San Juan Islands – one of the most beautiful places on earth is located just north of Seattle in the Salish sea. It consists of more than 400 islands and rocks, out of which only 4 are inhabited. The largest, San Juan Island is home to Friday Harbor, the most admired of all San Juan Islands' tourist attractions. On Lopez Island, cyclists can explore miles of flat trails; Orcas is home to local artists and hills favored for hiking; Shaw Island is the place to unplug, with 11 campsites and quiet beaches.
Whale watching in San Juan islands is the most revered activity whilst vacationing here. And your vacation remains incomplete if you don’t experience whale watching in the San Juan Islands. You can spot these majestic marine animals from many of the shores or on board your own private yacht charter. The summers of the San Juan islands are the time when visitors in large number make their way, but these islands are a paradise in winter too, with plenty to see and do in our “quiet season”.
TAKE A LEISURELY STROLL – Take a leisurely stroll through the San Juan's parks and pathways in the winter and breathe in the fresh smell of sea air. If you want to enjoy the stillness of winter, choose to walk at Afterglow Vista Trail. Formally known as the McMillin Mausoleum Afterglow Vista is a symbolic structure that looks like something out of a fantasy novel. The quiet walk through the woods that meets a gravel road provide the visitors with the mesmerizing vistas of lush green scenery.
The lakes, forests and meadows that are spread out through acres of the area give each visitor a taste of the outdoors. In the months of December and January, you can even spot the magnificent white trumpeter swans that visit the San Juan Islands during the winter each year.
GO WHALE WATCHING – San Juan Islands are home to magnificent orca whales all throughout the year. But anyone who comes to spot orcas usually ends up seeing a whole gang of whales. You're also likely to spot minke whales, Dall’s porpoises, harbor porpoises, humpback whales, Pacific white-sided dolphins, sea lions, harbor seals, and more! Get out on the water under the guidance of an expert on board a private luxury yacht charter and grab the golden chance to spot whales in their natural habitat.
For a preview of your whale-sighting experience, you might visit The Whale Museum in downtown Friday Harbor. Here you can have a look at the whale skeletons. You can also listen to the songs of various species in the Whale Phone Booth.
ENJOY HIKING – Although the San Juan Islands of Washington state are best for sea kayaking the scenic hiking trails are in itself a treat. A good day hike on a panoramic trail is the perfect complement to keep your body and mind balanced. Orcas Island hiking at Mt. Constitution & Moran State Park offers a panoramic 360-degree view of the San Juan Islands. Lopez Island hiking at Iceberg Point offers an excellent view point. San Juan Island's Cattle Point, known for its small lighthouse rewards hikers with the same superb views one finds at Iceberg Point. Cattle Point is much better for whale watching thanks to an underwater formation known as the Salmon Bank. All of these hiking trails are for day hikes only.
APPRECIATE THE ARTS – In the San Juan Islands, winters are the perfect time to visit and explore a museum. This is the time when they host a major event! The gorgeous glass building of the San Juan Islands Museum of the Arts (SJIMA) houses the work of artists from the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia. The work depicts the perfect blend of mediums, historical and social life.
Every winter, SJIMA hosts their annual Registry Show, wherein the multimedia art of 92 area artists is exhibited. The theme for this year is “Spirit Taking Form” and will be on display from December 10 to February 18, 2018. It is a good opportunity for browsing and buying!
There are plenty of things to do both indoors and outdoors while vacationing in the San Juan islands this winter. Visit the much-admired island of Pacific Northwest and experience a side of the island that only locals typically see: calm streets, still forests, and empty trails along with exploring other famous San Juan Islands' tourist attractions. Your adventure of whale watching in the San Juan Islands is just a click away.