1. Lime Kiln Lighthouse
Need we say more? This San Juan Island park looks beautiful in any light. This was a guest-contributed photo from a few years back that we feel really captures the essence of the majestic off-season we experience here during the cooler months on SJI. Set on a rocky bluff at the west end of San Juan Island, Lime Kiln Point State Park is considered one of the best whale-watching spots on earth. Grab your camera and visit this photo hotspot at 1567 Westside Road, Friday Harbor, WA 98250.
2. South Beach
The patient photographers (or anyone who has food on them…) might be fortunate enough to spot a vibrant orange or dark black fox wandering the beach and the surrounding grassy hills. Make an evening out of your photoshoot by planning a bonfire picnic right on the water. Visit South Beach or all of the American Camp territory at 4668 Cattle Point Rd, Friday Harbor, WA 98250.
3. Mount Finlayson
While you’re over on the south end of San Juan Island, be sure to also pencil in a visit to Mount Finlayson, a beautiful hike through the green forest and rich lagoons, not to mention a sweeping lookout when you reach the grassy summit. Take in the views of the Cattle Point Lighthouse, Cattle Pass, The Strait of Juan de Fuca, and even the Olympic Mountains and Vancouver Island on a clear day. Visit Mount Finalyson by taking Cattle Point Road down just past South Beach until you see the “Jackle’s Lagoon” sign on the left.
4. Port of Friday Harbor Marina
I have to admit, my first few months living in San Juan Island, I spent far too much time walking the docks at sunset and admiring not only the boats but also all the beautiful light reflecting off the water onto them. You really never know what photo-worthy element you’ll find when walking the docks of Friday Harbor marina: “Popeye” the harbor seal poking her head up to say hi, white plumose anemones growing from the submerged pilings below, a classically varnished wooden rowboat tied at the dinghy dock — the possibilities are endless. Visit the marina at 204 Front Street, Friday Harbor, WA 98250.
5. The San Juan Island Farmers Market
The island is filled with not only incredible farms but incredible farmers, as well! Visit the Farmers Market on Saturdays in town and experience the true bounty of San Juan Island — featuring vibrantly fresh produce, handmade crafts, prepared cuisine, and lots of kind locals with great stories! Stop by the market on Saturday (hours vary seasonally) at Brickworks, 150 Nichols St, Friday Harbor, WA 98250.
6. Downtown Friday Harbor
I don’t think I could ever get tired of downtown Friday Harbor. With all the people watching, seasonal colors changing, and float planes and ferries landing, it is truly a dynamic sight. Strap your camera on even for those casual evening strolls through town. Sometimes you’ll get the best photos when you’re not expecting to — like that perfect moment when the Kenmore Air float plane is landing right in frame as the Washington State ferry pulls in. Downtown Friday Harbor is located right at the ferry port on San Juan Island.
7. From Above
If you’re fortunate enough to arrive by plane, be sure your camera is within arm’s reach. Looking down from the small planes onto our picturesque archipelago is something out of a dream. I would suggest a wide lens and a UV filter for those bright summer days, but truth be told, a bird’s-eye view of the San Juans is a gorgeous sight no matter how you capture it. Whoever you show your photo too will undoubtedly want to come for a visit as well!
Thanks for exploring our list of top photo opportunities on San Juan Island. When you stay with us at the Tucker House Inn & Harrison House Suites, we would love to see your photos and get your tips as well. Happy shooting!