San Juan and Orcas Island

I’ve been wanting to visit the San Juan Islands since before I even thought about moving to Washington. They are an island chain in the northern Puget Sound that are a one hour drive and one hour ferry ride from where I live. George had a free day so we decided to catch the ferry to Orcas Island and go on a bike ride in Moran State Park. Unfortunately (but not surprisingly) we missed our intended ferry out of Anacortes. Lucky for us there was one an hour later to San Juan Island instead, and a beach just nearby to have a quick lunch at.

Cars on a boat!

I was excited to drive onto the ferry, since I’d never done that before. Also I enjoyed walking around the deck for around an hour as we went by all of the small islands in the chain that aren’t part of the publicly accessible ferry route. We had a great time on San Juan Island, especially considering that we weren’t planning to even make it onto this island at all. Luckily for us, there were some great sights of farms and coast, and we found a lavender farm to wander around in (which also had lavender lemonade and ice cream).

On the far west side of the island there is Lime Kiln Point State Park, which has some of the best land-based whale watching points in the US. We didn’t see any whales. But we did have a good time tidepooling briefly.

Gooseneck barnacles and anemones

From that vantage point we also had a view of Vancouver Island, Canada across the Haro Straight. Canada was very brooding.

Haro, Canada!We made it back to the ferry at Friday Harbor, San Juan Island to catch the ferry over to Orcas Island, hoping to still have time to bike.

Orcas Island didn’t have much in the port but had a cute downtown on the bay about 6 miles up the island. We went through to Moran State Park, still intending to bike, but by the time we got there the sun was setting so we settled for going up to the lookout point to get a great vantage of the islands in the evening, then caught the ferry back during sunset.

I want to go back! It was a horribly unsuccessful bike trip, but a beautiful place and unexpectedly spontaneous adventure. Ferry fare was around $70 round trip for two people and the Subaru.