Quintessential Summer Activities in the San Juan Islands

With warm weather, lots of sunshine, and miles of shimmering waters, the San Juan Islands are an outdoor lover’s summer dream. The San Juan Islands features three main islands: San Juan, Orcas, and Lopez, and there are so many unique adventures to be had on them. You can go kayaking on the water, learn about the rich history of the Islands, enjoy delicious seafood, and much more! There is truly something for everyone in the San Juan Islands. 

person kayaking

7 Can’t-Miss San Juan Islands Summer Activities

The team Northwest Island Escapes has curated a list of the best summer activities in the San Juan Islands. Check them out and start planning your summer vacation!

  1. Experience Whale Watching. The best opportunity to see Orcas in the San Juan Islands is from June to September when they forage on salmon in the area’s waters. Rent a boat or kayak and try to find them yourself or choose from many of the superb whale watching tours in the area. 
  2. Take a Hike. The highest point in the island archipelago and part of Moran State ParkMount Constitution provides a 360-degree view of the islands, Mount Baker, both the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges, the Canadian Gulf Islands, and Vancouver Island. This stunning hike is a bit challenging but the view is well worth it!
  3. Glide Along the Water. In the San Juan Islands, you can rent kayaks by the hour for unguided exploring or take a guided tour. Guided tours include paddling through the island’s west-side killer whale sanctuary, sunset outings, and an evening bioluminescence tour to see glowing plankton.
  4. Learn About the History of the San Juan Islands. On San Juan Island there are remnants of English and American army encampments from the mid-1800s. Learn the full story of the Pig War when you visit. You can also visit the Lime Kiln LighthouseCattle Point Lighthouse, or Turn Point Lighthouse to see more historical sites.
  5. Shop Friday Harbor. Centered on Spring Street, Friday Harbor’s shopping district features floral shops such as Robin’s Nest, local produce at King’s Market, more than 40,000 books to browse at Serendipity Books, and sweets at Friday Harbor Chocolates.
  6. Visit a Lavender Farm. Travel to the center of San Juan Island to check out the beautiful Pelindaba Lavender Farm. Cut your own stalks to take home and treat your taste buds with fresh made lavender lemonade, iced tea, ice cream, and cookies.
  7. Enjoy a Local Farmers Market. On Saturdays April through October, stop by the San Juan Island Farmers Market on Nichols Street for baked goods, local produce, and live music.

Exceptional Vacation Rental Homes in the San Juan Islands

After a fun-filled day exploring all that the San Juan Islands have to offer, unwind in your luxury lodgings. Northwest Island Escapes is the largest, and most experienced, management agency in the Islands and features more than 70 exceptional vacation rental homes. Our staff is local, knowledgeable, and ready to help you select the perfect San Juan Islands vacation rental. There’s no place more beautiful for recreation, relaxation and rejuvenation! To plan your San Juan Islands adventure with Northwest Island Escapes, check our availability online or give us a call at 1-800-391-8190.