The three primary destination islands of San Juan, Orcas, and Lopez offer locally made treats, unhurried beach escapes, and plentiful outdoor activities.
Friday Harbor, San Juan Island
As the gateway to the island, Friday Harbor welcomes visitors with a wealth of amenities. Only steps from the ferry terminal and a large marina, Friday Harbor makes the perfect base for excursions on the water, from kayaking trips to whale-watching tours.
This charming, walkable seaport is bursting with locally owned shops and restaurants, with many catering to families or those traveling with their beloved pooches. Those craving culture can enjoy The Whale Museum, the San Juan Islands Museum of Art, the San Juan Community Theatre, and more. Choose from abundant lodging options, including Friday Harbor House and Earthbox Inn & Spa. Exploring the rest of the island is easy thanks to shuttle buses, a trolley, and bike and moped rentals.
Roche Harbor, San Juan Island
About a 16-minute drive from the ferry terminal, Roche Harbor invites you to slow down and unwind. Spend an afternoon exploring the 377-slip marina, enjoy a meal in one of three waterfront restaurants, or wander the San Juan Sculpture Park, home to more than 150 outdoor art creations. The focal point of this little harbor is the historic Hotel de Har. The hotel has been serving guests since 1886 and is part of Roche Harbor Resort.
Eastsound, Orcas Island
Tucked inside the island’s horseshoe bend, Eastsound is the island’s hub. Only a 15-minute drive from the ferry terminal, this walkable town boasts galleries, restaurants, boutique shops, and the Orcas Island Historical Museums. The seasonal farmers’ market is hopping all summer long, and it feels like every restaurant offers up dishes made with fresh, local ingredients. Sample beers at Island Hoppin Brewery or enjoy tasty treats at Brown Bear Baking. There are plenty of options for lodging in and near Eastsound.
Olga, Orcas Island
About 20 minutes from Eastsound you’ll find the art-focused hamlet of Olga. This tiny corner of the island is home to Orcas Island Artworks, which showcases local crafts and fine art in a restored strawberry barreling plant. Olga is also home to Buck Bay Shellfish Farm and its seasonal bistro, as well as lodging at Doe Bay Resort & Retreat.
Lopez Village, Lopez Island
Laid-back Lopez Island is a patchwork of 29.5 square miles filled with bucolic farmland and splendid beaches. You’ll find the commercial hub of the island, Lopez Village, about 4 miles from the ferry terminal. The tiny village offers a variety of shops and galleries, a bakery, restaurants, and a grocery store. The flattest island in the archipelago, Lopez is a popular spot for cyclists. The perfect bike trip starts or ends (or both) with a visit to Holly B’s Bakery for an almond butterhorn.