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The Perfect Picnic Spots on San Juan Island

Updated August 2020

There is nothing like a picnic on the beach overlooking the Salish Sea with only Orca whales and Bald Eagles watching.  San Juan Island’s astonishing beauty offers breathtaking places to stop and have a snack. Let me share my favorite picnic spots with you, along with some tips on what to bring and where to get it.

best picnic spots San Juan Island

Friday Harbor’s Saturday Farmer’s Market is a haven for putting a picnic together. Choose from freshly baked breads and (savory and sweet) pastries, pizza, raw oysters, smoked salmon, cheeses and fruits. Or step across the street to San Juan Bistro and get cheeses, charcuterie and a lovely bottle of wine from right here or around the world. A few houses down you’ll find Cynthia’s Bistro, an adorable bistro offering fresh, healthy, made from scratch fare--sandwiches, wraps, to-die-for pastries, espresso drinks and wine. Make sure you have the tools you need - bottle opener, knife, cups - and the smears you crave - mustard, Tabasco, fresh lemon, bring a blanket and off you go!


closest beach to Bird Rock Friday Harbor Hotel

Close to home – Jackson’s Beach

Jackson’s Beach, a calm driftwood beach with picnic benches and barbecues, is exactly one mile from the Bird Rock Hotel. There is a volleyball court and an old salmon cannery on a spit. This is the perfect outing for you and our complimentary beach cruiser bikes.


Lime Kiln State Park San Juan Island

Breathtaking views - Lime Kiln State Park

Lime Kiln State Park is considered one of the best places to watch Orca wales from land anywhere in the world! The gorgeous park features a lighthouse, a look out platform, extensive hiking trails and picnic benches throughout.  There is a restored limekiln you can climb down to. Even on the busiest summer days you’ll find privacy and calm here.


Mt Young San Juan Island

Climbing high – Mt .Young

Located in English Camp, the top of Mt. Young lends amazing views of all the other islands. The steep three-mile round trip hike rewards you with views of Bald Eagles nesting in wolf trees, so close, you can look them in the eye.  People propose up here. And you will see why. There are no benches, just soft moss and wildflowers covering rugged granite cliffs.