Start your Pacific Northwest vacation in style, with a seaplane or ferry ride to the San Juan Islands from Seattle. It’s the ultimate way to take in the beauty of this region that Mother Nature has so abundantly blessed. You have a choice of three alluring islands – Lopez, the most rural, a mix of rolling farmland and beaches; Orcas, the largest of the San Juan Islands and replete with verdant mountains and placid lakes; and San Juan Island, where vibrant Friday Harbor welcomes ferry and seaplane guests and offers an array of charming accommodations and gourmet eateries.
Whether it’s whale-watching and sea kayaking, touring an art gallery or browsing a local farmers’ market, the San Juan Islands offer pleasing diversions for every age and interest. For the best chance to view orca whales and other sea life, plan your trip between April and September – a number of tour operators are available throughout the islands. Rev up your energy level with biking tours through rolling meadows and farmland, go birding on San Juan Island, hike the region’s modest mountains – offering outstanding vistas from the top – or go charter fishing for the day. Other favorites include hiking to Lime Kiln Lighthouse on San Juan Island, taking a scenic flight over the area, attending an outdoor summer concert in the park and horseback riding.
To truly feel like you’re at home in the San Juan Islands, consider a vacation rental for your family or group. You’ll save money and have access to a number of amenities – all while enjoying complete privacy. Pick up the goods for a lavish dinner feast at the local market, then stroll back to your waterfront cottage to prepare the meal in your fully equipped kitchen. Or, enjoy one of the islands’ fantastic restaurants, but save dessert and drinks for your private balcony when you return “home.”
A variety of vacation rentals are available, from quaint A-frame cottages on the waterfront to studio apartments in the middle of a bustling Friday Harbor to expansive estates, with every imaginable creature comfort. Amenities run the gamut from bunk beds for the kids, big-screen TVs and fireplaces to hot tubs, fireplace pits, gourmet kitchens and private docks for waterfront activities. Owners and property management companies are on-hand to make sure every aspect of your vacation rental is satisfactory and that your experience is complete.