With a breathtaking coastline, idyllic fishing villages, and a fascinating history, the San Juan Islands are calling.
Pump the brakes on your busy lifestyle and come enjoy the laid-back island way of life on our San Juan Islands tours and holidays. Featuring a collection of over 20 islands in the northwest of the United States, join your group on a journey through this easy-going destination, stopping to watch the whales from Lime Kiln Point Lighthouse and taking in as much history as possible while wandering through the San Juan Island National Historical Park. From embracing the friendly and welcoming atmosphere of the locals to laying out on some pretty spectacular beaches and cycling through several extraordinary landscapes, this is one vacation you’ll never forget.
Our San Juan Islands tours & holidays
At this stage, we don't have any organised trips to the San Juan Islands.
That said, Intrepid can create tailor-made tours to many destinations, including the San Juan Islands. Our fully customised trips still offer the same small group experiences with local leaders, but made just the way you want it. Simply fill out your details on our Tailor-Made page and one of our travel specialists will be in touch.
The San Juan Islands aren’t short on natural beauty and while walking and hiking through the Washington wilderness is a fine way to see it, cycling the islands is much better. From quiet roads past delightful fishing villages to challenging coastline tracks that are well worth the effort, taking in the San Juan Islands from the seat of a bike is a once-in-a-lifetime experience you’ll never forget, especially if it's our Cycle Washington’s San Juan Islands tour.
Visit Friday Harbor
Take a step back in time when life was a little slower and fast-food chains were yet to be thought of in the sleepy seaport town of Friday Harbor. Enchanting in its quiet peacefulness, this harbor acts as the perfect stepping off point for your adventure through the islands, giving you a taste of this region’s historical past with several museums to wander through, plenty of restaurants to eat at, and more whale watching tours than you’ll be able to go on.
Spot some whales at Lime Kiln Point Lighthouse
If you’re a sucker for rugged coastlines, whale watching, and historical lighthouses then you’re going to love visiting Lime Kiln Point State Park. Considered to be one of the top places to spot whales from on land, this beautiful lighthouse provides the perfect vantage point to catch a glimpse of some of the ocean’s most beloved animals. From jaw-dropping orcas and majestic whales to playful seals and mischievous otters, this small slice of heaven can’t be missed.
Explore San Juan Island National Historical Park
While the San Juan Island National Historical Park features endless sandy beaches, secluded woodlands, and picture-perfect panoramas, it’s this region’s rich history that makes stopping at this national park a must-do. Thanks to the almost war in 1859 between the British and American troops (also known as the Pig War), you can visit both camps within the park, with each one preserving several historical sites and officer’s quarters you can walk through and learn from.
Drink your way through several breweries
After all that exploring, chances are you’re going to need somewhere to rest your feet and re-hydrate and there’s no better place to do just that than at one of the many breweries in the San Juan Islands. From the award-winning beer at the San Juan Island Brewing Company to the craft brews served up at Cease and Desist, this region’s breweries not only provide a place to relax and reminisce over the day’s adventures but also offer creative beers you’re going to want to keep drinking.
Watch the sunset from Cattle Point Lighthouse
First built in 1935 (though there’s been a navigational lantern at the site since 1888), the extraordinary Cattle Point Lighthouse promises one of the best views of the coast that you’ve ever seen. Not only can you walk along the beach and listen to the sounds of the waves as they hit the sand and try to spot some of your favorite marine animals, but the beautifully secluded Cattle Point (and picturesque lighthouse) provides one of the best places to watch the sky change colors with the setting sun.
Everyone traveling on an Intrepid trip must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of carriage.
All travelers are required to produce:
Proof of COVID-19 vaccination
All children aged 5 to 17 years old must provide proof of vaccination (if eligible), proof of recovery or a negative COVID-19 test.
If you are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons, you may apply for an exemption. Exemptions will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. To apply, you must provide a medical certificate from a medical professional.
In all cases, you must be fully inoculated. This means you must receive the full dosage of the COVID-19 vaccine and allow enough time for immunity to take effect. Each COVID-19 vaccine has different dosages and timeframes for inoculation, so please check the relevant medical advice associated with your vaccine.
There are 2 great ways to get to the San Juan islands depending on where in the United States you're travelling from. These two options include flying via seaplane into the harbour or taking the Washington State Ferry into the harbour with several services offered each day. Both options are relatively easy to organize and will give you great views of the islands on your way in.
The climate in the San Juan Islands is considered to be sub-oceanic meaning the region experiences mild, rainy winters and mild, sunny summers with little to no extreme temperatures during the warmer months. On very rare occasions temperatures can reach past 86°F but the average is more likely to be around 68°F during the months of July and August. Temperatures during winter can reach freezing levels, especially overnight but the average is more likely to be 48°F during the day.
The best time to visit the San Juan Islands is between April and October (middle of spring to middle of fall) as that's when the weather is at its best. The months of summer (June, July, and August) are considered to be the peak season to visit the islands so be prepared for large crowds and higher accommodation prices. You'll want to avoid the winter months as the temperatures can reach freezing levels and you're likely to want to spend time inside rather than out exploring the natural landscapes.
The San Juan Islands are full of breathtaking landscapes and exploring it all can take it out of you so it's no surprise this region is home to plenty of breweries you can re-hydrate in. While there are heaps of breweries to choose from on the islands, these are some of our favorites:
There is plenty of cell service in the San Juan Islands so you shouldn't have any trouble with your service provider within the town itself. Once you head to more remote areas within the region or to its national parks, your cell service may drop out a bit but should reconnect to the 4G network upon your return to more populated areas.
What to pack for a trip to the San Juan Islands is determined by what kind of vacation you want to have, however, there are some must-have items you don't want to forget about. The San Juan Islands are known for having breathtaking national parks and spectacular scenery so chances are you'll be spending a lot of time outside. This means you need to be packing comfortable walking/hiking shoes, a reusable drink bottle, a day bag, a camera, sunscreen, and appropriate clothing for the season you're traveling in.
Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. We’re always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.