The San Juan Islands is a favorite getaway for city folks who want to take a breather from the hustle and bustle of the metropolis. Families, couples, and tour groups come from around the world on vacation in this idyllic destination, as there are truly endless things to discover around here.
This county of about 15,000 residents exudes an innate charm and warmth that keeps visitors coming back every year. According to the Washington State Employment Security Department, tourism and hospitality are the top employing industries in this region, as evidenced by their growth over the last few years. Other sectors that are big in the San Juans are retail, trade, as well as seasonal farming and fishing.
Activities and Places of Interest
Friday Harbor is among the most bustling towns on the islands and yet, there isn’t a franchise business in sight. Its seaport and airport usher in the tourists who enjoy the cool sea breezes, the fresh local seafood, and shop in locally owned businesses. From here, one can visit several art galleries and a museum dedicated to the whales, also known as marine superstars of the San Juan Islands. Many folks like to sail away or take private cruises to marvel at the landscapes and take in the scenery of the chain of islands known as the San Juans.
Perhaps one of the many highlights of any San Juan Islands cruise is the whale watching and expeditions. These gentle giants, denoted by their individual names or their pod names, traverse the waters of the Haro Strait and the surrounding channels. If you’re lucky, you can see the orcas and minke whales from your boat. Aside from admiring these majestic marine mammals, you and your tour group may also catch sight of various species of wild birds, as well as seals, otters, dolphins, and more.
Planning Your Visit
To get to the San Juan Islands from the mainland, you can opt to take a ferry departing from Anacortes, WA, and this ride takes about an hour to an hour and a half. You may also book a flight to the Friday Harbor Airport from Seattle-Tacoma International or from Seattle’s Lake Union on a pontoon plane. If whale watching is truly on your itinerary of activities, then you can talk to private charter services who can take you along the calm ocean waters and beyond. Some charters offer a speed boat visit, while another can give you a full-day of sailing aboard an historic wooden schooner. Whether you go for a couple of hours of sailing, to half-day or multiple-day schedules, these tourism specialists can surely accommodate your group.
So get started on planning for your dream holiday with friends and family. Talk to the experts at private charter cruises, and book your ticket to adventure today.
San Juan County Profile, Fortress.WA.gov
Guide to the San Juan Islands, SeattleMet.com