Whale vs. deer—no, it's not the latest YouTube sensation. The two will be vying for your viewing pleasure with this week's Escape to Orcas Island, host to a huge population of black-tailed deer and one of the country's best places to spot migrating orca whales.
The largest island in the San Juan archipelago also plays host to Deer Harbor Cottages, offering a two-night stay for up to two adults and two children, Sundays through Thursdays, in The Cottage on the Bluff ($284) or for up to eight guests in the Norton's Harbor View Cottage ($410).
The charming Cottage on the Bluff is pet-friendly and features a propane fireplace, a king-size log bed, a full-size cottage couch, a kitchenette with stove, microwave, fridge, and coffee maker, a private bathroom, and a satellite TV with a library of DVDs. Venture outside to your deck, where a four-person hot tub overlooks the harbor and the pristine Olympic Peninsula.
The three-bedroom, two-bathroom Norton's Harbor View Cottage sits on a knoll overlooking Deer Harbor. With its king-, two queen-size beds, double twin, a queen-size airbed, a pack-n-play crib, and a full kitchen, this spacious home comfortably accommodates up to eight guests. Watch the sunset over the Olympic Mountains from the Jacuzzi spa on your private deck; stretch out with a book on the leather couch; or play pool, foosball, basketball, and darts in the game room.
Either way, you're a short walk from the harbor. Use your $20 per person whale-watching vouchers and head out into the tranquil, protected waters that killer whales, minke whales, bald eagles, seals, and porpoises call home. Open-water kayaking offers similar thrills, while landlubbers will revel in the numerous hiking trails frequented by black-tailed deer.
After a day of activities, use your $25 per person massage vouchers at the Ataraxia Spa Cabin before taking a short evening stroll to the family-owned Deer Harbor Inn Restaurant. You'd be wise to use your voucher for 20 percent off one entrée on the famous locally caught, wild king salmon or halibut.
Forget whale vs. deer—had you passed on this dream vacation, it would've been you vs. regret.
PAID VALUE DOES NOT EXPIRE
PROMOTIONAL VALUE EXPIRES ON April 13, 2013
Deer Harbor Cottages
Two-Night Stay for Up to Two Adults and Two Children, Sundays through Thursdays, in The Cottage on the Bluff ($284) or for Up to Eight Guests in the Norton's Harbor View Cottage ($410); $25 Massage Voucher per Guest; and 20% Off One Entrée