Are you looking for your next weekend getaway? San Juan Island is the perfect place to go! Located just a few hours north of Seattle, San Juan has activities for energetic and relaxed explorers alike!

Get Lost in Lavender Fields

Pelindaba Lavender is one of the island’s most popular tourist destinations—and for good reason! The farm is a beautiful place to connect with nature, friends, and family and is open to the public no matter the season or time of day.

Although the fields are open year-round, visit the farm in July or August to see the lavender at its “peak of purpleness.” During that time, you can harvest your own lavender in the farm’s designated cutting field.

The farm’s gift shop has over two hundred lavender products you can try and buy. Taste lavender-infused food like chocolate, honey, and ice cream (the lavender-vanilla ice cream is a must have), and sample personal care products like lotion, soap, and perfume. You can also see how they distill the lavender to make essential oil, and you can buy lavender plants for your own garden at home.

If you’re looking for a more artsy experience, visit the farm the third week of July when it hosts the San Juan Lavender Festival! You can stroll through booths of local artists and restaurants, listen to live music, and see demonstrations on distilling, cultivating, and cooking with lavender.


Watch for Whales

Lime Kiln Point State Park is one of the world’s best places to see whales from land, according to the island’s official tourism website. You can hike from the park’s entrance over to the Lime Kiln Point Lighthouse, which was built in 1919, and sit on the rocky bluff to watch for the whales. There are also picnic tables available that have a good vantage point. The best time to see whales is May through September, but peak season depends on salmon runs.

If your idea of whale watching is a bit more proactive, book a guided whale-watching tour from Roche Harbor. They have excursions for groups, families, and independent travelers, and tours fill up quickly.

Even if you don’t see whales, the park is a great place for hiking, especially if your idea of hiking involves more walking and less climbing. Tours of the lighthouse and a few kid-friendly activities involving orcas and mining are also available during summer.


It’s Friday . . . Harbor

If you’re looking for a slower vacation, walk around Friday Harbor and enjoy the local shops filled with books, clothing, and art. Catch a movie or a show at one of the town’s theaters, and grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants (most of which have amazing seafood). Visit one of the art galleries or the San Juan Museum of Art to see exhibits from around the world.

Roche Harbor is a great place to stay if you’re looking for a more luxurious, relaxing vacation. It also boasts local art, shops, and restaurants and offers kayak tours, tennis courts, a sculpture garden, and bike trails. Or, enjoy a luxurious day at the spa located in the center of the village!
Whether you’re traveling to relax, explore, or connect with nature, San Juan Island is your perfect weekend getaway

—Sarah Johnson