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Photo Credit: Robert Demar

5 Awesome Things to Do in the San Juan Islands

Did you hear that? It’s the voice of vacation beckoning you to take a break and have some fun! Take a short flight to the San Juan Islands and don’t miss these five highlights for the ultimate getaway.

1. Visit Lime Kiln State Park

Hailed as one of the best whale-watching spots on earth, Lime Kiln Point State Park (AKA Whale Watch Park) was actually home to a lime kiln operation for nearly 90 years. These days, visitors can watch orca and humpback whales, sea lions and seals from shore.

Head to the Lime Kiln Interpretive Center to learn about local and transient whale pods, go hiking, or paddle past in a kayak to take in the natural wonders of the park.

2. Check out the San Juan Historical Museum

Step back in time to 1894, when island life revolved around harvest time and ocean currents. Tour historical buildings including a jail, a carriage house, a log cabin and a farmhouse. Read stories from the pioneers, view photographs and learn about the variety of people who have called the San Juan Islands home over the years. Don’t miss the newly completed exhibits in the Museum of History and Industry on the history of logging and limestone processing.

3. Hike – or fish – at Moran State Park

Explore 38 miles of trails or try your luck in one of four fishing-friendly lakes at Moran State Park. The trails also accommodate mountain bikers and horses in case you want to set out atop a loyal steed. There are great camping grounds and rowboats available for rent, and there’s also a boat ramp for bigger vessels. For those who love exploring the outdoors, the natural beauty and unbeatable views in Moran State Park make it a total “must.”

4. Dine at The Mansion

The Rosario Resort encompasses a 100-year-old mansion which includes a living museum. The resort’s spa and restaurant are all part of this historic building, and the mansion is open to the public to tour.

Even if you’re staying elsewhere, The Mansion Restaurant is well worth a visit. Enjoy waterfront views and fine dining after you wander through the museum. The menu features seasonal fare sourced locally and prepared to perfection.

5. Attend an event

There are a variety of events that take place on the islands, and if you plan your trip right you can attend one that grabs your interest. Upcoming highlights include the Lopez Lamb, Wool and Goat Festival, the Salish Sea Early Music Festival, weekly Farmers’ Markets, the Rock of Orcas concert, a run of Chicago and the exhibition EMERGENCE: First Nation Legendary & Emerging Artists.

The San Juan Islands are only a quick flight from Seattle and they have tons to offer, whether you like outdoor adventure, wildlife, cultural exploration or just relaxing far away from “it all.”

To learn more and plan your trip, visit