Orcas Island

A new gourmet restaurants helmed by famous foodies
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WHY: To dine at two new gourmet restaurants helmed by famous foodies. Lisa Nakamura, former chef at The Herbfarm, is taking a seasonal approach at Allium (shown above, 310 Main St.; 360.376.4904; alliumonorcas.com) in the Eastsound space formerly known as Christina’s (the magnificent waterfront view remains). Chef Madden Surbaugh, late of the acclaimed Steps Wine Bar in Friday Harbor, is heading up The Quilted Pig (1400 Rosario Road; 360.376.2152; quiltedpigrestaurant.com), the new restaurant at Rosario Resort, featuring local and organic seafood and meat dishes.

Side Trip: Don’t miss the Orcas Island Farmers’ Market in Eastsound, open every Saturday through the end of September, for local produce and products to ferry back home (10 a.m.–3 p.m. Eastsound Village Green; orcasislandfarmersmarket.org). Extra Credit: Wannabe writers should time their trip to coincide with the third annual Orcas Island Writing Festival (September 17–19. Workshop prices vary. 360.317.4383; orcasislandwritersfestival.com).

Getting There: The ferry ride from Anacortes is half the fun. Visit wsdot.wa.gov/ferries for times and schedules.

Road Trip: Concrete and East Skagit County

Road Trip: Concrete and East Skagit County

Enjoy a scenic drive and stay out in eagle country
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View the eagles during the Skagit Eagle Festival; snap a pic and enter it by January 15 in the Skagit River Bald Eagle Center’s 20th anniversary photo contest. Go win it!

WHERE: Concrete and east Skagit County.

WHY: Eagles are flocking to their spectacular winter getaway—why not join them? The Skagit Eagle Festival (1/1–1/31; concrete-wa.com) happens every January weekend, and your car makes a perfect blind for snapping pictures without scaring off these magnificent birds. Celebrate along the Skagit River with arts and crafts, wine tasting, photography tours and river rafting for eagle spotters.

NIGHT OWLS: Check out the Concrete Theatre, built in 1923 (45920 Main St.; 360.941.0403; concrete-theatre.com), updated for films, live music and events during the festival. early birds: Stop by 5b’s Bakery (45597 Main St.; 360.853.8700; 5bsbakery.com) for quality gluten-free baked goods and more for breakfast or lunch. For dinner, there’s Annie’s Pizza Station (44568 State Route 20; 360.853.7227; anniespizzastation.net), whose handcrafted cuisine would be a hit even in a town bigger than Concrete, population 753.

RULE THE ROOST: Spend the night in one of Ovenell’s Heritage Inn log cabins, located on a historic ranch across the river (46276 Concrete Sauk Valley Road; 360.853.8494; ovenells-inn.com). Pick up a steak or two—the cows are raised right there on the ranch—and throw them on the provided barbecue. Had enough of eagles? Elk, deer and coyotes are known to roam the ranch on a daily basis.