Make A Visit To The Beautiful San Juan Islands

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There is a great amount of satisfaction that can come from finding a remote vacation destination that is both beautiful and not widely known about. These little slices of heaven can offer incredibly satisfying vacation experiences, both because of what they offer and because they are usually a lot less crowded than the more popular destinations. For anyone looking to vacation on the West Coast of the United States, one of the best places they can visit, especially for someone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of urban life, is the San Juan Islands.

The San Juan Islands are located in Puget Sound, just northwest of the city of Seattle. There are four main islands that make up the San Juan Islands, they are Lopez Island, Shaw Island, Orcas Island, and San Juan Island. Each of these islands can be accessed by private boat as well as the ferries operated by the Washington State Department of Transportation. There are a number of great features and benefits that the islands have to offer the many visitors that come their way, the most loved thing about them though is the secluded setting that is found there. A wonderful time can be had on a visit to any of the San Juan Islands.

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Lopez Island

Lopez Island is accessible by the Washington State Ferries, private boat, and by air as there is a small airstrip on the island. One of the key features of Lopez Island is the amount of protected natural park land there including Odlin Park, Agate Beach County Park, Otis Perkins Day Park, Upright Channel Park, Spencer Spit State Park, and Shark Reef among others. Otis Perkins Day Park is home to the longest beach in the entire San Juan Islands. Of all the islands that make up the San Juan Islands, Lopez Island is the most flat. This has the effect of making nearly every area on the island extremely accessible. One of the popular activities is biking around the island, visitors can bring their own bikes or rent them from a number of different places once they are there. For those wanting to spend the night on the island, there are many country style bed and breakfasts, some located either on the beach or on the hillsides overlooking the water of Puget Sound.

Shaw Island

Of the main islands, Shaw Island is the smallest and also the least developed. In fact, other than some small bed and breakfasts, there are virtually no commercial businesses on the island at all. The island offers some great roads that can be explored and enjoyed, though most of them are inland and don’t provide access to the coast. Shaw Island is gorgeous though, and for those seeking a secluded getaway, it just may be the exact thing they are looking for.

Orcas Island

Probably the most popular of all of the islands in the San Juan Islands is Orcas Island. This is the largest island by size and the second largest by population too. The island offers an incredible amount of opportunities to spend the night in the San Juans with a number of hotels and bed and breakfasts. There are also a decent amount of businesses on the island too, including a notable selection of antique stores and galleries. Orcas Island is also home to Moran State Park which is one of the focal points for those visiting the island. Moran State Park features Mount Constitution, which at 2,409 feet is the highest point on the entire island. Moran State Park includes more than Mount Constitution though as there are also hiking trails, several lakes, waterfalls, and a campground located on its more than 5,000 acres. Obstruction Pass State Park is also located on Orcas Island, though it is accessible only by hiking or boating into it. There are a few very well equipped historical sites and museums on the island which allow visitors to gain a whole new appreciation for area and region. A fun weekend, or even longer, can be had by nearly everyone who travels out to Orcas Island.

San Juan Island

Sharing its name with the entire group of islands, San Juan Island is the most populated of all of the San Juan Islands. The most popular destination community on the island is Friday Harbor and attracts people wanting to get away from it all during all times of the year. The island is accessible via the Washington State Ferry system as well as by air. Biking is very popular on the island and the roads are uniquely set up to allow those exploring the island by bike to have a very enjoyable time. San Juan Island National Historic Park is one of the more visited historic sites in the entire area and provides a great look at one of the more unusual events in the history of the United States, the Pig War of 1859. San Juan Island offers a great vacation experience in a beautiful scenic location.

The San Juan Islands are not the most popular vacation destinations in the United States, but they do offer one of the best opportunities for a relaxing vacation in a remote and even secluded location. There are a number of activities that can be experienced in the San Juan Islands, including boating, ocean kayaking, hiking, beach combing, sunbathing, swimming, fishing, camping, and more. The San Juan Islands are famous for their beauty and many people love them for the activities they can participate in there, the overall best thing about these islands though is the chance they give vacationers to slow down and take a break in front of one of the loveliest backdrops in the entire United States. Experiencing the unique laid back lifestyle of the San Juan Islands is the best reason anyone can have to go there, and it is the main reason that a great many vacationers return there year after year.

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