Thursday, April 13, 2017

San Juan Islands, WA

We just got back from the beautiful San Juan Islands. For those who have never heard of them, the islands are just a few hours north of Seattle - near Victoria and Vancouver Island. They came onto my radar because of the pictures I saw pop up on Pinterest of the moody shores, orca whales and tiny harbor towns - all with beautiful snow-capped mountains as a backdrop!

We arrived into SeaTac very late on Wednesday morning, so Thursday came very quickly. We made a quick drive to Anacortes (fueled by donuts and lattes), where the ferries to the San Juan Islands leave from. It was a breezy 1 hour ferry to Friday Harbor where we grabbed some picnic rations and drove to the British Camp on the northwest side of the island. 

There are a few great hiking trails here - we picked the Bell Point and Young Hill hikes. Bell Point was lovely, but Young Hill was STUNNING. It was basically straight up hill, but we were rewarded with views of Vancouver Island in the distance.

We made a quick drive to Lime Kiln point which has an amazing lighthouse. We were also able to grab a picnic table and watch for whales for an hour or so. Luckily we saw some minke whales - unluckily, no orcas!

Afterwards, we stopped in at the San Juan Vineyards for a tasting, and picked up a bottle of their newly (as in that day!) bottled Pinot Gris. We stayed at the Friday Harbor House Hotel where we were upgraded to their "Harbor View" room. After relaxing for a bit, we walked to dinner at Topsl Sushi. I seriously loved Friday Harbor because the town was so adorable and completely walkable.

The next morning, we had breakfast at our hotel and met up with our tour group for our morning kayak tour with Discovery Sea Kayaks. I didn't bring my phone, but grabbed these pictures from the tour guide afterwards!

We were starving after kayaking all morning, so we walked to the San Juan Island Cheese Co. which may have been my favorite meal on this trip! We chatted with the owner and I told him that I was an aspiring baker and that we loved the focaccia bread. Well I emailed him after the trip and he GAVE ME THE RECIPE!! Amazing!

We went to the Pelindba Lavender store and I loaded up on amazing lavender products. I would have to say that my favorite was the lavender lemonade, but I've also greatly enjoyed using my lavender eye mask! 

We went off to explore the south side of the island that afternoon - walking the Mount Finlayson and South Beach trails until it got dark out.

It was drizzling out, so we stayed in and ate an amazing meal at our hotel that evening. The next morning, we had time to drive back out to Lime Kiln for a brisk morning hike and wander around the farmer's market in town before we had to catch the ferry back to Anacortes. Luckily we still had a few days to enjoy the PNW! 

Up Next: Or few days near Seattle (aka wineries, daffodils and amazing bridges)!

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