Sunny Seattle Days – San Juan Islands Day Trip

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A trip up to the San Juan Islands was a must do during our visit to the Seattle area. A combination of water and island time on an island with fresh seafood sounded like a great way to spend a day.

Trip Report

Drive To Ferry

The drive up to Anacortes, where we would take the ferry over to Orcas Island, took about 1 hour and 30 minutes. The drive was easy. We took interstate 5 north to route 20 west to Anacortes ferry docks. Before we left, we checked the Anacortes westbound ferry schedule so that we timed our arrival. We drove our car right up onto the ferry and off we were over to Orcas Island.


The fog over the water and islands felt a bit majestic and made for a fun ride in the morning. Just glad we had our extra large coffees and North Face jackets.

Ferry to Orcas

Ferry to Orcas 2

Ferry to Orcas 4

Ferry to Orcas 3

Ferry to Orcas 5

Ferry to Orcas 6

The ferry ride to Orcas Island had nice views of the water and nearby islands. It was definitely more foggy during the morning ride to the islands than it was on the return ferry ride. Before we knew it, we were docked at Orcas Island’s ferry dock and ready to explore the island.

Ferry to Orcas 7

Orcas Island Ferry Dock

Orcas Island Ferry Dock 2

San Juan Islands

First stop was main street right on fishing bay. There was a small beach that we explored before heading over to main street for a crab cake snack.

Orcas Island Beach

Orcas Island Beach 3

Orcas Island Beach 2

The next stop we stumbled upon a shell fish farm. I’ve read that Orcas shell fish farms produce oysters, clams and mussels.

Orcas Island Bay

It was definitely interesting to see our first working shell fish farm. You could see that the rows of shell fish were so neatly aligned at low tide.

Orcas Island Farm

Orcas Island Farm 3

Orcas Island Farm 2

On the way to the third stop we caught a deer having a road side snack. A big thanks to Mrs Weekly Flyer for catching this shot using her special 35 mpg photography skills.

Deer Having Road Snack

The third stop was somewhere near the town of Olga. There was a little restaurant / market in front of a long dock. We enjoyed a snack, drinks and a walk on the long dock.

Orcas Lookout Near Olga 2

Orcas Lookout Near Olga

The final stop before heading back to the ferry dock was a stop on the north side of the island at North Beach. The island’s only airport is to the west of the beach.

Orcas Island Second Beach 2Orcas Island Second Beach

Happy Hour At Ferry Docks And Ride Back To Anacortes

Once back at the ferry docks, we couldn’t resist a picturesque happy hour overlooking the Salish Sea. I stopped into a nearby restaurant and picked up a couple of cold Pilsner Urquells for our enjoyment. We saw a few yachts and a seal in the water while we were waiting for our ferry to arrive.

Happy Hour at Orcas Ferry Dock 2

We saw several ferries go by, but they were all false alarms.

Happy Hour at Orcas Ferry Dock

Happy Hour At Orcas Ferry

Ferry Back To Seattle

Happy Hour at Orcas Ferry Dock 3

The Ferry Ride home was longer than the ride to Orcas. I think there were a few stops at islands like Shaw and Lopez before arriving back at Anacortes.

Ferry From Orcas

Ferry From Orcas 2

Ferry From Orcas 3

Bottom Line

The trek to Orcas Island was well worth it. It was a nice easy adventure for us to spend a little time on the water, explore an island and eat some great seafood. If you are ever in the Seattle area, consider making a visit to one of the San Juan Islands to see for yourself.

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About The Weekly Flyer

The Weekly Flyer writes about travel from a business traveler perspective. He travels the world every week accumulating points and miles along the way.

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