The San Juan Islands, located in the Northwest corner of Washington State, are like no other Archipelago. They boast diverse natural beauty with their rocky shores, sandy beaches, towering forests and sweeping grasslands while also offering rich culture and history. The 700 plus islands in the San Juan chain vary in size from 10 feet to 10 miles wide and are home to hundreds of anchorages, harbors and coves. One unique feature of the San Juan Islands that make them perfect for boating is their protected waters. Because the whole island chain is hidden away behind Vancouver Island, the seas are refreshingly calm. You can access the islands by ferry, airplane, personal yacht, bareboat yacht charter. Here are a few descriptions of some of the most popular San Juan boating destinations.
Friday Harbor, located on San Juan Island, is the County seat and business center of the San Juan Islands. The island is known for its rich marine history including the infamous Pig War (the war really did begin over a pig!) and remains an active port for commercial fishing. Today visitors have an array of activities at their disposal whether it is a whale watching adventure, sea kayak trip or a relaxing afternoon in the park listening to the summer concerts. Restaurants, galleries and accommodations are plentiful at Friday Harbor and provide a little something for everyone.
Deer Harbor, a small, hidden cove on the far west side of Orcas Island, is virtually unknown to the average tourist. Since most guests of the island visit the more popular Moran State Park or the community of Eastsound, the Harbor remains a delightful and tranquil getaway. Whether you are a guest at the marina or the Resort, you can swim in the pool, play on the beach, rent a kayak, or stock up on ice cream and cinnamon rolls at the wharf store. Whatever you do, keep the cove a secret!
Historic Roche Harbor
There is only one word to describe Roche Harbor – captivating! Upon arriving, you'll feel as though you have taken a step back in time. The Hotel de Haro and its formal gardens grace the Harbor with their majestic presence and invite visitors to marvel at the vast scenery which abounds. Stroll along the cobblestone pathways of this quaint, historic village as you gather gourmet treats at the general store, or simply enjoy the beautiful sounds of the organ concerts that resonate through the marina. Don't miss the sunset ritual of the playing of the United States and Canadian national anthems, the lowering of the country flags and firing of the cannon. The captivating beauty and serenity of this harbor is certain to keep you dreaming of visits to come!