San Juan Islands is calling! Discover its whale watching, island views, camping, and more.

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.

Known for

Whale Watching, Nature and Islands

Top Hotels in San Juan Islands

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Image for Friday Harbor Suites
Friday Harbor Suites
2.5 out of 5
680 Spring Street, Friday Harbor, WA
$144
per night
Oct 2 - Oct 3
4.1/5Very Good! (276 reviews)

Situated near the beach, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of San Juan Islands Museum of Art and San Juan Historical Society and Museum. Whale Museum and ...

4.1/5Very Good! (276 reviews)

"Well run. Friendly helpful staff. Great breakfast lounge area. Could hear people moving in the room above."…"

Reviewed on Sep 13, 2019

Friday Harbor Suites
Image for Roche Harbor Resort
Roche Harbor Resort
3 out of 5
248 Reuben Memorial Dr, Friday Harbor, WA
$106
per night
Sep 30 - Oct 1
4.5/5Wonderful! (280 reviews)

Nestled on the beach, this Friday Harbor resort is within a 10-minute walk of Roche Harbor Marina and San Juan Islands Sculpture Park. Wescott Bay and Reuben ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (280 reviews)

"Fun to be right next to the harbor and see the beautiful boats."…"

Reviewed on Sep 15, 2019

Roche Harbor Resort
Image for Earthbox Inn & Spa
Earthbox Inn & Spa
2.5 out of 5
410 Spring Street, Friday Harbor, WA
$130
per night
Oct 2 - Oct 3
4.1/5Very Good! (333 reviews)

Located in the heart of Friday Harbor, this spa hotel is 0.3 mi (0.5 km) from Whale Museum and within 9 mi (15 km) of English Camp and Lime Kiln Point State ...

4.1/5Very Good! (333 reviews)

"They allowed early check-in and use of the facilities before rooms are available. Nice, clean rooms with amenities and an outdoor lounge area next to the pool. Extremely friendly and helpful staff! Location was so easy and convenient. Offer single gear bikes for visitors for free, but you probably ..."…"

Reviewed on Sep 10, 2019

Earthbox Inn & Spa

Popular things to do in San Juan Islands

Lime Kiln Point State Park
Image for Lime Kiln Point State Park

Lime Kiln Point State Park

Also known as Whale Watch Park, this diving site is one of the best places in the world to view wild orca pods from the shore.

English Camp
Image for English Camp

English Camp

More than 150 years ago, the British Army prepared for battle on this site during the Pig War. Now, it’s a thought-provoking homage to the islands’ dramatic history.

San Juan Island National Historic Park
Image for San Juan Island National Historic Park

San Juan Island National Historic Park

Explore the great outdoors at San Juan Island National Historic Park, a lovely green space in Friday Harbor. While you're in the area, stroll along the waterfront.

Top activities in San Juan Islands

Whale Watching Day trip from Seattle to San Juan Island
Image for Whale Watching Day trip from Seattle to San Juan Island

Whale Watching Day trip from Seattle to San Juan Island

$106

Hop on the San Juan Clipper and cruise out of Pier 69 on the only San Juan Island whale watching tour that leaves directly from downtown Seattle.

San Juan Islands Orca Wildlife Kayaking Tour
Image for San Juan Islands Orca Wildlife Kayaking Tour

San Juan Islands Orca Wildlife Kayaking Tour

$109

Embark on a kayaking adventure off Roche Harbor in search of orcas inhabiting the waters surrounding San Juan Island. A professional marine naturalist leads the group and provides fascinating knowledge of Puget Sound’s ecosystem, as well as current conservation efforts to protect the cetaceans.

San Juan Whale Watching Tour from Seattle
Image for San Juan Whale Watching Tour from Seattle

San Juan Whale Watching Tour from Seattle

$111

San Juan Island is one of the world's best places to view Orca whales in the wild. Naturalists point out fascinating wildlife while cruising along the rugged coastline. Board the 55-foot (17-m) vessel, the Sea Lion, where there’s plenty of room to roam the boat and marvel at the wildlife.

San Juan Island Tour Flight from Seattle
Image for San Juan Island Tour Flight from Seattle

San Juan Island Tour Flight from Seattle

$360

Enjoy a breathtaking flight from Seattle's Lake Washington to Friday Harbor aboard one of our classic 6-passenger Dehavilland Beaver seaplanes. Experience views of the Puget Sound, the Seattle Skyline, and the San Juan Islands before the splash-down landing in Friday Harbor on a 50 minute narrated seaplane tour flight.

Bike Lopez Island, Bicycle Magazine's #1 Ride in Washington
Image for Bike Lopez Island, Bicycle Magazine's #1 Ride in Washington

Bike Lopez Island, Bicycle Magazine's #1 Ride in Washington

$25

Discover why Bicycling Magazine ranks Lopez Island as the best ride in Washington State. With a gorgeous combination of pastoral and coastal scenery, a Lopez ride is a “must do.” Bike to the quaint village of Lopez and grab a bite to eat or pack a picnic and pedal to a stunning park or sandy beach.

Whale-Watching Cruise with Expert Naturalists
Image for Whale-Watching Cruise with Expert Naturalists

Whale-Watching Cruise with Expert Naturalists

$73

Take in the beautiful sights of British Columbia on an educational whale-watching adventure from Victoria ! Enjoy a three-hour cruise on the Pacific and spot majestic orcas (killer whales) while learning about Canada’s marine ecosystem from two onboard naturalists.