Never mind that Orcas Island, the largest island in the San Juans off the northern coast of Washington, was named for the viceroy of Mexico who commissioned an expedition to the Pacific Northwest in the late 18th century—this is still one of the best places in the country to spy killer whales, also known as orcas.
And this week's Escape to Orcas Island is just in time for the beginning of whale-watching season. Get a one-night stay for two, Sundays through Thursdays ($99), or a two-night stay for two, Fridays and Saturdays ($209), in a Lodge Room at the Deer Harbor Inn.
You'll also get 20 percent off additional nights and an upgrade to a private pet-friendly cottage for an additional $90 per night. (Lodge Rooms aren't fit for small children or pets, though cottages are.)
Situated on the west side of the island, just off Massacre Bay, the inn was originally built in 1910 and was the area's first resort. It's since been torn down and rebuilt (except for the restaurant, which is mostly original), and the Carpenter family has been running the show since 1982.
They've outfitted each of eight Lodge rooms with a private bath and cozy log furniture including a queen-size bed. Chat with other guests in the common rooms, which are appointed with a gas fireplace and a TV with DVD player.
But with whale-watching season blowing its top beginning in April, you'll want to forgo TV in favor of a whale-watching tour for two with 30-year-old Deer Harbor Charters ($10 off each guest with your Escape). Along with the black-and-white orcas, you'll be looking for the bald eagles, porpoises, and seals that call the protected waters of Deer Harbor home.
Afterward, unwind with a massage or facial at the inn's on-site Ataraxia Spa Cabin, where you'll get $20 off the treatment of your choice.
Finish your evening with $5 off each of two entrées at The Deer Harbor Inn Restaurant. Out one window, you'll see stunning views of the Olympic Mountains; from the other, serene Deer Harbor. Complement the vistas with a dish of ultra-fresh seafood served with seasonal fruits and veggies, soup, salad, and fresh bread.
"The most beautiful of the islands," Frommer's says of Orcas. Indeed, when you time your migration with that of the majestic orca whales, you'll find it hard to disagree.
PAID VALUE DOES NOT EXPIRE
PROMOTIONAL VALUE EXPIRES ON October 21, 2012
The Deer Harbor Inn
One-Night Stay for Two, Sundays through Thursdays ($99) or a Two-Night Stay for Two, Fridays and Saturdays ($209) in a Lodge Room; 20% Off Additional Nights; $5 Off Each of Two Entrées at The Deer Harbor Inn Restaurant
- from $99