Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, Washington, near Seattle.
Dining, exploring art galleries, shopping, walking, slowing down . . . relaxing.
Friday Harbor is a walking kind of town. Most of the hotels, boutique hotels and Bed and Breakfasts are in our little town.
San Juan Island is known for orca whale watching, sea kayaking, hiking, biking, mopeding, history, a vineyard, museums, a lavender farm, an alpaca farm, a farmers market and many fine restaurants. These are just a few reasons to come and stay.
Consider spending at least a couple of days.
San Juan Island has over 50 lodging facilities.
You may also wish to visit Lopez Island and Orcas Island as a day trip from San Juan Island. We can assist you with
Most people that visit Friday Harbor or the San Juan Islands come for the natural beauty. To soak in the clean air, clean water, slower pace and just refresh their souls.
This is not a place for someone who loves the city and staying busy every moment of the day.
We do have both a live theatre and a movie theatre. And yes, there is shopping. The boutiques and shops here are mainly operated by their owners and staffed with their friends.
We also have many talented artists on this island whose works can be purchased in Friday Harbor.
Many come to bike. Be aware that the roads are winding and have blind corners. Many roads are gravel, which is not a problem as long as you stay alert.
Mopeds are rented for those who just are not up to a bike ride. You can see the entire island by moped. Be aware that the roads are winding and have blind corners. Many roads are gravel, which is not a problem as long as you stay alert.
Swim in the ocean (if you like 45 degree water) or at Lakedale or Earthbox Motel. There are a few other places to dive in as well.
Speaking of diving - Jacque Cousteau is to have said the the San Juan Islands were one of his most favorite cold water diving locations. We have a dive shop right in Friday Harbor.
There is a sign in one of our local restaurants.
San Juan Islands, Wash. Bold-face restaurateurs vie with unspoiled nature. Nature wins.The big draw for the San Juan Islands this year just might be its dining scene.
Blaine Wetzel, a former chef at the wildly acclaimed Copenhagen restaurant Noma, took the reins at Willows Inn on Lummi Island (due to reopen on Feb. 10), while Lisa Nakamura, who has trained with big-name chefs like Thomas Keller, opened Allium on Orcas Island.
But the eternal lure of the San Juans — what brings chefs out as well as tourists — are the landscapes. On islands from Shaw to Decatur, pastoral hills give way to broody forests and scrappy escarpments that overlook fjordlike inlets.
Thanks to an active land preservation effort by organizations like the San Juan County Land Bank, each year new areas are protected from logging or unruly development, and in turn provide fresh terrain for the public to explore.
Last year, the San Juan Island National Historic Park grew by 312 acres with the purchase of densely forested Mitchell Hill. On Lopez Island, a 50-year lease signed by the state Department of Natural Resources in 2009 now protects the Lopez Hill area from logging; a web of public trails winds past mossy conifers and madrona trees with peeling cinnamon-red bark.
And some smaller parcels have the air of a secret about them, like the spectacular Watmough Bay Preserve on Lopez, with a trail that leads to a strip of beach on a wooded inlet, its moody water as magically lighted as a Bierstadt painting.
— SARA DICKERMAN
Breaching Orca - photo contest winner Ernie Westle of Canada,
taken near San Juan Island Sunset Whale Watching Tours Start Saturday, June 9 to August 18
Our whale watching boat MV Sea Lion-
55 foot, new and fast with walk around deck and bathroom
2007 Orca Photo Contest Winner David Erlich
Orca Breaching by Dennis Anderson
2008 Photo contest winner
I took my high school biology class out with you a couple of weeks ago
and had a fantastic time. The kids couldn't say enough about the
trip--the boat, the naturalists, and mostly the whales were really
great. Thanks! I wasn't sure where to send photos for your contest
(this is the only email that I found on the web site) so I've attached
them here. I had never seen breaching before (this is probably my
sixth or seventh trip), so when they did it over and over, I was
amazed. I hope it's OK to send fairly large photos.. We'll
definitely use you guys again!
Families and Whale Watching - a perfect outing
The tiny gold dot represents resident orca whales
Patty Quales and her husband sent this in for the 2010 Photo Contest
. They are the winners for 'wildlife'.
This was taken on the southern end of San Juan Island of Stellar Sea Lions hauled out.
Note the lighthouse in the background.
Janet Holba 2010 photo contest winner in the whale category from June
We are proud members of the Pacific Whale Watch Association, This logo assures you that a company is a member in good standing.
The "Association" has worked with scientists, NOAA and industry leaders to assist in writing the Whale Watching Guidelines and Best Practices
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San Juan Safaris, Inc.,
Friday Harbor, WA, USA