Where in the World are the San Juan Islands?

San Juan Islands TourismWhere are the San Juan Islands? Well, before we journey even farther north, we must start in Port Angeles, Washington. This coastal town is one of the northernmost points in the state, north of Seattle and just south of Vancouver Island. Here, visitors can participate in activities such as whale watching and water sports, while the George Washington Inn offers premier lodging with deluxe suites and spa amenities. With oceanfront breakfast views and lighthouse scenes, the setting is breathtaking, and the inn’s own lavender farm is another local attraction. The George Washington Inn has partnered with the Puget Sound Express out of Port Townsend to offer an all-day whale watching tour for guests. Available early May through late September, the day-long cruises combine orca watching with an on-board naturalist with a tour of the beautiful San Juan Islands. You’ll also spend two hours in Friday Harbor for a little shopping, dining and sightseeing. For convenience, this tour package can be added onto your reservation.

Where are the San Juan Islands? On the Edge, in the Sun

The San Juan Islands may sound like they belong in more tropical waters, but their place is on the edge of the Northwestern United States. Well, off the edge, technically, in Puget Sound. However, San Juan Islands weather is significantly brighter than its rainy neighbor of Seattle. In fact, the island boasts an average of 247 days of sunshine a year. This is thanks to the rain shadow effect of the Olympic Mountains, situated to the south. Though the lower 70s are the peak summer temperatures, the lows don’t break 36 degrees, which means no snow or ice.

How to Get There: Take a Ferry or Plane

The four main San Juan Islands are Orcas, San Juan, Lopez and Shaw Islands, which are each serviced by ferry. The whole island archipelago involves 172 land masses, but these four are the ones you want to visit, each featuring plenty of activities and attractions. And San Juan Islands whale watching is available off their coasts! To get to these islands, though, you will have to take a ferry or plane. One San Juan Islands ferry is the Washington State Ferry, which provides a leisurely one-to-two-hour ride with plenty of time to sightsee and take in the ocean and mountain views. The Olympic and Cascade ranges rise in the distance, while snow-capped Mount Baker steals the show. Land and sea planes are also available for private charter for a more personal experience.

What To Do When You’re There: Outdoor Adventures

Once you arrive, bicycling, bird watching, kayaking, and scuba diving are just a few adventurous activities to embark upon. And if you didn’t spot any whale tails on your ferry or plane over, ample opportunities abound from island territory. You’ll be sure to view some spectacular lighthouses and other waterfront views as well! Restaurants and shops are available for the less adventurous, offering some delectable local seafood and unique boutiques perfect for purchasing gifts. For more information on things to do on the Olympic Peninsula, download our Vacation Guide today!