to be completely surrounded by the beauty of nature.
Matt met our friends Ben and Beth, who made this trip with us, when they were just getting married—he photographed their wedding in California. Last Halloween they came to visit and the four of us hit it off! This trip fell on our “friendiversary,” so we kept up our tradition (is it a tradition if it started last year?) of watching a trilogy of late-90s horror movies.
The trip concluded with a three-hour ferry delay, so we played many, many more games of cards and fed stray cats french fries from lunch.
If you’re looking for a low-key getaway, off-season travelling is refreshing—there are fewer crowds, it’s quieter, and you get to take a peek at what local life is really like. I can’t wait to visit Orcas Island again, soon!
Photos by me and my husband, Matt.