9AM: Art, History and Local Legends
Our morning tour focuses on the history, local narratives and storylines that power Orcas. With an emphasis on the tiny communities of Doe Bay and Olga, we will focus on artisans, farmers and visionaries who call the island home. Great for those looking to gain a deeper understanding of the island fabric. We start just after breakfast and finish by lunch. *Tour stops vary by the day depending on the weather, who is around and what our guides think works best. We often improvise to provide you with the best possible experience. This is how we schedule things on the island!
The Orcas Island Artworks Gallery is a favorite Orcas destination housed in a historic building on the island's East side. Built in 1938 as a strawberry barreling plant, the lovingly restored landmark now showcases the best of our island's crafts and fine art.Home to an extensive collection of work by Orcas Island artists and craftspeople, the Artworks Gallery offers paintings, prints, jewelry, pottery, sculpture, glass, wood, fiber and wearable arts, as well as other locally made items and gifts.
Doe Bay Resort
The historic community of Doe Bay on Orcas Island was traditionally a sanctuary for Coast Salish tribes, who held potlatches here until it was settled by homesteaders in the mid-1800s. Known as an off-the-beaten-track retreat for hippie types, Doe Bay has long been a place of tolerance even before the 1960s, where people living outside the norm have created a life.Start your day with a short walking tour of this legendary property. Get acquainted with island geography. Learn about the Coast Salish tribes who once inhabited the land. Enjoy the majestic view and consider alternative perspectives on living as you sip locally roasted coffee.
Mt Baker Farm
Mount Baker was originally a dairy farm and some of that history can still be seen in the one hundred year old “Waldrip” barn building. The previous owner was heir to the Casablanca fan empire and a true train enthusiast. He constructed on the property two train stations, one of which is an exact replica of the Lake Elsinore train station in California. He also laid down over two miles of regulation train tracks that are still used today for train rides through the woods and meadows. Rarely open to the public you'll enjoy a private ride on this tour.
Black Dog Farm
One of the best-kept island secrets, Black Dog Farm is a micro-farm owned and managed by Rob and Brenda Harlow. Their produce has been utilized in the top kitchens of Orcas for decades, and they are widely considered to grow the best corn on the island. We will explore their farm stand while discussing sustainability and the various crops that grow successfully on the island. We’ll taste vegetables pulled straight from the earth and you’ll have the opportunity to bring home everything you need to create a delicious dinner.
1PM: Fresh, Fermented and Flying High
Our afternoon tour focuses on the food and drink culture that has turned Orcas into one of the west coast’s premier gastronomical destinations. From eating oysters, tasting heirloom fruit, to sipping local beer, wine and ciders, we’ll make sure you have the inside scoop on how the food and drink gets from the farm to table. Great for those who eat and drink with reckless abandon. We start after lunch and finish in time for happy hour. *Tour stops vary by the day depending on the weather, who is around and what our guides think works best. We often improvise to provide you with the best possible experience. This is how we schedule things on the island!
Buck Bay Shellfish Farm
Could this be the most epic summer destination on the island? Buck Bay Shellfish Farm is the place for oysters on the West Coast. They also offer fresh locally caught crab, clams, prawns, salmon, halibut and other seasonal seafood. Skip the lines and get a private tutorial on the life of an oyster from owner Toni Knudson. Then you’ll learn how to shuck! Enjoy your bounty on a picnic table and grab a couple dozen more to throw in our coolers and take back to the hotel for a late night treat...
Girl Meets Dirt
This business was started by a former wall street employee who heard the island call her name. Leaving the big apple she came to the island with her family and began making preserves from the islands most prized heirloom fruit trees. We’ll visit the production facility and taste some of their top selling products including Quince, Crabapple and Pink Bartlett. Load up on inspiration and the perfect island gifts.
Doe Bay Wine Company
This tiny Bottleshop featuring a world class selection of wine, beer and ciders, was opened by Cole and Stephanie Sisson in August of 2017. Cole was raised on Orcas Island and met Stephanie, a South Jersey native, while at the Philadelphia Food & Wine experience. Together they threw their passion into a 400 square foot space which has been featured in Food & Wine and Seattle Magazine. Don’t miss their limited collaboration wines which are bottled under “The Orcas Project.”
Island Hoppin' Brewery
Three island kids had a dream to open the first brewery on Orcas. Several years later their beers are poured at some of the top restaurants and brewpubs in the Puget Sounds and they're still working hard to keep up with the demand. We'll visit the brewery for a special tasting and learn more about why this space is the most popular year round destination on the island.