The Lime Kiln Lighthouse is an iconic landmark on San Juan Island, a small but still operating navigation aid overlooking Dead Man’s Bay. Located on the island’s western side, the Lime Kiln Lighthouse has directed vessels through the rocky Haro Strait for more than a century. Visiting the lighthouse isn’t the only thing to do at Lime Kiln Point State Park—also known as Whale Watch Park—visitors can hike, beach comb, picnic, and take in the expansive scenic view (and hopefully spot a pod or two of whales!)
As a guest at our San Juan Island Inn Collection, you’ll be about a 15-minutes drive or an hour’s bike ride to the Lime Kiln Lighthouse and State Park. We offer a diverse selection of lodging options at the Tucker House Inn and the Harrison House Suites. You’ll find cozy suites for two, perfect for a romantic island getaway, and larger multi-room layouts for family or pet-friendly vacations. We offer a host of lovely amenities, including a scratch-made breakfast delivered to your door each morning of your stay.
Spend the Day at Lime Kiln Lighthouse & Park Area
Lime Kiln Point State Park encompasses 41-acres along the western side of the island, where the terrain is made up of rocky cliffs, wooded trails in the shade of windblown trees, and grassy outlooks with picnic benches. According to the Washington State Parks Department, this location is considered “one of the best places in the world to view whales from a land-based facility.”
Here are the top five things to do at Lime Kiln Point State Park:
- Tour the Lime Kiln Lighthouse: The 1919 Lime Kiln Lighthouse is open for tours during the summer months. It’s a great spot to get that bird’s eye view of the Salish Sea, and the vista reaches across the Haro Strait into the Cordova Bay of Canada.
- Whale Watching: As one of the best places for whale-watching in the world, the ideal timeframe to see these majestic sea mammals is from May through September. The species you might have the pleasure of seeing are the transient orcas and porpoises and a variety of whales, including grey, humpback, and minke. Learn more about the resident and transient whale pods at the Lime Kiln Interpretive Center.
- Hike the Trail: The Upland Trail begins at the north end of the main parking lot. This 1.6-mile trail leads you to the historic Lime Kiln, and here you can learn more about the lime quarry operations of the area. You’ll then follow the path to the Lime Kiln Lighthouse and continue towards the rocky shoreline.
- Beach Exploration: The rocky cliffs lead visitors to a diverse landscape of sea life in tide pools and along the shoreline. You’ll most likely see kayakers paddling, hoping to catch a glimpse of the pods in migration.
- Pack a Picnic: The view of the Lime Kiln Lighthouse on its rocky perch and beautiful sparkling water is a delight, especially as a backdrop for lunch. You’ll find 12 picnic tables and benches with these views peppered along the shores of Lime Kiln Point State Park. Lucky for our guests, we can also prepare a gourmet picnic lunch for you to take along on your excursion. When you book your stay at our San Juan Island Bed and Breakfast, just let us know what kind of add-ons you’d like us to include. Also, new as of last year, there’s a concession stand at the park called The Blowhole for guests to grab a quick bite at the park.