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Best location to stay on San Juan Island

Austin, Texas
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Best location to stay on San Juan Island

Hello,

We're looking at renting a house for a week on SJI next August 2014. When I look at the list of waterfront homes, they all look beautiful!

Not knowing much about the island, what's the preferred location to rent? We want lovely water views, quiet, but also easy access to Friday Harbor. We will have a small car for the week.

Thank you!

San Juan Island...
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1. Re: Best location to stay on San Juan Island

Most visitors find the island pretty small and easy to get around as there are really only 3 main roads that get much of any traffic outside of the town of Friday Harbor.

The largest town in the County is here on San Juan island, Friday Harbor (population 2,178). Friday Harbor has many small attractive gift & boutique shops, a wide variety of restaurants, a movie theater, 3 museums, 3 book stores, art galleries, a bowling alley, and neither fast food chains nor traffic lights. There is a nice marina that you can walk through right in town which is busy in the summer and holds many large yachts and sailing boats, and some commercial fishing boats...it's really pleasant walking around there for those who enjoy looking at the boats (and you may well see a heron or two at night). Often you can see a seal hanging around the floating fresh fish market on the docks. Even if the weather one day may be rainy Friday harbor has a movie theater and two toy stores, and the Whale museum in Friday Harbor has plenty of interactive exhibits and even a full size whale skeleton. Info on that is at whalemuseum.org/museum/details/gallery.html

If you want to be near town in a quieter area then pick a rental within a few miles of town, for instance in the quiet Turn Point/Pear point road loop area or over near the University of Washington marine labs area.

Green Valley...
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2. Re: Best location to stay on San Juan Island

The island is small enough that any location will be fine, so long as it meets your desire for waterfront or water views. To give you an idea of its size, here's a Google Map showing distances from Friday Harbor to Cattle Point and to Roche Harbor.

We visit several times/year and base at a "rustic" north end waterfront resort and drive the island several times/day looking for birds, hiking, whales (especially San Juan County Park and Lime Kiln Point (Whale Watch) Park.

Sunsets can be glorious.

When are you coming? With kids?

San Juan Islands This article provides specific information re: what to see and to do on the major islands, with key websites. The islands are best seen by basing on one and visiting the others as day trips. Recommend at least two nights. tripadvisor.com/Travel-g58727-c102104/San-Ju…

Hiking in the San Juan Islands, WA http://tinyurl.com/2furs3

San Juan Island Rental Houses http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=Vacation+Doorways+on+San+Juan+Island

Edited: 05 September 2013, 16:58
Green Valley...
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3. Re: Best location to stay on San Juan Island

Here is the map: http://goo.gl/maps/JmNGE

Banks, Oregon
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4. Re: Best location to stay on San Juan Island

Hi! I see you have been given many great ideas and links-I'm sure you'll enjoy researching them. I just went to both Orcas and SJI in June. If you do like to hike, be sure and go just beyond the American Camp, park at the Jake's Lagoon Trailhead. You have a choice to either go straight up a trail to the bluff or (as I did) loop through the forests, including a couple small trails to lagoons, then up thru more forest (very welcome on a warm day) up to the bluff. It's glorious once you get on top-you can see forever. The day I was there I saw not only Mt. Baker but.............yes, even Mt. Rainier (and that's hard to see even from Seattle let alone from SJI). You will enjoy SJI, much more down-to-earth than, say, Orcas. And don't forget to go to Lime Kiln-good orca-watching spot-plus just a lovely spot---and a very interesting light house and the staff there is very friendly and helpful.

(then, when you get a chance, come on down to Oregon!) we both have great states to visit :)

Edited: 05 September 2013, 20:49
Austin, Texas
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5. Re: Best location to stay on San Juan Island

I absolutely love this feature of TripAdvisor. Everyone is so generous with their recommendations. We are big hikers so thank you for your tips!

Austin, Texas
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6. Re: Best location to stay on San Juan Island

Thank you so much, this is very helpful and helps take the "angst" out of booking a property!

Austin, Texas
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4 posts
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7. Re: Best location to stay on San Juan Island

Thank you for the recommendations. We will be there the first week of August 2014 and no kids. I'm excited about reading the various links and articles everyone recommended.

Steamboat Springs...
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8. Re: Best location to stay on San Juan Island

Hi Eileen, We rented a house in Neal Bay next to Roche Harbor a couple years ago Sept.. We used Windemere as an agent. It was a great trip. The drive back into Friday Harbor takes 15-20 mins at most. There is also a grocery store in Roche Harbor. I would say a house on the West side for sunsets and possible orca viewing would be most desirable. Our house in Neal Bay was a 1 min walk to an isthmus with views towards Roche Harbor and Neal Bay. Yes... Sunset and sunrise from the same spot. Used Jim Maya for 2 Orca wildlife trips. He is awesome.

Here is a link to our trip. Post #2 has a picture link at the bottom, hit slide show. I am very jealous. Love these islands!!!!

tripadvisor.com/…36391397

9. Re: Best location to stay on San Juan Island

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