The San Juan Islands are a small grouping of islands that all make for a great day trip from Seattle Southside.
To get there, head north on I-5 for about an hour and a half until you reach Anacortes. From there, you'll have a chance to ride the ferry to the main island. San Juan Island is a local favorite and it makes for a perfect family getaway. You will be transported to a world of delicious food, amazing views, rich history and friendly people. While the island is relatively small, with not a street light in sight, it has much to offer visitors. Anything from riding scooters around town or going to the Pelindaba Lavender Farm, there are many activities to fill a delightful day.
Tourists can walk around the community-friendly town and its historic art galleries, bookstores, antique stores, boutiques, and charming cafes. There is also plentiful wildlife and many outdoor activities which include exciting tours like whale watching and kayaking. But one of the greatest draws to the area are the lavender fields at Pelindaba Lavender Farm, which grow organic lavender and are open to the public for free year-round. If you want to see the "peak of purpleness", however, go between July and August, though there are many things to do at the farm May through October. When flowers are in blossom, you can even cut your own bouquet!
History and Lighthouses
The lighthouse pictured above is called the Lime Kiln Lighthouse, after the lime kilns that once dominated the island economy, which has left its imact around the isle. A crucial ingredient for mortar, this building material was needed in growing cities, and steady supplies were in high demand. Roche Harbor, at the north end of the island, provides vacationers with historical architecture like Hotel de Haro, which has stood since 1886. It was originally built as a bunkhouse for the men who worked in the lime kiln, producing 1,500 barrels per day. The hotel is now a resort for guests to stay in and many weddings take place during the summer in a church built close to the building.
Kayaking on Puget Sound
We should also mention how family-friendly the island is, with activities for all age groups. Kayaking is lots of fun, whether you have your own gear or you rent from one of the kayak tour guides in the area. Other outdoor fun for the kids include biking, going to the American Camp Historical Park (that has a large bunny population and can be fascinating for the kids), and even zip lining! There are also beaches and parks that can be pleasant for the kids and these places are a great setting to spend time with the family.
San Juan Island Zip Lies
Zip San Juan has eight different zip lines that allow you to experience the natural landscape and wetlands of San Juan Island. Zipping from different platforms lets you soar past trees, giving you a viewpoint that usually only birds can see.
If travelers have a passion for food and wine, the island offers delicious restaurants that include Duck Soup, Downriggers, McMillin’s Dining Room, and Vinny’s Ristorante. A majority of the restaurants serve northwestern cuisines with an emphasis of fresh seafood because of the prime location. San Juan Vineyard, an adorable little locally owned winery, was once an old school house circa 1895!
Visitors who want to relax and escape to without traveling too far from Seattle Southside should consider the San Juan Islands because of all the attractions and activities to see and do!
The islanders are very welcoming and the weather during the summer is amazing! It is an enjoyable place to visit and a vacationer can either unwind with a glass of wine or be adventurous and zip line through the forest. The San Juan Island gives a wide variety of things to do which makes it a great destination.