Intriguing Escapes • Boutique Cruises • Captivating Hotels
THE SAN JUAN ISLANDS
During the time of Covid19 we wanted to visit a beautiful destination without air travel, so we drove up to the San Juan Islands. We loved them so much they are now a definite return destination.
The San Juan Islands are located between the state of Washington and the Canadian Island of Vancouver. We drove to Anacortes Washington and took the car ferry to the Island of San Juan (which is one of the islands in the San Juan Islands chain).
Orcas Island is the largest of the San Juan Islands. From the ferry landing we drove to the cute little town of Eastsound, where we stayed for three nights at the lovely Outlook Inn.
The Outlook Inn.
The Outlook Inn is right on the Bay, has a beautiful garden on its grounds and excellent cuisine at it New Leaf Cafe.
Moran Park and Mr. Constitution.
We hiked in the lovely Moran Park, ascending the peak. The wods feature pathces of wild lavender, and includes a beautiful mountain lake.
We climbed to the top of Mt. Constitution for some impressive views.
We then moved to the Rosario Resort for three more days. Rosario was a really special place. The resort has beautiful grounds, a marina, an indoor and a large outdoor swimming pool, a museum, and many activities available. The great dining room overlooks the bay.
We climbed Turtleback Mountain for more great views including snowcapped peaks way off in the distance. We even saw the conical Mt. Baker, but it was too faint to photograph well.
Throughout our trip we had amazingly good seafood. One very special place was Buck Bistro and Seafood that provided spectacularly fresh well prepared seafood in a casual rustic setting. This is a must-do stop for any visitor to Orcas Island.
Another favorite spot was Deer Harbor where we could hang out for a lunch and a beer and soak up the sun and ambience.
On our last day on Orcas Island we hiked a three-mile 2500 foot elevation gain trail on the Cascade Lake-to-Cold Springs trail. And we took another three-mile hike around Cascade Lake. In normal times there are many other ways to enjoy the beauty of the island - boating, fishing, swimming, water skiing, golf and much more.
SAN JUAN ISLAND
Friday Harbor is on San Juan Island. We stayed at the Friday Harbor House, on the waterfront with views of the harbor outside our hotel room. The cuisine in their waterfront restaurant was inventive and delicious and in a lovely setting. A great place to stay due to its location and excellent accomodations.
Lakedale Lodge. Just outside Friday Harbor is charming resort/lodge on a lake in the woods. This would be a great spot for a relaxing week or a family reunion.
Roche Harbor. This is the other harbor town on San Juan island. A pretty town and harbor with the vintage De Haro resort. Another inviting place to stay and with lots to do and see.
We took a 3-hour whale watching cruise and saw dozens of killer whales (Orcas) including a mother and child pair arcing along, and a Minke whales as well as bald eagles. We witnessed many great leaps such as these. We watched whales cavort for maybe an hour and a half.
American Camp Woods
American Camp Woods provided a very pretty hike and lots of driftwood at Jakle Pond.
The island has lots of beautiful lavender farms. The typically allow you to cut some lavender to bring home, and sell all kinds of lavender products - candles, soap, oils, and more.
As on Orcas Island, diningd on San Juan Island was wonderful. Two of the finest restaurants were Duck Soup, outside of Friday Harbor on a pond in the woods, and Cynthia's Bistro in town. Both had first class cuisine.
There are many islands in the San Juan Islands and this report gives you just a taste of two of them. There is so much to see and do and experience. I would love to help you plan and book your trip!