San Juan Islands – Popular Tourist Attraction
Abounding with natural beauty, endless activities, and beautiful places to explore, San Juan Island is the perfect place to relax on a day trip or weekend gateway. The island has distinct personality and is the second biggest island in the San Juans County. There is something new around every bend in San Juan Island – a sweeping valley, lavender farm, vineyards, historic architecture, deep forest giving way to the shining sea, iconic lighthouses, and more. You get to explore a variety of beauty and serenity each and every moment of every day while you visit.
Things to do and see in San Juan Islands
- Tourist Attractions: San Juan Island is overflowing with natural beauty, history, arts, culture, and many tourist attractions. Just one square mile in size, Friday Harbor is the walkable hub of San Juan Island and is filled with art galleries, bookstores, antique shops, cafés and restaurants. Whether you want to attend a live concert, wish to go on a whale watching adventure, or are simply looking to relax in the shade and enjoy the beautiful scenery, Friday Harbor has it all. This walkable hub of San Juan Island is a great place to start your journey of discovery. Next you can head to the San Juan Historical Society and Museum. It consists of an original farmhouse, carriage house, root cellar, and milk house in addition to the first San Juan County jail and a pioneer log cabin. The San Juan Islands Museum of Art is another place to explore the history of this beautiful island and a great destination for your family. This museum of art offers exhibitions for paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography and more from around the world. The Cattle Point Lighthouse is a rocky formation with an unused lighthouse that offers a dramatic view of the whales and wildlife of surrounding waters. Roche Harbor is a great place where you can enjoy the beautiful views and pleasant weather. There are plenty of interesting things that you can enjoy here in Roche Harbor such as kayaking, hiking, swimming, and shopping. Located on the west side of San Juan Island, Lime Kiln Point State Park (Whale Watch Park) is a 36-acre day-use park with an iconic lighthouse with parking lot, restrooms, and seasonal interpretive center. If you're lucky enough, you can see minke whales, porpoises, seals, sea lions, otters and bald eagles which also cruise the shoreline quite often. You may have heard about "The Pig War." Whether you have or not, you may want to check out English Park to discover why this park is famous for the Pig War. It has a few historic buildings, a formal garden, and cemetery remains. Don't forget to visit American Camp, which was home to U.S. soldiers during the U.S./British occupations in 1800s. This Camp region is also home to more than 200 species of migratory birds. Other tourist attractions that you can visit during your charter vacation include Stuart Island State Park, Reuben Tarte County Park, Blind Island State Park, IMA Sculpture Park, Jones Island State Park, Posey Island State Park, and Memorial Park to name a few.
- Best Beaches: San Juan offers astonishingly beautiful beaches for visitors to explore and experience. South Beach in American Camp National Historical Park is the longest beach in San Juan Island. Here you’ll find fire pits, barbecues and picnic tables. Watch for orcas, bald eagles, otters and seals. The 4th of July Beach is at the south end of the island and a great place to watch the fireworks during Independence Day on 4th of July. Jackles Lagoon can be easily accessed from 4th of July Beach, and is an amazing place for picnicking and hiking. Deadman Bay is located just before Lime Kiln State Park. Here you can watch the whales, practice stone-skipping skills, and explore the tide pools. Granny’s Cove is a sandy beach located in American Camp. Take your kids to this beach and while here, build sand castles and watch birds.
- Adventurous Activities: You can enjoy an amazing whale watching experience while in San Juan Island as magnificent orca (killer) whales live in and around San Juan waters year round. Get out on the water on board your own private yacht charter for a whale watch tour to get the best chance to see whales in their natural habitat. Cycling is perhaps the best way to experience San Juan. Rent a bike and go on a cycling tour to make your island adventure even more amazing. If you're on a quest to watch whales, then kayaking is another great way to see these giant marine animals. The kayaking routes around San Juan waters are carefully designed to maximize your probability for a whale encounter! You will likely see orcas, seals, sea lions, porpoises, otters, eagles and more. Choose horseback riding if you wish to explore the majestic natural beauty of this hilly Island from atop mountains. Whether you are looking for a saltwater fishing opportunity or freshwater fishing experience, San Juan makes your fishing adventure a pleasurable one with abundance of fish species and numerous fishing hot spots. You can catch Chinook, Sockeye, Pink Salmon, Greenling, Pacific Halibut, and Lingcod along with common species such as Copper, Founders, Quillback, Gopher, Yelloweye, Vermillion, and Grass Rockfishes. San Juan also boasts amazingly beautiful golfing grounds including Golf & Tennis Club and Similk Golf Course.
- Shopping and Dining: Visitors are often intrigued by the many retail offerings in San Juan Island. From co-op studios, galleries, boutiques to chic clothing stores, San Juan has it all. Some of the popular shopping destinations include Kings Market, Farmer's Market, Waterworks Gallery, Arctic Raven Gallery, Friday Harbor Souvenir, Funk & Junk Antiques, Krystal Acres Alpaca Farm, The Toy Box, Pelindaba Lavender Friday Harbor Product Gallery, and Eastsound Liquor & Wine. Fine dining in the San Juan Islands means gourmet food and laid-back atmosphere. Most of the restaurants feature inventive dishes made from local produce, fish, meats and foraged ingredients. Some of the must try restaurants that utilize local ingredients include: Blue Water Bar & Grill, Doe Bay Cafe, Greenside Grill, Backdoor Kitchen, Downriggers, Coho Restaurant, Friday Harbor House Restaurant, San Juan Island Cheese, Duck Soup, Cynthia's Bistro, Friday's Crabhouse, and Backdoor Kitchen to name a few.
- Day Trips: In San Juan Island, you will be transported to a world of amazing beauty, panoramic views, abundant wildlife, rich history, and friendly people. After you're done with all of the non-stop fun of the tourist attractions, outdoor activities, shopping and dining in San Juan Island, you can plan your day trips to nearby destinations for a memorable experience of this region of the Pacific Northwest. At Pacific Northwest Yacht Charters, we will help you plan your charter trip to Lopez Island, Shaw Island, Orcas Island, and Decatur Island. These are the sister islands of San Juan Island and are located in San Juan County. Known as the “gem of the San Juans,” Orcas Island offers exciting natural and cultural experiences. Lopez Island, Shaw Island and Decatur Island have plenty of outdoor adventures waiting for you. You can also charter a private yacht to visit Whidbey Island, Desolation Sound, and Seattle. If you can extend your trip, then do visit Vancouver and Victoria in British Columbia. They are the perfect destinations in the Pacific Northwest to enjoy both urban luxury and natural beauty at the same time.
With the magnificent beauty, friendly people, and plenty of things to do and see, San Juan Island is a haven for tourists from all over the world. Whether you are planning a weekend trip to San Juan Island or a weeklong vacation, Pacific Northwest Yacht Charters will accommodate all your charter needs. Our experienced charter consultants will help you find the right yacht for your San Juan Island vacation. Click on the link to see our Fleet of Luxury Yachts or contact us directly at 702-401-4284 to discuss your charter needs with one of our charter consultants. To find out more about popular destinations in the Pacific Northwest, click on the link or hit the back button.