The San Juan islands are a stunning slice of paradise. I highly recommend a visit to at least one of the islands if you have time. But keep in mind that they are jam-packed in the summertime. If you are planning on making a day trip out of it, leave early and know that you'll be arriving home late. Take a picnic and a cooler with you (we have a cooler that we can lend you if you are staying at our vacation rental). And you should definitely make a reservation for the ferry, lest you find yourself trapped unexpectedly on an island overnight! Reserve here:
When summer starts Seattlites head to the San Juan Islands. Just off the coast of Washington the San Juan Islands are accessible by Washington State Ferry in Anacortes or by high speed boat from downtown Seattle. Orcas Island's raw landscape and charming village are perfect for hiking, kayaking and eating lots of fresh, locally sourced food. San Juan is slightly more developed and makes a perfect day trip from Seattle.
San Juan Island is a must-visit place if you're going to be in Seattle. It's not in the city itself and you do have to drive North for almost 30 minutes but it's well worth it, especially when the weather is nice. The San Juan Islands are a series of islands in the same vicinity. You can board the ferry with your car and get off on any of the islands. Just make sure you catch the last ferry back or you will be stuck on the island for the night. During certain seasons, you can actually see whales but you can usually see sea otters year round. The islands are beautiful. The ferry ride is an experience in itself. The islands are also amazing. There are many wonderful restaurants and local shops that you can visit. You can actually stay on the islands. Some of the bigger islands have hotel accommodations but it's extremely expensive. I didn't want to pay that much so we just made it a day trip.
The San Juans in the summer are Heaven. Beautiful islands, blue sky, blue water, soaring Eagles, breaching Orca Whales, tall green trees, lakes for swimming, and beaches for walking. After a day of hiking, kayaking, sailing, boating, nature watching, or exploring the villages and towns, there are great restaurants, and beautiful starts to watch.