Winter Paradise in the San Juans

Escape to the islands for a relaxing winter getaway!

The welcome mat is out year-round in the charming and beautiful San Juan Islands! Visit the towns, hamlets and villages on the three main islands—Lopez, Orcas and San Juan—all decked in holiday lights. Stroll an empty beach, browse in uncrowded shops and indulge in spas, local wines, and delicious cuisine. The perfect winter retreat, the San Juans are waiting for you this December, January and February!


What's the winter weather like in the San Juans?

With an average daytime temperature of 46-48 degrees Fahrenheit in December, January and February, winter in the San Juan Islands is mild compared to many other regions of the United States. The islands get about half as much rain as the Seattle area, on average. Dressing in layers is always a good idea as an overcast morning may turn into a beautiful sunny afternoon. Be prepared with a light jacket to take the place of your rain gear as you explore the islands' seasonal beauty.


Winter Travel Tips

The ferry schedule changes each season, so check the schedule as soon as you start to plan your trip. Even though the ferries are less crowded in winter, it's still a good idea to make a reservation. There are many ways to get to the San Juans, including airplane and sea plane or driving onto the ferry at Anacortes, depending on the weather. Often, the weather in the winter is partially overcast and not too cold, perfect for biking the uncrowded roads on Lopez or San Juan Islands.

Things To Do in the Winter

We have a few favorite winter activities, and keep a full list HERE! Check out all the fun events happening this winter and start planning your trip today!

Embrace the Arts

The islands have thriving arts communities, with community theaters, art galleries, and museums that are open year round. The San Juan Islands Museum of Art in Friday Harbor offers wonderful shows featuring stunning work by international, national, regional and local artists.

SJIMA, Friday Harbor

Take time to Learn

The Whale Museum offers a fun and educational way to spend a drizzly day! Just three blocks from the ferry landing in downtown Friday Harbor, it offers free videos, interactive exhibits, and a well-stocked shop that features marine mammal books, art, and gifts.   

The Whale Museum in Friday Harbor by Slater Moore

A Night at the Theater

Spend a night out on the town! Enjoying a delicious lunch or dinner before taking in a concert, play or other performance at the Orcas Center, the Lopez Center for Community and the Arts, or the San Juan Community Theatre. With shows year-round, your sure to be delighted with an evening of entertainment.

Theater Performance

Get Moving!

Winter outdoor activities are a great way to get in touch with nature—and yourself.  Winter hiking and biking are spectacular when the trails are empty and the woods are quiet. Along rocky bluffs and driftwood covered beaches, you'll find historic lighthouses, stunning vistas and unmatched Salish Sea beauty.  Choose your level of difficulty, from easy walks to challenging climbs, across countless nature preserves and public lands. Check out our Hiking Maps page for more information. There are also several whale and wildlife watching tours running in the winter to help you spot some other island locals!

Hiking on Orcas Island, Photo by Jon Garcia

Where to stay?

From cozy bed-and-breakfast inns to historic hotels on the water, there are a myriad of lodging options to choose from in winter. Rates are lower, and a wide selection of rooms are available in the quiet months. Watch our Winter Romance Specials & Events page for the best rates.

Hotel de Haro in the snow, Photo by Jack Riley

Winter Wonders of the San Juan Islands

Find a cozy bed and breakfast inn, historic hotel or vacation home as homebase for your winter getaway to the San Juans.