After you've settled into your cozy hotel room and sampled the delights of our historic port and cute coastal town, the rest of the island beckons. Exploring San Juan Island and all the must-see sites by car or moped is so much fun. Ask us for seasonal ideas, maps, and directions. From the Bird Rock Hotel take Second Street to Tucker Avenue. Tucker becomes Roche Harbor Road and you are on your way to your first stop: the famed San Juan Vineyards with its historic schoolhouse and newly renovated tasting room. The vineyard offers tastings from 11 a.m to 5 p.m. every day, and the grounds are well worth exploring.
A couple of miles further up on your left you'll see Lakedale Resort. You can get a day pass and go swimming in one of their lakes or rent a paddle boat. Check out Duck Soup on your right, San Juan Island's original Farm-to-Table restaurant nestled in the woods.
As you continue up Roche Harbor Road, keep a look out on your left for the San Juan Islands Sculpture Park. Stroll through the 20 acres water-side art garden and view over 150 sculptures by noted Pacific Northwest and international artists. Roche Harbor itself is a historic resort with an old hotel, a spa, several shops, a fine dining restaurant and a café by the marina. A bustling, fun place to have lunch and walk around.
From there, travel toward the west side of the island and explore English Camp. Learn about the isle's turbulent history as you explore the formal English garden, cemetery and barracks left behind by the peaceful occupation following the Pig War of 1856. Take the opportunity to hike Mt Young or Bell Point and enjoy the calm waters and beautiful grounds.
Following the signs for the Westside (turn right on Mitchell Bay Road) you will pass scenic woods and pastures before pulling into the County Park, excellent to launch your kayak. The next not-to-be missed sight is Lime Kiln State Park, also known as the "whale watch park", with its lime kiln, lighthouse, a driftwood beach and tide pools. The park is a pleasure to explore and is one of the best places to observe Orcas in the wild from land.
Continuing along the west side of the island and you will find Pelindaba Lavender Farm. When the lavender is in bloom you can smell it from a mile away. They have art in the fields and a store with all their products. The fields, open year-round 24/7, are excellent for stargazing.
Heading towards Friday Harbor, nestled on beautiful Merrifield Cove with views of majestic Mt Baker, find the fantastic San Juan Island Golf & Tennis Club, featuring a restaurant, pro shop, driving range, practice green, power carts, rental clubs, as well as two excellent tennis courts.
Before you head back to town, consider heading to the South end of the island via False Bay Road. Here you will find American Camp, its acres of prairie grass, full of wild foxes and bald eagles. A bit beyond American Camp, at the South tip of the Island, is the historic Cattle Point lighthouse with amazing 180 degree water views.