How To Have The Perfect Holiday In Orcas Island

Are you ready to embark on a winter adventure and celebrate the Christmas holiday in style on enchanting Orcas Island? This Pacific Northwest gem offers the perfect backdrop for a festive escape filled with stunning landscapes, outdoor delights, and a sense of tranquility that’s second to none. 

As we delve into the best things to do on Orcas Island, explore the most delightful Orcas Island shopping spots, and unveil the exciting events on Orcas Island that will fill your days with joy, we’ll ensure that your Christmas holiday is a memorable one. Join us on this journey to discover the secrets to a perfect Christmas on idyllic Orcas Island, and find out how our Orcas Island hotel rooms will elevate your holiday experience.

About Orcas Island

Orcas Island, a horseshoe-shaped gem in the heart of the San Juan Archipelago, is where natural beauty and island charm collide to create an unforgettable experience. A 35-minute drive from the tranquil shores of Deer Harbor on the west to the serene landscapes of Doe Bay on the east will reveal the island’s diverse topography. 

The island’s central region boasts rolling farmlands, where sheep and horses leisurely graze under the Pacific Northwest sun. On the west, you’ll encounter a dry, rocky terrain adorned with scrubby vegetation, while the eastern side of the island unveils the majestic Mount Constitution, rising 2,409 feet above sea level within Moran State Park, the highest peak in the San Juan Islands and offering unparalleled panoramic views.

As you explore Orcas Island, you’ll discover miles of breathtaking coastline, wildlife, lush vegetation, and friendly locals who never stop smiling. This place, lovingly called the Emerald Isle, invites you to embark on adventures like hiking, scenic drives, cycling, swimming, horseback riding, kayaking and even whale watching. 

Holiday Events On Orcas Islands

As the holiday season approaches, let’s unwrap the delightful Orcas Island events and traditions that transform this island into a winter wonderland!

Tree Lighting Ceremony

Imagine sipping on warm apple cider, munching on cookies, and basking in the glow of the beautifully lit tree while the Community Band fills the air with beloved holiday tunes. The Tree Lighting Ceremony held annually at the Village Green is the most magical night of the year on Orcas Island bringing smiles to everyone’s faces. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be there too to add a touch of North Pole charm, making the little ones’ eyes twinkle with joy.

Santa’s Ship

Set sail on a heartwarming holiday adventure with Santa’s Ship, a beloved Orcas Island tradition that’s been spreading cheer since 1947. Back then, islanders faced the challenge of reaching the mainland to see Santa, often using rowboats as their mode of transportation. They came up with an ingenious idea: why not bring Santa to them? That’s how Santa’s Ship was born!

Now, every year, the ship first heads for the Canadian Gulf Islands before making its way to the San Juans, stopping at various islands along the way. As the ship arrives at each destination, it’s a sight to behold. The crew, in their whimsical costumes, greets the islanders with carols and laughter, and Santa and Mrs. Claus disembark to hear children’s Christmas wishes, take photos, and even share small gifts.

This year, as always, Santa’s Ship will make its arrival, come rain or shine, at the San Juan County Public Dock at Orcas Landing. It’s a holiday tradition that warms hearts, brings joy, and reminds us all of the magic of Christmas. 

Artisan Holiday Fairs

Couple looking at holiday shopping display

Get ready to immerse yourself in a festive wonderland at the Artisan Holiday Fairs, a beloved village tradition filling the Odd Fellows Hall with creativity and cheer.

Luxurious woven wearable art, dazzling jewelry, exceptional glassworks, ceramics, fine furniture, basketry, home goods, wreaths, ornaments, paintings, books, and photography will grace this historic hall. It’s a treasure trove of unique gifts and holiday delights! Plus, you can satisfy your taste buds with scrumptious pastries, lunch foods, cookies and seasonal beverages.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to find the most unique and delightful gifts for your loved ones, enjoy tasty treats, and get into the holiday spirit. 

Kids’ Holiday Craft Fair

It’s that wonderful season again when Orcas kids can let their imaginations run wild and create fantastic crafts for holiday gifts and decorations.

All island youngsters are welcome to join in the festive fun. At craft-making ‘stations’, kids, guided by enthusiastic volunteers, can craft recycled wool felt decorations and pouches, bead and wooden spool ornaments, decoupage pins and frames, and hand-stamped gift bags and cards. 

It’s a delightful way for young ones to express their creativity and make unique, heartfelt gifts for the holiday season. Don’t miss this chance to add a touch of homemade charm to your celebrations.

Plan Your Visit

Ready to experience the Orcas Island holiday magic for yourself? Browse our entire inventory of Orcas Island hotel rooms to find the perfect accommodations for your stay!

Choral Society Concerts

Be swept away by the enchanting melodies of the Orcas Choral Society! 

This talented group of singers shares a deep passion for bringing beautiful music to life, enriching the lives of not only the performers but also the delighted audiences and the entire community. Established in 1978, the Orcas Choral Society has since graced the stage with a diverse array of concerts, from traditional Christmas carols to the magnificent Bach’s B-Minor Mass.

Under the batons of esteemed directors such as Catherine Pederson, Roger Sherman, Marianne Lewis, and now, Bruce Langford, the choral society’s commitment to musical excellence shines through. As Lynn Baker, Choral Society president, puts it, “We love to sing, and carols are especially joyful. This is our gift to the community, and we hope you’ll join us for this musical fun!” 

Gingerbread House Competition

Gingerbread house
Photo from Shutterstock

Get ready to ignite your inner artist in the Gingerbread House Competition! This festive showdown is open to everyone, from adults and teens to the youngest bakers. The name of the game? Create your gingerbread masterpiece using gingerbread and frosting as your canvas. There are 12 fabulous prizes up for grabs, including cash rewards and generous donations to local non-profits. The excitement is real!

So, grab your gingerbread, whip up some frosting, and let your holiday spirit soar. Get ready to craft a gingerbread wonder that might just snag you one of these fantastic prizes! It’s a recipe for holiday season delight, so don’t let the Gingerbread House Competition pass you by.

Book Your Stay At One Of The Finest Orcas Island Hotels

When it comes to finding the ideal place to stay during your Christmas vacation, we’ve got you covered with our charming and cozy Orcas Island hotel that will make your holiday nothing short of exceptional. Experience the finest in Orcas Island lodging by booking your stay at The Village Inn at Eastsound. 

Why choose The Village Inn? Our idyllic destination is a tranquil island retreat where you can fully immerse yourself in the Pacific Northwest lifestyle. Our eco-friendly accommodations provide a cozy and homey atmosphere. With modern amenities, luxurious extras, and a coastal touch, our hotel on Orcas Island makes for the perfect escape.

We are dedicated to offering a luxurious experience with private indoor and shared outdoor spaces that seamlessly blend with the beautiful surroundings. Each of our water view Orcas Island hotel rooms ensures your vacation experience is crafted to perfection.

Book your stay at the finest of Orcas Island hotels and let The Village Inn assist you in planning your dream getaway. Your perfect escape begins here!