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San Juan Islands trip planning help please


Jan 10th, 2014, 11:47 AM
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San Juan Islands trip planning help please

2 active adults planning a trip to the San Juan Islands in April. Will drive up from Portland. We can spend 2,3 or 4 nights and would like help figuring out the best use of our time. We like to explore, hike, eat, and cycle a bit (would rent). Should we just stay on San Juan Island and explore that area, stay near Friday Harbor? I understand the ferries run West to East so could instead do 2 nights Friday Harbor, 1 night on Orcas. Is Orcas worth it? Lodging seems a bit pricey so dont' want to waste anything and maybe get a kitchenette so every meal isnt' out. Thank you!
eroz is offline  
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Jan 10th, 2014, 12:21 PM
Join Date: Dec 2013
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We've only been during the summer when weather is more conducive to cycling, kayaking, and otherwise being out on the water, so it's easy to fill our days. Not so sure about April, but regardless, I wouldn't do more than a day trip to Orcas. There's some sightseeing - e.g. Mt. Constitution - but nothing different enough from San Juan Island to warrant changing lodgings. Almost all restaurants and commercial services are located in/near Friday Harbor, so best to stay there (although Roche Harbor might be of interest).

Ferry schedules are different in summer, but we've enjoyed breaking up the trip to Friday Harbor with an overnight in La Conner or Anacortes. Lots of tulips are grown in the La Conner area, which would make an April visit there even more appealing. One other thought... If you're going late enough in April, ferry schedules might work for an overnight trip from Friday Harbor to Victoria.
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Jan 13th, 2014, 06:21 PM
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I would do 3 nights minimum. With 2, you did all that planning, waiting at the ferry landing, etc. for a rushed experience. San Juan Island and enjoy it. We are very familiar with Orcas, somewhat with Lopez, and a little bit with San Juan Island (but mostly from a boat that friends own.) April weather can be great or lousy, so plan accordingly. It is usually a bit drier on the San Juan Islands than in the Seattle area, so that is a plus, but it's also a bit cooler, so bring layers. The San Juan Islands are great for outdoor activity when the weather is good, or just plain relaxing (reading, taking walks,etc.) If you can stay somewhere with a view of the water, it's worth it. Although there are only a few restaurants on each island, there are some good ones, so do your research and you will enjoy it. Visit Roche Harbor and English Camp if you choose San Juan Island.
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