There’s just something about slipping away to an archipelago of islands in the Pacific Northwest that makes you smile. The beautiful San Juan Islands attract visitors from all over the country and from around the world due to their natural beauty and sophisticated but laid back vibe. This makes it one of the more romantic destinations for you and your outdoorsy honey bunny, escaping city skyscrapers for ocean sunsets and Douglas fir trees.
Things to do in the San Juans
Hiking in Moran State Park – The highest peak on the island provides you with the “Ooohhhh I’m so glad we did this!” kind of view. There are over 5,000 acres of waterfalls, forests as well as hiking and biking trails to explore and enjoy.
Drink Wine and Be Merry – Nothing reminds you of why you love your partner like sharing a nice glass of wine. There are two vineyards on the islands, San Juan Vineyards (http://www.sanjuanvineyards.com/) and Lopez Island Vineyards (http://www.lopezislandvineyards.com) both of which deserve a visit.
Frolick through Lavender Fields – Admire the waves of organic fields of purple at Pelindaba Lavender http://www.pelindabalavender.com/ With a range of different products for the skin and kitchen, this is a unique item to add to your things to do list
Watch Sunsets and Whales
Lime Kiln State Park is the place to be if you would like to see a pod of Orca whales cruise by. Easy walking paths make this a more relaxed day in the park and with westward views, you can stay late and plan a simple but romantic sunset picnic.
Where to stay
While the San Juans are the perfect place for nature lovers, this doesn’t mean you have to rough it (i.e. camping) and there are plenty of options that offer the comfort of a warm and cozy king size bed.
Orcas Island – Pebble Cove Farm http://www.pebblecovefarm.com/
Get the “I’ve always wanted to live on a little farm in the San Juans!” experience with a romantic weekend away at Pebble Cove Farm. This organic farm gives you all the romance of a weekend in the middle of nothing with a private beach, acres of gardens and waterfront views. Homemade granola from the organic garden and farm make this a favorite of eco-friendly couples. Even if you’re not into the local, organic free-range eggs, the location right next to the ocean makes this a romantic weekend must. (Oh and I did I mention there are hot tubs?)
Friday Harbor, San Juan Island – Tucker House Bed & Breakfast http://www.tuckerhouse.com/
Excellent location close to ferry terminal so that you can easily walk and enjoy the the town of Friday Harbor. Guests rave about the delicious breakfast and the fact that it is brought to your bed, giving you absolutely no reason to leave the room. Tucker House also gets bonus point for being pet friendly.
How to get there:
A boat or seaplane are your best options from Seattle. Washington State Ferries run from Anacortes (about 1.5 hrs north of Seattle by car) through the islands of Lopez, Orcas and San Juan. If you’re not a believer in “getting there is half the fun” or short on time, consider treating yourself to one of Kenmore Air’s flights. You will still get a view of the all the islands but arrive at your destination much, much quicker.
When to go:
While the best times are the sunny summer months, when the sun is reflecting all the glory these islands have to offer. That being said, this is the busiest time when lodging rates are the highest. You will need to book ahead. Spring and autumn are great times to enjoy all that the island have to offer with less people but with less certainty of good weather. In winter, the islands are very, very quiet with some establishments closing and limited ferry service.