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SJI: What's best for a 3 year old?

Washington, DC
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SJI: What's best for a 3 year old?

We will be going to the SJI for 3-4 days, and will have our very active 3 year old so no relaxing on the deck with a glass of wine. What kinds of activities would you recommend? I assume SJI is a better option than Orcas.

Friday Harbor...
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for San Juan Islands
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1. Re: SJI: What's best for a 3 year old?

IMO the island of San Juan might be best for families with extended ages and interests. Because the ferry comes right to the town of Friday Harbor it's easier for folks to get around as you don't have to drive for 20 minutes from the ferry landing to get to the town. Also with the shape of the island there is less driving to get around to various sites of interest that would suit the extended ages than Orcas which, because of its unique horseshoe shape, means more driving to get to various locations. We used to live on Orcas and certainly found we have to drive around far less here on SJI to get to hiking sites etc than we did on Orcas. Friday Harbor is a larger town than Eastsound on Orcas and it’s also the county seat. There are far more families living on SJI than on Orcas so more in town that might appeal to young kids. You will find more shops, restaurants etc in the town of FH. The town of Friday Harbor has many small attractive gift & boutique shops,a wide variety of restaurants, a movie theater, 3 museums, 3 book stores, art galleries, a bowling alley, and neither fast food chains nor traffic lights. There is a nice marina that you can walk through right in town which is busy in the summer and holds many large yachts and sailing boats, and some commercial fishing boats...it's really pleasant walking around there for those who enjoy looking at the boats (and you may well see a heron or two at night). Often you can see a seal hanging around the floating fresh fish market on the docks. The museum most tourists visit in town is The Whale Museum. Info on that is at whalemuseum.org/museum/details/gallery.html This is a nice little museum for learning about whales and orcas in particular. The museum has full-size skeletons of a whale and a variety of other exhibits and interactive displays. You can find more suggestions for things to do in town at: visitsanjuans.com/the-islands/friday-harbor

Jackson's Beach is the closet beach to downtown Friday Harbor and it’s about a 15 minute walk from town down one street. The most direct way goes right by the SJ Couty Fairgrounds which has a nice size playground and a small skate park on its grounds. This beach is a good place to walk to and on at low tide as well as being adjacent to the nearby former gravel pit which now is a walking circle. This beach is owned and maintained by the port of Friday Harbor and has nice eastern views of Griffin Bay, Lopez and Dinner Island. You could also use your car or the shuttle van to have a picnic and visit Lime Kiln Point State Park (also known as Whale Watch Park) and look for Orca and minke whales.

For children you might want to consider staying at the unfortunately named Earthbox motel as it has the only indoor swimming pool on SJ island and that is a popular thing for kids especially if the day turns out to be rainy or cold. They are located right in town and next door to a day spa facility. Earthbox info is 410 Spring St Friday Harbor, WA 98250 (360) 378-4000 website http://www.earthboxinn.com/

Green Valley...
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for Yellowstone National Park, Seattle
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2. Re: SJI: What's best for a 3 year old?

I agree, SJI is best. But, I'd take the ferry to and drive Orcas Island, focus on Mt. Consitution in Moran State Park for beautiful views and the village of Eastsound (there's more). See the list of things to see/to do, on each island. You won't tire of SJI.

San Juan Islands Specific and listed information on what to see/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…

Drive to the alpaca farm, kids and you will love it.

Edited: 3:45 pm, June 13, 2013
Green Valley...
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for Yellowstone National Park, Seattle
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3. Re: SJI: What's best for a 3 year old?

BTW, on SJI, a fellow takes scraps to feed Bald Eagles on the road to Roche Harbor, where it intersects a road to an oyster farm. This starts, as I recall, and if still happening, around 4:30 - 5:00. Park well off the road.

4. Re: SJI: What's best for a 3 year old?

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