Top 10 Summer Activities
Here are our top 10 summer things to do. Okay, we couldn’t limit it to just 10…so if you are counting, there are 13. Even if you can only fit in 10, you will still be rewarded.
1. Whale & Wildlife Watching
On San Juan Island, we obsess about the Orcas! These huge marine mammals frequent our shores from late March to early October, and their whereabouts, health and activities are more important to the islanders than any celebrity sightings. Join those of us who love these sea creatures by booking passage on a whale watching boat that departs the San Juan Island and searches the straits and bays for J, K or L Pod, the killer whales of the Salish Sea. While cruising, you will be guided by trained naturalists who will point out Bald Eagles soaring overhead, and the countless other marine life which fill our lives here on the island.
2. Sea Kayaking
Whether you only have an afternoon or several days to spend on the water, heading out with a highly trained guide for a sea kayak adventure is a memorable experience. If you bring your own kayaks, there are several safe harbors from which to launch, and islands awaiting your discovery.
3. Hiking & Biking
Stroll along a pebbly beach, find a private alcove, stride amongst tall trees, hike through a meadow full of foxes and rabbits. Bike the 32 mile trail around the island, or just pedal peacefully through the town of Friday Harbor.
4. Day Trips to Other Islands
Ride the inter-island ferry to Orcas, Shaw and Lopez Islands, or schedule private transportation to some of the other islands (there are 743 islands, islets and reefs – 428 at high tide!) Explore the archipelago in all its beauty.
5. Visit the Lavender Farm
Pelindaba Lavender Farm is beautiful during the summer when the plants cast a light purple hue on the fields. Wander through the fields at any time (just close the gates behind you please) – committed to sustainable agriculture, creating essential oils, handcrafted personal products, and so much more.
Find a quiet cove and enjoy a picnic and perhaps a nap.
7. Take a Scenic Drive on the Scenic Byway
The Island is 55 square miles and the main road that circumnavigates the Island is about 35 miles. Enjoy a relaxing drive as you take in magnificent vistas!
8. Dinner at Coho
Enjoy a memorable dinner at Coho Restaurant.
9. Attend the San Juan County Fair in August
Join all the Islands for a week long celebration of food, fun, livestock, music and exhibits.
10. Visit Lime Kiln Lighthouse
View this picture-perfect postcard vista and take home a couple of memories as well.
11. Pick Blackberries
The Island is covered with blackberries in late August. They are perfectly ready when the fruit slips off the vines.
12. Visit for the 4th of July Parade, Street Dance, Fireworks and Pig War Barbecue
The Island celebrates from 5 am when the first canons go off in Friday Harbor to 11:30 p.m. when the last of the fire works are finished. Join the community for a barbecue and then a Rock the Dock Dance by the Port of Friday Harbor.
Of course, there is no shortage of amazing ways to fill your days right here on San Juan Island…but the beauty of our archipelago is that each of our ferry-served islands (San Juan, Orcas, Lopez and Shaw) are all unique, and have their own unforgettable experiences to offer.
For even more information on all the great San Juan Island attractions and activities, be sure to download our Free Vacation Guide!