We know a lot of you are parents - and parents of young kids at that. One of the worst things our writer Kate Neidigh was told when she was pregnant was that she'd "never travel again" once baby was born. Well guess what - that doesn't fly with us! There are plenty of places that are baby-friendly around these parts, and we've sent Kate and her ten-month-old baby June on a series of family-friendly adventures to prove it to us. She'll help you navigate your way around must see (baby friendly) spots in the state. It's all about how to satisfy your wanderlust with kids in tow. So far, Kate's traveled to Whidbey Island and Mt. Rainier. This is Part Three: Besties and Babies on Orcas Island. Happy travels!
What's better than one baby? Two babies of course. My bestie Whitney and I loaded up the SUV and took our babies June and Nash on a weekend getaway to Orcas Island. We are pretty brave, considering both are not even one yet and have opposite nap times. It definitely made for a memorable (noisy) getaway.
With the car seats side-by-side we set out towards Anacortes to catch the ferry to Orcas (make sure to make a reservation). We stayed two nights at Waveside Dream Cottage, which is super darling and has an awesome location. It's really close to the ferry and has a great waterfront view, with a full kitchen, dining room, two bathrooms, giant bedroom...you get my drift, this place is a home away from home with everything you need for you and your little ones (even a washer and dryer). There's a giant walk-in closet in the master bedroom that we put a portable crib in, a perfect little room for a babe to sleep. There's a little store nearby to grab snacks and wine (and more wine). The cottage was so relaxing we made dinner and stayed in on the first night. There's a little porch out back perfect for watching the sunset and sipping wine while the little nuggets nap.
The next say we ventured out to the Eastsound for shopping and lunch. We grabbed a bite at Roses Bakery Café, which was packed full of families. Our kiddos got lots of waves, and chatty diners stopping by to say hello - such a friendly atmosphere! We ordered the fresh beet salad and vegetable soup, and I could have eaten one million loaves of the bread they served. The kids' grilled cheese was devoured in seconds, making a huge mess. When I started to clean up the tornado of crumbs surrounding them, the server came over to me and told me to stop. Actually, what he really said was “That’s really cool of you to clean up after your kid, but you don’t need to here. That’s why people come here, to get a break – don’t worry about it, we got you covered”.
I love you, sir.
There's a bakery and shop attached to the restaurant that offers an assortment of baked goods to satisfy your sweet tooth and a full deli with the best cheeses, deli-style meats and olives. Plus there's wine, and lots of it. We purchased a variety of bites and wine that we took back to our cottage and snacked on the rest of the trip.
And let me just say - Eastsound is awesome. There are tons of baby-friendly places to grab a bite and it’s super walkable. We strapped the two babies in a double stroller and walked all around exploring the shops. We loved Darvill's Bookstore and Coffee, Tres Fabu, Printshop Northwest and Monkey Puzzle (lots of wearable art). I suggest wearing your little one on a front-pack instead of using a stroller. It was a pretty snug fit and difficult at times to lug the stroller up and down the steps and get it into some of the smaller boutiques. After a long day, both kids fell asleep in the car which gave us the chance to drive around and admire the scenery while the babies napped. There's tons of cute vacation homes, views of the water and boats that I can only dream of owning one day.
Our last day started with a light breakfast at Brown Bear Baking. The coffee and pastries are to die for, making it a perfect stop for breakfast, brunch or lunch. You get to see the bakers at work, and little baby Nash was eager to join the kitchen staff. After a walk near the beach, we stopped for lunch at The Madrona Bar & Grill. The steak salad was larger than expected; perfect for sharing. The best part was the view and other patrons.! We ended up making friends with just about everyone in the restaurant. But let's be honest - June and Nash stole the show.
What's not to love about Orcas Island? The people are uber-friendly because they all WANT to live there. The views are stunning. The food is delish. Another family vacay is already in the works. If you still have holiday shopping to do, I suggest booking a get-a-way to Orcas, it won't disappoint!
***Next stop, Long Beach Washington!