The Garden House on Orcas


Entire cottage hosted by Joe

4 guests, 1 bedroom, 1 bed, 1 bath
Entire home
You’ll have the cottage to yourself.
Enhanced Clean
This host committed to Airbnb's 5-step enhanced cleaning process.
Self check-in
Check yourself in with the smartlock.
Great location
95% of recent guests gave the location a 5-star rating.
The Garden House is a lovely living space located above an artist studio on 6 waterfront acres. Light-filled, with cathedral ceilings and dormers, the Garden House has a combined kitchen and sitting room with hide-a-bed, a private bedroom, and a bathroom with shower. See COVID comments below.

The space
COVID notice:
Please check on the local COVID status at San Juan County Washington's web site before making a reservation during the summer months of 2020..

The Garden House is maintained with an intention to minimize toxicity in operations: it is kept dander free, laundry soaps are organic and odor-free, sheets are 100% cotton (mostly flannel). Seasonal flowers in the garden are available for guest-picked bouquets. The pottery studio is available for tours, conversation and hands-on clay exploration. There is an extensive and eclectic library. The intentional absence of a flat screen encourages guests to explore non-digital experiences. Please read the house manual and "the neighborhood" (see below) for helpful information.

Where you'll sleep

1 queen bed

What this place offers

Beach access
Free parking on premises
EV charger
Private patio or balcony
Indoor fireplace: wood-burning
Pack ’n Play/travel crib
Children’s books and toys


Well-lit path to entrance
Wide entrance for guests

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4.92 out of 5 stars from 333 reviews


Where you’ll be

Olga, Washington, United States

Doe Bay Resort is less than a minute's drive; they have an excellent cafe, a small store and serve as a launch area for Shearwater Kayak trips. The Catkin Cafe and Artworks are in Olga, about 5 minutes west from the Garden House.
I recommend you download a comprehensive list of available restaurants so you can plan meals out (and make reservations), particularly during peak periods like summer and weekends. A one-page summary of all dining choices on the island is available in the Garden House, provided by the Orcas Island Chamber of Commerce (go to the chamber's web site and look for the "Dining Guide" link.
Email, text or call me if you wish a local's view on places to choose and places to avoid.
You would most likely not be reading this if you did not intend to explore the beauty, tranquility, small scale and rural quality of the San Juan Island archipelago and perhaps Orcas Island in particular. Nothing stays constant: growth pressures are huge. I sincerely invite you to weigh in on preserving the islands from becoming what you don't want, as San Juan County is undertaking an update to its entire growth concept. This future roadmap is called a Comprehensive Plan and as I write it is being crafted. Visitor input to what you want to preserve and cherish will absolutely help shape this growth. Absent your input, read the lyrics to Joni Mitchell's Big Yellow Taxi. You can learn about the challenge at KeepSanJuansWild. I sincerely welcome and encourage your engagement in communicating your desire that what you have come, or will come, to experience will be preserved for future visitors and residents. An ounce of prevention is worth far more than a pound of cure.

Hosted by Joe

  1. Joined in April 2015
  • 333 Reviews
  • Identity verified
  • Superhost
Orcas Island has been my home since 1970. I am a crystal-glaze potter (Hot Ice Orcas), author ("Potholes in Paradise" about Orcas), community activist on energy, land use, and farm/food supply issues (currently president of the board of Island Stewards, former Farmer's Market Board treasurer, former board president of Coffelt Farm Stewards), wannabe musician (piano), father, grandfather, designer/builder of the Garden House on Orcas, micro-philanthropist; more too but self-promotion is embarrassing. If you are attracted to Orcas and would like to ensure that it remains rural, beautiful, invitational and welcoming, please visit KeepSanJuansWild, where you can learn about the significant challenges facing the islands and how you can support wise long term preservation of what brings you here. Every heart-felt comment helps move the needle.
Orcas Island has been my home since 1970. I am a crystal-glaze potter (Hot Ice Orcas), author ("Potholes in Paradise" about Orcas), community activist on energy, land use, and farm…

During your stay

Guests are greeted upon arrival (whenever possible). I am always available to answer questions or make suggestions, yet my prime concern is for guest privacy.

Joe is a Superhost

Superhosts are experienced, highly rated hosts who are committed to providing great stays for guests.
  • Response rate: 100%
  • Response time: within a few hours
To protect your payment, never transfer money or communicate outside of the Airbnb website or app.

Things to know

House rules

Check-in: After 2:00 PM
Checkout: 11:00 AM
Self check-in with smart lock
No smoking
No parties or events

Health & safety

Committed to Airbnb's enhanced cleaning process. Show more
Airbnb's social-distancing and other COVID-19-related guidelines apply
Carbon monoxide alarm
Smoke alarm

Cancellation policy