When looking into this trip, since we were staying on the mainland we knew we would only have one real day to explore the islands of the San Juan chain. We looked into the different options (as only a few of them are really inhabited) and ended up deciding on San Juan Island for our day trip since it’s the most populous. It also had a few different spots on the island we really wanted to see, so we ended up just doing the one island. In the future, I’d love to go back and explore the others which include Orcas Island and a few others.
We arrived on the ferry around 10am in Friday Harbor, the main town on San Juan Island. After breakfast we jumped in our car (I’d totally recommend taking your car, it made getting around the island way easier) and headed out across the island to the Western side to the Lime Kiln Lighthouse. This spot is right across the channel from Victoria, Canada and the views are gorgeous! This was a particular spot Nick really wanted to photograph and as it turned out, we ended up getting there right in time to watch a whole pod of orcas swimming through.
To be honest, this was a moment I’ll never forget. And even though I wasn’t feeling great at that point, we spent about an hour just standing on the rocks of the shore watching the orcas jumping in and out of the water, playing around and coming up for air. It was one of those moments that is like once in a lifetime. I love whales and I’ve always wanted to see orcas in the wild, and this moment, watching them just totally made my whole trip. I’ll never forget that feeling of seeing them, of taking it all in with the breathtaking scenery around me watching the whales dance in the water. It was pretty incredible.
After a while of watching the whales, we decided we needed to move on to our next stop before heading back into town to catch the ferry back to Anacortes. The second stop we wanted to make on the trip was a quick stop at the Pelindaba Lavendar Farm. I had read some blog posts on this place and decided it would be worth a stop and it for sure was. They have a ton of different variations of lavender and it was so beautiful! We stopped only for about twenty minutes as we needed to get back for the ferry, but it was worth just a quick stop to see it and take a few photos.
We then headed back into Friday Harbor to get our car in line for the afternoon ferry. Again, we got there about an hour and a half early this time and were glad we did. There were a ton of people heading back on the boat with us and they were full shortly after we got there. While we waited for the ferry, we wandered around Friday Harbor and grabbed some ice cream while we took in the harbor and the ocean views from the town.
I’m so glad we explored San Juan Island this time around and we fell in love with the area. I know we’ll be back, since it’s such a quick trip up there for us from Portland. For incredible scenery, once in a lifetime moments watching the orcas and an overall lovely day, we really enjoyed our time in the San Juan’s!