Accessibility in the San Juan Islands
There are many attractions and businesses in the San Juan Islands that are wheelchair accessible, ADA compliant, and allow service animals. It is best to call ahead to make sure of accessibility available at a certain business or location.
Washington State Ferries will park cars with handicapped placards near the elevators on the ferries, if you let them know in advance of boarding the ferry.
The San Juan Clipper, a passenger only high-speed ferry which runs from Seattle to Friday Harbor, can accommodate wheelchairs.
San Juan Island
Friday Harbor, the only incorporated town in the islands, and the county seat and main town on San Juan Island, is one square mile of walkable historic seaside village. In the past, however, it’s not been easy for those in wheelchairs to cover these short distances and negotiate some of the steep sidewalks. Fortunately, that’s been changing for the better, since the town recently retrofitted four intersections with ramps and built new sidewalks with access to the airport, marina and grocery store.
San Juan Community Theatre is wheelchair accessible, with ramps and special places for wheelchairs to park in their two theaters and also accommodates the hearing impaired.
The Whale Museum has accessibility downstairs to its shop and a few exhibits, the main exhibit hall upstairs is not accessible, nor are the restrooms.
Lime Kiln Point State Park, (a.k.a. Whale Watch Park), is ADA Accessible: one picnic site, restrooms, .2 miles of ADA trails, ramp to Red Checkered Picnic stand. This is a favorite spot to watch for orcas whales and has a very photogenic lighthouse.
San Juan Vineyards has ramps to all areas, accessibility to tasting room, bathrooms, chapel and pavilion.
San Juan Island National Historical Park: The visitor center and restrooms at American Camp are wheelchair accessible. At English Camp a motorized vehicle will help bring visitors from the parking area to the parade grounds. The staff is very accommodating, their goal is to try to help visitors see as much of the parks as possible.
Lodgings and Restaurants
Friday Harbor House has great accessibility on ground level, no stairs and one ADA room. Their associated restaurant and restrooms on the premises are also easy access for mobility-impaired. The restaurant opens out onto a lawn with beautiful water views.
Snug Harbor Resort has a one bedroom unit that is handicap accessible. Their waterfront, docks, lobby, gift store, conference space and coffee shop as well as their public bathrooms are handicap accessible.
Trumpeter Inn has an ADA room and accessible garden and pond. Although their kitchen and dining room upstairs isn’t accessible they happily deliver breakfast downstairs to their public sitting room.
Roche Harbor Resort has three ADA compliant rooms, a ramp to McMillin’s Restaurant and wheelchair access to the Lime Kiln Café.
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 ADA compliant. Contact the Orcas Island Chamber of Commerce for more information: [email protected]
Deer Harbor Marina is wheelchair accessible as are the businesses that run out of the marina.
Moran State Park has the best views in the islands from our highest point, Mount Constitution, at 2,409 feet. Drive to the top for a wheelchair accessible view of the islands below.
Orcas Center in Eastsound is a performing arts center that is wheelchair accessible.
Lodgings and Restaurants, etc.
The lovely Turtleback Farm Inn on Orcas, has one ADA room in their Orchard House Building, with wide brick pathway leading up to it.
Doe Bay Resort & Retreat has two wheelchair accessible cabins, and their spa tubs are as well, but they do not have any apparatus for getting folks in and out of the tubs. Doe Bay Café is also wheelchair accessible and they are working on other improvements.
Inn at Ship Bay has one ADA/wheelchair-friendly room. Their restaurant had easy wheelchair access with outstanding farm-to-table food.
Lopez Village may pose more challenges to wheelchairs, as it has no curbs and has more gravel pathways rather than paved sidewalks, but most businesses and public restrooms in the Village are wheelchair accessible.
These Lopez business and lodgings are wheelchair friendly according to the Lopez Chamber of Commerce.
Ursa Minor restaurant