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Should I spend a day in San Juan Islands?

Salt Lake City, Utah
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Should I spend a day in San Juan Islands?

I am arranging a Washington trip mid-June, and looking for interesting things to do. I'll be staying in Winlock (about an hour south of Seattle). Someone mentioned to me that a day trip to the San Juan Islands would be a fun excursion... but I don't have the slightest clue as to what people do there.

I know this is a very open-ended question, but please help me decide if taking the several-hour road trip is worth it?

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Washington
Washington
United States
Winlock
Winlock
Washington
Seattle
Seattle
Washington
Port Angeles, WA
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for Olympic National Park
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1. Re: Should I spend a day in San Juan Islands?

No. It will take you all day to get to the San Juans and back. They are far better done as an overnight. Since you have no burning interest in visiting the San Juans, you should not go through all the trouble of getting there, which involves traffic, a long drive, and a ferry wait, only to turn right around and come back.

If you want suggestions for things to do, please let us know something about yourself. What are your interests?

Seattle, Wa
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2. Re: Should I spend a day in San Juan Islands?

If you do it as a day trip, the only practical option is to walk or bike on (lining up your car will kill too much time). If you walk on, the only real option is to enjoy the scenic ferry ride, get off in Friday Harbor, have lunch, reverse. So, it's really just about relaxing/scenery/hopefully spotting whales, seals, etc. If you are a cyclist, Lopez is a wonderful island for biking. Whether it's worth it or not just depends on what you're looking for--there are certainly plenty or other things (both urban and nature-based) to do closer to Winlock. If you are just looking for a walk on ferry ride/lunch on an island, the Seattle to Bainbridge run would be a lot closer.

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Seattle
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Salt Lake City, Utah
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3. Re: Should I spend a day in San Juan Islands?

Thanks for the advice. I was worried that it would be a lot for a simple day trip. I'm certainly not against driving there and staying the night, though! My husband and I love shops/restaurants, and scenery as well. I'd love to see orca whales! We're in our lower 30s, and just looking for something interesting to do. I'm a photographer, too, so something to photograph would certainly pique my interest.

Poulsbo, Washington
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4. Re: Should I spend a day in San Juan Islands?

Seeing Orcas in the in their natural environment is always a thrill, and the San Juans are beautiful. Ideally if you want to go whale watching two nights would be better. Long day up and back and then your Orca cruise is going to take half your day when all is said and done.

Edited: 01 June 2011, 01:02
Green Valley...
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5. Re: Should I spend a day in San Juan Islands?

Get an early start and...

Whidbey Island (Great day or more getaway that is characteristic of many of the features of the Pacific NW, with key websites.)

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g58824-s2/Whidbey-Isl…

www.whidbeycamanoislands.com/…

Ebey’s Landing State Park, on Whidbey Island – Dramatic, easy, trail, farmland to the east, Puget Sound and the Olympics to the west.

nps.gov/PWR/customcf/apps/maps/showmap.cfm…

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6. Re: Should I spend a day in San Juan Islands?

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