Exploring San Juan Island

You’ll discover something new around every bend in the road on San Juan Island—an alpaca ranch, a sweeping valley dotted with cows or sheep, the terraces of a lavender farm, vineyards with a tasting room in a historic schoolhouse, deep forest giving way to shining sea, a pod of orca whales, and two iconic lighthouses. Variety, beauty, serenity . . . day after amazing day.

Gateway to the San Juan Islands

Caution: many of the 8,000 year-round residents of San Juan Island fell in love with it during their first visit, and the town of Friday Harbor is where it all began. Historic and just one square mile in size, Friday Harbor is the very walkable hub of San Juan Island, the most populated of the San Juans. Browse art galleries, bookstores and antique shops. Sample a bouquet of boutiques, stop for a cafe lunch or enjoy a fresh seafood dinner overlooking the harbor. Visit The Whale Museum and the San Juan Historical Museum, or meander through the marina. Take a walking tour of Friday Harbor, which includes many of the town’s important sites.

In this visitor-, family-, and dog-friendly town, you’ll find many of the San Juans’ whale and kayaking tour headquarters, the Chamber of Commerce Visitors’ Center, historic Palace Theater (first-run movies on two screens), the San Juan Community Theatre for plays and musical events, and a plethora of B&Bs and other lodgings.

No need for a car to see Friday Harbor. Everything is within walking distance of the ferry landing, including San Juan Transit shuttle buses to take you around the island, as well as bike, three-wheeled Scootcoupe, and moped rentals. From Friday Harbor you can also catch an inter-island ferry to Lopez, Orcas and Shaw Islands.

Roche Harbor

At historic Roche Harbor Resort on the north end of the island you’ll find several waterside eateries, a marina full of beautiful yachts, and local artisans’ booths in summer—showing off jewelry, wool, paintings, pottery, and more. Take a cycling or driving tour of the north side of the island.

The resort’s centerpiece, the Hotel de Haro, has stood since 1886, when what was a sleepy Hudson Bay Company camp became a full-fledged lime works and company town—remnants of the giant lime kilns are still there. Near the entrance to Roche Harbor you’ll find the San Juan Islands Sculpture Park—more than 125 sculptures placed in an open, 19-acre, natural setting. You can ramble among the sculptures or follow the nearby nature trail that takes you into a native forest and close to Westcott Bay Shellfish Company, home of the world-famous oysters. You can also visit the Westcott Bay Cider and San Juan Island Distillery, near Roche Harbor.

Exploring the Island

When you travel San Juan Island beyond Friday Harbor, you’ll journey through miles of farmland and stretches of forest on your way to American Camp or English Camp, both part of the San Juan Island National Historical Park, or to the two waterfront state and county parks. You’re bound to hear about the 1859-1872 Pig War ”Crisis,” when Great Britain and the United States settled ownership of the islands through peaceful arbitration—the national park marks the sites of the U.S. and British encampments. Take a cycling or driving tour of the south and west areas of San Juan Island.

American Camp includes the island’s longest stretch of beach, South Beach, and a network of forested and open trails along the coast, Jakle’s Lagoon and Mt. Finlayson. Orcas occasionally swim past this beach, and sharp-eyed youngsters may spot agates among the beach’s colorful stones. Close to Friday Harbor lies Jackson Beach, a popular picnicking, wading, and dog-walking/swimming spot.

Lime Kiln Point State Park on the island’s west side is also known as Whale Watch Park for good reason—the three local orca pods are frequent summer visitors. This is the only park in the world dedicated to shore-based orca whale watching. A seasonal interpretative center offers information on orcas and a history of the lime kilns and the nearby lighthouse, and you have a choice of forest and shoreline hiking trails.

Other popular stops: Pelindaba Lavender Farm in the middle of the island, one of the largest in the country, for a taste of all things lavender in the aromatic store, housed in a historic island home—and host to the July lavender festival. Krystal Acres Alpaca Farm, also mid-island, where more than 50 endearing alpacas roam the gentle pasture slopes. Stroll around the farm and browse the store for alpaca everything—socks, scarves, toys, and sweaters.

 

Friday Harbor
San Juan Island Yacht ClubSee all information about this member
237 Front St.
Friday Harbor
(360) 378-3434
SJI Yacht Club Boating - Port of FH

Founded in 1964, the San Juan Island Yacht Club's membership has grown to over 300 active boaters. Our clubhouse is a full service facility with large meeting room, bar and kitchen facilities.  The San Juan Island Yacht Club is a cruising club. Our members travel as far north as Glacier Bay and south to the Gulf of California.  We sponsor 10 to 12 local cruises each year along with major racing events, including the Shaw Island Classic. Additionally, sailors are invited to participate in the One Design race series. [more...]

Friday Harbor
The Spa at EarthboxSee all information about this member
440 Spring Street
Friday Harbor
(800) 793-4756
(360) 378-3383
Spas Massage San Juan Island

Experience The Spa at Earthbox. Let our soothing ambience and the indulgence of Comfort Zone, a line of high quality products from Italy, work their magic. Our commitment to you is absolute: renew and rediscover.

Spa Services Include:

• Massage, including therapeutic, relaxation and hot stone • Luxurious body and face treatments   [more...]

Friday Harbor
Crystal Seas KayakingSee all information about this member
40 Spring St.
Friday Harbor
(877) 732-7877
(360) 378-4223
Paddling the West Side of San Juan Island with Crystal Seas Kayaking

Voted 'Best Tour Company on the West Coast' by Sea Kayaker Magazine for 2014, Crystal Seas offers premier kayaking adventures along the west-side of San Juan Island from late April to early October. Join us for our 20th season on a three-hour, sunset, full-day or multi-day kayak tour to experience the thrill of a lifetime! Crystal Seas specializes in small groups and custom/family tours. We offer free transportation from downtown Friday Harbor to our launch site and provide all of the gear you will need. Singles, couples, families and groups are welcome. [more...]

San Juan Island
Popeye the Harbor SealSee all information about this member
Port of Friday Harbor
Friday Harbor
(360) 378-2688
Visiting Popeye at the Port of Friday Harbor

Popeye the harbor seal has been a frequent visitor to Friday Harbor since 1995. In 2005, the Port of Friday Harbor named her the port's official seal, and commissioned a granite sculpture of her, which stands in Fairweather Park, near the main marina dock entrance.  [more...]

Friday Harbor
The Toy BoxSee all information about this member
20 First St.
Friday Harbor
(360) 378-8889
(360) 317-5689
The Toy Box - Inside Store

The Toy Box is a wonderful toy store, whether you are looking for ducks that walk on tightropes, the world's farthest flying Frisbee, or educational toys that make learning fun. The store is full of unique, fun merchandise for every age. You can find a wide variety of puzzles, games, plush toys, art supplies, educational toys, dolls and much more.

Drop by and see Nancy on your next visit. [more...]

San Juan Island
All Aboard SailingSee all information about this member
Spring St. Landing, Slip #1
Friday Harbor
360-298-1918
All Aboard Sailing - Primary of Peniel

All Aboard Sailing offers a unique adventure sailing a traditional wood boat through the San Juan islands. The 1956 42' pilot house sloop of yellow cedar on steam bent oak sails spring, summer, fall and winter. Take the helm, learn and participate in sailing under the guidance of USCG licensed Captain David Howitt  [more...]

San Juan Island
Paula West Pottery ShoppingSee all information about this member
160 Mac Ginitie Road
Friday Harbor
(360) 378-2391
Paula West Pottery, Arts Scene, Crafts, San Juan Islands

Visit Paula's studio where she turns porcelain clay on the potters wheel into unique and functional vessels for your table.  Established in 1993, the studio offers visitors the opportunity to see a working studio and the many aspects of pottery making. Browse the showroom and view works for sale as well as in progress.   [more...]

Friday Harbor
San Juan Islands Museum of Art (IMA)See all information about this member
540 Spring St.
Friday Harbor
(360) 370-5050

The new San Juan Islands Museum of Art offers quarterly exhibitions of fine visual art from around the world. The IMA mission is to connect people with art that inspires, challenges, and enlightens. Location: 540 Spring St., Friday Harbor; (360) 370-5050 Hours: 11 to 5 Friday through Monday. Summer hours will vary. Please see the website for current information. Admission is free! [more...]

Friday Harbor
Island Studios Art GallerySee all information about this member
270 Spring St.
Friday Harbor
(360) 378-6550
Island Studios - Art Gallery Shopping San Juan Island

Island Studios is a fine arts and crafts gallery opened in 1996 for the exclusive purpose of representing artists and craftspersons who live in the islands.

Location: 270 Spring St., Friday Harbor; (360) 378-6550
Hours: Call for seasonal hours [more...]

Friday Harbor
San Juan Island Park & Rec DistrictSee all information about this member
580 Guard Street
Friday Harbor
(360) 378-4953
San Juan Island Park & Recreation

It is the mission of San Juan Island Park and Recreation District to improve and enhance the quality of life on San Juan Island by: [more...]

San Juan Island
Maya's Legacy Whale WatchingSee all information about this member
1997 Mitchell Bay Rd.
San juan island
360-378-7996
Whale Watching Boating San Juan Island

We offer unique whale watching and wildlife tours with no more than six passengers on board. Small group size, your expert captain, and informed biologist/naturalist, assure the most authentic and personalized experience available. Our 30' vessels offer comfort, plenty of elbow room and unobstructed viewing from the front bow, back deck and cabin.

We have professional grade hydro-phones and binoculars on board, so you can listen to whales as well as see them. Tours depart from Snug Harbor Resort - the closest marina to where we most often see whales! 

 

  [more...]

San Juan Island
San Juan Islands Sculpture ParkSee all information about this member
Roche Harbor Road at Roche Harbor entrance
Roche Harbor
(360) 370-0035
San Juan Islands Sculpture Park - Aerion by Don Moss

The San Juan Islands Sculpture Park is 20 acres of outdoor art in an idyllic setting featuring more than 100 unique sculptures in a variety of media, from wood and metal to glass and stone. Artists range from well known to unknown, and there are exciting new additions every year.

Location: Roche Harbor Road at Roche Harbor entrance; (360) 370-0035
Hours: Open year round, dawn to dusk [more...]

San Juan Island
BrickworksSee all information about this member
150 Nichols St.
Friday Harbor
(360) 378-0095
Brickworks - Main

Restored in 2013, the Brickworks is now a center for cultural life in Friday Harbor, with a large hall and outdoor plaza for concerts and community gatherings. Visit on a Saturday, and you’ll find fresh local produce at the San Juan Island Farmers’ Market. On Fridays in the summertime, local artists sell their creations at the Friday Harbor Art Market. [more...]

Friday Harbor
Girlfriends ConsignmentSee all information about this member
210 Nichols Street
Friday Harbor
360-378-4475
Shopping San Juan Island

Men & women's new and gently used clothing including designer labels. We carry formal and casual wear, business suites, jewelry, belts, purses, shoes, boots and so much more!  We are open 7 days a week Monday - Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m and Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. [more...]

San Juan Island
Afterglow Spa at Roche HarborSee all information about this member
232 Reuben Memorial Drive
Roche Harbor
(360) 378-9888
Spa massage San Juan Island

Conveniently located in the new Quarryman Hall building in Roche Harbor Resort, the Afterglow Spa is the perfect complement to your experience on San Juan Island.  Begin your vacation with a relaxing massage, or indulge in one of our signature body treatments, hydrotherapy, steam room, facials, manicures and pedicures. [more...]

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Upcoming Events for San Juan Island

May 15, May 16, May 17, May 21, May 22, May 23, May 24, May 28, May 29, May 30
San Juan Community Theatre
May 16
Port of Friday Harbor, 204 Front St.
May 16
620 University Rd.
May 15, May 16, May 17, May 21, May 22, May 23, May 24, May 28, May 29, May 30
San Juan Community Theatre
May 16
Meet at Memorial Park, Front & Spring Street
May 15, May 16, May 17, May 21, May 22, May 23, May 24, May 28, May 29, May 30
San Juan Community Theatre
May 15, May 16, May 17, May 21, May 22, May 23, May 24, May 28, May 29, May 30
San Juan Community Theatre
May 21
Lavendera Massage Lavendera Massage - Center for Evolving Well Being, 285 Spring Street