If you want to unwind, but cannot afford to travel abroad, consider joining one of the many San Juan Islands cruises. They might just be what you need to revive your outlook on life. Only a ferry ride away from Greater Seattle in Washington state, this enchanting archipelago offers a sea-touring experience amidst a lush, wildlife-filled environment that even offers something for landlubbers.
From whale watching to eagle watching, from porpoise or dolphin watching to fishing or enjoying land-bound fare (how does zip-lining sound?), you’ll be able to indulge in a fun and relaxing weekend without the hassles of leaving the country. Aside from a recreational endeavor, a trip to the San Juans is also highly educational, which makes the activity perfect for tourists of all ages who are curious about the Pacific Northwest environment.
Following are some very cool facts that may shiver your timbers enough to get on board a San Juans sail on these bountiful waters.
An archipelago of more than a hundred islands
The San Juan Islands appear as a waterbound oasis along a shipping route that lies between Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada and Seattle in the U.S. Surrounded by the Salish Sea, the San Juans consist of more than a hundred islands. In fact, 172 islands are named.
Of these named islands, only four of the biggest are served regularly by ferries: San Juan Island (at Friday Harbor), Orcas Island, Lopez Island, and Shaw Island. Therefore, a majority of residents and tourists opt to stay on any of these four islands.
Water is your freeway
The only way to reach the islands is either by sea or by air. There are no bridges. Therefore, the boating industry thrives here. When on land, you feel removed and free from all the big-city hassles. Traffic lights are an anomaly on the island’s roads and if people do honk it is because they think they know you or just want to hail you. The San Juans attract a laid-back crowd tired of the uptight scene in bigger cities. You will more than appreciate the peace and quiet of this sanctuary removed from the mainland.
Protection of the islands’ integrity comes first
Because the San Juans’ selling point is picturesque scenery, coupled with relaxing days on the beach, residents and tour operators on the islands feel behooved to protect the status quo for this Northwest paradise. Indeed, San Juan County gained recognition for being the very first in the country to ban the use of jet skis and styrofoam take-out containers. 99% of all businesses on the islands are locally owned. County residents love their whales and other marine life, as well as their habitats.
Among the healthiest residents in the state
The peace and tranquility of the islands clearly underscores the high rankings these islands receive in terms of quality of life for its residents. According to recent studies, the number of San Juan County residents seeking physical or mental care is considerably lower when compared to the state’s overall numbers.
A San Juan Islands sail adventure will surely shuck your big-city blues without draining your vacation budget on international travel. A day-sail on a wooden schooner and the evening’s return to port will bring home to you the mood of the islands in just one day. Schedule your charter and jump on board.
FUN FACTS ABOUT THE SAN JUANS, VisitSanJuans.com
ABOUT THE ISLANDS, VisitSanJuans.com