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Ride a ferry to one of the four main San Juan Islands for a relaxing Pacific Northwest vacation. Stay in one spot, ferry between islands or rent a sea kayak to venture to some of the hundreds of smaller named and unnamed landmasses and reefs.
Start your trip on San Juan Island in Friday Harbor, the county seat and biggest town. Visit the Whale Museum to learn about the large mammals living year-round in the waters around the islands. Whale watch from Lime Kiln Point State Park or from a tour boat. Look for orcas, humpbacks, minkes, gray whales, sea lions and porpoises. Drive or cycle on the scenic byway to Roche Harbor past lavender and alpaca farms and the English Camp San Juan Islands National Historical Park. Learn about the Pig War between the U.S. and Canada over ownership rights to the islands.
Orcas Island is named after an 18th-century viceroy to Mexico and the patron of a Spanish explorer, not after orca whales. However, you can also observe the giant mammals from its shores. Climb Mount Constitution in Moran State Park near Eastsound and notice the town’s historic homes. See the works of more than 45 local artists at Orcas Island Artworks in Olga.
Lopez Island’s 63 miles (101 kilometers) of sandy shoreline offer views of Mount Baker. Bike around the island to farms growing grapes, apples, pears and kiwis. Lopez Village has restaurants, a museum and shops to serve the island’s 2,500 year-round residents and many more tourists.
Bring a picnic onto the inter-island ferry to Shaw Island. If you walk or bike, the ferry is free. Visit the beaches of Shaw County Park, where you can camp overnight year-round. Rent sea kayaks and explore other islands and reefs not served by ferries.
The San Juan Islands are part of Washington State. Traveling here from Seattle or Vancouver, Canada, takes roughly 3 to 4 hours. Drive to Anacortes, Washington, and ride the Anacortes-Friday Ferry to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island.
Located in West Sound, this vacation home is 2.5 mi (4.1 km) from Turtleback Mountain and 2.6 mi (4.1 km) from Orcas Island Golf Course. Orcas Island Historical Museum and The Funhouse Discovery Center are also within 6 mi (10 km).
Located in Orcas Island, this resort is within 12 mi (20 km) of Turtleback Mountain, Orcas Island Golf Course, and Orcas Island Historical Museum. The Funhouse Discovery Center is 11.1 mi (17.8 km) away.
Located in Orcas Island, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Orcas Island Historical Museum and The Funhouse Discovery Center. Orcas Island Golf Course is 2.2 mi (3.5 km) away.
Located in Roche Harbor, this spa resort is within a 10-minute walk of Roche Harbor Marina and San Juan Islands Sculpture Park. English Camp and Reuben Tarte Memorial Park are also within 3 mi (5 km).
Situated in Friday Harbor, this motel is within a 10-minute walk of San Juan Islands Museum of Art, San Juan Historical Society and Museum, and Whale Museum. San Juan Island National Historic Park and Cattle Point are also within 9 mi (15 km).
Situated near the beach, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of San Juan Historical Society and Museum and San Juan Islands Museum of Art. Whale Museum is 0.5 mi (0.8 km) away.
Located in the heart of Friday Harbor, this spa hotel is within a 5-minute walk of San Juan Islands Museum of Art and Whale Museum. San Juan Historical Society and Museum is 0.3 mi (0.5 km) away.
Situated in Friday Harbor, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Whale Museum and San Juan Islands Museum of Art. San Juan Historical Society and Museum is 0.6 mi (0.9 km) away.