Island Experience

San Juan Island Scenic Byway North

Drive or cycle this stunning route past historic farms and a national park

From Friday Harbor, this 20-mile drive/ride takes you through scenic valleys and woodlands dotted with interesting stops on your way to and from Roche Harbor Resort and the San Juan Islands Sculpture Park at the northwest end of the island. Part of the state San Juan Islands Scenic Byway, this tour features important sites in San Juan Island culture and history, including English Camp National Historical Park. On a bicycle, you will ride over moderately difficult rolling hills with some narrow shoulders. On the way back, for a bit longer ride, consider continuing south on West Valley Road (you will encounter a steep hill), then turning right onto Boyce Road, which becomes Wold Road, past Pelindaba Lavender Farm, before turning left onto Bailer Hill Road, which turns into Douglas Road. Turn right onto San Juan Valley Road, which leads you back to Friday Harbor. Find out more about bicycling on San Juan Island.

A charming seaport built on an easily walkable hill leading up from the ferry and docks, historic Friday Harbor has plenty to keep you busy for a day or a week—from small, friendly cafes to gourmet restaurants, galleries and museums, boutiques and spas, a community theater and a two-screen movie theater—all within one square mile.

At San Juan Vineyard's beautiful 30-acre vineyard, winery, and historic tasting room, you can sip from a line-up of award-winning wines including estate-grown Siegerrebe and Madeleine Angevine. Enjoy the ambiance of the grounds at a barrel tasting or harvest festival. The quaint turn-of-the-century-style chapel is the perfect venue for an old-fashioned wedding. Please consider San Juan Vineyards for special times and gatherings: Boxed lunch on the porch with friends, birthday gatherings, weddings or make an arrangement for a group wine-tasting.

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.

Roche Harbor Resort is a picturesque, full-service resort with historic and contemporary accommodations, gardens, restaurants, stores, as well as a marina and spa. The Hotel de Haro is the state's oldest continually operating hotel, and its 20 rooms have hosted for visitors since 1886, with a fascinating display in the lobby of resort history.

British and American troops jointly occupied San Juan Island from 1859 to 1871 in "The Pig War" standoff, while the two nations argued over ownership of the islands. The Royal Marines lived at English Camp at the north end of the island. Today, this camp is a day-use park on Garrison Bay, and includes a seasonal visitor center and a range of hiking trails. Each summer, the staff and volunteers put on a special Encampment, where you can learn about what life was like during the Pig War.

See the largest herd of alpacas in the San Juans on this 70-acre working farm. Alpacas grow one of the world's softest, most luxurious fibers, and are irresistibly cute. Enjoy a self-guided stroll around the grounds or shop the Country Store for fine alpaca clothing and gifts. Call ahead for guided tours.