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Things To Do Around San Juan Island & Friday Harbor

San Juan Island is known for its natural beauty and outdoor activities. One of the popular attractions is whale watching, where visitors can see orcas in their natural habitat. Kayaking is also a popular adventure on the island, offering a chance to explore the island’s scenic coastline. Visitors can also rent bikes and explore the miles of scenic trails at San Juan Island National Historical Park. Artisan markets and local shops can be explored at Roche Harbor Village and the San Juan Island Farmers Market. History enthusiasts may also enjoy exploring Lime Kiln Point State Park to learn about the history of lime production on the island. For relaxation, visitors can soak in the mineral-rich waters of the Hot Springs, or take a sunset cruise and watch the sun set over the picturesque Salish Sea.

Whale Watching

Whale watching in San Juan Island is a popular activity that attracts many nature enthusiasts, tourists, and locals alike. The island is home to numerous species of whales, including orcas, humpback whales, and minke whales, making it an exceptional destination for observing these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. There are a variety of whale watching tour companies on the island that offer different packages, such as half-day or full-day excursions, educational tours, and private charters. During the tours, visitors can learn about the whales and their behaviors from trained naturalists, as well as enjoy stunning views of the island’s scenery and wildlife. Whale watching in San Juan Island is a unique and unforgettable experience that highlights the beauty and wonders of nature.

Kayaking Around Friday Harbor

Kayaking around Friday Harbor on San Juan Island is an exhilarating experience that will leave you breathless. An area famous for its rugged beauty and unique wildlife. Kayaking around the island will provide you with stunning views of the coastline and the surrounding islands. You will also have the opportunity to see rare and endangered species like orcas, bald eagles, and harbor seals. For skilled kayakers, the waters around the island offer a challenging adventure that will put your skills to the test. For novices, there are plenty of guided tours that cater to beginners and families. Whether you are a seasoned kayaker or a first-timer, kayaking around Friday Harbor on San Juan Island is a must-do experience that you will never forget.

Biking Around The Island

Biking around San Juan Island is a fantastic way to explore the island’s beauty and charm. There are many scenic routes to choose from, including the San Juan Island Scenic Byway, which offers breathtaking views of the island’s forests, shoreline, and rugged coastline. The pace on a bike allows you to immerse yourself in the natural surroundings and encounter wildlife such as deer, eagles and seals.

One popular route is the American Camp Trail, a moderate 4.7-mile trail that takes you along the scenic coastline with historic views of the Pig War, culminating at South Beach. Another great option is the Roche Harbor Loop, which takes you through beautiful landscapes including English and Sculpture Parks as well as Roche Harbor Resorts. Renting a bicycle is easy with several vendors conveniently located within Friday Harbor. Whether you’re a casual cyclist or a seasoned rider, a bike ride around San Juan Island is a memorable experience.

Visiting Lime Kiln State Park

Lime Kiln State Park is a popular destination for visitors who enjoy hiking and exploring nature. The park is located on the west coast of San Juan Island in the state of Washington. Visitors can take in stunning views of the ocean and surrounding forest as they explore the park’s many trails.

One of the main attractions of Lime Kiln State Park is the historic lime kiln itself. This 19th-century kiln was used to produce quicklime for construction projects and can be explored as part of a guided tour.

There are also several miles of hiking trails that wind through the forest and offer breathtaking views of the island. The park is home to a variety of wildlife, including whales, dolphins, and sea lions, which can often be spotted from the rocky coastline.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a challenging hike, Lime Kiln State Park offers something for everyone. Be sure to bring plenty of water and wear sturdy shoes, as some of the trails can be steep and rocky.

Scenic Hiking Around Cattle Point Lighthouse

Cattle Point Lighthouse, located on the southwest tip of San Juan Island, offers stunning views of the sea and surrounding landscape. The hiking trail is about 3 miles long and is easy to follow. Along the way, hikers will be surrounded by tall grasses and wildflowers, and might even spot a few wild foxes, bald eagles or deer. The lighthouse itself is a true gem, with its bright white exterior and red roof standing out against the blue sky. Built in 1935, it has been a navigational aid for ships and boats for many years. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just starting out, this is a great trail to explore and soak up some amazing views. Don’t forget to bring your camera!

Roche Harbor

Roche Harbor is a charming and historic village located on San Juan Island. The village offers a range of activities to enjoy, from outdoor adventures to learning about history and culture.

One of the most popular activities in Roche Harbor is whale watching. There are several tour operators that offer whale watching tours where you can see Orca whales in their natural habitat. For those who love the outdoors, Roche Harbor offers hiking and biking trails that provide stunning views of the island’s natural beauty.

History buffs will enjoy visiting the San Juan Historical Museum, which features exhibits showcasing the rich history of the island. Another must-see attraction is the Roche Harbor Marina, where you can see historic boats and enjoy delicious food and drinks at the local restaurants and bars.

Afterglow Vista, The McMillin Memorial Mausoleum

For those interested in history, the island offers the McMillin Memorial Mausoleum, an extraordinary architectural gem. This mausoleum once held the remains of John S. McMillin, a successful businessman instrumental in transforming the island’s economy. Today, visitors can visit the mausoleum, a striking neoclassical structure with magnificent stained-glass windows.

On San Juan Island, visitors can enjoy the perfect blend of outdoor adventure and historical exploration. Hikers can take in the stunning natural beauty around them while learning about the rich history of the island at the striking McMillin Memorial Mausoleum.

English and American Camps

San Juan Island is an important historical landmark in the Pacific Northwest. The English and American camps, located on opposite sides of the island, offer an insight into the complexities of US-British relationships during the 19th century. Visiting the camps allows visitors to better understand the struggles surrounding territorial disputes, with interpretive signs detailing the history of the 1859 Pig War and the Island’s military past. The English camp, with its thatched roofs and traditional gardens, offers a glimpse into the lives of British soldiers stationed on the island in a protected natural harbor. Meanwhile, the American camp, home to the U.S. military during the Pig War, displays artifacts to showcase daily life at the fort. When visiting the English and American camps, visitors can get a sense of San Juan Island’s place in history while enjoying a beautiful setting and exploring the natural surroundings of the San Juan Archipelago.