Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Orcas Island

I do not typically Blog about personal vacations, however I  wanted to share this magical island. I just returned from spending a few days on Orcas Island. Orcas is part of The San Juan Island chain. Orcas is off the coast of the state of Washington and reached via ferry service, boat or seaplane.
We spent a couple enjoyable days in Seattle and then took a ferry from Anacortes, Washington - an easy drive from Seattle. It was fun driving our rental car right onto the huge ferry.
 We stayed at Rosario Resort. Rosario was everything you would hope to find in an island hotel.
This stunning property was originally built as a private home by  Robert Moran. Moran was the former mayor of Seattle and founder of a huge ship building firm. After he was told he was very ill and would die within a year, he moved to Orcas Island. Mr. Moran thrived on this tranquil island and he lived for many more years. He was a huge presence on Orcas. He built roads and bridges and made sure that much of the island would remain untouched.  
Rosario provides the perfect blend of comfort and beauty without feeling like it's trying too hard as many hotels do. We had an extraordinary view of the sea. It was especially wonderful in the evening as the lights of the boats anchored in the harbor complemented the sky full of stars.  
You can explore the original rooms of the mansion which now serve as a museum. The resort boasts  a full spa and  indoor and outdoor pools, yet the hotel manages to capture the unassuming feel of this island. Deer roam the grounds, wildflowers bloom and the magic of the sea is within reach.
I was told that the current private owners adored the resort so much they bought it from a large hotel management company several years ago.
My hope is that the room rates will not go up and that the owners will continue to preserve the original charm.
Pryor Events are big fans of Orcas Island and Rosario Resort.

A very friendly deer enjoying a snack.

A view from the highest point on the islands -  Mt. Constitution on Orcas
 The island is  larger than I expected it to be. There are quaint shops and wonderful cafes and restaurants. All of our meals were good but our favorites were Allium and Olga's Café. Our dinner at Allium was quite perfect. Much of the incredibly fresh produce is grown on the island. You will not see a single chain business. After seeing a Starbucks nearly every two blocks in Seattle this was a welcome relief. I am looking forward to returning to this special island.

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