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5 of the Most Beautiful San Juan Island Beaches

Granny's Cove beach on san juan

One of the best things about the Pacific Northwest is the beautiful shoreline. San Juan Island beaches abound with foggy morning scenes, pebbly stretches, and awe-inspiring nature. From picturesque driftwood to panoramic views of Puget Sound and Haro Straight, these San Juan Island beaches abound in beauty. Whale watch from the shore or bird watch from seaside cliffs as you explore these San Juan Island beaches during your stay with Tucker House Inn of Friday Harbor.

Our Favorite San Juan Island Beaches

Jackson’s Beach

Jackson’s Beach on San Juan Island is the perfect location for a lazy afternoon. The sandy stretch, with driftwood strewn across romantically, is beautiful. There are plenty of nooks along Jackson’s Beach for a romantic hideaway; lay on the sand and soak in the sun. Beach combing opportunities also abound, just 2 miles from the ferry landing. Though the nature is inspiring, amenities are available as well. Beach volleyball courts, restrooms, parking, and a free boat launch are offered. You can also pack a picnic lunch and eat at one of three picnic sites equipped with fire rings and barbecue grills. Explore this favorite of San Juan Island beaches from dawn to dusk.

South Beach

South Beach on San Juan Island is located inside of American Camp – San Juan Island National Historic Park. South Beach is a wonderful spot for walking along the shore with your dog or human companions. When selecting from other San Juan Island beaches, this pebble beach is a prime choice. Not only are their great driftwood logs for sitting but also fire pits for evening s’mores. Watch the sun sink into the water as you roast some marshmallows with loved ones. Only 7 minutes from Friday Harbor, South Beach offers a great location overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Haro Strait. You might spot a whale tail, but you certainly won’t miss the gorgeous views of the Olympic Mountains.

4th of July Beach

Picnics are a favorite activity on San Juan Island beaches. No different is said for 4th of July Beach, which offers a quiet haven away from the hustle and bustle. You can park your car and then hike along a forested trail before reaching the beach clearing. A far enough walk will earn you the sight of Jackals Lagoon, where a peek into the water will show you Lopez Island. Swimming isn’t advised here because of strong currents, but history awaits. This beach is on the site of the original San Juan Village. For this reason, if you see any archaeological features, you must leave them undisturbed.

Eagle Cove

This protective cove is a favorite among local families of the San Juan Island beaches. Eagle Cove on the south western side of the island near the American Camp – San Juan Island National Historic Park is ideal for water sports. Due to the shallow water, the temperature of the water warms so it is much more receptive to swimming than many other island beaches. The water around the island is a chilling 47 degrees. Spend a lazy afternoon sunning or skim boarding and don’t forget a picnic lunch. 

Granny’s Cove

At American Camp off Cattle Point Road, Granny’s Cove sits as a hidden gem. Grassy trails toward the sea offer a 5-10 minute hike before reaching the peaceful nook. Bald eagles, foxes, and rabbits are often spotted during this walk over. The shallow water in this cove warms up quite a bit during the summer months, making it a more popular option of the San Juan Island beaches to go for a swim.

After Strolling San Juan Island Beaches

The beaches offer lovely scenery and a natural escape. However, the town of Friday Harbor boasts culture, activity, and attractions! Come back to this quaint seaside town after your San Juan Island beaches adventures and settle in at the Tucker House Inn. We provide luxurious accommodations, a friendly atmosphere, and some great meals at our San Juan Island bed and breakfast. We hope to see you soon! For more to do in the area, download our free vacation guide.

Photo Credits: Thomas Ashcraft

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