We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Help with trip planning-please.

wisconsin
Level Contributor
12 posts
4 reviews
Save Topic
Help with trip planning-please.

My family would like to vacation for a week in the San Juan Islands and Seattle.We would fly into Seattle drive to ferry to San Juans. We would like to find a good island to serve as a base and then take day trips for biking on different islands. Where would you suggest we stay? Where is the best biking? Can you explain how the ferries work and how early you need to be to catch them? Afterwards we'd like to go back to Seattle and spend a couple of days in the city, before flying home. I welcome your ideas.

1. Re: Help with trip planning-please.

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This post has been removed at the author's request. The author may post again if desired.

Posts on the TripAdvisor forums may be edited for a short period of time. Once the edit period has expired, authors may update their posts by removing and reposting them.

To read more about editing your posts, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/help/how_to_edit_your_posts

Removed on: 10 April 2012, 11:59
Edited: 10 April 2012, 11:59
2. Re: Help with trip planning-please.

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This post has been removed at the author's request. The author may post again if desired.

Posts on the TripAdvisor forums may be edited for a short period of time. Once the edit period has expired, authors may update their posts by removing and reposting them.

To read more about editing your posts, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/help/how_to_edit_your_posts

Removed on: 10 April 2012, 11:59
Port Townsend...
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park, Port Townsend
Level Contributor
8,948 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Help with trip planning-please.

Lopez is the flattest, therefore the best for biking, but San Juan isn't bad either. But there are fewer accommodations on Lopez. You might be best to stay in Friday Harbor as that puts you at the ferry dock when you start your day exploring other islands.

For the San Juan ferries, you arrive and pay the toll. They tell you which line to get in and you park your car and wait. You can walk around, and have a snack in the terminal building. When your boat comes you follow the car in front of you onto the boat. It's recommended to plan to arrive at least an hour before the sailing you want. 90 mins to two hours in the summer. Schedules and more info are here:

http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/

Ferries in the sound area (Seattle, Bainbridge, Kingston, Bremerton, and others) are much simpler. You arrive whenever you like/do and get on the next boat. Sailings on these are much more frequent than the San Juan ferries.

Let us know if you develop more questions.

Green Valley...
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park, Seattle
Level Contributor
18,001 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Help with trip planning-please.

The first two posts, I removed, got garbled in editing, so here again are my suggestions, and pretty much consistent with Pala's.

Lodging: It's getting late for week long lodging but perhaps you'll find what you want. We like Lonesome Cove. Or, perhaps, lodge on two islands.

Base Island: We much prefer San Juan Island itself with much to see and to do, plus lots of water access, parks, etc. See TA article, below.

Biking: Lopez is known as the bikers' island, gentle ups and downs with a few exceptions. San Juan next, but more traffic (which really isn't a lot, but you need to know this), and more hilly. Orcas is hilly much of the island.

Ferry matters: Allow 2 hours, Seattle to Anacortes. Assuming summer trip here, allow at least '1 hour, I prefer 2 hours, prior to departure time. I'd get the earliest ferry you can to preclude any boarding difficulties. Even if you miss the one you want, you'll get on the next one, but that includes waiting and time lost. To return, inquire of the ferry terminal folks on your return island as to when to be in line. If in Friday Harbor on SJI, you can park, walk the town and marina, dine, etc., return to car for boarding. Returning from Orcas, same thing, but you'll be on a "bluff" with not a lot to do while waiting, though there are a few shops. Lopez terminal, nothing there, you sit and wait on a steep hill for the ferry, which is no problem if you are in line as suggested by ferry folks.

This TA article and the websites should help you know what to do, what to see, etc. Post back with more question.

San Juan Islands (Specific information on the several major islands, with key websites.) tripadvisor.com/Travel-g58727-c102104/San-Ju…

An official guide to the islands. http://www.visitsanjuans.com/

San Juan Island Rental Houses http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=Vacation+Doorways+on+San+Juan+Island

Hiking in the San Juan Islands, WA

thesanjuans.com/…20Anacortes.htm

Informative Site for Orcas Island www.turtlebackinn.com/moran_park_brochure.pdf

Whale Watching Information

www.island-adventures.com/about/contact.php See the table on this page for each whale species.

www.orcanetwork.org/sightings/map.html#map

gonorthwest.com/Washington/Activities/whales…

Edited: 10 April 2012, 12:01
Green Valley...
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park, Seattle
Level Contributor
18,001 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Help with trip planning-please.

When I said "Assuming summer trip here, allow at least '1 hour, I prefer 2 hours, prior to departure time." I should have said "... at the terminal."

6. Re: Help with trip planning-please.

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 12 April 2013, 05:19