When planning your San Juan Islands vacation, you don’t want any kind of stress to get in your way of a wonderful trip. We know traveling can be complicated sometimes, and going to a new destination can leave a lot of questions, some that Google can’t provide the answers for! So, we compiled some tips for alleviating tension and making the most out of your San Juan Islands vacation.
8 tips for making the most of your San Juan Islands Vacation
1. Allow a minimum of 2-3 days for your San Juan Island holiday
You don’t want to travel out to the San Juan Islands for just a day. With ferry rides taking up valuable island time and so many islands of the archipelago to explore, one day can simply not do the area justice. A weekend or week-long stay will provide the refreshing vacation you need without the worrisome time crunch
2. Don’t plan too much
Haven’t you heard that planning ruins a good adventure? This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan at all, but be sure to make your itinerary flexible. If you’re staying for more than a weekend, leave some room to make a few daytrips to the other islands. And remember, getting here is half the fun!
3. Ask our concierge
Our concierges know a great deal about the San Juan Islands that you might not be able to find online. Be sure to ask for their favorite picnic spots, day hikes, or bike rides, as well as any other local recommendations that might be of value during your stay at Tucker House Inn. Also, be sure to ask us how to get around without renting a car when you land at Sea Tac. There are many fun ways to journey the San Juan Islands without four wheels.
4. Bring Layers
Even in the summer, the temperature swings can be upwards of 20 degrees. It is a good idea to bring plenty of layers on your San Juan Islands vacation and not rely on a sunny day to warm you up. An extra jacket never hurt anyone! Plus, if you’re on the water, you have to plan for temperatures that are at least 10 degrees cooler than the mainland.
5. Pack a camera, binoculars, and a birding book
With all the wildlife that you will see on your San Juan Islands vacation, you will want to catch the best views and be able to capture some memories. Bring a camera to preserve your moments of exploration and some binoculars and a bird book for bird watching. Bald eagles, peregrine falcons, trumpeter swans, and more beautiful feathered friends are known to make appearances.
6. Bookmark the Washington State Ferry schedule & make reservations
The Washington State Ferry is your lifeline while on the island, so it’s important to keep track of the schedule when planning your island-hopping adventures. It’s one of the few modes of transportation available and thus essential to keep in mind while coming to the island, leaving to the island, and bouncing between islands. It is also wise to reserve your tickets ahead of time, because the ferries often sell out in our peak season of summer. Keep in mind that ferry tickets purchased in Anacortes are for round-trip travel.
7. Spend as much time outdoors as possible
There is so much to see outside, from forests to lavender farms. Rent a bike or kayak and take your time truly appreciating nature on your San Juan Islands vacation. Go digging for oysters, beachcombing, or whale watching, and then come back to Tucker House Inn to rest up at the end of the day!
8. Take only photos and leave only footprints
Conservation is a big movement in the San Juan Islands, and we are always seeking to preserve our beautiful environment. The San Juan Islands Conservation District works to develop and implement sustainable practices and resources to protect the islands and the wildlife that inhabits them and the San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau promotes education and stewardship. When you leave, be sure to take only what you came with and leave nothing behind!
When In Doubt, Ask Tucker House
Tucker House Inn will provide as much helpful information as possible when you are planning your stay. Be sure to reach out when you book and let us ease any travel worries you might have. We want your San Juan Islands vacation to be the most enjoyable it possibly can!