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Lummi Island late September, early October

Vail, Colorado
Destination Expert
for Vail
posts: 1,079
reviews: 16
Lummi Island late September, early October

We're thinking of hanging out for a few days with our two old dogs in a VRBO house in late September/early October. Looking for some good seafood to cook at home, letting the dogs play in the water and relaxing. Is it still a nice time of the year to visit, anything we shouldn't miss, all ideas are greatly appreciated.

17 replies to this topic
Port Angeles, WA
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
posts: 6,180
reviews: 6
1. Re: Lummi Island late September, early October

Why did you pick Lummi Island? It is an unusual choice.

Vail, Colorado
Destination Expert
for Vail
posts: 1,079
reviews: 16
2. Re: Lummi Island late September, early October

I know. It seems to have reasonably priced places to rent (under $175 a night) that are dog friendly, Willow's Inn for dinner would be fun, but other than those I don't have a valid reason. I'm open to suggestions if there is somewhere else we should take a look at.

Friday Harbor...
Destination Expert
for San Juan Islands
posts: 805
reviews: 8
3. Re: Lummi Island late September, early October

There isn't much to do on Lummi island. We spent 3 days there a few years back at Willows Inn. There is not much hiking on the island (one of our main interests).....the only trail we found that was on public land was heavily treed and really had no views. The best walking we found was just on the main road that goes around the island as there is very little car traffic and then at least you can see the water most of the time. I would have no desire to return.

You would find a lot more to do and see out here on the San Juan islands. The Washington state ferry ride out to the San Juan’s is beautiful and you pass right by many rural, heavily wooded islands on the way. Here is a link to the summer ferry schedule: www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/pdf/2013Summer.pdf The San Juan ferries have lots of room for walk-on passengers but the space for cars in limited to under 150 per vessel. Basically if you have a car you should always get to the ferry landing an hour in advance but in the summer, especially mid-day on the weekends, one should figure on a 90 minute to 2 hour wait to be assured of getting on the ferry you want with a vehicle. Here is information in detail about the ferry landing in Anacortes if you have a car (then you can either take your car on the ferry or park it there and walk on the ferry) as well as webcams showing you the current car holding lot …wa.gov/ferries/…

You can find out a lot about the islands including all there is to do here at the many parks at the San Juan Visitor Bureau web site: http://www.visitsanjuans.com/ and there you can check for lodging vacancies on the dates you need (see the form on the right side of their main page). Do note that many lodgings on the island have 2 night minimums in the summer. And here is a calendar of events for San Juan: http://www.sanjuancalendar.com/

Vail, Colorado
Destination Expert
for Vail
posts: 1,079
reviews: 16
4. Re: Lummi Island late September, early October

Drifting, thanks for the detailed reply. Sounds like we might be bored on Lummi, so I'll start looking at other islands to visit. We will defiantly be bringing a car, the dogs have too much luggage to carry themselves, hopefully since we are looking at off season the ferry won't be too packed.

Seattle, Wa
posts: 2,283
reviews: 24
5. Re: Lummi Island late September, early October

I'll stick up for Lummi a bit. No, it's not a hiking paradise, but there are a number of preserves where you can take walks and you can hike to the top of the "mountain" and see views in Baker Preserve. Look at the island's website for options. There is kayaking, taking a water taxi to a state park island and exploring, and it's a good island for biking. If you stay at Willows there are other interesting things ie you can go out fishing with them. Now, these last items will not work for someone with dogs, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

Also, there is a LOT to be said for how easy it is to get there. If the hourly ferry can't pick up everyone waiting at the dock, they make extra runs after doing the 20 minute round trip crossing. This is not like Anacortes, where you need to line up hours in advance for a weekend.

But the real reason to go, and why we've gone twice and will a third time in September, is for dinner at Willows. It is every bit as extraordinary as you've heard. Maybe more.

But, if you took away dinner at Willows, and you were bringing dogs, would I recommend Lummi over the other San Juans? Not really.

Edited: 12:42 pm, July 23, 2013
Green Valley...
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park, Seattle
posts: 16,765
reviews: 45
6. Re: Lummi Island late September, early October

San Juan Islands TA Article, includes the official guide to the Islands.

Specific information on what to see and to do on the major islands, with key websites. Best seen with at least one overnight for each island. Or base on one, visit others as day trips. tripadvisor.com/Travel-g58727-c102104/San-Ju…

Hiking in the San Juan Islands, WA http://tinyurl.com/2furs3

Gig Harbor...
posts: 601
reviews: 9
7. Re: Lummi Island late September, early October

You might check out West Wynd Motel just north of Gig Harbor. They have dog-friendly two bedroom, equiped kitchen, living room units for about $110 a night. Nothing fancy, no view except trees and grass, but clean, friendly, and a great location for going in several directions. (We stayed there for a week when we were house-hunting.) Nearby is Purdy Spit and not too far is Penrose State Park, both areas where the dogs can play in Puget Sound. You can do day trips to Mount Rainier, Port Townsend, some parts of Olympic National Park, (Dogs mostly have to stay in car when you visit National Parks, but state parks are dog-friendly. ) , Seattle by ferry, and lots more places. Plenty of places to eat in Gig Harbor and it's usually cool enough for the dogs to wait safely in the car while you eat dinner.

Vail, Colorado
Destination Expert
for Vail
posts: 1,079
reviews: 16
8. Re: Lummi Island late September, early October

Christy1- Dinner at Willows is attractive as is the ferry schedule, we haven't ruled it out yet. We are really looking to relax, the dogs are too old for a real hike, but love to play in the water. I'm a little worried about getting reservations for dinner if we aren't staying at the inn, but my husband is a chef so I'm pretty sure dinner will be good even if we eat at the rental.

Voyaging- Thanks for the links, I'm sure visiting each island would be great, but with 2 dogs and 2 humans we would rather just hang out in one place for 3 or 4 days.

Historyteacher- Thanks for the recommendation in Gig Harbor, it's always good to have a list of dog friendly places to stay and your area is on our radar. We have gone to a couple National Parks with the dogs, as long as the weather is nice they are happy to take a little walk and then go back to sleep in the car.

Green Valley...
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park, Seattle
posts: 16,765
reviews: 45
9. Re: Lummi Island late September, early October

Read my post again re: staying on one, visiting the others..

The dogs might be a problem re: lodging. However...

Have a go at this website:

San Juan Island Rental Houses http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=Vacation+Doorways+on+San+Juan+Island

Edited: 8:56 pm, July 23, 2013
Green Valley...
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park, Seattle
posts: 16,765
reviews: 45
10. Re: Lummi Island late September, early October

Editing timed me out... wanted to add, there's a lot to do/to see on San Juan Island. From there, it's an easy inter-island ferry to visit Orcas and/or Lopez Island. It's all in the article posted earlier.

You won't have vehicle loading ferry issues at that time of year.

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