Sunday, July 27, 2008

Destination: San Juan Islands

Friday Harbor Afternoon print
Recently, the San Juan Islands have been getting alot of press coverage- and for good reason. The evergreen lined shores and pristine marine environment of the hundreds of islands making up the San Juan archipelago are known throughout the world for their unsurpassed beauty. Consisting of roughly 150 islands (depending on high and low tides) and stretching 24 miles in the lower end of the Georgia Strait in northwest Washington just below the Canadian border, several of the larger cities are accessible by a ferry ride that lasts nearly 1.5 hours. But as you travel through the blue waters, marvel at the eagles soaring and the seals frolicking in the Straits, it's hard to imagine in the midst of this idyll, that you are actually on a form of public transportation. Here in the San Juan Islands, the ferry you have boarded is considered part of the Washington State highway system. Yes, it's hard to believe. You may just want to sit back, enjoy the ride and start redefining "paradise."  But be sure to check the schedule- short of flying in, this is the only was to get to the Islands- and you want to make that ferry!

The historic seaport of Friday Harbor awaits you at the end of the journey, in the heart of the Salish Sea, nestled between three magnificent cities of the Pacific Northwest: Seattle, Vancouver and Victoria. Measuring one square mile, the city has no stop lights but embraces an island culture borne of geographic seclusion and resilient spirit.  Set your expectations high, because you will not be disappointed by the magical forests, breathtaking and bountiful wildlife, long swept driftwood ridden beaches, mountain peaks with incredible vistas, towering cedar trees, and quiet bays.


Cattle Point Lighthouse card
Friday Harbor Magnet magnet
Juxtaposition- Sailing San Juan Island Style card
Island Sunsets Greeting Card card

So, who's talking about the Islands? Well, where do we start? The Washington Post just published an outstanding piece about the Islands- and gives great hints on eats, things to do and places to stay. (Note that COHO Restaurant, which I mentioned in an earlier blog is reviewed!!!)  The Islands have also been listed as one of the BEST places to retire at, stating "San Juan Islands attracts a community who want to live in a very small island community surrounded by world class scenery and recreational opportunities." Not enough for you? How about the recent ranking by Travel + Leisure Magazine - who announced its 2008 World's Best Awards on July 10, ranking the San Juan Islands #4 on its list of Top 5 Islands in the Continental U.S. and Canada . And in February, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named Friday Harbor , Washington one of its 2008 Dozen Distinctive Destinations.  Even the New York Time weighed in...

Haven't been persuaded yet?  Keep on visiting...there's so much to see...

Live. Love. Sail Sailing Stamps stamp
Cattle Point Lighthouse Print print

San Juan Islands Calendar 2008-2009 calendar
Red Veined Darter Stamp stamp

Hope to see you soon!!!!

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