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San Juan Island
Where absolutely everybody waves hello at absolutely everybody else.
Perhaps the most serene of the San Juan Islands, and the closest to Anacortes, Lopez is an easy day trip for those who want a fast island adventure. Hop on the ferry with your bike, enjoy a quick ride and some eats, and you’ll still have time to make the last ferry home, depending on where your travels take you. But be forewarned: even though it is renowned as the most bike-friendly of the islands, its long steep hills still offer even the fervent cycler a workout.
Nature lovers will be enthralled by the vast array of wildlife viewing available on the island, and it’s common to see bald eagles perched atop trees and utility poles throughout the area. There are many excellent vantage points from which to glimpse a large variety of water birds that inhabit the island. If mammals are more your style, visit Shark Reef Sanctuary and take the primitive trail that winds its way to the water. There you’ll see seals, sea lions and sweeping views of San Juan Channel. On a clear day, the Olympic mountains are visible to the
For some island culture, check out Lopez Village on Fisherman Bay. The commercial center of the island, the village offers a selection of restaurants, delis and coffeeshops, as well as a
bakery, grocery stores, bookstores and galleries.
On Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. don’t miss the farmer’s market, where you will find island-fresh produce and local artisans selling their wares in the village. There are some great food vendors on site during the market, so bring some cash and an empty belly.
For more info, visit lopezisland.com.
What the locals know:
BREAKFAST IS THE MOST IMPORTANT MEAL OF THE DAY: Start your morning off right with a worldfamous cinnamon bun from Holly B’s Bakery.
PLAN AHEAD: Camping spots fill up fast in Spencer Spit State Park (37 sites) and Odlin County Park (30 sites). Sign up early to get the best campsite you can get!
HISTORY IS IMPORTANT: The island treasures its history, and has it chronicled at the Lopez Island Historical Society & Museum in the village and at the restored 1917 Port Stanley Schoolhouse on Port Stanley Road.