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San Juan Islands itinerary suggestions

Portland, Oregon
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San Juan Islands itinerary suggestions

Hello. We will be travelling in NW Washington and British Columbia during the last two weeks of August. Towards the end of our trip, we will be driving from Vancouver to Anacortes in anticipation of visiting the San Juan Islands area for three days. Because there is no way we will be able to catch an early ferry to the islands that day (and don't want to lose a whole day waiting for one), we're thinking of basing out of LaConner, Anacortes, or Bellingham instead of trying to stay on Orcas Island for our 3-day visit. Any opinions on these options would be appreciated. We've read that this is probably the busiest time of year for the San Juans. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

--Chuck

Green Valley...
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1. Re: San Juan Islands itinerary suggestions

August is indeed a very busy time. I'd stay in Anacortes, see some galleries (3 good ones on the main drag), take a drive up the park road to a view point overlooking Anacortes and the harbor. La Conner is not far and can be seen/walked in a couple of easy hours. Arrive early for the ferry.

We prefer San Juan Island as it provides the most bang for the buck, wonderful ocean views and walks (Lime Kiln Point, maybe see whales, dolphins, etc.), American and British Camps, and Friday and Roche Harbors. There is a very interesting, large and lovely outdoor sculture garden on the left just before you enter Roche harbor. Friday Harbor is the "big" town, with ample choices for dining and lodging.

We like Orcas, but it is limiting if you are a tourist. If you stay on Orcas, I suggest you drive the interisland ferry to Friday Harbor to see San Juan Island for a day. Enjoy...

Anacortes...
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2. Re: San Juan Islands itinerary suggestions

As long as you are not travelling on a Friday or near a holiday weekend...the ferry lines are really not as scary as some people make them out to be. If you are coming from Vancouver....maybe plan on checking out B'ham and LaConner in the am and hitting some high points in Anacortes. Mt Erie has an awesome view...come into town following signs for the ferry then turn left onto 32nd then left again at H Ave/Heart Lake Rd and watch for Ray Ault Dr that will take you to the best view in Skagit County at the top of Mt Erie. Also the Washington Park Loop Rd out by the ferry terminal has awesome views of the islands.....I really don't know what the islands are like this time of year for accomodations because I don't stray too far from Anacortes but even a day ferry ride out to Friday Harbor and back is great. In Anacortes for accomodations, stick to the two story hotels and you will be safe...avoid the Gateway, Holiday and San Juan Motels.

3. Re: San Juan Islands itinerary suggestions

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