Islands In Washington State

The northwest corner of Washington state is home to a peaceful, dreamy cluster of islands where whale watching, kayaking, hiking and biking are best-loved. This region includes Camano, Whidbey and Fidalgo Islands, as well as the San Juan Islands including the four ferry served islands of San Juan, Orcas, Lopez, and Shaw. The views from your ferry ride will ease you into “island time” and a special intersection where an abundance of local art meets outdoor recreation and peaceful farmland for an unforgettable, leisurely Pacific Northwest experience.

Search for Lodging in Sheltered Scenic Islands

Anacortes

Anacortes is a vibrant seaside town with a long maritime history. Today it is the perfect jumping off point to the San Juan Islands.

About

Anacortes is a small seaside town located on Fidalgo Island, north of Seattle WA. Although many tourists pass through on their way to the San Juan Ferry, this colorful town deserves more than a quick stroll.

Anacortes WA weather is mild with summer highs in the mid-70 and average highs in the winter close to 50 degrees. Like most of the state, November through January are rainy, but summer is fairly dry and mild.

Anacortes is a short 1.5 hour drive up I-5 north from Seattle. From I-5 take Exit 230, Burlington/Anacortes, then turn left. Continue on the WA-20 spur into Anacortes.

Directions to the Anacortes Ferry Termial from Seattle include the above. Once in Anacortes, take the first exit from the traffic circle and travel down Commercial Ave/ WA-20. Follow WA-20 and signs for the Anacortes/San Juan Island Ferry Terminal.

Outdoor Activities

For hikers, Anacortes has more than 67 miles of public trails. Washington Park features the Fidalgo Loop Trail. This trail winds though old growth forest with commanding views of the water and includes glimpses of the San Juan Island Ferries. Mount Erie Park includes 160 acres and a hike to the highest point on the island. Heart Lake is part of the Anacortes Community Forestlands and welcomes hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians.

Whidbey and Fidalgo Islands are connected at Deception Pass by bridge Deception Pass State Park is Washington’s most visited state park and is just 10 miles from Anacortes. The Deception Pass Bridge is a popular photo stop, offering commanding views of the pass and it’s turbulent waters. The park offers access to over 77,000 feet of saltwater shoreline and almost 34,000 feet of freshwater shoreline. The park is great for bird watching, beach combing, picnicking and hiking.

On the Water

Love the water? Anacortes has lots in store for you. Boaters enjoy Cap Sante Marina.,The marina offers great facilities and is within walking distance of restaurants, shopping and entertainment. The Annual Anacortes Waterfront Festival, held in early June offers fun for the whole family. Along with a variety of water activities, the marina is lined with booths that include great food and lots of local arts and crafts. Register for free boat rides with the Anacortes Yacht Club or create a boat building team and then test your creations floatability.

There are a number of spots in Anacortes that offer public beach access. Sunset Beach and West Beach in Washington Park are both great spots to take in the views and discover the abundant sea life along the shores. Look for crab, sea urchins and starfish.

Downtown

Downtown Anacortes includes a variety of restaurants and shops and is all very walkable. First Friday Gallery Art Walk is held the first Friday of each month from 6:00pm till 9:00pm. Visitors have the opportunity stroll through the many art galleries located downtown.

Camano

Camano Island is a tranquil island, perfect for a quiet getaway.

About

Camano Island is a quiet community north of Seattle. The island is situated between the mainland and Whidbey Island. The two are separated by the Saratoga Passage.

Visit Camano to get away from it all. The island is home to those looking for a tranquil, quiet life. You won’t find t-shirt shops, trendy restaurants and touristy shops on Camano. Here are a handful of restaurants and a few local general stores for stocking up on necessities. People visit Camano Island to get away from it all. There are a handful of BnBs and inns on the island.

Travel on I-5 north from Seattle to State Route 532. Camano Island is accessed by the Camano Gateway Bridge. The weather here is temperate. Summer is sunny with highs in the low 70’s. Winter highs are in the low 50’s.

Getting Outdoors

Camano Island has two state parks. Camano Island State Park includes 6700 feet of rocky shoreline. Hike through forest on the well groomed trails. Birding is popalar here. Enjoy crabbing, fishing, boating or even sailboarding on the Saratoga Passage. Take the 1-mile hike from Camano Island Park to neighboring Cama State Park.

Cama State Park was originally a fishing village comprised of rustic beach front cabins The cabins have been saved and now offer families the opportunities to experience a beach vacation from days gone by.

Featured Places to Stay in Camano

Coupeville, Langley, and Oak Harbor

Coupeville is a small coastal town located on Whidbey Island and is the second oldest town in the state of Washington. Coupeville, Langley, and Oak Harbor are all on the same island.

About

Coupeville, on Whidbey Island, is an idyllic small coastal town that will take you back in time. Known as Washington State’s second oldest town, it is the home to more preserved historic buildings than anywhere else in the state. The town was established in the 1850s by Captain Thomas Coupe.

The weather in Coupeville is mild. Summer highs are in the high 60’s to low 70’s with plenty of sun. Winter lows can reach 40 degrees with frequent mist and showers.

Coupeville is located in the center of Whidbey Island and can be reached easily by car or by ferry. From the Seattle airport it takes between 2 and 2-1/2 hours by car including the short ferry transit. From all areas south (Seattle) take the Mukilteo-Clinton ferry; from the west (Olympic Peninsula) take the Port Townsend-Coupeville ferry or from the North (Anacortes, Bellingham and Vancouver BC) take WA-20 and the Deception Pass Bridge.

Washington State Ferry Info

Things to Do

Coupeville is located in the heart of Ebey’s National Historic Reserve. Enjoy the beauty and nature of nearby state and national parks including Fort Casey, Fort Ebey and Ebey’s Landing. Reconnect with nature.The area and parks host a multitude of hiking and biking trails and open beaches. Take time to enjoy bird watching and whale watching, or admire the many ways it has been captured by the local artists at nearby galleries.

If you like to eat, Coupeville will surely satisfy your taste buds. The town and Ebey’s prairie enjoy abundant sunshine and about one-half the rainfall of Seattle with milder temperatures making it ideal for growing food. The local farmer’s market will showcase these locally grown fruits and vegetables all summer. The fine local B&Bs and restaurants make ample use of them in their delicious meals. The world famous Penn Cove shellfish are grown here too. You won’t find mussels any fresher than those served right here in Coupeville.

Coupeville is also the center of a growing artist community on Whidbey Island. Whether you want to learn brand new skills or polish your expertise the Pacific Northwest Art School is your ticket to new techniques in painting, photography, fiber or mixed media. If weaving is more your thing, the world famous Weaver’s School holds beginner and expert classes on the fine techniques of weaving with hand looms.

Festivals & Events

Coupeville is also a very festive town and is the home to one of the largest arts and crafts festivals in the state. Every year in early August, Coupeville streets are taken over by local artists who display and sell their work. The Coupeville Arts & Crafts Festival draws as many as 15,000 visitors for a single weekend. In early March, thousands come to Coupeville to celebrate the annual Musselfest where they sample the delicious Penn Cove mussels in a local competition among the restaurants for the coveted title of the Best Mussel Chowder. In May Coupeville hosts the historic Water Festival that celebrates the Native American culture, art and sport of tribal canoe races. Garden tours, kite festivals, parades, sailboat races, wine tours, agritourism and lavender festivals also go through the summer.

Featured Places to Stay in Coupeville, Langley, and Oak Harbor

Eastsound

Eastsound is a village located on Orcas Island, part of the San Juan archipelago of Washington state.

About

The historic village of Eastsound is only a 15-minute drive from the Orcas Island ferry dock and is the hub of activity for the island. Since there are no incorporated towns on Orcas Island, Eastsound Village is the downtown of Orcas Island. It is a very walkable village with over 30 quaint boutiques, art galleries, restaurants and cafes.


Weather in Eastsound is mild year around. The warm season lasts from mid-June till early September with average daily highs in the high 60’s to low 70’2.  Travelers who visit from November through April will find temperatures in the 30’s to 50’s so layered clothing is advisable. Visitors can expect to experience light to moderate rain winter through spring.

Most visitors choose to travel to Orcas Island on the Washington State Ferry System. The San Juan Island Ferry departs from Anacortes and makes several daily stops at Orcas Island. This scenic trip takes around 1 hour. Reservations are recommended year around, but they are a must in the high season and on holidays. The Orcas Island Ferry dock is a 20-minute drive from Eastsound and the island is best explored by car. Air transport by Kenmore Air is also available.

Outdoor Activities

Enjoy a variety of outdoor activities just minutes from Eastsound. Hike Moran State Park and climb Mt. Constitution, the highest point in the San Juans. The park includes trails for hiking, biking or horseback riding.  Fishing, boating, swimming and other water activities are also available. Turtleback Mountain Preserve, held in trust by a group of local conservationists, includes over 1500 acres with a variety of trails for hikers only.

Orcas boasts over 125 miles of shoreline perfect for kayakers of all abilities. Several marine state park islands with beautiful rock formations and astounding views are located off the North Shore of the island and are easily accessible by kayak and small charter boats. . Paddle over and around then hop ashore for a secluded hike. Guides are always available for these tours.

Take one of the local whale watching tours and see orcas, porpoise, harbor seals and a variety of birds including bald eagles, cormoronts and great blue herons and much more.

Art on Orcas

This secluded island has long been host to a variety of creative, artistic residents. Local galleries showcase woodworking, pottery, jewelry, photography, metal art, fiber art and more. Orcas Island is home to Anthony Howe, designer of the spectacular Olympic Cauldron for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. Orcas Island Artworks, located a 20 minute drive from Eastsound features over 40 local artists and has a number of locally crafted gift items available.

Dining on Orcas

There are many dining options within Eastsound and across the island. Local chefs offer fresh, local food with choices of fine dining or more casual fare. Visitors can choose an elegant dining experience with a view, Mexico City inspired Mexican fare, casual water view dining or pizza created by a James Beard nominated chef.

Featured Places to Stay in Eastsound

Friday Harbor

Friday Harbor is the primary town on San Juan Island. Accessed by the Washington State Ferry system, this is the perfect spot to begin your exploration of the San Juan Islands.

About

Friday Harbor is located on beautiful San Juan Island, part of an archipelago of 170 islands in the Salish Sea between Seattle, Vancouver and Victoria. This picture-perfect historic seaport is surrounded by spectacular mountain and marine views. Here is natural grandeur that combines salty breezes, vibrant blue water, pebbled beaches and fragrant woods. It is a rare, unspoiled retreat ideal for outdoor adventurers, wildlife enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

It is one square mile of walkable seaside activity, recreation and culture. Friday Harbor is known for its picturesque streetscape of turn of the century wood frame buildings and popular harbor. The town boasts no stoplights, billboards or look-alike big-box retail stores. Instead, the hamlet offers authentic small-town atmosphere, rich with culture, and a landscape of pastoral countryside and marine views.

Friday Harbor is a year-round destination, accessible by ferry or seaplane. Washington State Ferry offers year round San Juan Island ferry service departing from Anacortes. Anacortes is equidistant from the city of Vancouver, B.C. and the Seattle Tacoma International Airport. Washington State ferry operates large car ferries between the San Juan Islands, terminating its service in Friday Harbor. Victoria Clipper offers seasonal foot passenger ferry service to Friday Harbor from downtown Seattle.

If you opt to fly to Friday Harbor – we promise an adventure of a lifetime. There are not many places in the world where you can take a seaplane and land in the harbor. Kenmore Air offers seaplane and wheeled service to Friday Harbor, San Juan Island.

Friday Harbor weather is mild. Nestled in the center of a “rain shadow” cast by the mountains on the Olympic Peninsula, Friday Harbor enjoys nearly 250 days of sunshine each year and only half the annual rainfall of nearby Seattle.

Things to Do

Friday Harbor is the gateway to a variety of outdoor activities. Enjoy whale watching, kayaking, and biking. Besides recreation activities, you will find galleries, theaters, museums and restaurants. Friday Harbor has everything from interesting boutiques to world class art galleries to fancy food shops.

For a truly unique experience, consider a whale watching tour. View magnificent wild orca whales plying the waters of San Juan Island, Washington. For the adventurous traveler, there’s world-class sea kayaking.Your trip to Friday Harbor, San Juan Island will not be complete without a visit to the island’s two National Historic Park sites, American and English Camp. Don’t miss Lime Kiln State Park. the best place in the world to view Orcas whales from shore.

Whatever your passion, it’s in fashion in Friday Harbor, Washington.

Featured Places to Stay in Friday Harbor

See Places to Stay

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