San Juan Island, Washington

The San Juan Islands in NW Washington are comprised of 172 named islands and reefs.  San Juan Island is the second largest island.  Ferries serve the 4 most populous islands.  We could’ve taken a one-hour ferry ride to San Juan Island from Anacortes, but we live 80 miles from there.  Summer traffic and long wait lines can make this a 4-hour trip.  Instead, we drove 20 minutes and took a 50-minute floatplane flight.  Just right for a day trip. 

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Kenmore Air operates out of Kenmore, at the top of Lake Washington, north of Seattle.  They also have a dock in Lake Union, right in downtown Seattle.  Our flight left from Kenmore mid-morning.

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Friday Harbor is the commercial center for San Juan Island and the county seat.  The harbor was filled with boats!

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Downtown has everything you might need if you live on this island and there are shops and restaurants for the tourists.  

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After we explored the town we took a break for coffee, tea and a cookie.  Then we did a little shopping in a lavender store.  Pelindaba has a lavender farm on the island.

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We watched the ferry arrive.  Walk-on passengers, bicyclists and motorcycles get off first.

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It was time for us to catch the trolley to Roche Harbor located at the north end of the island.

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It took about 20 minutes, traveling through farmland and forest, to get to the small town of Roche Harbor.

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A lime mining operation was developed here in the late 1800s.  In 1956 Roche Harbor was sold and developed into a boating resort and marina.  Some of the old kilns from the mining days can still be seen.

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There was a small craft market.

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On the dock is the Lime Kiln Café.

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Great sandwiches and mushroom bisque soup.

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We flew back to Kenmore from Roche Harbor around 3:00. 

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Exploring the San Juan Islands by boat is probably the best way to visit.  If you don’t have a boat you can take a ferry to the four largest islands and enjoy hiking, biking, kayaking, and even whale watching.  If you only have a day or two, flying is a pretty cool way to go!

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About graciamc

Gracia's Travels is a photo blog. I always take too many pictures on trips so I justify my compulsion with this blog! The blog is mostly photos - they tell the best part of the story. Please contact me if you would like to use any of my photos.
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6 Responses to San Juan Island, Washington

  1. ourcrossings says:

    Wow, arriving with an floatplane must have been a great introduction to San Juan Island. What an amazing and colourful place to explore and photograph – would love to visit one day 😀 thanks for sharing and inspiring 😀

  2. Laurel says:

    We talked about going there this fall, recalling a lovely week we spent on Orcas Island in 1996 😱, so long ago! But then Italy called. Again. Maybe in the spring….

  3. jmfre2013 says:

    Hi Gracia, Beautiful picture from the air. Makes me homesick for Seattle and the surrounding area. Thanks!

    >

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