The quietest and smallest of the four main San Juan Islands, tranquil Shaw is famous for its restrictive property laws and handsome Benedictine monastery. Here, enveloped in a pristine, tree-carpeted time warp, Catholic nuns tend to llamas, wild deer forage on deserted roadways and idyllic sandy beaches are sprinkled with rather foreboding 'no trespassing' signs.
Aware of rising property prices and the burgeoning resort development of their larger and swankier neighbors, Shaw islanders have steadfastly resisted the lure of the tourist dollar and chosen to remain private. That's not to say that travelers aren't welcome. Plenty of ferries arrive daily on Shaw, but with only one campsite offering just 11 overnight berths, opportunities to linger are limited. For purists, that is what the island is all about.