I’ve been to the San Juan Islands on four separate occasions.

MIkes Road Trip (YouTube)
MIkes Road Trip (YouTube)
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I could go back several times and only scratch the surface - of what's interesting up there!

I’ve done some digging -  and found some secret places - you need to see & do in the San Juan Islands.

INSTAVIEW (YouTube)
INSTAVIEW (YouTube)
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Scroll below to see the Top 5 secret spots in the San Juans. (-Source Tripadvisor)

Mikes Road Trip (YouTube)
Mikes Road Trip (YouTube)
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If you plan on making a trip up to the Islands with your vehicle

- Make sure you have a reservation for the Anacortes - San Juan Islands ferry. (The same is true with the Port Townsend - Coupeville route) .

INSTAVIEW (YouTube)
INSTAVIEW (YouTube)
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Here is the Anacortes Ferry schedule and the link to reserve your spot on the boat.

INSTAVIEW (YouTube)
INSTAVIEW (YouTube)
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Having trouble making a ferry reservation - everything all booked up?

Or can't find overnight accommodations? 

Consider going up for a day trip - with an optional overnight stay in Anacortes. Our family loved our weekend in Anacortes - and nearby Washington Park.

Here are some ideas - if you:

Park your car in Anacortes and walk on

Take a water taxi

Fly up on a charter plane. 

There are creative transportation solutions with a fun day trip. 

Learn more about your day trip options here.


Okay. Here are the Top 5 “Hidden Gems” according to Tripadvisor.


1) Pelindaba Lavender Farm - Friday Harbor

45 Hawthorne Ln, Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, WA 98250-5008

MIkes Road Trip (YouTube)
MIkes Road Trip (YouTube)
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Cool place to visit

All the lavender fields were in full bloom when we arrived. Smelled wonderful! Great place for photos. Nice store where you can buy their lavender products (as well as their store in Friday Harbor). Note, no dogs allowed in the fields.

-Cohoman on Tripadvisor


2) Orcas Island Pottery - Orcas Island

338 Old Pottery Rd, Eastsound, Orcas Island, WA 98245-9319

Giffen Grip (YouTube)
Giffen Grip (YouTube)
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Unique pottery and beautiful place to shop.

Always fun to come here to see so many different kinds of interesting, pretty pottery arranged in such unusual ways outside -- on picnic tables, benches, potting sheds and more. The grounds are beautiful with all the flower beds and ocean views. The tree house is especially unique and fun! Great place!

-Margaret A.


3) Buck Bay Shellfish Farm - Orcas Island

 77 Ej Young Rd, Olga, Orcas Island, WA 98279-9343

Visit San Juans (YOuTube)
Visit San Juans (YOuTube)
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Absolutely fresh seafood in lovely setting overlooking Buck's Bay. The halibut fish and chips was great-fresh halibut, crispy batter, great fries, I had the "Island roll" (halibut, shrimp and scallop). The dining setting is on a grassy lawn with mature willow trees providing great shade. Very nice staff. Perfect!

-Stay766765


4) Westcott Bay Shellfish Co. - Friday Harbor

904 Westcott Dr, Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, WA 98250-8116

MV Blackbird (YouTube)
MV Blackbird (YouTube)
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OMG! Everything we had off the menu was SO good. The staff was friendly, clean restrooms. Make reservations! We did not but arrived shortly after they opened on Sunday and were willing to sit at the hightop bar area.

-Mary R.


5) English Camp - Friday Harbor

3905 West Valley Rd., Friday Harbor, WA 98250

Steve Stedmen (YouTube)
Steve Stedmen (YouTube)
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American Camp and English Camp Visitor Centers Closed Until Spring 2023

The Royal Marine Barracks, built as a privates' mess in 1860 and converted to a barracks in 1867, serves as a visitor contact station during the summer season. Ranger Programs are available during the main visitor season from June to September.

-National Parks Service

Steve Stedman (YouTube)
Steve Stedman (YouTube)
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Wonderful way to see a beautiful area and learn some history while you are there. We went on a rainy day, but with the tree cover we found it to still be a nice hike. We really liked that the park staff were all very nice and loved to answer questions about plants, wildlife, as well as park history.

-Colorado_jonathon

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