Before we get to the Doe Bay goodness little me tell you why we run away at least once a year. A little while back, Darrin (aka Bae) and I decided that we needed to invest more time into taking care of our relationship. We read several books together and eventually attended a Gottman Institute workshop where we were inspired to start dating each other again. From there, we committed to at least a date every other week and tried for every week if our schedules would allow (SOOO much easier said than done). The other thing we decided to commit to was an annual “honeymoon” for just us, where we would find a lovely spot to unwind, reconnect, sleep and EXPLORE. It’s been an extremely valuable ritual for us and has helped our bond tremendously. So, with the help of grandma, auntie and uncle taking care of our babes and pets, we set off for our first getaway of 2020. Our destination, Doe Bay Resort, located on Orcas Island in the San Juan Island. Both of us grew up vacationing and adventuring during the summers in the Islands, so it’s always a special treat to go back. As soon as you get on the ferry, there is a natural sense of release that takes over. It’s such a peaceful, yet stunning environment and the feeling of “Island life” always reminds you to slow down and relax.
The ferry made several stops on the way to Orcas Island and sightseeing is never limited. Upon arriving, we head straight into Eastbound, which is the town center on the Island with lots of galleries, boutiques, restaurants, cafes to visit.
We were very hungry when we arrived and set out to find some lunch. Here’s our tip…when in doubt, just explore and observe where the locals are going. We overheard some folks in Darvill’s Bookstore chatting about fresh baked cookies coming out of the oven soon, so we casually followed them over to Brown Bear Baking. We also noticed a lineup of people at Voyager Sandwiches and Seafood which led us to stop for some delicious locally sourced lunch. We can’t wait to head back for another Cheesesteak, Fish Sandwich and Kale Caesar.
After stuffing our faces, we drove around the Island to Doe Bay Resort (pausing to close my eyes and smile out how magical this place is). If you haven’t been, it’s absolute jewel. Doe Bay Resorts cabins, yurts and campsites sit on 38 acres of the most beautiful waterfront land in the San Juan Islands. As they say “Magic Happens Here” and it’s TRUE! It was our third visit to Doe Bay and this time we had what I believe to be the BEST spot to stay on the property. We checked into our tree house cozied up a read the afternoon away.
A wet and windy winter storm hit the first night, which was entertaining to say the least considering our unique treehouse cabin. Luckily, the incredible meal we ate at the Doe Bay Cafe, the live music and the relaxing fun in the CLOTHING OPTIONAL soaking pools, we only noticed it when running through the pouring rain back to our treehouse!
There are plenty of amazing adventures to be had on Orcas Island. Take a trip a half a mile above Orcas Island to the top of Mt. Constitution, or head out to Deer harbor , then spend some time exploring the trails and Cascade Lake at Moran State Park. The beaches on the West and South sides of the Island are beautiful and worth your visit as well.
Half or the islands shops, restaurants and businesses are closed during wither months, but it makes for even more of a quiet and surreal experience and there are still plenty of spots to shop for treasures and get a great bite to eat. We ate most our meals at the Doe Bay Cafe (full restaurant with delicious brunch, dinner and delicious drinks) and we were very pleased. They have a farm to table seasonal menu and supply many of their ingredients from the sustainable Doe Bay Garden. The fresh cinnamon roll and ham and cheese croissant are must if you go for brunch and the lamb tagliatelle and fresh bread with butter was our favorite.
As always the San Juan Islands make for the sweetest little getaway and wonderful adventures!
Make ferry reservations especially during summer months.
For alternative travel check out Kenmore Air and fly to the Islands via seaplane!
Pack your bikes and helmets for even better exploring!
Bring snacks, cribbage and reading for the ferry line and ride.
Always book your trip to the Islands early especially during summer months and check out the Doe Bay Fest!
Have a blast and don’t stop exploring and making MAGIC!!