The San Juan Islands are easily one of my favorite places in Washington state. Out of the way, but worth the trip, they have everything any Western Washingtonian could ever want: small, welcoming seaside towns; access to biking, camping, and beaches; calming views of distant islands; incredible sunsets; a ferry ride; and scenery that is undeniably heaven on Earth. The San Juans have been a popular summer destination as long as I can remember, but the Islands are becoming an even more popular place to visit year round, and it’s easy to see why.
Personally, I’ll take fewer people over an increased likelihood of sunshine and choose to visit in early-late Spring. Despite having visited numerous times before, my latest trip in early April was a reawakening; I unexpectedly fell in love with my state all over again. I remembered why I boast about this place and how Washingtonians set ourselves apart: We stop what we’re doing to look out the bus window and soak in the breathtaking view over one of the bridges. Our local news stations broadcast postcard-like footage of the Cascades after commercial breaks. We happily exclaim “the mountain’s out!” on clear sunny days. We have access to incredible places like these and we take advantage of them, even when the weather is uncooperative. And more than anything, we are thankful for it all. We know we live in the most amazing place, and we secretly hope that no one else finds out about it.