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Orcas Island: Rosario Resort & Spa

We left Portland on Friday morning and headed back up to Anacortes for a little more boat time. Our original plan was to head up on Thursday night after Kevin returned from a business trip, but Portland was all icy and stuff, so we decided to wait for the daylight.

We stopped at Black Rock Seafood in Anacortes before we got to the marina (provisions, yo) and picked up a Dungeness crab, some halibut, some frozen shrimp to test out our new decktop freezer, and two small containers (one each) of salmon pâté and albacore pâté. The owner was super friendly and even offered to deliver seafood down to the marina sometime if we arrive without a car. Score! We love this place even more now.

This morning was cold and a little frosty in Anacortes. I fixed us some breakfast (spinach/crab/egg/hollandaise) and we decided to head to the marina at Rosario Resort & Spa on Orcas Island. We took the long way (around the bottom of Lopez Island and then up to Orcas). The weather today was spectacular. Clear, sunny, calm, perfect.


Cattle Point Lighthouse, south end of San Juan Island:







We had the Garmin in the 3D Mariner's Eye View mode, and it was pretty cool. Center, left of the pink course line, you can see the WSF Elwha (Washington State Ferry) on radar:


And just as advertised…there it is (left)!


Oh yeah, and this:


Our spot for the night at Rosario:




As many times as we've been to Orcas Island (and we've been here a LOT), we've never been to Rosario. The resort is gorgeous and our moorage fee ($1/foot, so $34 bucks for us) includes not only electricity and water, but all spa facilities (!!!). For both of us. There's an indoor saltwater pool, a dry sauna, hot tubs, and two workout rooms. For additional charge you can schedule a massage or facial. Pretty sweet! I think we'll be back! 

The center of the resort is the Moran Mansion, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was built in 1904 by Robert Moran, a Seattle mayor who was also a shipbuilder and had a whole lot of property here on Orcas that he eventually donated to the State of Washington to be used as the park that today bears his name: Moran State Park. 

Here's the Moran Mansion as we approached from the water:


After we checked in, we went into the Mansion Restaurant and had a cocktail and a couple small plates (garlic truffle fries, some wild boar salami with grainy mustard, and a delicious goat cheese with quince jam). Bad low light iPhone photo of said drinks and snacks:


Everything was delicious and I think we'll go back in the morning for breakfast. 

After snacks we went upstairs to check out the Moran Museum. There's a giant Aeolian pipe organ with 1,972 pipes that Moran had installed at the Mansion. It's still played regularly for concerts on Saturdays at 4pm:


…some nice stained glass:


…and bunch of other neat things. Check out this enlarger:


Cool light fixtures:


We wandered around the grounds a bit before returning to Airship for the evening. The main floor with the rounded windows in this photo is the restaurant/dining room (with a great view of Cascade Bay out the front):


Looking back at the mansion from the other side of the outdoor pool (closed for the winter):


As tempting as it is to stay here another night and just hang out in the spa tomorrow, we'll probably head out to another island…maybe Stuart Island again since we only had lunch there and didn't stay the night. Sucia Island is also tempting (all those hiking trails!) I guess we'll decide in the morning.

Here's today's course (click to enlarge):



  1. Susan C. Susan C.

    Very nice! And a soft landing.

    • It’s so pretty there. We’re getting completely spoiled though, boating during the off season as our first go of the San Juans. This place is FULL in the summer.

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