1. Beautiful May Climate
Mostly sunny with temperatures in the 60s? Yes please. This is truly the perfect climate to embark on any adventure you have planned for your stay on San Juan Island.
2. Shoulder-Season Perks
Why pay more when you can enjoy all the San Juans have to offer for less? Visit Friday Harbor, WA before “Peak Season” for lower lodging rates at the Tucker House Inn and Harrison House Suites, shorter wait times at popular seafood eateries such as a the Coho Restaurant, and front row seats at Lime Kiln Park for a picturesque island sunset.
3. Orca Whales and Marine Life
The ability to witness Southern Resident Killer Whales (Orcas) in their natural habitat is an experience of a lifetime. Orcas, humpback and minke whales frequent the waters around San Juan Island year round. However, our friends at San Juan Safaris will tell you the same: The best time of year to sight the magnificent Orca Whales is May-September. Though most tourists come through July and August. Whale watch by boat or by shore. You can often watch the whales feed and play off the west side of the island at Lime Kilm Point State Park.
4. Guided Kayaking Tours
The San Juan Islands are a world-class kayaking destination in the Pacific Northwest, offering abundant marine wildlife, protected waterways, and beautiful scenery. The Harrison House Suites offers complementary use of sea kayaks for experienced paddlers. For those that prefer a guided trip, there are several kayaking outfitters on San Juan Island that offer a variety of tours based on your ability.
5. Hiking and Biking
Stroll along a pebbly beach, find a quiet cove, smell the scent of a cedar forest and watch fox frolicking with their pups in a distant meadow. Bike the island or rent a moped to cruise the 32 mile loop that circumnavigates the island. Choose from a long list of hikes right here on the island: Mount Finlayson, Mount Grant, Young Hill, Mount Dallas, and many more!
Enjoy a picturesque ride on the the inter-island ferry. Take a bike across and pedal around Lopez or Shaw or walk on and our concierge will rent you a car at the Orcas Island ferry landing. Want to be more remote, schedule a private plane or boat charter to the non-ferry served outer islands (there are 743 islands, islets and reefs – 428 at high tide!)
7. Art and Museums
There are a number of museums and galleries in Friday Harbor that will engage the mind and inspire your creative side. The Island Museum of Artoffers world-class art exhibits, the Friday Harbor Historical museum connects us to our island roots and the Whale Museum promotes education and stewardship to protect the island’s resident killer whales. If you find yourself on the north end of the island, stroll through the San Juan Island’s Sculpture Park and discover about 150 unique creations.
8. Lavender Farm
Pelindaba Lavender Farm is a must on your San Juan Island itinerary. The fields are simply magical. There is an endless sea of purple no matter which direction you look and you will be transported into a state of relaxation from the scent all around you. While visiting the farm, tour the production facility to learn how lavender is distilled and to find all the amazing uses for this herb in everyday life – medicinal, culinary and for personal products. Sample some lavender ice cream!