Much of the real waterfront of Eastsound has been taken up by buildings and is privately owned. However, a certain group of people had the foresight to preserve a section of the waterfront for public use, and a few blocks west of the main part of downtown it allows those who wish to enjoy the views and shoreline.
The beach isn't too much of a beach as it is typical Salish Sea stone, but it is at least a bit of waterfront access that is open to the public, and without this little bit of land preservation it would no doubt have been developed into yet another tangle of touristy stores you find everywhere in Eastsound.
There are several picnic tables, and some large trees but a fair amount of the park has been left as open grass land that is reasonably well maintained as public open space.
There are no public restrooms here. There are some located in Eastsound Green Village County Park, located slightly north and east of this park.
I did not have time to go into this museum. It is the historical museum for the entirety of Orcas Island. There are permanent displays but there are also displays that visit. For example, at this time (August of 2013) Salish Bounty from the Burke Museum in Seattle (but historical information relevant to Orcas Island) is on display.
It is definitely a thing to do for the next time I am in the area.
191 Reviews and Opinions
171 Main St, PO Box 210, Eastsound, Washington, 98245, United States
Good for: Business
1400 Rosario Rd, Eastsound, WA 98245
Good for: Business
1459 North Beach Road, Eastsound, Washington, 98245, United States
Good for: Business
1800 Rosario Way, Eastsound, Washington, 98245, United States
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Families
Over on Lopez Island, there is a place called Lopez Island Creamery. This is the local San Juan Islands ice cream, and naturally a few of the ice cream shops use Lopez Ice Cream as their primary ingredient.
Lily's is one such establishment.
The selection of flavors isn't huge, but it is broad enough to give someone a pause and want to sample a few flavors (which are gladly given) before they purchase a scoop or two.
Cones or paper bowls are available to hold your purchase while you consume it. There are also milkshakes and various other things available here. Fresh baked chocolate chip cookies are $2.
There are several tables indoors, but space is quite limited here. There are also a few tables outdoors.
The only real disadvantage is that they have not yet been able to convince the nearby restaurant with a balcony overlooking the water to allow visitors with ice cream to use the balcony. It would be great if there were a more convenient public access waterfront picnic area nearby.
Favorite Dish: Hard to Choose, but I wound up getting Mountain Huckleberry.
I did not eat at this restaurant, but I was told by the transit bus driver that this is one place you can go that has some local characters hang out in it - at least during the non-tourist season. The restaurant has an assortment of breakfast and lunch items, but closes at 3 in the afternoon.
Breakfast items include "Omelet of the Day" with "Greek Potatoes" for $10.50, Granola and Yogurt Sundae with Fresh Fruit and Raspberry Sauce for $7.50
Lunches tend towards a bit more expensive, and include a host of salad options (ie, Sarada Salad: green olives, tomatoes, red onion, garbanzos, beets and pepitas tossed with mixed greens and white balsamic vinaigrette for $12), but also such things as Pita Pizza of the day with Side Salad for $11 and some sandwich and burger options.
I was unable to try the food here because I got there after closing time. However, from the description it sounds like an interesting place, especially during the off-season.
During the peak tourist season, it is in fact possible to get to Eastsound by bus. It is a very limited service, but it operates every day during the peak demand time. According to one of the bus drivers I talked to, the primary market are those that arrive by boat and therefore need a way to get around on the island without a car. A limited number of people:
+ arrive on the ferry
+ a few others stay at the hotels and the new hostel (opened just two months ago!) and used a taxi service to get to their place of stay, but want something else to get around as the taxi service is expensive
The bus used for this service is somewhat old, but still functions quite well, and many of the drivers are school bus drivers during the regular part of the year so they know about driving a larger vehicle on the island.
Trips are $5 one way, $10 round trip, and $15 all day.
In Eastsound, the San Juan Transit bus stop is located at the Island Market, which is the largest of supermarkets (though still fairly small) and located just north of Main Street and just east of Prune Alley. The road you see on the map marked as Market Street is sort of an extension of their parking lot.
This is a bit of a difficult place to describe, as with most small establishments on the islands this is one of those places that has become several different things in order to survive the long non-tourist season.
It is part coffee shop with WifFi access and serving Stumptown Coffee.
However, the primary attraction here are the very artful and quite astounding variety of chocolates. These are considered works of art, and photography is not allowed in the store.
What to buy: The chocolates are quite good, but you have to buy to your own tastes. A small box of variety runs as much as $28 for a box of 12.
What to pay: It's expensive all right, but they are unique creations. If you don't like the prices, just get some coffee and admire what you see in the shop window.