Orcas Island Thanksgiving Trip With Dog
November 16, 2020 12:19 PM   Subscribe

I have an airbnb booked for Thanksgiving weekend on Orcas Island (WA) and I'm wondering 1. if there are any accessible beaches I can take my dog? and 2. Where should I get take-out from?

I was bummed about not being able to celebrate Thanksgiving this year (can't travel and friendsgiving seems challenging due to the wet/cold November we're having in Seattle) so I booked a small cabin on Orcas Island for myself and my dog. I figured I'd spend a lot of time reading by the fire in the cabin but also take my dog to a different beach each day to run around (or walk on-leash if required, not out to break any leash laws).

Except, oops, upon further research it appears there are very few public beaches on the island, and some of the ones that are there, require hiking down from a bluff, which I may or may not be able to do, due to some knee issues. Is there something I'm missing? Are there beaches that aren't obviously public parks but that are known to be places you can park nearby (ie, less than half a mile away, and without a steep grade) and walk on?

And while I'm asking, where should I make sure to get take-out from that will be open? I'll be staying on the east end of the island (at Deer Harbor) but would love recs from anywhere on the island. I like all different kinds of food.
posted by lunasol to Travel & Transportation around Washington (8 answers total)
 
Response by poster: (Oh and just because I know I would wonder about this if I were reading this: I'm going to drive onto the ferry, won't get out of my car, will be staying in a place I won't interact with people, and will do everything I can to minimize my contact with others while on the Island. Doing this in the safest way I can.)
posted by lunasol at 12:30 PM on November 16, 2020


Can't answer your questions about beaches, but with the rollback in restrictions announced today, even if there are places to order takeout that are open now, there is no guarantee they will be open (or still in business) around Thanksgiving. So if I did go, I'd take my own food with me.
posted by kindall at 12:59 PM on November 16, 2020 [2 favorites]


That's the one island I haven't been to, of the San Juans. Here to recommend you contact your AirBnb host. It's likely he or she or they will have good info. I often do that before trips.
posted by DixieBaby at 1:09 PM on November 16, 2020 [2 favorites]


My aunt just had a dinner that she enjoyed at the Orcas Hotel in late October - it looks like they're still operating - but yes that may change. Not sure about the other restaurants in the off season - but I can say that the chocolate cake at the Orcas Village Store by the ferry landing is worth the calories and they have plenty of prepared foods. I'd also check with Roses Bakery Cafe in Eastsound - a wonderful restaurant that is doing take out as of 11/14 .

The Deer Harbor preserve provides public access to a beach - not sure if they allow dogs. Same with Crescent Beach. Both of those are easy to access because I don't hike when I'm on Orcas. You could check out Judd Cove Preserve too. When the tide's out many people walk down to the beach in East Sound - sometimes all the way out to Indian Island.

FWIW - my family has a cabin on Shaw and we go to Orcas a fair bit - it being the closest island. I was there this summer and they were trying to figure it all out like the rest of us.
posted by rdnnyc at 1:17 PM on November 16, 2020


Deer Harbor Inn is pricey but good, Rose’s Bakery is really delicious. Crescent Bay is very accessible for walking.
posted by gryphonlover at 6:51 PM on November 16, 2020


I think Catkin Cafe is still open and offering takeout. I recommend the lemongrass tofu sandwich, but I wonder if they'll have T-day specials. I'd call now and find out. It's in Olga.

Mountain Lake has a (lake) beach and a nice long loop walk around. Cascade Lake also has a loop trail that's very nice.
posted by 10ch at 7:55 PM on November 16, 2020


> So if I did go, I'd take my own food with me

Seconding this. I've been to Orcas off-season and had problems finding food (other than at a grocery store) even when there weren't travel restrictions.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:42 AM on November 17, 2020


Response by poster: Thank you all so much. The responses here, plus some additional research, led me to actually cancelling my trip. I wound up having a very peaceful and safe Thanksgiving at home and it turned out to be great!
posted by lunasol at 11:18 AM on December 3, 2020 [1 favorite]


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