We Washingtonians know summer really starts July 5, which makes the San Juan Islands an even more desirable destination since it receives only half the amount of rain Seattle does. Clearly the San Juan Islands have more to offer than just the weather, with spectacular scenery that will make you stop and stare. So bust out those flip flops and head over to one of Washington’s top vacation destinations!
Named one of the top world travel destinations by the New York Times, you are guaranteed to fall in love with the San Juan Islands. Though over 700 islands and reefs comprise the San Juan Archipelago, the main islands are San Juan, Orcas, Shaw, and Lopez. To get to the islands, relax onboard a ferry or the Victoria Clipper as you take in the sights. Or you can really make an entrance and take a seaplane to an island!
With 408 miles of coastline, the activities are endless. Kayaking, sailing, biking, and hiking are just some of the many summer adventures to fill your day. If you need motivation to bike up that last hill, you can daydream about the incredible food you will find on the islands. There are amazing restaurants on all the islands, but for the food connoisseur, something exciting is happening on Lummi Island, an easily accessible island near Bellingham. On this little island, Chef Blaine Wetzel, originally from the restaurant Noma which was (literally) named the best in the world, is creating culinary magic at Willow’s Inn. Or try Allium Restaurant on Orcas Island, which boasts critically acclaimed Chef Lisa Nakamura.
But the true reason everyone should visit these islands is the spectacular landscape and natural beauty. Many parts of the islands have been protected from development, leaving beautiful inlets, towering old growth, dramatic cliffs, and wild coastline. The real action, however, is in the water. The San Juan Islands are home to three pods of Orca whales and some of the best whale watching in the world. Watch these magnificent creatures and other wildlife throughout the summer from a chartered boat, or a kayak for the more adventurous. Make sure to make your reservations early, because the islands are the place to be in the summer! Get all the information you need HERE.