By Kelley Granger


Sailboats near the Moran Mansion

You’ve been wanting to “sail away, sail away, sail away,” since Enya’s 1988 hit, “Orinoco Flow” rocked the new age charts. Now you’ve got the chance, and it’s a lot more feasible than traveling to the shores of Tripoli. Instead, head to the shores of Orcas Island, part of Washington State’s gorgeous San Juan Islands for Rosario Resort and Spa’s package deal, “Set Sail for Adventure.”


The Moran Mansion dates back to 1909

This is not your ordinary sightseeing sail – you’ll be learning the ropes as you take in the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, including wildlife like seals, otters and eagles. The package includes hands-on lessons in the Cascade Bay, two hour theory classes, two nights’ accommodation and breakfast in the historic Moran Mansion, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is loaded with nautical artifacts. After the two-day training program, you’ll be in ship-shape with the American Sailing Association, who will confer a basic keelboat certification to you.


One of 10 treatment rooms at the Rosario Spa

But the adventure doesn’t have to stop there. Guests can take advantage of more than 30 miles of hiking trails in the Robert Moran State Park, go sea kayaking or join a whale watching cruise. Nearby facilities provide golf, horseback riding and scenic flights over the San Juan Islands. Once back at the resort, you also might want to navigate your way to Rosario’s spa for a massage, facial, acupuncture or signature body treatment like the “Simplicity of Orcas,” a green tea and Pacific seaweed salt glow. Take advantage of the whirlpool, sauna, indoor therapeutic pool and fitness center that are also on site.


The view from Rosario’s Cliffhouse Honeymoon Suite

The “Set Sail for Adventure” package is available for arrivals every Tuesday and Sunday between June 1 and September 30, and starts at $899 for double occupancy. If your wallet and the resort allow, see if you can book the Cliffhouse Honeymoon Suite, which is by far the most updated and attractive room. (Think four-poster king size bed, vaulted ceilings, a gas fireplace and an oversized jetted tub with views of the bay.) See for more information.

Originally published May 2008
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