Despite our focus on reasonable travel, there are times when you just say, “What the heck!” and go for something a little over the top. This is one of those ideas! The San Juan Islands are one of my favorite places in Western Washington State. Each island has it own unique charm and each is worth the visit, it just depends on what you like to do. If you are looking for just a day-trip I would recommend Friday Harbor. Friday Harbor, located on the southeast corner of San Juan Island and town has many great restaurants and shops to explore. While you can reach Friday Harbor via the Washington State Ferry System, the best way is by aircraft. Have you ever wanted to experience the fun of flying in a seaplane? Seattle offers a unique opportunity to fly on a scheduled seaplane service. The thrill of taking off on the water and then flying up to explore the San Juan Islands is something you will never forget.
Roche Harbor is a privately owned resort on a cove on the northwest corner of San Juan Island. The resort is a busy place in the summer, but still has a very relaxed approach. They have three restaurants on the property, each with a distinctive style. While you can day-trip Roche Harbor, I would encourage you to plan one or two nights. Sitting on the dock at sunset is a memory you will not forget! For active people they also partner with San Juan Outfitters for a memorable kayaking adventure – the islands are home to two pods of orca. To plan you Roche Harbor visit their website. The best way to reach Roche Harbor is by aircraft, Kenmore Air will make the trip fun and the flight will be part of the experience.
Maybe you want to just go flying in a seaplane, Kenmore Air will schedule a local sightseeing flight for you and your family. This is a great way to see the Seattle area from a unique vantage point.
If you are a licensed pilot and have ever thought about adding on a seaplane rating, I highly recommend Kenmore Air. They are a great operation and I think you will enjoy the experience. If completed my Commercial Sea Plane rating there years ago and still have great memories of the experience.
We went up to Friday Harbor for dinner with another couple in their plane. He and I have been friends for years, I was his flight instructor at one point and he later taught me to fly seaplanes. We surprised Melissa with the seaplane flight and she loved it! She flew “right-seat” going up then she let me fly right-seat coming home – but I think it was begrudgingly. She has been on a kayaking trip in the San Juan Islands before (she will write about that in another post) and knew what a special place the islands are. It was the perfect end to an amazing weekend.