Tom and I arrived at San Juan Island a little over a week ago. Since our arrival, we have been in training or working every day, but we have made time to explore a little bit also. The island is absolutely beautiful with a new scenic vista around every corner.
You cannot drive to San Juan Island. You either take the ferry, fly, or use your own boat to get here. The San Juan Islands are a group of islands between Seattle, Bellingham, and Vancouver Island. The United States almost went to war with Great Britain over who owned this group of islands, but that is a story for another day. Obviously, the United States eventually got the islands.
There are 172 named islands and rocky reefs in San Juan County, but only four of them are accessible to the public. Orcas Island is the largest geographically. San Juan Island has the largest population and most of the lodging options, restaurants, and activities. Consequently more people visit San Juan Island than any of the other islands.
San Juan Island is 16 miles north to south and 10 miles at its widest. About 7,000 people live on the island year-round, although the population doubles from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Because much of the economy is dependent on tourism, this is a good thing although it tries the patience of the locals. The average summertime high is 70 and it rarely snows in the winter.
I found this excellent map on this website. The map shows the major roads on the island and the major tourist attractions. I will be writing more about the specific attractions as we visit them. If you are impatient, you can check out the links now.
Tom and I will be here all summer. We know we are getting some visitors so we will have a reason to visit all these places. You will probably hear more about the island than you want to know. But we are looking forward to exploring the island in the days ahead.