Orcas Island is a beautiful Island located in the Salish Sea of Washington State, United States, and it is one of the most beautiful places to take in nature in the state. The Island is known for having some of the best beaches in the region, providing a natural serene view that is truly spectacular.
If you’re on the Island, visiting any of the many Orcas Island beaches is one of the most popular things to do. Most of the beaches offer various thrilling activities like boating, fishing, and even camping.
Since visiting the beach is one of the most exciting things to do on Orcas Island, and there are a lot of beaches, we don’t want you to have to go scouting all of them. Here is a list of the top 10 must-visit beaches on Orcas Island (in no particular order)
If you are on the Island and have yet to go to any of these, you are definitely missing out on a wonderful experience.
Top 10 Must-Visit Beaches on Orcas Island
1. Crescent Beach
Orcas Island has a lot of beaches on it and close by, but the most popular remains Crescent Beach, and with due reasons.
Crescent Beach Orcas Island is known for its natural beauty and sandy shoreline. The beach is crescent-shaped, allowing visitors to enjoy a serene and relaxing coastal experience.
The beach is a little outside the town and provides a stunning view of Orcas Island and is easily accessible with a quick and jolly ferry ride from Orcas Island to Lopez Island.
Crescent Beach Orcas Island is one of the most relaxing and entertaining beaches on the Island. Whether you’re exploring the beach with friends or traveling with your partner, you will surely have a fantastic time taking in the wonderful views.
2. Obstruction Pass State Park
The Obstruction Pass State Park is one of the most natural-looking beaches on Orcas Island. The beach here has some of the most amazing natural scenery you’d ever find, so get ready to take a lot of photographs.
The park is named after the narrow channel, Obstruction Pass, which separates Orcas Island from neighboring Blakely Island. The park spans over 80 acres of land, with thrilling rocky shorelines, forested areas, scenic trails, and, of course, beaches.
They provide an excellent opportunity for beachcombing, tide-pooling, and enjoying a warm picnic by the water’s edge. The beach is also popularly used for long walks, especially at night, and the feeling of the sand on your feet with the cool ocean breeze is just pure bliss.
3. Moran State Park
Moran State Park is a beautiful natural park covering over 5,000 acres. It is known for its lush forests and pristine lakes. While it does not technically have a beach, the lakeside view rivals that of any of the beaches on the island.
The park has two main lakes, Mountain Lake and Cascade Lake, and offers various water-related activities like swimming, fishing, boat riding, and paddleboarding. Watching the sunset from there is a truly beautiful experience.
The Park is also close to the Orcas Island Winery, so you can make a quick stop there if you’re in the mood to chug down some wine.
4. North Beach Preserve
North Beach Preserve is locally said to be one of the best beaches in the world. Whether that is true or not can be judged by you, but the beach is one of the most beautiful beaches on Orcas Island.
Also known as North Shore, North Beach on Orcas Island is located in the northern part of the island and offers a scenic coastal experience. The beach features a mix of rocky areas, driftwood, and pebble-filled sections.
During low tide, if you are watchful, you may discover fascinating marine life, seashells, and other treasures in the area. It is also a wonderful place for a picnic as it is a great spot for witnessing stunning sunsets over the water.
A visit to North Beach Preserve will leave you so relaxed that you may never want to leave. So you might as well get ready to start your life as a nomad.
5. West Beach Resort
Nothing screams romance on this list more than the West Beach Resort. This one-of-a-kind beach resort has some unique features that you won’t find on any average beach.
West Beach Resort is a popular destination on Orcas Island and has the most amazing beachfront accommodations in the area. From rustic cabins to cozy cottages and waterfront condos, the resort offers many accommodations with direct access to the beach.
The resort’s beach features various relaxation spots allowing visitors to relax, sunbathe, and take in the beautiful rock-filled surroundings. It offers various water activities like kayaking, row and pedal boarding, and even paddle boarding.
The resort features fire pits for cozy evening gatherings and even a playground for children.
Whether you’re seeking a relaxing beach getaway or an adventure-filled vacation, West Beach Resort provides a picturesque setting and a range of amenities to make your stay on Orcas Island enjoyable and memorable.
So if you happen to be planning a date while on Orcas Island, you know the best place to be.
6. Doe Bay Beach
A beach is only complete with natural beauty, and Doe Bay Resort exemplifies it perfectly. Doe Bay Beach is a picturesque beach located on the eastern shore of Orcas Island. It is part of the Doe Bay Resort and Retreat and is by far one of the best Orcas Island beaches to visit.
Doe Bay Beach is known for its tranquil and natural setting with a mix of rough rocky areas and soft, lush greenery.
Swimming in the calm waters is quite popular during the summer. You can also try sunbathing, or you can go on to find a sweet spot for a nice picnic. The resort has a café on-site with meals and beverages, allowing you to enjoy a satisfying dining experience overlooking the beach.
Doe Bay Beach is a hidden gem on Orcas Island, but now you know about it. The beach is also astonishingly clean and might be one of the cleanest beaches on Orcas Island.
7. Cayou Quay Marina
Cayou Quay Marina is one of the island’s most peaceful beaches and is my personal favorite as a boat enthusiast. The beach offers the best boating if you are searching for things to do on orcas island.
Cayou Quay Marina is nestled on the shores of Orcas Island, Washington, and is majorly known for having well-maintained docks and facilities for a convenient boating experience. It is a wonderful location for boaters, allowing them to explore the surrounding waters at their own pace.
Asides from boating, Cayou Quay Marina has the most breathtaking views of the surrounding natural beauty. You also get to see the Olympic Mountains in the distance, and it is nothing short of magical.
If you have to visit only one beach on Orcas Island —and you don’t want to go to Crescent Beach— you have to visit Cayou Quay Marina. Of course, the best option would be to visit both and every beach on the list; that’s why they are “must-visit” beaches in the first place.
8. Lieber Haven Resort & Marina
Lieber Haven Resort and Marina is another great place for boating enthusiasts on Orcas Island. It offers a serene waterfront experience and a stunning view of the sea.
With its marina facilities, accommodations, and breathtaking views, it’s a perfect destination to enjoy the peaceful ambiance that a beach provides.
9. Indian Island County Park
If you are looking for things to do on Orcas Island, you have to visit the Indian Island County Park. Though it is on this list of must-visit beaches, it is so much more than a beach.
The Indian Island County Park offers its visitors various activities, including boating, beachcombing, and leisurely walks along the coast.
Indian Island County Park is located on Indian Island, which is situated just off the coast of Orcas Island and is replete with many recreational activities, including a wonderful outdoor camping experience.
The park’s beaches feature soft sandy shores that stretch along the coastline. You are sure to find some of the brightest colorful stones, seashells, and other marine artifacts. The beach also provides an amazing view of the waters that only looks surreal.
It’s important to note that access to the park is by private boat or kayak, as there is no public ferry service to Indian Island.
10. Camp Orkila Beach
Camp Orkila Beach is a beautiful beach on the northwestern part of Orcas Island. It has a peaceful and tranquil environment for visitors to relax and enjoy.
The beach has a sandy shoreline –which is great for long walks– that stretches along the coast providing ample space for various recreational activities, including swimming, beach games, and sandcastle building.
The beach is primarily used by campers attending YMCA Camp Orkila programs, but it is usually open for public access during specific times or events.
In addition to the classic beach activities like swimming and beachcombing, the camp also offers other activities, including hiking, rock climbing, and various waterfront activities like kayaking and paddleboarding.
Going to the beach is a sure way of having fun, especially in the summer, and Orcas Island has some of the most amazing beaches in the world.
If you have more specific beach needs, there are various other options to choose from all of Orcas Island beaches and nearby. From the Buck Bay Shellfish Farm, to Mountain Lake, to Deer Habour Marina, to Olga State Park, you are sure to satisfy whatever your beach cravings are.
Every one of the beaches on the Island is exceptional, and you will have loads of fun visiting any of them. Just make sure to pack your sunscreen and beach ball and get ready to have the time of your life!