Scootin’ Around San Juan Island

In my opinion, scootin’ around San Juan Island is the best way to see this gorgeous and adventurous island. With a bit of planning, you won’t regret it either!

In the morning, walk on to a Washington State Ferry in Anacortes. Be sure to read the schedule carefully, as not all boats go to each island in the San Juans. Be sure to keep an eye out for orca whales on the sail. Often, the captain will slow down the boat and announce where they are! What a treat, and you get to scratch off the “Spot an Orca in the San Juan’s” square on the Explore Washington State Bucket List Poster

Renting Your Ride

After docking, check out Friday Harbor, a lovely little town full of great food, art, coffee and treats! We wanted to get on to the scootin’ part of our adventure, so we quickly stopped at Cin Cin Goods to grab a few pieces of Friday Harbor Chocolate for an afternoon treat! 

Head on over to Susie’s Mopeds to pick up your adventure mobile for touring the island (be sure to book in advance!) My chosen vehicle was the Scoot Coupe which is perfect for two people, but they offer traditional and electric mopeds, electric F.U.V.’s, electric bikes and Chevy Trackers.


Eat and Explore

After your short training and with your map in hand, you are on your way. I prefer to tour the island counterclockwise as this puts you in Roche Harbor for a lovely lunch, but your first stop is the San Juan Winery and Vineyard to taste some lovely wines in a beautiful setting. 

Now, on to Roche Harbor where you can walk in the gardens, read up on the history of the lime kilns, check out the artists, stroll the docks, and enjoy a bite to eat. I love the Madrona Grill with its large decks overlooking the marina, but the Lime Kiln Café is also an option. There is a well-stocked general store if you need to pick up any provisions, snacks or souvenirs.  

wine and ferry

Your next stop is the Wescott Bay Seafood Farm for fresh oysters! This can be your lunch stop, or just for a Salish Sea snack! If this is not your cup of tea, head on down the road to English Camp. Walk around, visit the old buildings and the English Garden, and be sure to learn the history of the Pig War! 

Krystal Acres Alpaca Farm is next. These adorable creatures are worth the stop; be sure to pick up something from their shop! The San Juan County Park is just beyond. What a gorgeous day park and campground right on the water. Sit for a spell and take in the view. Maybe plan to come back to camp here soon! 

Lighthouses, Lavender, and More on San Juan Island

The picturesque Lime Kiln Lighthouse (aka Whale Watch Park) is a MUST-stop! A speaker is installed to broadcast any orcas as they swim and feed in this area. Minke and humpback whales also pass through this area. Be sure to stop in the store and the interpretive center (open during peak season) before heading back out. 

It’s definitely time for a snack, so stop at the gorgeous Pelindaba Lavender Farm and indulge in some lavender ice cream while you stroll the fields, learn about the harvesting and distilling of lavender, play cornhole or giant Jenga and do some shopping for anything and everything lavender. 

Lime Kiln Light House on San Juan Island

One of the most beautiful parts of the drive is the road out to False Bay. You experience farmland to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Take a moment to take it all in. The Scoot Coupe is all open-air and it really allows you to connect with nature and the scents in the areas you travel to. 

If you have planned your time well, stop and stretch your legs at American Camp. The views are spectacular, and you might even spot red foxes playing in the grass or orcas out in the water! 

American Camp on San Juan Island
Cattle Point on San Juan Island

Returning to Friday Harbor

Cattle Point and its lighthouse are the last stop of your loop drive. Not as picturesque as Lime Kiln Lighthouse, but its views are nothing short of perfection. Feel free to park and take the trail right up to the lighthouse and the stairs down to the beach. You will not be disappointed to make this stop. 

Time to head back to Susie’s Mopeds and drop off your adventure vehicle at the allotted time. If you do have time before your ferry comes to take you back to Anacortes, have dinner at one of the many restaurants in Friday Harbor. Friday’s Crabhouse is wonderful, and it overlooks the ferry dock. 

Enjoy the sun setting from the deck of the ferry and reflect on your truly magical day!

This is not a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of day. I highly recommend you do your research before you head out. Reserve with Susie’s, and check out the websites of the locations you wish to visit as some are not open seven days a week. Be careful with the ferry schedule, dress accordingly, and most importantly, bring your phone or camera to capture your fabulous day! 

Avatar photo

Lisa Mize

Lisa Mize, photographer, is a born and raised Washingtonian. While living on Puget Sound on her boat, M/V Our Dance, she also seeks out places to go backpacking, kayaking, biking or anything outdoors. Lisa is always up for a new, worldwide adventure accompanied by her husband and endearing partner! Socials: IG: @lisamizelandscapephotography FB: Lisa Mize Photography


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