If you are on a yacht charter with us in Vancouver, then it is possible to sail down to the San Juan islands, a short hop on from the Gulf Islands. The San Juan Islands are a brilliant place to visit, not just for the mellow island vibe and the warm year round temperate climate (around 70 degress in the summer and 40 degrees in the winter) but the sparkling blue waters and deep green forest covered islands are a paradise for those seeking adventure or just wanting to soak up the chilled out atmosphere of the islands. Whatever you are looking for on your yacht charter in Vancouver then the San Juan Islands are most certainly worth a visit.
The San Juan Islands are an archipelago, located between the US mainland and Vancouver Island, they are in fact classified as part of the US state of Washington.
At high tide the archipelago shows over 400 islands and rocks, of which only 172 are named! There are almost 480 miles of shoreline to explore in the San Juan Islands, of which there are plenty of sandy and rocky beaches, some shallow and deep harbours and hundresds of bays to explore. Most of the islands are quite hilly, with the tallest peak on Orcas Island which is 800m high, but the scenery is spectacular with the inland areas covered in evergreen fir and pine forests, with Arbutus trees found in abundance.
The four most popular islands which are served by the ferry, are San Juan Island, Orcas Island, Lopez Island and Shaw Island.
Gateway to the San Juan Islands…
…is the town of Friday harbour, this historic town is only one square mile in size, so everything is easily walkable, it is located on a hill leading up from the harbour. It is the hub of San Juan Island, and has a tranquil laid-back atmosphere. There is plenty to do, from looking around the antique shops, to browsing the boutiques or stopping for some amazing seafood whilst admiring the views of the harbour.
There is a also a keen presence of art and artists in Friday harbour, there are murals and tile mosaics on many buildings and walls throughout the town and many art galleries to browse. During the summer months, there is often free live music at the port on Fridays and Sundays, which you can hear from your yacht charter if you are moored in Friday harbour.
The San Juan Islands are a popular tourist destination as there is so much to do on these stunning islands, from sea kayaking to whale-watching; biking or hiking on land; guided sea-kayaking tours, whale-watching tours or fishing to guided horseback rides.
In Friday Harbour, you can also take a walking tour, which takes in many of the town’s important sites.
Visit The Whale Museum and learn about the local orca whale pods.
The San Juan Historical Museum, telling you all about the local area and the fascinating history of the Friday Harbour waterfront.
Enjoy the fine food in Friday harbour, catering for all tastes, from seafood, Thai, Tex-mex, Italian or Chinese. Most of the town’s restaurants overlook the water so you are treated to a night of great cuisine and stunning views over the water.
On a yacht charter in Vancouver, then the San Juan islands really are a must visit place, to enjoy the natural beauty and history of these islands.