Accessible San Juans

Many attractions and businesses in the San Juan Islands are mindful of different accessibility needs and have made accommodations to welcome visitors of all different abilities. Many lodgings, restaurants, shops, and activities have wheelchair access, allow service animals, and make accommodations for sensory needs. It is best to call in advance to make arrangements with the staff so that your experience will be as smooth and enjoyable as possible. 

The Islands can be hilly and not all places are up to ADA or other accessibility standards. It's important to plan ahead and be prepared. Below you'll find lists of resources to aid in your trip planning. 

Accessible Transportation | Accessible Trails & Parks | Accessible Activities | Accessible Lodging | Accessible Dining
Lopez Island

Lopez Village may pose more challenges to wheelchairs, as it has no curbs and has more gravel pathways rather than paved sidewalks. Most businesses in the village, as well as the public restrooms in the park, are wheelchair accessible. 

Contact the Lopez Chamber of Commerce for Lopez-specific accessibility information.

Orcas Island

Eastsound, Orcas Island's main village, has wheelchair accessibility throughout the town as far as sidewalks go and about half or so of the stores are wheelchair accessible. 

Contact the Orcas Island Chamber of Commerce for more information.

San Juan Island

Friday Harbor is one square mile of historic shops and restaurants that poses challenges to those in wheelchairs with its steep hills and sometimes narrow sidewalks. However, the town retrofitted four intersections with ramps and built new sidewalks with access to the airport, marina, and grocery store. Contact the San Juan Island Chamber of Commerce for more information. 

Getting to the Islands is half the fun! Most visitors arrive via the Washington State Ferries, though foot passenger boats and charter planes are also fun ways to reach your destination, depending upon your needs.

The Washington State Ferries have extensive accessibility information on their site, including opportunities for reduced fares, medical preferential loading opportunities, and more. 

It's important to note that the ferries are committed to providing equal access to riders with disabilities, however, there are varying levels of accessibility on the ferries based on vessel type. If an elevator, accessible restroom, or other accessibility feature is out of service on one of the ferries or terminals, they post a notification on their travel alert bulletins page. You can also sign up for route-specific travel alerts to get notification of elevator outages and other information that could affect your trip. 

Whatever mode you choose, it always helps to call ahead and make arrangements for smooth travel. 

Washington State Ferries
The San Juan Clipper
San Juan Transit, Tours & Charters

The San Juan Islands are known for their natural beauty and scenic hikes — many of which can be enjoyed by visitors of all abilities. For more accessible options, look to the resources below for up-to-date information about the state, national, and county parks in the Islands. As always, feel free to contact the park rangers or friendly staff at each location for more detail.  

Washington State Parks seek to be a leader in providing accessible outdoor recreation. From ADA-compliant campsites, to restrooms, trails and docks, Washington State Parks is committed to making outdoor recreation accessible to all people. Use this ADA Recreation Map to identify the parks that best suit you!

At Orcas Island's Moran State Park, for example, you can experience the stunning views atop Mount Constitution by driving to the top and taking the wide, well-maintained trail to the lookout. The park also reserves an ADA campsite (site 12) that feature a paved parking pad and ADA compliant restrooms and showers. Lopez Island's Spencer Spit State Park also has a reserved ADA campsite (site 4) in the main campground, but few accessible hiking trails. On San Juan Island, Lime Kiln Point State Park offers ADA accessible trails to popular outlooks.

Lime Kiln Point State Park & Lighthouse
Spencer Spit State Park
San Juan County Parks
Moran State Park
American Camp, San Juan Island National Historical Park
English Camp, San Juan Island National Historical Park

Whether you're looking to get out on the water, take in a performance at the performing arts centers, or immerse yourself in a museum, there are accessible options. It's always helpful to call ahead to make arrangements if necessary, or even book a private tour. Our curators, outfitters, and friendly locals are eager to make your visit entertaining and easy.  

Looking to venture out onto the water? Consider a wildlife watching tour where you can experience the San Juan Islands from a fresh perspective. 

At this time, outfitters in the San Juan Islands cannot accommodate wheelchairs aboard their vessels, but can assist those with limited mobility to a secure seat. Walkers and crutches can be stowed onboard. 

Outfitters like Maya's Legacy have some crew members trained in American Sign Language to better serve visitors with hearing impairments. When booking your excursion, be sure to note the need for ASL so the crew can schedule accordingly.    

Orcas Center
San Juan Community Theatre
The Whale Museum
San Juan Vineyard

Snuggle up in a B&B or spread out in a resort while you enjoy your stay in the San Juan Islands. Many lodgings have accessible rooms and features, and are happy to make accommodations for your stay. Call the front desk before booking to ensure everything is in order for your trip!  

Tucker House Inn & Harrison House Suites
Friday Harbor House
Snug Harbor Resort
Trumpeter Inn
Roche Harbor Resort
Doe Bay Resort & Spa
Inn at Ship Bay
Lopez Cottages & Tent Camping
Earthbox Inn & Spa
Birdrock Hotel
The Edenwild Boutique Inn

Looking for a place to savor local flavors? These restaurants and cafes not only serve amazing food, but also offer accessible seating and access. Call ahead to make special arrangements or reserve your table. 

Coho Restaurant
Roche Harbor's Lime Kiln Cafe & McMillian's Restaurant
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Contact Us:
San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau
info@visitsanjuans.com
1-888-468-3701 | (360) 378-9551
P.O. Box 1330, Friday Harbor, Washington 98250
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