Orcas Island is just a short distance away from Seattle. And seriously … it’s beautiful.

Named after an explorer in the 1700s (and not after the ever-popular killer whale), this place boasts great food, drinks and scenery. It’s the perfect place to completely escape the hustle and bustle of the city but not have to go way out of your way for it.

It is part of the San Juan Islands, and the locals call it “the gem” of them all -- and it truly is.

You can do everything from hiking, camping, whale watching and kayaking on the island. I would suggest doing a weekend trip here to see and do everything.

Wake up and drive or hike up to Mout Constitution where you can see expansive views of all the San Juan Islands and snow-capped Mount Baker.

Head down the mountain to Cascade Lake to kayak or paddleboard. If you're looking for a little adventure, dive off the bridge into the cool water.

If you’re looking for a more relaxing experience, go to Eastsound and have a picnic on the water. Walk around the little shops that have everything from plush killer whales to handmade jewelry.

Orcas is beautiful any day of the year, but if you're looking to go whale watching, be sure to book a trip between April-October.

Orcas Island is a dream. Watch a sunset, drink some wine and have a great time!

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