Monthly Archives: November 2011

Waiting for the Anacortes Ferry? Get Out of the Car and Onto the Beach!

Posted by Sandi

Trail to beach at Anacortes Ferry Landing

Trail to beach at the Anacortes Ferry Landing

I don’t go to the mainland often, but when I do, I like to get in the Anacortes ferry line early to make sure I can get the 3:35 boat back to Orcas. Usually I spend the extra time sitting in the car — reading, napping, catching up on emails or phone calls. But recently I tried something that Teri recommended: a relaxing walk on the beach.

Beach and marsh at the Anacortes ferry landing

Yes, Virginia, the sun DOES shine in November -- sometimes 🙂

It was a brisk November afternoon with the sun shining. From the ferry line I carefully crossed over the “pet” area and picked one of the sandy trails toward the beach. The first one dead ended in the marsh so I backtracked until I found the right one.
Beach at Anacortes ferry landing, Washington

Why did I wait so long to enjoy this sweet sandy beach?

At the end of the trail I was rewarded: A beautiful long sandy beach that felt far removed from the ferry traffic. In fact thanks to the wide marsh and sand dunes, the cars weren’t even visible. In the summer the beach is probably quite busy, but today it was all mine. I would be here awhile, glad I wore a watch.

You can’t tell from the photos, but near the water there were also small rocks of various colors, patterns and textures. I wonder, where do all these rocks come from? Did they travel large distances or are there are many large “mother rocks” under water? Is there an endless supply?

New boardwalk at Anacortes ferry landing

New boardwalk through the marsh - an easy walking trail ideal for bird watching.

I meandered down the beach until I came to the entrance of the new boardwalk Teri had told me about. Apparently it was built to give the new subdivision up the hill access to the beach. I walked a short way and decided I better get back to the the car. Next time I will arrive even earlier so I can explore more of the beach and boardwalk  – maybe even bring a picnic lunch!

Looking to enjoy the simple life on beautiful Orcas Island?
Contact T Williams Realty  – we’ll help you find your way home.


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Dining at Orcas Hotel – A Savory Step Back in Time

Posted by Sandi

Orcas Hotel - Orcas Island WA

Greeting you with all her glory

I chose to celebrate my birthday last week with a quiet dinner at the Orcas Hotel, the beautiful turn-of-the-century landmark you see when you arrive at the ferry landing. Although I frequent the Cafe for breakfast during ferry waits, I hadn’t been to the restaurant in several years.

Historic photo of Orcas Hotel, Orcas Island WA

Former owners of Orcas Hotel

I love her grand architecture, history, and tended grounds. Plus  Octavia’s Bistro / bar serves just the right blend of laid-back elegance. On Friday nights in the summer it’s hopping with live music and the menu turns casual. But on this off-season Wednesday night in November, the place is packed with locals just looking for a good meal. (Hint: Wednesday is Prime Rib night and reservations are recommended.)

Salmon dinner at Orcas Hotel, Orcas Island WA

Grilled salmon served with steamed rice, grilled asparagus and basil essence. Yum.

The Prime Rib Special includes Harris Ranch grass-fed all natural beef, tossed salad, baked potato, asparagus and yorkshire pudding. 12-oz cut for $28 or 8-oz for $22. Hmmm… A great deal but prime rib’s not my thing – I ordered the salmon and it was divine.

Dessert at the Orcas Hotel, Orcas Island WA

Who wants boring birthday cake when you can have a warm rasberry tart with vanilla ice cream?

If you really want to treat yourself, reserve one of the 12 boutique rooms to retreat to after dinner. They’re furnished with handmade quilts, antiques, books and island art, and two of the suites have balconies and Jacuzzi tubs for two. Rates range from $89 to $218 depending on time of year and room selected. In the morning meander down to the cafe for your complimentary breakfast in the cafe bakery, or enjoy a full breakfast in Octavia’s. Check for specials; this month they’re offering dinner for two when you stay in one of the jacuzzi suites.

It’s hard to believe this storybook hotel was once condemned and slated to be destroyed to make way for ferry parking. A group of islanders got together to purchase it, and eventually it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and fully renovated. Like many island stories, this one has a happy ending — just the kind I like! 🙂

Looking to enjoy the simple life on beautiful Orcas Island?
Contact T Williams Realty  – we’ll help you find your way home.

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