San Juan Islands
You can easily take a ferry from Anacortes to Lopez Island, Shaw Island, Orcas Island, or Friday Harbor (on San Juan Island). For more information about fares, click here and for current schedule information click here. It is also possible to take a ferry to Canada, but there is only one ferry per day in each direction so you would need to make it an overnight trip. For some information about each island continue reading below.
San Juan Island
Friday Harbor is probably the most popular stop on the San Juan ferry circuit. You can shop in the galleries and boutiques or stop for a coffee or an amazing lunch in a cafe or restaurant as you stroll along streets with a beautiful ocean view. Bike or moped rentals are a great option for seeing the whole island and don't miss the zip line tour or the whale museum! Click here to find out all the posibilities for your day trip to San Juan Island!
This island is often called “the emerald isle”. It also boasts the largest mountain in the San Juan islands. Great for hiking or a challenging bike ride, this island also has several lakes for swimming and a beautiful coastline. Rent a bike, take a kayak tour, whale watching tour, or charter a fishing boat or sailboat. Also check out the art galleries, restaurants and boutiques. You can find some great pictures and more on their tourist page.
Take a short hike and check out the seals and sea lions at Sharks Reef Sanctuary. Spencer Spit State Park has many great hiking trails, some great views and we have heard that there is a great sunset kayak tour from the park. Another great hike takes you to Iceberg Peak which has a great view of the Cascade mountains and the sea. For a great family outing, you can also rent bicycles and enjoy the 30-mile bike circuit, which is one of the tamest and flattest in the San Juan Islands. In Lopez village you will also find a choice of restaurants and coffee shops with a bakery. There are a few shops and on Saturdays in the summer you can explore fresh produce and local arts and crafts at the Lopez Farmers' Market. You can find even more ideas about what to do on their tourist website.
This is the smallest island that can be reached by San Juan ferry routes. It has some great sandy beaches and is easy to bike around. Visit the Shaw County Park, the University of Washington biological preserve or Our Lady of the Rock Benedictine Monastary. If you go make sure to pack a lunch or pick something up at the General Store Deli as there are no markets or restaurants on the island. There is however some great ice cream at the ferry landing while you are waiting for the next ferry. For more details and ideas you can look here.
Photos of the San Juan Islands courtesy of http://www.visitsanjuans.com/