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Kangaroo House B&B on Orcas Island
1459 North Beach Road PO Box 334
Eastsound-Orcas Island, WA, 98245, USA
(360) 376-2175
Jill and Charles, Owners and Hosts

Kangaroo House Bed & Breakfast


Kangaroo House Bed & Breakfast is a lovely historic landmark, built in 1907 as a large Craftsman Bungalow hotel, with local fir and cedar lumber and fieldstone for the architectural features. Having been a B&B for more than 33 years, Kangaroo House is the longest continuously running B&B in the San Juans, and has won wide acclaim for great food and a friendly relaxed atmosphere. Check out rave reviews online from the guests themselves.

The lodge-like ambiance of the spacious living room, with its broad fieldstone fireplace and mission style furnishings invites you to melt into the comfortable setting and relax. Spend a quiet afternoon curled up with a book. Linger over one of our fine, homemade breakfasts in the bright and airy breakfast room or on the sunny deck. After a day of hiking, cycling, sailing, or shopping, enjoy an intimate and relaxing soak in the garden hot tub under the stars.

At Kangaroo House Bed & Breakfast, hospitality means a welcoming atmosphere where you feel like you're at a friend's house, not waited on by a servant. Please use and enjoy the old world furnishings and feel free to make yourselves at home. We think that's the way a vacation should be - relaxed, without a whole lot of fuss or rules.

Breakfast at Kangaroo House

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We are proud to serve you a satisfying breakfast made from scratch. We strive to use the freshest organic ingredients - seasonal fruits, vegetables, smoked salmon & meats and other locally sourced ingredients including herbs, fruits, greens and edible flowers from our own garden whenever possible. Our breads, pastries, and muffins are made and baked in our own kitchen, including fresh scones our guests swear are "to die for!"

Both of us love to cook and eat, and we put a lot of our time into preparation. Your morning meal may include fresh cut ripe fruits, Blueberry or Cherry Clafouti, a Chorizo and Vegetable Frittata, hearty wedges of Alsacian Rosti, Wild Alaskan Salmon Quiche, Stuffed Baked Pears, Homemade and Home-Baked Granola, Pecan Pie Bites, Cloudcakes (incredibly light and fluffy pancakes), home-marinated crispy bacon, or a host of other artfully prepared breakfast items. Did we mention that we love to cook?

Think of a Kangaroo House breakfast as a little dinner party you've been invited to in the morning with a table set just for you, lots of yummy dishes, with us as your hosts. We are happy to work with our guests' special dietary needs such as allergies or medical restrictions and can cook without the food you can't or don't want to eat. It can be difficult for us to work in last minute requests, as you can see from the dishes listed above. So, be sure to note your dietary needs under special requests on the online reservation system. This will allow us time to shop for the perfect ingredients.

Beverages are put out at 8am, and breakfast is served at 9am each day. Or, we can pack a substantial breakfast package to go for early risers.

The Garden at Kangaroo House

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Set back 150 feet from the road, with it's deep porch and oversized windows, the inn at first glance does not look like the 6,000+ square foot lodge that it is. Protected from deer by a high fence, winding grass paths wander through the wilds of the back garden all the way back to the open-air hot tub in a secluded spot the yard. The garden has been certified as a Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and has been planted to attract the widest variety of animals possible.

The guest deck, with container plantings and hanging baskets, provide an overlook to the gardens and a place to relax, sip wine, watch the sunset, and you don't have to be a birder to enjoy the antics of all the various birds (about 50 different species identified so far) coming and going at the feeders. Right now the garden hosts many species of birds returning and starting to raise their young. The view from the hot tub at night shows a million twinkling stars in blissful silence.

About your hosts

Jill and Charles had diverse evolutions of careers that took them around the country and abroad before they took the plunge to own and run a B&B. Charles had a growing passion for the natural world, vernacular architecture, handmade tools & craft, and there never seemed to be enough opportunity to delve deeply into those things. Jill always relished the arts, literature, and literary events. When hosting celebrations in the past, Jill was sorry friends and writers had to go home afterward, and busily planned the next event. Inviting guests to stay with them, enjoying good conversation & food, and sharing the wonder of the islands with others makes them particularly happy.

Jill has spent most of her life exploring Western Washington and the islands. When not creating mouthwatering offerings for guests, she writes and teaches fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, and enjoys running a non-profit organization to promote the arts called Artsmith. Charles loves making and building things by hand, antique tools, blacksmithing, and work crafts lost to the industrial revolution. Together they enjoy all the arts, an unapologetic love affair with food, travel, independent bookstores, antiquing, the outdoors, and stealing away to find every nook and cranny of Moran State Park.

While visiting, you might see Aengus, our friendly orange tabby (and incidentally the god of poetry and love) who likes to frequent the flower beds or other sunny spots and just might inspect you at the hot tub. He is not allowed inside no matter what he tells you. You will probably also see Campbell, our sweet, quiet, enormous spotted pooch. He is also not allowed in the inn (He can clear a coffee table with one swish of the tail), but can be spotted early in the morning and again in the afternoon bounding down North Beach Road with one of us in tow. If you want to meet Campbell, let us know (and be prepared to be licked.) If you want to meet Aengus, you'll probably have to hunt for him in the garden.

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Yes, Virginia, there really was a kangaroo...

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Originally built as a vacation hotel in 1907 by a stonemason named D.W. Gafford, Kangaroo House had a succession of fascinating owners over the years. In the early 1930s Captain Harold (Cap) Ferris, a skipper on the Matson Steamship Line, purchased the home after staying here previously as a guest.

Cap brought a young wild kangaroo home from a voyage to Adelaide, Australia. On voyage back to Orcas, Cap played music on the pipe organ he had installed on his ship to calm the young joey . Cap & Virginia named her Josie, and she delighted their family and islanders with her high spirited antics. She was adept at predicting the weather, and the Ferris's knew a storm was brewing when Josie chose to lie down under the big cedar tree on the north side of the house.

Old timers still delight in telling us stories about Cap's unique pet. The islanders and their children loved Josie, and this lovely old home has been known as "Kangaroo House" ever since. Back in the 1900s through the 20s it was named the Aloha Hotel and Aloha House when the San Juans were a stopping point for voyages to and from Hawaii. It has served as a haven for travellers to Orcas Island for over a century and as a Bed & Breakfast for 33 years and counting, the longest continuously operating B&B in Washington's San Juan Islands.