With their long summer days, pastoral scenery and well-earned reputation for friendliness, the San Juan Islands are one of the best destinations in the US for beginner and intermediate cycling vacations. Below are just some of the reasons why.
Five Great Reasons to Visit the San Juan Islands
- The Scenery. A patchwork of small, family owned farms, snow-capped mountains on the horizon and hundreds of small coves and inlets.
- Pace of Life. Reminiscent of small-town America 40 years past. People have time to talk and take care of you. You will see this in hotels, restaurants and the art galleries. There’s a reason that Lopez is known as the friendly Isle.”
- Manageable and quiet roads. 35 mph is the limit on many roads where cars are courteous and few. The rolling terrain is easily traversed by active individuals happy to take it easy.
- Connection to water. Stunning water views around every turn. Sailing between islands on the ferry system is all part of the experience. And, the seafood is outstanding.
- Easy Distances. The islands are small so you’re never far from your destination. That said, the best routes meander around. Typical distances are 10 to 30 miles per day.
Top 10 Things to Do on the San Juan Islands
- Cycling along quiet lanes
- Whale Watching on fast boats capable of reaching Canadian waters
- Sea Kayaking – for a slower more intimate experience on the water
- Nothing! Just sit and do nothing but take in the view of the ocean after a day in the saddle
- Flag Ceremony – a colorful sunset ceremony at Roche Harbor that celebrates the cultural influences of Canada, Britain and US. Ideally, followed by dinner.
- Wander around the small, friendly hamlets of Friday Harbor, Eastsound and Lopez Village.
- Hiking around lakes and up the hills in the pristine state parks.
- Ferry or Flight up Puget Sound – with stunning scenery and wildlife spotting – is a great way to arrive from Seattle.
- Pottery Visit to an internationally recognized facility sited on a cliff top.
- Cycling – so good we listed it twice!