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Where to go Kayaking on San Juan Island

photo of a guest Kayaking on San Juan Island near our Friday harbor lodging property

There’s nothing quite like gliding along the glassy waters of the Salish Sea and waterways surrounding our unique archipelago, just you and your paddle, taking it at your speed. It’s no surprise that kayaking on San Juan Island is the most popular pastime for visitors—and you’ll likely encounter a lot of locals hitting the water as well! Experienced kayakers will find our quiet inlets ideal for setting off on their own adventures, but for those who might not be as seasoned, there’s a handful of San Juan Island kayaking tours to show you the ropes. 

Kayaking on San Juan Island offers a delightful experience with breathtaking scenery, protected marine sanctuaries on outer islands, and tranquil coves and inlets. You might be lucky enough to witness the magnificence of a Bald Eagle soaring overhead or catch a glimpse of a resident orca whale and a few seals bobbing their heads while paddling through the peaceful Salish Sea. This area has abundant wildlife, and the untouched wilderness sets the perfect backdrop for your San Juan Island kayaking tours. 

As a guest at our Friday Harbor Bed and Breakfast, you’ll have access to our complimentary kayaks, but we always suggest booking a tour with one of the local companies for the most immersive and comprehensive experience on the waterways. Before you set out, we’ll deliver a fresh, hot breakfast to your door—you’ll need the fuel before paddling the day away. Upon your return, you’ll appreciate our comfortable lodging accommodations, the perfect place to unwind and refresh after a big adventure on the water. Check out our summer availability and book your room at our Friday Harbor Bed and Breakfast today! 

Where to go Kayaking on San Juan Island near our Friday Harbor lodging

Where to go Kayaking on San Juan Island & Tour Groups

The Pacific Northwest, specifically the San Juan Islands, is known as one of the best kayaking destinations in the world. San Juan Island is the second largest island in the group, which offers experience kayakers plenty of places to launch their boats on self-guided adventures. However, due to the proximity to shipping lanes and the border, it’s often best to head out on a guided tour if you’re unfamiliar with the area. 

Several of our preferred operators offer three-hour trips for families, beginner paddlers, and those trying to squeeze a lot into their getaway to San Juan Island. There are all-day trips that promise to see whales and multi-day overnight trips that keep you out on the water for up to ten days. Here are our top three tour groups for kayaking on San Juan Island: 

  1. San Juan Outfitters: The seasoned guides and naturalists at San Juan Island Outfitters are all about fun and safe excursions for the best experience kayaking on San Juan Island. The whale-watching tours are a must and even more incredible by sea kayak (sightings are not always guaranteed). You’ll notice this touring company keeps group sizes to a minimum for the ultimate experience on the water. 
  2. Crystal Seas: This local company started giving tours in the mid-90s and offers a variety of kayaking trips to choose from, including a 3-hour tour, a multi-day tour, and a family or custom tour. The 3-hour tour is perfect for those just looking to experience the islands while having a flexible schedule with plenty of time for other activities. The guides are experts in the area’s geography, and many have degrees in marine or biological sciences.
  3. Discovery Sea Kayaks: As a longtime, locally owned, and operated touring company, you’ll love the experiences offered by Discovery Sea Kayaks. From half-day and full-day tours to full multi-day camping excursions, there’s so much to explore with these knowledgeable guides. One of our favorite adventures is the Bioluminescence Tour, which goes out at night to see the sparkling waters; there’s nothing quite like pulling your paddle through the glittering water under the light of the moon. This is when kayaking on San Juan Island is at its most magical!

The Innkeepers at our Friday Harbor Bed and Breakfast are more than happy to help with reservations for kayaking on San Juan Island. Let us know before you arrive how we can best help to make your getaway the best it can be. 

Where to go Kayaking on San Juan Island near our Friday Harbor Lodging

The Best Friday Harbor Lodging for your Next Getaway

For those heading to the Northwest specifically with kayaking on San Juan Island in mind, you’ll love lodging at our Friday Harbor Bed and Breakfast. Not only are we within walking distance from where most of these San Juan Island kayaking tours launch their boats, but we’ll even arrange these excursions for you. The best way to enjoy your time!

Our Friday Harbor Bed and Breakfast comprises 18 units, offering various San Juan Island lodging options suitable for couples or families and even our furry companions. The guest rooms are designed to provide comfort and coziness, while our elegant suites are spacious enough to accommodate more than two people. Choice rooms come with jacuzzi tubs, fireplaces, and captivating views. All accommodations have an en suite bathroom equipped with handcrafted soap, skin products, and custom robes.

Guests can use complimentary amenities like bikes and kayaks (ideal for those familiar with kayaking on San Juan Island) to explore the charming island community. If you need more reason to pick our Friday Harbor Bed and Breakfast for your next getaway, we’ll deliver a scratch-made breakfast each morning that is truly a treat. Before check-in, you’ll be sent an email in which you can let us know if you have dietary restrictions or allergies. Each morning we’ll bring a tray with sweet and savory options, all made in-house, and always including ingredients from local farmers or our very own garden. Join us on San Juan Island and book your stay today! 

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