Get your first taste of Orcas Island as you set out from the ferry terminal to Eastsound, with a stop in beautiful Deer Harbor.
Orcas Island has a great mixture of terrain and is the most challenging of the San Juan Island chain in terms of elevation change. On your ride, you will pass by pristine bays, open countryside, and forested country roads. Enjoy this mellow ride and head out on the town in small but lively Eastsound, which has a great variety of bars and restaurants.
The climb out of the ferry terminal is the toughest you'll face today but enjoyable nonetheless. Cruise along the coast as you head to Deer Harbor, a prime spot for whale watching tours. As you head back from Eastsound, you'll have a chance to stop at Orcas Island Winery if you fancy a wine tasting. Eastsound itself has its own brewery as well as a plethora of restaurants and bars to choose from. You will surely build up an appetite on this great introductory ride. There are few options for food and drink until you arrive in Eastsound so plan accordingly. There is a great general store at the ferry terminal and we recommend stocking up on a few supplies there before starting your ride.
You'll be traveling on paved main roads for the entirety of this ride but use caution as most roads have minimal shoulders. Motorists are generally very courteous to cyclists but use caution at all times.
Before starting your ride it’s always worth inspecting your bike for any damage. Check for any damage to the frame, components or wheels. Ensure there are no loose cables and that the tires are inflated and the brakes are working. Always wear a helmet when biking. If you are doubtful of the condition of your rental bike please call the office or the local bike shop on the number provided in your information pack. We also recommend keeping your bike light on and set to flash, even during daylight and stay away from posted private property areas.
Always be prepared to bike through a change of weather conditions and do check for any local weather warnings before cycling. Good shoes, a windbreaker-type layer, sunscreen, and sunglasses are ideal items for a sunny day. If you happen to have rainy weather, waterproof pants and a jacket are a must.
Most cyclists wear [fingerless] bike gloves for some padding on the handlebars. Don't forget a spare battery pack for an emergency charge of any navigation unit you may decide to use. Don't forget your camera and even a pair of binoculars if you plan on spending a little time whale watching.
Points of Interest
This picturesque harbor has a great restaurant, grocery store, and marina with daily whale watching departures by Deer Harbor Charters available. Take a walk on the dock or check out Deer Harbor Preserve, a small beachside park just up the road.
Sample some local wine from this family-run boutique vineyard as you cruise towards Eastsound.
Just up the road from downtown Eastsound, you'll find this casual brewery with a great outdoor patio. Locals flock to this beer haven for tasty brews, cheeseburgers on the grill, and a lively atmosphere.
Food and Drink
There are a few food options at the Orcas Ferry Terminal as well as the marina general store in Deer Harbor. Once you reach Eastsound, there is no shortage of fantastic restaurants, cafes, and groceries. Some of our favorites include Hogstone's Wood Oven, serving up freshly made thin-crust sourdough pizzas and variety of local farm to table dishes. If you're in the mood for a craft cocktail, The Barnacle is a small, lively establishment that feels like you walked into someone's living room. With only a few tables and a daily rotation of new experimental drinks and platters, this place is a can't miss!