Welcome to Northwestern Washington & the San Juan Islands

The Northwest's urban hub is laid-back Bellingham, while its rural highlight could be any one of the 200-plus islands that speckle the northern reaches of Puget Sound. Cultural life tends to be influenced by Vancouver and Seattle, ensuring that the music's electric, the microbreweries plentiful and the coffee aromatic. And wherever you go you'll be sure to find an abundance of Northwestern cuisine featuring locally sourced ingredients, from wild-caught salmon to the world's sweetest blackberries.

Top experiences in Northwestern Washington & the San Juan Islands

Travel guides

Starting at $38.99

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Northwestern Washington & the San Juan Islands activities

$107.02 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Orcas Island Whale Watching

Our Orcas Island Whale Watching tours depart from Eastsound and cruise out through the San Juan Islands. Experience nature first hand with our knowledgeable captains and naturalist guides, who have advanced degrees in biology, geology, and more. We pride ourselves on our fleet of small, high speed vessels with small groups- never carrying more than 30 passengers. The Blackfish Fleet are the fastest in the region: our newest vessel the Blackfish III is the first Marine Ambulance in Washington State!On our Orcas Island tours we will often pass by local landmarks like Patos Island Lighthouse, Sucia Island,Turn Point Lighthouse, Monarch Head on Saturna Island, Lime Kiln Lighthouse, and even venture as far as Victoria or Vancouver BC if it means seeing Orca! While traveling through the most beautiful scenery of the Pacific Northwest, we search for Orcas, Humpbacks, Grays, and more. We often encounter seals, porpoises, sea lions, otters, and more. Birds abound in our region as well! We almost always see Bald Eagles, and we frequently see Common Murres, Black Oystercatchers, Rhinoceros Auklets, Surf Scoters, Ancient Murrelets, and many diverse marine species. We occasionally find Tufted Puffins and even endangered Marbled Murrelets. Seasonally hundreds of other bird species migrate through and overwinter in the Salish Sea.We are proud to guarantee whale sightings on our tours from April through early September. We are so confident in our ability to find whales because the numbers speak for themselves: In 2015 we had 100% sighting success on over 1400 tours! We have the fastest boats so we can get to where the whales are, from Victoria to Vancouver and everywhere in between!

$99 Air, Helicopter & Balloon Tours

Seaplane Tour from Friday Harbor

Enjoy a tour around San Juan Island from downtown Friday Harbor. Our 20 minute seaplane tour originates in Friday Harbor and circumnavigates the Island. Our aircraft are equipped with headsets and an intercom system so your pilot will be able to point out points and other interests on your tour.Your seaplane tour begins with a departure from Friday Harbor. The views of the neighboring San Juan Islands come into view along with majestic Mount Baker. Your flight path will take you towards Cattle Pass where you will enter the Straits of Juan de Fuca and the Haro Straits along the west side of the Island towards Roche Harbor. The final leg of your tour will bring you in for a gentle water landing in Friday Harbor.Points of interest you will see on your tour:* American Camp* Vancouver Island* Limekiln Point Lighthouse* Roche Harbor* Aerial views of the surrounding San Juan Islands* Hopefully some whales and seals too

$268 Air, Helicopter & Balloon Tours

San Juan Island Tour Flight from Seattle

This 50 minute one-way flight crosses over Puget Sound before landing at Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands. Depart from the southern end of Lake Washington in Renton, located about 25 minutes from both downtown Seattle and Bellevue. Here, you’ll meet your pilot and board the six-passenger de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver — a classic single-engine, propeller-driven bush plane fitted with floats — ideal for exploring this scenic terrain. Slip on your headset to hear the pilot’s commentary on the sights below. You’ll fly above Bill Gates’ rambling lakeside estate and enjoy premier aerial views of the Space Needle, which punctures Seattle’s panoramic skyline. During the flight, soak up the breathtaking mountain landscapes of the Olympic and Cascade ranges and be on the lookout for marine life not limited to orcas, minke whales, bald eagles, seals and sea lions. Situated just 90 miles (145 km) north of Seattle, the San Juan Islands include the popular Orcas Island and Lopez Island in its archipelago. Your pilot lands at Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, the second-largest and most populous of the islands.

$99 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

San Juan Island Whale and Wildlife Tours

Captain Hobbes will take you on a lovely and exciting cruise of the San Juan Islands and will do his best to show you the most magnificent animal in the world, the Orca!  Check in at the boat "Tokitae" no later than 11:40 a.m. for a 12:00 noon departure. Tokitae is located at Spring Street Landing, next to the ferry terminal, and in front of Downriggers restaurant. Take the ramp to the left of the landing and look for the aluminum boat with the navy blue stripe. (Spring Street Landing is distinguished by a green roof and large clock.)At 11:40 a.m. Captain Hobbes will give you a safety talk and orientation to your 2.5 to 3 hour whale and wildlife tour. You'll enjoy amazing views of sparkling blue waters and emerald green islands as you search for orca whales, humpback and minke whales, sea lions, seals, bald eagles, sea birds and other marine wildlife.  During the trip Captain Hobbes will educate you about these whales and wildlife, the health of our oceans, and what you can help do to save the whales.

$109 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Guaranteed Whale Watching Tour

Depart from Orcas Island to Enjoy the wildlife and whales of the San Juan Islands. Tours depart once a day at 1 pm in the Spring and Fall and twice a day in the Summer at 11 am and 3 pm. Please check-in 30 minutes prior to departure. Shuttle Service is available upon request from the ferry landing. Tours are between 3 and 4 hours long and are lead by trained naturalists. See the regions whales and wildlife such as Orca also known as Killer Whales, Humpback and Minke Whales. These tours are guaranteed, meaning if you don't see whales you can come again for free. Snacks are available on boards and in the snack shop before you depart. Come out and experience the San Juans!