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Going to San Juan Islands - which island is best?

San Diego/Carlsbad
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Going to San Juan Islands - which island is best?

For my parents' 65th bdays, my brother and I with our families are thinking of renting a house and staying a week on one of the San Juan Islands the last week in June? There will be a total of 6 adults and 4 kids (3,5,7, & 10). Which of the islands would offer us the most? What part of the island should we stay? Are the San Juan Islands better than goign to other seaside/lakeside places in Washington? We will be traveling from San Diego.

Green Valley...
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for Yellowstone National Park, Seattle
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1. Re: Going to San Juan Islands - which island is best?

San Juan Island, of the islands, hands down, for several reasons. While all the islands are nice and offer amenities, SJI provides the following: access to many beaches and views; two national parks, American (walk to the lighthouse); and English Camps, both quite different, each with many easy trails; Lime kiln Point State Park, with neat trails and views and the possibility of seeing whales and other mammals; the town of Friday Harbor with its many shops and galleries (Waterworks is the best); Roche Harbor, which is a small scenic harbor - tour the hotel, the docks; en route to Roche Harbor, and just outside the road leading down to it, there is a terrific outdoor sculpture garden, which even the kids will love exploring; etc. See: Westcott Bay Sculpture Park/Island Museum of Art

Do watch for eagles and other hawks; red tailed foxes at the American Camp roads that leads to west side beach park plus hundreds of rabbits on which they feed; deer; etc.

Because of the easy access to many viewpoints, you can do them at different times of the day. And the days will be quite long when you are here.

Check out Accommodations in the San Juan Island website: http://www.guidetosanjuans.com/ Hit the

San Juan Island tabs for Attractions and Overview. See also the following, but link it together - I split the URL to fit this column.

www.guidetosanjuans.com/listings/index.cfm…

=showloc&catID=2&locID=1

We've stayed several places; our favorite is Lonesome Cove. Even if you have to take two or three units, it's worth it. Whole houses also might be available.

You'd better hurry your lodging reservations, as your group is large and you'll have more difficulty finding a place if you wait.

A hint for the ferry ride from Anacortes to Friday Harbor... if it suits your schedule, take the ferry that stops at other islands. You don't get off, but you and your kids will enjoy the way the ferries enter and leave those docks. You can do this either coming or going.

Another hint regarding ferry traffic. Arrive at Anacortes early to ensure boarding. And, for your return, ask the ferry folks in Friday Harbor when you should have your car(s) in line to ensure passage on the ferry you want. Once the car(s) is in line, it might be three hours before departure, so you can wander Friday Harbor and its docks, have a meal, etc., then return to your car in time to board the ferry. Lots of traffic in the summer, this is the trick to dealing with it.

Alternatively, there is much to do and see in Seattle but not necessarily, with lodging, as accessible to the water. But if you want information on that, I'd start with the tabs Overview and Attractions.

Congratulations. This is a great gift for your folks! And for the rest of you.

Green Valley...
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for Yellowstone National Park, Seattle
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2. Re: Going to San Juan Islands - which island is best?

I should mention an animal on SJI that is counter intuitive - a camel. If still there, it's on a farm opposite the sole winery on the island.

washington state
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3. Re: Going to San Juan Islands - which island is best?

I personally prefer Orcas Island to SJI but more to do on SJI with family. Even though I own a beach house (vacation rental) in Ocean Park, I think the Islands present a more "unique" experience than the beach, especially if you live near the beach in SD. There is nothing like the SJI's in California. Google Vacation Rentals San Juan Islands and you'll find lots of houses for rent. I think Windermere real estate also rents houses.

Longview, Washington
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4. Re: Going to San Juan Islands - which island is best?

I also prefer Orcas Island, but agree that there is more to do and see on San Juan Island. Since you will be staying an entire week, you can always take the Inter-Island Ferries to Orcas, Lopez or Shaw Island. They are each unique and very different.

5. Re: Going to San Juan Islands - which island is best?

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