The best Summer Getaway is providing something fun to do for everybody in your family, with just the right mixture of outdoor adventure and relaxation, where you learn something new, get inspired and spend quality time together, making memories of a lifetime. The best Summer Getaway is not too far away and tons of fun to get to. The best Summer Getaway for the entire family is a trip to San Juan Island! Here are 10 Family Fun things to do on the isle:
- Whale Watching
One of San Juan Island’s main attractions is observing Orca whales in the wild and Summer is the time to do it. Our friends at San Juan Safaris are offering an exhilarating new ride this season: the M/V Kestrel, a 34-foot rigid inflatable vessel, which speeds along at 35 knots and can take up to 28 passengers to where the whales are, super-fast. This thrilling three-hour tour gives you the best chance to see not only Orcas, but so much of San Juan Island’s amazing wildlife.
As a Bird Rock Guest, you are in luck. You and yours get to enjoy the pool, hot tub and exercise room at our sister hotel, the Earthbox Inn & Spa, San Juan Island’s only hotel with an indoor heated pool. A fun way for the kids to work off some energy before dinner while you lounge on the sunny patio with a good book (or sneak next door for a massage at the Spa at Earthbox).
Another perk of staying at the Bird Rock Hotel is the free(!) beach cruiser bikes. You can bike to dinner or to the nearest beach or ride the Pear Point Loop, a five-mile ride around the picturesque peninsula of Friday Harbor. And yet one more perk: the loop ends right by the ice cream shop in town!
Sea kayaking in the Salish Sea, silently gliding through kelp forests while being watched by seals and Bald Eagles, is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. San Juan Outfitters offers tours tailored to your family, five-hour Orca Search Trips and more in their safe, easy to maneuver double kayaks.
The quaint former fishing village of Friday Harbor is speckled with cute shops, boutiques, farm-to-table restaurants, cafes and galleries, all within walking distance of the Bird Rock Hotel. There is a bowling alley, a historic movie theater and the Toy Box, the coolest toy store of all. Friday Harbor is so small and so safe, you might let your teenagers loose to explore alone for a bit while you find the perfect island-made souvenir at the Pelindaba Lavender Store.
- Farm Tours
San Juan Island’s lush valleys and rich soils are home to many unique farms and farmers. You’ll find cute roadside farm and flower stands as you make your way to the beach. Visit the Krystal Acres Alpaca Farm and Country Store to see cuddly camelids. Browse the gorgeous, rolling lavender fields at the Pelindaba Lavender Farm. Visit the Shellfish Farm on beautiful Westcott Bay and shuck your own oysters.
- Experience Art
Friday Harbor, the small town with big-city culture, offers lovely ways for the entire family to experience and participate in art. There are the Family Art Days at the renowned San Juan Islands Museum of Art every Summer Saturday. All ages are welcome and no skills are required at these fun, free events, led by different island artists.
Visit the 40-acre San Juan Islands Sculpture Park and its over 150 outdoor sculptures. Sign the Friendship Totem and have the kids create their own art at the Starfish Project sandbox.
- Experience History
Bevelieve it or not, the last war on American soil was fought right here on San Juan Island! Luckily the only fatality in the land dispute and following American and British occupation, was a pig. Watch this rich history come alive at English Camp National Historical Park every Summer Saturday, when park rangers and volunteers recreate 19th century military and civilian pioneer life with re-enactments of blacksmithing, weaving, cooperage, carpentry and more.
- Fun at the County Fair
The small town San Juan County Fair, August 14-17, 2019, with its adorable 4H animals, excellent food, thrilling rides (well, sort of), lovely live music, entertainment and local art, is an affair to remember. Vote for the best apple pie and the most handsomest pig, before dancing your socks off.
- Chill at the Beach
Build sand castles, fly kites, make a bonfire, watch birds, foxes, otters, sea lions and orcas, play in tide pools, skip stones, build a driftwood fort, look for Native American arrowheads and sunbathe on one of American Camp National Park’s six beaches, each with a different absolutely breathtaking view until the sun sets and the moon rises.