Although we didn't stay overnight at the Rosario Resort & Spa on Orcas Island, we still strolled the self-guided museum inside the main building and checked out the sweet views from all around the property. The Resort is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was built by Robert Moran between 1906-1909. Name sound familiar? Adjacent is Moran State Park, also named for the dude, and one of Washington's first state parks made with land donated by Moran.
As you can imagine, Moran had some cash. He earned it in Seattle as a big time shipbuilder. His company, Moran Bros, became the largest shipbuilding outfit around and Seattle's largest employer around the start of the 1900s.
Interesting fact: Robert was inspired to purchase this huge lot in the San Juans (Rosario & the adjacent land that is Moran State Park) by his travels to Alaska with John Muir in the late 1800s. Moran was the onboard engineer on Muir's boats and often chatted him up about the deforestation of the Northwest. Who the heck is John Muir you ask? The founder of the Sierra Club!
The museum is free and open to the public. The grounds are gorgeous, the crazy organ/piano room is awesome and concerts are held regularly. There's a restaurant, marina, spa, they've got it all. Not bad Moran, not bad!
~Paul & Amber ETC
The Resort & History about the place
The John Muir & Robert Moran connection
While exploring Orcas Island we stumbled upon the Lieber Haven Resort at Obstruction Pass. Gorgeous views, a fab mermaid statue, a mini beach, an old ship, a crazy little resort with cottage & kayak rentals, and a boat ramp/dock.
All of this salty action is just around the corner from Obstruction Pass State Park - we have yet to check it out. It's a pretty cool little area and it would be a great place to stay on a long paddle around the islands!
~Paul & Amber ETC
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