Washington Islands are unlike any other islands in the U.S. Lying in cool Pacific waters and protected by Puget Sound, heavily forested islands are thick with hemlock, firs and cedar trees. The San Juan Islands are the largest and most well-known of any in the archipelago, while smaller islands greet the shores of the Salish Sea.
Orcas Island is the largest of the San Juan Islands and is considered by many a gem on Puget Sound. With lots of things to do ranging from whale watching, to mountain hikes, artist studios, and wineries, the island is scattered with charming villages among old-growth forests and beaches lined by Madrone trees. A must-see excursion is a day-trip to Friday Harbor.
The portside town is rich in enticing cultural experiences, restaurants, and shopping. For an inspiring dose of island heritage, don’t forget to visit the San Juan Islands Museum of Art.
Whidbey Island, located north of Seattle is home to Deception Pass State Park. A premiere hiking destination in the country, the park offers over 30-miles of trails winding through rugged ridges, and around scenic coves and beaches. The old-growth Hoypus Forest is a rare treat while Deception Pass describes the beautiful bridge that links Whidbey to Fidalgo Island.
Whidbey Island Sunset
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Whether you are looking for a recreational spot to launch a boat or a secluded hamlet for a day of serenity, parks in Washington state’s beautiful islands are just a short boat ride away. The calm waters of Hope Island Marine State Park are the perfect place for unencumbered sailing or kayaking along pristine shorelines.