About the San Juan Islands

Say farewell to worry and stress and say hello to the mellow islands vibe, a temperate year-round climate, and long, lazy hours of doing just what you want. Count on temperatures around 70° in the summer and 40° in the winter. A happy confluence of weather systems also accounts for the high level of air quality you’ll appreciate across the San Juans. So relax—you’re on “island time” now!

Let us acknowledge that we reside on the ancestral lands and waters of the Coast Salish people who have called this place home since time immemorial and let us honor inherent, aboriginal, and treaty rights that have been passed down from generation to generation. 

There are 172 named islands and reefs in San Juan County. Three ferry served Islands, San Juan Island (with the county seat Friday Harbor), Orcas Island, and Lopez Island are the most populous and host the vast majority of lodging and dining options and tourism activities. Shaw Island is also accessible by ferry but has limited camping and visitor amenities.

Q: What is the best island to stay on in the San Juan Islands?

A: That depends on your vacation plans. Each island has unique experiences and accommodation options. Lopez Island offers rolling pastoral views and easy access to bikeable roads from quaint B&Bs and bayside hotels. Orcas Island is full of outdoor adventure with Moran State Park near in-town hotels, secluded forest cabins, and stunning water-view resorts like Rosario Resort, West Beach Resort, and more. San Juan Island is home to bustling Friday Harbor, quaint Snug Harbor, and charming Roche Harbor, as well as a variety of B&Bs, inns, and hotels. Each island’s unique offerings make them adventures all their own, so take the interisland ferry to visit them all!    

Q: Can I visit the Islands for a day trip? 

A: Of course! A day trip is a great way to get a taste of what each island has to offer - though you'll only scratch the surface. The Islands are best experienced over several days when you have the opportunity to adjust to "island time," enjoy both a sunset and a sunrise, and take your time at each stop. Find day trip information here.

Q: Can I bring an RV? When do the whales swim by? Do I need a passport to visit? 

A: All of these questions and more are answered on our FAQ page. Chances are, you're not the first to have questions about the San Juan Islands and we're here to help!

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Contact Us:
San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau
1-888-468-3701 | (360) 378-9551
P.O. Box 1330, Friday Harbor, Washington 98250
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