Washington - San Juan or OP?

Old Jan 5th, 2006, 08:09 AM
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Washington - San Juan or OP?

Obviously, everyone will have a different opinion. . . BUT, would you rather spend a couple of days in the OP or on San Juan Island? I thought I could do both, but I think I'd rather pick one and do it right than try to do both very quickly. I enjoy, equally what I think both have to offer, so which is more scenic, relaxing, intersting, etc.? My thought is that the OP has a lot of places to go and see. But I would like to hear others opinions.


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Old Jan 5th, 2006, 08:45 AM
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They are both extremely worth visitin.

Olympic National Park is one of the most visited in the NP system. That may tell you something.

The San Juan Islands are accessible only by ferry--and there is often a long wait for ferries in summer months and on holiday weekends. It is possible to visit ONP without taking a ferry.
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Old Jan 5th, 2006, 08:49 AM
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http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...asperlie&fid=1
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Old Jan 5th, 2006, 10:02 AM
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It just depends on what you want to see and do.

ONP is bigger, has the mountains, rainforests and ocean beaches. There are more opportunities for hiking (in fact, the best ocean beaches are only accessible by hiking), but less good food and lodging. Distances are greater here so you will probably spend a bit of time driving. The mountains here, while very pretty, are not as dramatic as Mt. Rainier or the North Cascades, so if you are visiting one of those parks on your visit here as well I'd probably cut ONP (unless you really want to see the rain forest).

The islands are better if you want luxury lodging (lots of nice b and b's), good restaurants, whale watching (much of the year), kayaking or just relaxing with a waterfront view. There is hiking in Moran State Park and some good walks in San Juan Island National Historical Park but on the whole, I would characterize the islands as the more relaxing destination.

Have you looked at websites for each place? That will tell you more about what each place has to offer, and you will see pictures so you can figure out which piques your interest more.
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Old Jan 5th, 2006, 12:57 PM
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I like the San Juans better but it is completely a personal choice. I'm not a big fan of rain forests (living in Seattle they seemed awful soggy to me -lol) and I love the atmosphere of the islands, riding a ferry, etc.
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Old Jan 5th, 2006, 04:51 PM
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San Juan island would be my choice. Very relaxing and beautiful scenery, with a lot less driving to do once you are there. What time of year do you plan to visit?
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Old Jan 6th, 2006, 05:50 AM
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Thanks for the replies. We will be there in July. I have researched both places on various websites. . . thus my dilemma. They both look worth doing. I was just curious about everyone's personal opinions who had actually been there. We enjoy luxury AND rustic roughing it, so that's really not a decision breaker. I guess I will just need to throw a dart and pick one!! Sounds like both are worth seeing. The OP would save us a lot of money due to the accommodations I picked for San Juan, but I don't want that to be the deciding factor. We're from Dallas,Texas, so we don't get any of what either place has to offer here. I guess we can't go wrong either way.
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Old Jan 6th, 2006, 07:29 AM
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One thing to note about the islands in July is that one can easily spend the big chunks of whole days waiting in lines for the ferry - at the Anacortes dock, or at docks on Orcas, San Juan, or even Lopez, especially on weekends. Ferry coordination can eat into short schedules.

The Olympic Peninsula, on the other hand, has numerous access points - to Seattle, to the South Sound, etc., including bridges and freeways as well as ferries. For example, although compared to Friday Harbor the Pacific coastal strip of ONP is farther in miles from, say, Seattle, it's a wash or even closer in terms of time, when one factors in ferry connections and lineups.

It might help if you let us know the rest of your itinerary - there might be dual-purpose destinations or activities that would make the use of your time more rewarding.
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Old Jan 6th, 2006, 08:00 AM
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I posted this on your other thread with the same question.

I live in Florida and have many island like places to visit. I dont however have the amazing coast line and tidal pools that Washington State has. So the choice for me would be the ONP. It also has the Hoh Rainforest and so much other stuff.
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