Chapter 7 - San Juan Islands

The San Juan Archipelago is a prized destination - not only boaters, but bikers, bird and whale watchers, campers, tourists and all kinds of other visitors fall under the spell of this magical place. One of the major communities and boating destinations, Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, has an active marina situated near a very walkable downtown where hours can be spent in the shops, museums, galleries, coffee houses, restaurants, wine tasting rooms, and spas. Another San Juan Island attraction is the large marina resort, Roche Harbor. This place is so popular that an annual lottery is held for boaters who want a chance to make 4th of July moorage reservations! On Orcas Island, Deer Harbor and West Sound are also popular stops (and while we hope you never have the need, it’s good to know that they both have repair facilities.) Mid-Orcas Island is East Sound, home to Rosario Resort, Spa, and Marina. Visit the turn of the century Moran Mansion at Rosario for a step back in time. Two and a half miles north of Orcas Island is Sucia Island Marine State Park, which according to Washington State Parks, “is consistently ranked as one of the top boating destinations in the world.” Finally, a visit to these islands would not be complete without exploring Lopez Island. Fisherman Bay is the hub for boating facilities on this Island and you can’t miss Island Marine Center or Lopez Islander Resort & Marina once you enter the Bay. Nearby Lopez Village is fun to visit anytime of the year, but if you come during the last week of April, throw your bike aboard and sign up for the annual Tour de Lopez, a fun non-competitive bike tour of this scenic island.

West Sound MarinaRoche HarborPort of Friday HarborIsland Marine Center

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Islands Marine Center

Port of Friday Harbor

Roche Harbor


Now in its 39th year, Northwest Boat Travel is a unique cruising guide containing twenty geographically arranged chapters presenting descriptions and useful information about the ports-of-call, anchorages, bays, inlets, waterways, marine parks, marina and resort facilities, fuel docks, services, and things to see and do along coasts and islands of Washington, British Columbia, and Southeast Alaska.