April 26, 2012

"Escape the mainland and enjoy the jaw-dropping paradise for activities like: whale watching, kayaking, hiking, biking at the picture perfect San Juan Island." - Quote about San Juan Island by Sachin Kumar Gupta.

Do you know, San Juan island pop up again and again in "top 10" lists and "Places to visit before you die" lists.

We reached to Friday Harbor (San Juan Island) from Anacortes, by Washington state ferry. Distinguished as one of the best places in America. San Juan Islands are primarily famous for sea kayaking and orca whale-watching among visitors. But half the fun is the tracing the island beautiful cuves by the car or some part by the bicycle. It is quite easy to cover all the main points of the island in a day. We covered (*marked*) island's circumference going through the main points. It would be easy to cover the points in below order or reverse.

*Friday Harbor*: We just roam around few roads on this tiny island, and finalized the selected places to cover for the day, as we have to catchup the return ferry to Anacortes. We followed the Roche Harbor road.

San Juan Vineyards: Beautiful grapes grown can be enjoyed here. There is also wonderful wine, tasting room, and gift shop. Just a fe mile away, enjoy the Lakedale Resort famous for camping, fishing, lodging, and swimming.

*Roche Harbor*: This is a beautiful place, having facilities like spa, restaurants, tennis courts. You can also enjoy the trails (The Quarries) in this area. While being at the top, panoramic view of the marina and Victorian garden can be adored. Nearby Westcott Bay sculpture park is just a walk away. Just near this point, helicopter ride also avail across the San Juan Island.

*English Camp*: This is another adorable place operated by the national park services. This is a nice place to relax and enjoy walks, and lovely scenery. You can hike up the Mt. Young hill for amazing views of the San Juan.

*Krystal Acres Alpaca Farm*: The rare and charming Alpaca animal of Camelid family can be seen here. Alpaca are prized for their luxurious and costly fiber which is harvested by shearing once a year.

*Pelindaba Lavender Farm*: After that we followed West Valley, and Boyce Road respectively. After some distance you can find Lavender farm fragrant walks through the lavender fields on the roadside with the eye-catching views. At the place, It seems that their owner can enjoy a cup of coffee in a sunny day.

San Juan County Park: The place has easy access to other islands, and sea, views to Canada, and a lucky chance to see marine mammals.

*Lime Kiln Point State Park*: This is a must visit place in San Juan Island, with stunning sea views, picnic spot, trail system. A tiny lighthouse adds beauty to this place, that just stand still near the seashores. The place offers the high chances to see the marine mammals at this place, if you have some patience to wait for that moment.

False Bay: The place offers nice views, fun walks at low tide, great birding.

American Camp: It is also operated by National park services. There are miles of beach, nice picnic spots, and extensive trail system.

*Forth of July and South Beach*: If you are going to the tail part of the San Juan, Cattle Point, you can enjoy spectacular views of forth of July beach at one side, and South Beach at the other. Both the beaches offer picnic spots, easy walks, and great ocean views. We enjoyed stone floating and long distance stone throwing in the sea.

*Cattle Point Lighthouse*: This is another must to see point in San Juan Island. Just before reaching this place, The view of roads going to sea-way and lighthouse touching the sky is really amazing. We just had a snap of ours lying on the roads.

Don't be surprise if deer jump here and there on the road at random places, as we found two :) At the end we return back to Friday harbor, and return to Anacortes followed by Seattle. The one day journey ends with a costly affair of Pizza while returning.  
Discover and explore San Juan with the Sidewalks, Trails, Shorelines, Docks and many more ...

April 19, 2012

Here I go, Once again in Seattle! In the month of April, on a weekend I join the group of entertaining friends Kapil, Anil, Munish, and Anvay. Alarm clock rang in the early morning, and I snoozed it as usual, after that I got ready and had some american breakfast before the friends pick me up from hotel.

 

We have to catch up the ferry from Anacortes to San Juan Island. Usually 60 minutes prior to arrival is recommended for vehicle sailing. As we were driving from Seattle, we have to accomplish a herculian task to get the last vehicle ship that departs from Anacortes at 9:30 a.m. We were just in time, and got entry before 10 mins and our car was the second last to park in the ship. [Luckily allowed and have space]

Note: The benefit of taking ferry from Anacortes is that you can carry your own vehicle to roam around at the island, It is not just the passenger ferry. Though you can walk on with or without a bicycle, or bike, or drive your car on. The approximate price for car and driver is about $50 (round trip), passengers extra [At the time we go]. Schedule and timings change each season. For latest schedule and info Click here. To drive to the Anacortes harbor terminal from Seattle just took 90 mins to 2 hrs depending on traffic:

Take I-5 North through Everett and Mount Vernon    [64 Miles]
Take exit 230 (Burlington/Anacortes)
At the first light, turn left toward Anacortes onto Highway 20W
Follow Highway 20W to Anacortes    [12 Miles]
Once you reach Anacortes merge into the traffic circle and take a right onto Commercial Avenue to reach the central business district.
Take a left at 12th St, where signage points you to the ferry, and follow signs to the ferry terminal (about 2 miles).


Location:

2100 Ferry Terminal Road Suite A
Anacortes, WA 98221

91 Front Street S.
Friday Harbor, San Juan, WA 98250

NOTICE: ALL VEHICLES SUBJECT TO SECURITY SCREENING

As of now, Below ferries operates from Anacortes, and while selecting the destination you have to follow destination specific lane and line, and wait as directed.
Lopez Island Ferry
Shaw Island Ferry
Orcas Island Ferry
San Juan Island Ferry
Sidney B.C. Ferry




Anacortes rests on the waters of the Pacific Ocean on beautiful Fidalgo Island.
The Washington state ferry started on time, and we were just taking snaps from all levels of the ship, and from all sides. Within 15 mins of ferry ride, the sun started following us, and make our day as a whole. The snap below reminds me of the movie Titanic. Throughout 90 minutes, We enjoyed the jaw-dropping, scenic cruise to San Juan Friday Harbor. San Juan Islands are 172 islands in the archipelago. In our route we adored some of these islands curves. Some are quite hilly with some flat areas and valleys, often quite fertile in between. The coastlines were the mix of rocky, pebble and sandy beaches, shallow and deep harbors, placid and reef-studded bays. Once ferry reached at the Friday Harbor, we ride on our car and leave the ferry, and just scale the main points of the San Juan island throughout the day.

While ending up my post, I would rather say:    Enjoy and have a nice ferry !!!

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