Summer Getaways: San Juan Islands

Visiting this set of rural islands is truly a Northwest summer treat.  There are areas in the San Juan Islands where nature has remained untouched, not far from how they were discovered by Spanish explores in the 1770s.  Today, the San Juan Islands are best known for activities such as sea kayaking and whale-watching, but Friday Harbor boasts great shopping, dinning and enterainment as well.  With 172 named islands and reefs, the San Juan Islands allow for your own exploration deep into a very special part of Washington State.

The San Juan Islands are a great summer travel destination for seniors because of the variety of natural attractions, the accessibility of facilities and the slower-paced lifestyle. A scenic 1-1.5 hour ferry ride from Anacortes brings you into Friday Harbor, the central hub for the San Juan’s.  Other Islands, such as Orcas Island and Lopez Island, are accessible via the ferry system within the archipelago. 

Historical sites pepper the islands, including Lime Kiln Point State Park and the San Juan Islands Historical Museum. To encourage your senior's time-traveling experience, there are 18 total National Historic Registry sites to visit. Artists have also made their impression on the islands. The Orcas Island Arts Tour is a great way to see the craft of local jewelers, potters, sculptors and musicians.

While a trip to the San Juan Islands can be a day-trip, spending a few days is always recommended. You will not have a problem finding a place to stay or things to do. If you are looking to explore a version of the prestine Pacific Northwest, the San Juan Islands are gently calling your name.

Published on June 4, 2016.