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Have a Picnic in the Park on the San Juan Islands

A romantic couple enjoys a lovely picnic in the park on San Juan Island.

Eating is often considered a cornerstone of most successful vacations. As travelers rethink and rediscover their dining preferences, where to enjoy their food becomes a topic of discussion. Despite the nearby restaurants, there’s something special about settling down amid nature with your favorite delectables for a picnic in the park. And if you’re not into preparing your food, takeout is usually available. From beautiful beaches to scenic overlooks, the San Juan Islands are teeming with excellent picnicking areas, and Northwest Island Escapes is here to point you in the right direction.

Picnics in the Park: A Unique San Juan Islands Experience

The San Juan Islands have several excellent places to enjoy a picnic with an endless array of parks and beaches. And if you’d rather stay close to home while eating, many of our vacation rentals offer ideal on-site locations for eating outside. Still, as much as we appreciate knowing our guests can take advantage of our many lodging amenities, we always encourage you to explore our beloved isles. Here are three places we think you’ll enjoy.

Mount Constitution at Moran State Park on Orcas Island

Standing at nearly 2500 feet, Mount Constitution is the highest point on the San Juan Islands. On sunny days, you’ll enjoy sweeping panoramic distant views of the Cascades! You can bring your picnic lunch near the very top while reading the interpretive signage along the way.

Spencer Spit State Park on Lopez Island

Spencer Spit State Park is well-known for hiking, biking, and boating. The wave-tattered shoreline offers a soft sand beach that becomes more comfortable with a picnic blanket. The idyllic scenery from scattered driftwood adds to the natural beauty, so you may want to have your camera along to capture a few memorable moments.

Lime Kiln Point State Park on San Juan Island

Lime Kiln Point State Park is arguably the best place to watch marine life, including orca whales, from shore. The craggy landscape on the west side of San Juan Island makes for a unique picnic venue, but you may want to set up on one of the various tables if sitting on rocks makes you uncomfortable. Although this park is popular among both residents and visitors, it’s not difficult to find tranquil solitude while enjoying lunch or a delicious charcuterie board.

San Juan Islands Vacation Rental Lodging

The three spots we shared only scratch the surface of the many places you can enjoy a picnic in the park on the San Juan Islands. Still, now you’ll have a good idea of what to expect. No matter where you decide to enjoy your outdoor eating experience, we’re confident that you’ll want to do it more than once. Thankfully, we have a collection of homes near several ideal picnic spots. Please visit us online to find out which San Juan Islands vacation rental is right for you, or call 800-391-8190.

Make Your Own San Juan Islands Bike Tour

A young boy and his older brother hit the trails on a San Juan Islands bike tour.

Jumping on a bike tour is a great way to see a lot of the San Juan Islands. There are numerous biking paths and bike rental businesses here. But first, you should look over the excellent selection of vacation rentals through Northwest Island Escapes. Please book directly with us, and start planning your biking expedition in the San Juan Islands today. For now, we’ll share with you the best places to rent a bike and where you can take that bike for a tour on any of the islands in the San Juan Islands.

Best Bike Rental Businesses in the San Juan Islands

Before you get to the bike paths on the San Juan Islands, you might need to find a bike rental business. Multiple businesses on San Juan, Orcas, and Lopez islands are worth checking out. Here are some to take a look at before your arrival. 

Best Bike Trails in the San Juan Islands

Once you find the perfect place to rent a bike, you need to use it! The good news is that there are plenty of bike trails to explore and see some of the best sights in the San Juan Islands. Depending on the island you are on, you can find a route from whatever business you choose to rent from while you are visiting. Here’s a rundown of some of the best bike trails and paths.

See Everything You Can In A Day On A Bike

Getting on a bike is one of the best ways to tour so much of what makes the San Juan Islands so fantastic. The bike rentals aren’t the only rentals that will dazzle you. With vacation rentals on Lopez Island, Orcas Island, and San Juan Island, Northwest Island Escapes is here to provide your home away from home. To start planning your biking getaway on the San Juan Islands, please visit us online or call 800-391-8190 today!

3 Unique San Juan Islands Vacation Rentals on the Waterfront

A San Juan Islands vacation rental on the waterfront.

As summer makes its way over the horizon, the time to finalize your vacation plans draws near. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast looking for your next adventure, lovebirds fantasizing about their first getaway, or a family seeking a much-needed retreat, the San Juan Islands present an intriguing opportunity. From kayaking in the sea to simply taking in the sights, our beloved archipelago has several options for discerning travelers. Arguably the most alluring factor to consider when looking for where to stay in our slice of paradise is whether you want to take advantage of the oceanside vistas. Thankfully, Northwest Island Escapes has a stunning array of dazzling San Juan Islands vacation rentals with easy access to the waterfront.

Limestone Lodge | San Juan Island

Boasting stellar views from each room, Limestone Lodge resides on the northeast section of San Juan Island. This spectacular waterfront vacation rental is teeming with wildlife and outdoor amenities, including a spacious deck. The main building has two bedrooms, one with two queen-sized beds and another with one queen-sized bed. The en-suite washroom features a large tub with a shower handle that invites you to appreciate the views of the San Juan Channel while enjoying a refreshing soak. The living area offers comfortable seating arrangements with easy access to the kitchen and dining room. Finally, the garage has a full-sized bunk bed, a standard queen-sized bed, and a TV and Xbox game console.

Blake’s Point Estate | Orcas Island

Blake’s Point Estate showcases the pinnacle of life on Orcas Island with three sprawling beaches, two decks, and nature-inspired landscaping. The private waterfront and four ample bedrooms are only the beginning. You’ll enjoy an expansive great room with comfy sofas, chairs, and a gaming table on the lower level. On one side, the dining room offers abundant seating and a convenient kitchen bar. On the west side, there is a large primary bedroom with a king-sized bed and luxurious mattress. The second downstairs bedroom doubles as a home office with a desk area. Upstairs are two more bedrooms, each with en-suite bathrooms featuring combination tub-shower enclosures. The main outdoor amenity is a massive viewing deck perfect for sunsets and stargazing.

Cedars by the Sea | Lopez Island

Complemented by a private beach, jaw-dropping vantage points, and a convenient mooring buoy, Cedars by the Sea is a consummate waterfront vacation rental for those looking to maximize their island experience. Ideally situated between the Lopez ferry landing and Odlin County Park, you’ll be able to take full advantage of the nearby coastal attractions. The great room is an inviting space featuring a fireplace and large windows. Each of the two bedrooms is equipped with queen-sized beds, with the primary bedroom opening to the deck. A third sleeping area also contains a set of bunks suitable for kiddos.

Waterfront Vacation Rentals in the Sand Juan Islands

A long deck running alongside the exterior of a San Juan Islands waterfront vacation rental.

The three waterfront vacation rentals highlighted above are just a few examples showcasing the immaculate shorelines of the San Juan Islands. Each island has distinct landmarks and attractions, so be sure to research before deciding on a rental. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us online to learn more about the San Juan Islands and how Northwest Island Escapes can provide well-appointed accommodations for an unforgettable retreat, or call 800-391-8190.

Check out our blog page for more things to do and places to stay in the San Juan Islands!

5 Things to Do with Kids in the San Juan Islands

A family with kids smiles while contemplating things to do in the San Juan Islands.

The San Juan Islands present an idyllic family getaway destination with scenic landscapes and fresh ocean air. Still, finding things to do with kids can sometimes feel overwhelming, especially with so many options! And even though they seem to have infinite energy, children can burn out quickly if they become bored. As we make our way closer to summer, many families will be looking for new ways to bond and make memories during a much-needed retreat. To help guide you on keeping everyone engaged and having fun, the team at Northwest Island Escapes compiled a quick list of San Juan Island kids’ activities the whole family can enjoy.

Family Activities in the San Juan Islands

Whether you have toddlers or teenagers, your kids will love exploring the San Juan Islands. There is a wide range of attractions and things to do, so it’s worth planning how to spend your time. The good news is that you’ll have a stunning collection of vacation rentals on San Juan, Orcas, and Lopez Islands that will put you close enough to the action. It’s no surprise that our beloved archipelago is a regional vacation hub. 

San Juan Island Memories | 5 Things to Do With Kids

From outdoor adventures to indoor educational entertainment, the San Juan Islands are teeming with things to do that will keep everyone busy. Whether your kiddos want to learn about marine life or spend time at Moran State Park, the possibilities are endless! Here are five of our favorites!

  • The Whale Museum in Friday Harbor is a San Juan Island staple. This educational mainstay features two floors of exhibits, including an extensive natural history gallery, artwork, models, and artifacts. If your kids would rather learn by seeing living specimens, there are several whale watching and other wildlife tours throughout the islands.
  • The San Juan Islands have three different skateparks, one on each island. Surf concrete at Orcas Island Skatepark, see a pro demo at Lopez Skatepark, or catch air at San Juan County Fairgrounds Skatepark in Friday Harbor. Rip it up!
  • The Lime Kiln Lighthouse on San Juan Island is just one of many iconic lighthouses scattered throughout the Salish Sea. Lime Kiln takes visitors one step further by providing insightful tours, an interpretive center, and family activities.
  • Kayaking along the island shores is an immersive way to reconnect with your family and the great outdoors. There are several kayaking tours and rental companies from which to choose.
  • Moran State Park is arguably the San Juan Islands’ most comprehensive outdoor adventure area. You can hike trails, try fishing, go swimming, have a picnic, launch your boat, or visit Mount Constitution, the highest point in the San Juans!

San Juan Islands Vacation Rentals

Now that you have a few ideas of things to do on the San Juan Islands with kids, it’s time to choose your home base! With vacation rentals on Lopez Island, Orcas Island, and San Juan Island, Northwest Island Escapes is here to provide your home away from home and easy access to all types of family activities. To start planning your family getaway on the San Juan Islands, please visit us online or call 800-391-8190 today!

What to Know About Fishing in the San Juan Islands

An angler looks off in the distance while fishing in the San Juan Islands.

Fishing in the San Juan Islands is intriguing because it offers the ocean’s excitement with the simplicity of freshwater inland lakes. As such, angling has become a popular thing to do for locals and visitors alike. From the shores of Cascade Lake to the Rosario Strait, you’ll find everything from bass to halibut. And whether you plan on enlisting the help of a fishing charter or going on a solo adventure, Northwest Islands Escapes has the perfect basecamp for angling adventures in the San Juans! 

Inland Fishing in the San Juan Islands

All three primary San Juan Islands (Lopez, Orca, and San Juan) have decent fishing lakes. Thanks to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, many lakes are stocked with rainbow trout before each season. In addition to stocked fish, you can also find native largemouth bass, yellow perch, and sunfish. 

Egg Lake

With an abundance of lily pads, largemouth bass, and adequate shoreline access, Egg Lake is perfect for casual anglers hoping to wet a line on the northeast side of San Juan Island. You won’t need a boat to navigate this small waterbody at just under seven acres. Egg Lake also has a fishing pier and stocked rainbow trout.

Sportsmans Lake

Sportsmans Lake is significantly larger than Egg Lake and comes with more variety. Located only three and a half miles from Friday Harbor, anglers can try their luck targeting largemouth bass, yellow perch, and sunfish in the summer. There is also a boat launch, but the shoreline is undeveloped, making it difficult to fish on foot.

Hummel Lake

Hummel Lake has an area of 35 acres and is the only actual freshwater lake on Lopez Island. Like many San Juan Islands fishing lakes, largemouth bass dominate Hummel. Still, eager anglers will also find rainbow trout during early spring and bluegill throughout the summer. Hummel Lake is also big enough for small watercraft that come in handy when navigating through heavy vegetation.

Moran State Park

Boasting four different inland lakes, Moran State Park on Orcas Island offers arguably the best freshwater fishing in the San Juans. For kokanee salmon and various trout species, check out the scenic Mountain Lake. If you haven’t had your fill of largemouth bass and rainbow trout, stop by idyllic Cascade Lake, which also has kokanee and cutthroat trout. Finally, if you want to mix in a bit of hiking, Twin Lakes is only accessible via a hike from Mountain Lake but rewards visits with a tranquil fishing experience.

3 Saltwater Fishing Charters in the San Juan Islands

With a healthy population of halibut, lingcod, and various salmon species, the San Juan Islands are teeming with excellent saltwater fishing opportunities! Although some fishermen and women would like to try saltwater angling on their own, there is no shame in finding assistance from a local charter service. 

Where to Stay on the San Juan Islands

Now that you know what to expect while fishing on the San Juan Islands, you’ll want to find a place to stay! Thankfully, NW Island Escapes offers a stunning array of vacation rentals awaiting your arrival. To start planning your angling escape, reach out online or call 800-391-8190.

What You’ll Find at the San Juan Island Farmers Market

A vendor at the San Juan Island Farmers Market assists a patron with some produce.

Warmer weather, longer days, and budding flowers are just a few of the things we at Northwest Island Escapes have on our minds as we anticipate the upcoming spring months. And of course, another sign of spring—the San Juan Island Farmers Market will be welcoming back weekly vendors presenting mouth-watering produce and unique artisanal crafts for all to enjoy. “Living like a local” is a goal shared by many vacationers, so what better way to immerse yourself in the local culture than to peruse and sample some of their finest offerings?

Finding the Best Cup of Coffee on the San Juan Islands

A young woman blissfully enjoys a cup of joe from one of the many San Juan Island Coffee Shops.

By now, it’s no secret that Washingtonians love their coffee. After all, the largest global coffee chain, Starbucks, is headquartered in Seattle. When you think of coffee, it’s easy to imagine a busy café on a crowded city street. Still, our laid-back island community also boasts its fair share of coffee shops and roasters. For some, a caffeinated morning beverage goes hand-in-hand with vacation. Not only can a cup of joe give you a healthy burst of energy before each exciting day, visiting coffee shops is a keen way to immerse yourself in the local culture. As such, we at Northwest Island Escapes would like to point you in the right direction for finding the best cup of coffee on the San Juan Islands.

The Best Brewery on San Juan, Orcas, and Lopez Island

A bartender serves up a lager at a San Juan Island brewery.

San Juan Island, Orcas Island, and Lopez Island each have their own memorable brewery. There are some truly delicious and unique brews to taste when you stay in the San Juan Islands. Northwest Island Escapes has many rental properties scattered all over the islands, too, making it easy to find an exceptional brewery and beer nearby. Here’s our brief look at the best brewery on San Juan Island, Orcas Island, and Lopez Island.

The Best Washington Lighthouses in the San Juan Islands

A man wearing sunglasses smiles as he prepares to check out another one of Washington's lighthouses amid the San Juan Islands.

If you plan to spend any amount of time among the San Juan Islands, you are bound to see more than a few lighthouses on the Washington shoreline. These are an essential and exciting part of the history of the San Juan Islands. They also make for a fascinating attraction, which is why we encourage you to seek out some of the best Washington lighthouses in the San Juan Islands when you book your Northwest Island Escapes rental property. Add it to your list of things to do when you get here. Have a look! 

Find Kayak and Paddleboard Rental Near San Juan Island

A pair of outdoor enthusiasts enjoy a day on the water after finding the perfect paddleboard and kayak rentals on San Juan Island.

The San Juan Islands are a fantastic area to get out and see the sea. It’s a moment to reflect, visit the San Juan Islands’ wildlife, and absorb the natural beauty. Northwest Island Escapes has the best rental properties on the San Juan Islands, and you’ll be near many attractions. If you are staying on San Juan Island, a popular attraction is the kayak and paddleboard rental businesses. You’ll be able to rent and, if you want, get a guided tour of some of the best spots in the San Juan Islands. These are some of our favorite rental businesses for you to pick up your kayak or paddleboard.