Saturday, August 21, 2010

Camping Trip to the San Juan Islands

So you want an island vacation, but you don't want to buy plane tickets? Here's an idea. Drive up to the San Juan's off the coast of Washington and have yourself a perfect island vacation. Okay, so it isn't Hawaii or Fiji or anything tropical, but it is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. It actually reminded me a lot of Scandinavian landscape in countries like Norway and Finland.

I just happened to pick a weekend that had absolutely gorgeous weather! I'm pretty sure it was up in the high 80's most of the time we were there. Being so far north, and on the water, it doesn't always get that warm.

We camped at Odlin County Park on Lopez island which is right on the beach and was perfect for watching the sunset, the meteor showers, and just chilling. It is a primitive campsite with pit toilets and water, but the friendly little town of Lopez Village was only 3 miles away and supplied public showers in the park in town. It was so nice to be able to get clean after a day of hiking and exploring in the warm sun!

One of my favorite parts of the Lopez Village was a bakery called Holly B's. While we were waiting for the shower we'd head over for some coffee and a bakery item and sit on the porch with the other tourists and locals. We also checked out the Farmer's Market on Saturday morning and learned a little about the island and its inhabitants (lovely, quirky people).

Inter-island ferries were free to walk on, so we made a couple of trips to Friday Harbor to eat dinner and take in the sights. The marina there is beautiful and there are lots of restaurants and bars along the waterfront to have a beer or a bite to eat and watch the world go by.

I would definitely recommend a road trip up to the San Juan's. It takes about 5 hours to get to Anacortes, WA where you pick up the ferry and if you're lucky you won't have to wait 6 hours for the late ferry like we did! Be advised, ferries run on island time and are often full, late, or otherwise inconvenient to modern timetables. But totally worth it!


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