Outlook Inn

The Outlook Inn on Orcas Island.
The Outlook Inn on Orcas Island.
written by Lauren Kramer
photography by Outlook Inn

With a stately, historic main building that dates back to 1888, the Outlook Inn is a landmark in Orcas Island’s Eastsound, a grande dame that has long been a gathering point for locals and visitors. There’s no denying the overwhelmingly peaceful beauty of a property surrounded by rocky shores and densely forested islands, and at the inn you get to enjoy this bewitchingly beautiful view from luxury waterfront suites. Here you can bask in the sunshine of your private balcony, watch the seabirds dip and dive beneath the still water’s surface and the light change color on Fishing Bay and Indian Island. Today, this is Eastsound’s best spot for a divinely recuperative getaway accompanied by quality, fine dining cuisine at the inn’s restaurant, the New Leaf Cafe.


The thirty-two-room inn offers standard guest rooms in the east wing, studio suites on the hill and its newest and most luxurious addition, five premium water’s edge suites. With patios directly overlooking a log-strewn beach and soul-soothing views stretching before you, these spacious suites feature king-size beds, electric fireplaces, heated bathroom floors, private balconies and soaker tubs in some. Expect flat-panel TVs, Nespresso machines, fine linens and thoughtful appointments throughout.

A soothing view from a suite at the inn.
A soothing view from a suite at the inn.


The inn’s New Leaf Cafe is a cozy eatery with a sumptuous selection of seasonally inspired brunch and dinner fare that belies its casual atmosphere. The well-rounded menu, carefully crafted by chef Andrew Martin, has a “tide-to-table” philosophy that highlights local products, and skillful preparation of each dish is matched by artful presentation. Don’t miss one of the handcrafted morning cocktails at brunch, and look out for the selection of San Juan Islands-made brews at dinner.

The New Leaf Cafe has a “tide-to-table” menu.
The New Leaf Cafe has a “tide-to-table” menu.


The Outlook Inn’s story began in 1888, just as Orcas Island’s Eastsound was getting established as a village. Back then, its historic main building was home to the village’s jail, post office, general store and dance hall. Over the years, the inn changed names and ownership many times, and new proprietors renovated, expanded and modernized it. But none generated as much controversy as its purchaser in 1968, the mystic guru Louis Gittner, who declared its proximity to an energy vortex and turned it into a spiritual commune where he and his followers could live and learn. Today the inn is owned by a small investment group and run by locals with island warmth, friendliness and a distinctly family feel. A small, historic chapel in the garden out back is a beautiful site for small weddings and private gatherings.

171 MAIN ST.

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