The San Juan Islands are sometimes called "Paradise in the Pacific Northwest."  Located in one of Washington 'rain shadow' areas, they receive less rain and more sunshine than Seattle and many other areas of western Washington.  Most of the rain and cloudy days occur in the winter and spring with sunny days and ideal temperatures during the long daylight hours of the summer.  Most people travel to the San Juans on a Washington State ferry (which is both a car and passenger ferry) which departs from Anacortes on the mainland.  There are visitor services, many accommodations and activities on the three major islands: Lopez, Orcas and San Juan. The current ferry schedule can be seen online at:

There are many choices for lodging in B&Bs, country inns and historic resorts.  Each island has an active artists community and galleries selling their works.  Farmers markets operate spring through autumn on Saturdays.  Guided sea kayaking tours are popular May through September in the protected waters of the Salish Sea which surrounds the islands.  Orca whales are frequently seen from commercial tour boat or shore (mainly from San Juan Island best known spot, Lime Kiln Point State Park which has the nickname of 'Whale watch Park") during the summer months.

Friday Harbor on San Juan Island is the only incorporated town and the ferry landing is located right in town.  Eastsound Village on Orcas and Lopez Village on Lopez are the other major activity centers and are smaller than Friday Harbor and both are located 20 minutes drive or so from where the ferry lands on those islands.  There are only about 15,000 residents in all of  the San Juan Islands, so it's a very rural experience in a maritime setting. A car is the most flexible way to see San Juan Island sights if you wish to set your own pace.   San Juan Transit Company provides a shuttle in the warmer months.  Information on that is at:   During the busy summer tourist season if you are only coming for a short visit and don't want to deal with the extra wait times and costs of bringing a vehicle on the ferry, you can leave your car in the parking lot at the ferry terminal in Anacortes. 

A photo gallery, travel/lodging info and activities calendar can be found on the website of the San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau at  Their toll-free number is 888-468-3701.