We encourage you to spend some time on San Juan Island and the other nearby islands before and after your sea kayaking vacation. The San Juan Islands are a popular recreation area for sailors and boaters, bicyclists, scuba divers, fishermen, and sight-seeing tourists.

Hiking Trails – After using your arms for propulsion on a kayak trip, a good hike on a scenic trail is the perfect complement to keep your body and mind balanced. Check out our page about Hiking in the San Juan Islands.

Bicycle Rentals – All of the San Juan Islands, including Orcas, Shaw, and Lopez, are wonderful for bicyclists. Island Bicycles 360-378-4941 is located in downtown Friday Harbor and rents bicycles by the hour, day or week.

The Whale Museum – This is a great little museum for learning about whales and orcas in particular. It is located 2 blocks from the ferry terminal in downtown Friday Harbor. The museum boasts full-size skeletons of killer whales that once lived in the San Juan Islands, and a variety of other thoughtful exhibits and interactive displays.

Whale-watching by Powered Boat – Try Jim Maya’s Whale Watching for orca whale watching from San Juan Island. Jim provides a personalized service with a maximum of six guests.

Lime Kiln (Whale Watch) State Park – The first park ever created for the purpose of whale-watching, it offers frequent views of orcas and minke whales, Dall’s and harbor porpoises, harbor seals, bald eagles, and lots more. Our one day kayaking trips explore the scenic shores of this wonderful park. Bicyclists often ride to Lime Kiln to have a picnic. Park staff are present to interpret natural history.

San Juan Island National Historical Park – British and American Camps – These parks commemorate the days when the United States and Great Britain nearly went to war over possession of the San Juan Islands. The “Pig War” nearly erupted into full scale battle after an American settler shot a pig owned by Britain’s Hudson Bay Company. The two camps are located on opposite ends of the island and make a great destination for bicyclists, trail hikers and picnickers. Both locations have excellent high hills for stunning views of mountains, sea, and islands.

Pelindaba Lavender Farm – Enjoy the lovely aroma of lavender while wandering the rows of different varieties that thrive on San Juan Island. A gift shop stocked with unique lavender products is on site as well as  in Friday Harbor.

Bus Day Pass – Explore the best recreational, cultural, historical and scenic sites on San Juan Island or Orcas Island. San Juan Transit offers a variety of bus routes and passes.

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Activities on the Other Islands in the San Juan Archipelago

The Washington State Ferry route through the San Juan Islands has been designated a scenic by-way and named one of the top ten ferry rides in the world. It will take you to the other major San Juan Islands: Orcas Island, Lopez Island, and Shaw Island. Inter-island walk-on passengers travel for free in both directions. Vehicles can travel free while going east-bound but must pay west-bound fares.

Lopez Island is the most popular San Juan Island among bicyclists thanks to the flatter terrain. Visit Lopez Village and grab a snack at the iconic Holly B’s Bakery or enjoy a picnic at one of several parks around the island.  Lopezians still retain the quaint custom of waving at everyone as they drive by!

Orcas Island is more rugged and a challenge for bike riders. Less energetic folks may prefer the Orcas Island shuttle bus for getting around.  Drive up Mt. Constitution in Moran State Park, the highest point on the islands at 2,409 feet, and enjoy the amazing view from the lookout tower. The hiking trails around the beautiful lakes and waterfalls in Moran State Park are very beautiful. Eastsound is one of several villages on Orcas Island and features the most variety of restaurants and shops.

Shaw Island is the smallest and least visited by tourists. There is a nice county park to visit, but no overnight accommodations, so be sure to catch the last boat off the island!

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San Juan Islands Kayak Tours &
Whale Watching Trips near Seattle, Washington