Exploring Shaw Island

If you like perfection in a small package, then Shaw Island is the place for you. Think: sandy beaches, easy bike terrain, and eating ice cream while you wait for the ferry. Less than ten square miles, Shaw is the smallest of the San Juan ferry-served islands. You’ll find a charming, well-stocked general store with a deli at the ferry landing, but no markets, restaurants, or hotels. Consider a day trip on foot or bike—if you stay on one of the larger islands, you can ride the interisland ferry to Shaw in the morning and back in the afternoon. Walk-on or bike passengers ride for free. Pack a lunch, grab your bike, and make for the exquisite shorelines at the Shaw County Park and the University of Washington biological preserve. For some local color, visit Our Lady of the Rock Benedictine monastery. The resident nuns run an active farm and encourage visitors. For a bit of history, check out the island museum and library. If you fall in love with Shaw, you can camp at the county park. Sheltered campsites nestle in the woods above a stretch of sandy beach—a pocket-sized treasure, just like the island.