A TRULY HISTORICAL GETAWAY TO ROSARIO RESORT
This slice of old-world elegance is literally a piece of history: Rosario Resort & Spa is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The mission-style mansion dates back to 1909, created by shipbuilder Robert Moran as a retreat amid incredible natural beauty. A place to relax, recover and recharge. Just don’t call it rustic. it’s updated to include every modern convenience.
The resort is known for the craftsmanship of its construction and a full array of amenities from the full-service spa to the waterfront restaurant and fireside cocktail lounge. The Aeolian organ, which is composed of 1,972 pipes, is housed in a special music room. Located along Cascade Bay, this is one of the more special destinations served by Kenmore Air.
Seasonal service, April to October, flying from either Kenmore Air Harbor or Lake Union, arriving at the pier aboard one of Kenmore Air’s six-seat de Havilland Beavers or eight-seat Otters. If you’re seeking something more intimate, the Cessna 180 is a two to three passenger floatplane that is the most economical charter option. Sorry, no complimentary baggage storage on-site.
Arrive at Eastsound Airport, a short drive from the resort, as Kenmore Air Express provides year-round service to Orcas Island with its fleet of Cessna 208 Caravans and Grand Caravans, which accommodate eight to nine passengers. Paid parking is available by day or week, complimentary on-site bag storage is available.
There are more than 100 rooms and suites on the 30 acres of Rosario Resort with guests able to choose from views of the harbor or the bay or — if preferred — a hillside room located a 15-minute walk up from the mansion, looking down on Cascade Bay.
There are two outdoor pools on the property, a full-service spa and every opportunity to buoy your spirits. The mansion includes a nautical museum and every Saturday at 4 p.m. there’s a presentation from Christopher Peacock, the Rosario historian who includes a musical component in his program.
YOU’LL FIND FOOD, FARMS, AND FUN AT WEST SOUND
Orcas Island is the largest of the San Juans, and West Sound often gets overlooked. Sure, Rosario Resort offers Old World elegance and Eastsound is the island’s bustling hub, but West Sound features the food and the farms that have earned Orcas Island its reputation in the culinary world while retaining a little more laid-back approach.
A ferry ride to Orcas requires a drive up to Anacortes, but with Kenmore Air, you’re just an hour away and then you’ll be traipsing up an island road to the Orcas Island Winery or finding a food-and-farm tour. And don’t let the casual ambience fool you, the Kingfish Inn is a culinary gem and its partnership with nearby OrcaSong farm will have you absolutely eating up the scenery of West Sound.
Seasonal service from April to September, departing either Kenmore Air Harbor or Lake Union, arriving at the pier aboard one of Kenmore Air’s six-seat de Havilland Beavers or eight-seat Otters. If you’re seeking something more intimate, the Cessna 180 is a two to three passenger floatplane that is a most economical charter option. Sorry, no complimentary baggage storage on-site.
The protected bay makes West Sound a perfect place for kayaking, crabbing and clamming. The marina was built in 1950, and the fact that it doesn’t get the traffic of Friday Harbor or Roche Resort can actually be an asset as it’s less crowded.
THE SHINING CENTER ON THE GEM OF THE SAN JUANS
Touch down at the airport, less than a mile from the biggest town on Orcas Island, which is the largest island in the San Juans. Eastsound pulses with local businesses, shops featuring island-crafted goods, and restaurants that specialize in island-grown produce and local seafood. There’s even an outdoor performance stage, the Village Green, in the middle of it all.
Taking the ferry requires a drive up to Anacortes before even boarding the boat, but with Kenmore Air Express, a 40-minute flight from Boeing Field puts you at the airport less than a mile from town. Eastsound sits at the northern edge of this horseshoe-shaped island, right where the eastern and western halves come together. Head to the hiker’s paradise that is Moran State Park on the western half of the island, go east to Turtleback Summit or get out on the water, see some whales, wildlife, and the lushly forested hills that earned Orcas its nickname as the gem of the San Juans.
Kenmore Air Express provides year-round service from Boeing Field with its fleet of Cessna 208 Caravans and Grand Caravans, which accommodate eight to nine passengers. The Pilatus PC-12 turboprop is the newest option in the charter fleet, offering eight seats in a roomy cabin for a quiet and cutting edge flying experience. Paid parking is available by day or week, and complimentary on-site bag storage is available.
Eastsound has the largest array of lodging options on Orcas, which is the biggest of the San Juan Islands. The Outlook Inn and Smuggler’s Villa Resort are two popular accommodations in the area, but there are a variety of Bed & Breakfasts as well. The San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau has an index of all the island’s options here.
A vineyard, a brewery, whale-watching trips and fishing charters, they’re all available, and as for the island itself, the hills make for stunning views whether it’s reaching Turtlehead Summit or hiking up to the observation tower atop Mount Constitution, the highest point in all the San Juan Islands. Orcas was once the center of the fruit-packing industry, and the legacy can be tasted at the stands found all over the island.
DEER HARBOR: A HIDDEN GEM OF THE SAN JUANS
Tucked between two peninsulas, Deer Harbor is home to calm waters and one of the only sandy beaches in the island chain, making it an ideal destination. Centrally located amid the San Juan Islands, Deer Harbor is also the perfect home base for boating anywhere in the region. Enjoy the views from any of the local eating establishments that provide indoor and outdoor harbor-view dining. The biggest challenge is getting there, and Kenmore Air makes that easy with an hour-long flight.
No drive to the Anacortes ferry. No drive after getting off the ferry. You just glide up to the marina in your floatplane, arriving in a perfectly protected inlet whose gentle waters are ideal for kayaking. Or maybe you’d prefer to bike around the shoreline. Skippered sailboats are available out of the Deer Harbor marina, and you can get picnic provisions from the Dock Store or more upscale accommodations at the Deer Harbor Inn Restaurant.
Fly to Deer Harbor year-round from either Kenmore Air Harbor or Lake Union, arriving at the dock aboard one of Kenmore Air’s six-passenger de Havilland Beavers or eight-seat Otters. Seeking something more intimate? Kenmore Air offers charter flights aboard the Cessna 180, which is a two to three passenger floatplane. Sorry, no complimentary baggage storage on-site.
The Deer Harbor Inn offers a range of rooms from spa cottages to log-cabin lodge rooms with several large vacation homes also available. There are some truly unique options, too, like the Gnome House and Casa Crayola, each a one-of-a-kind experience while other vacation rentals available in the area.
It’s all about the water here whether you’re relaxing on the sandy beach, paddling a kayak on the incredibly calm waters, eyes out for the abundant marine life of this protected inlet, or getting out on a boat with charters and tours available for everything from sailing to fishing to whale watching.