Weekends at San Juan Islands

Written by Crystal Seas

San Juan Islands is a favorite weekend getaway where you can unwind and rekindle your nature side. Just a few hours’ drive and ferry from Washington and Seattle, you can reach the scenic islands, enjoy the beaches, hike on nature trails and kayak through smaller islands and bays.

How to Get There

You can get to San Juan Island via ferry or plan. The most common option is to drive up to Anacortes Washington Ferry terminal. From there it takes only 1 ½ hr ferry ride to Friday Harbor in San Juan Island. There are also ferries that go to Orcas, Lopez and Shaw Island. For those planning to go to smaller Islands like Eliza and Blakely, you have to catch seasonal ferries. Alternatively, you can fly from Seattle from chartered seaplanes.

Nature Encounters at San Juan Islands

From Harbor bay, you can visit at the local San Juan Island historical and whale museum. You’ll also find a lot of kayaking Washington tours and rentals near the marina. Kayak trips in San Juan and Orcas Island is a favorite among families and adventure lovers. A full day or a 3-hr kayak trip can be an experience of a lifetime. You’ll pass through byways of several smaller islands, with scenic views of snowcapped mountains and lush green forests. The highlight of the paddling trip is when you get the chance to kayak with orca whales.

From there, you can head to Jackson beach, the nearest where you can have your picnic lunch and grill. Or for those who want to see amazing views of the San Juan Islands archipelago, head to Orcas Island. A trek to Mount Constitution in Moran State Park has the best panoramic views.

Crystal Seas offer kayak and whale-watching tours ideal for groups and families. They’re awarded as the best tour company in the west coast for 2014 by Sea Kayaker Magazine.