A ferry makes its way into the islands — Photo courtesy of San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau (Facebook)
The San Juan Islands are located just a ferry or short plane ride away from Washington state's northwestern mainland. Though the travel time is brief, you will feel as though you're in an entirely different world, one where nature reigns supreme. The pace of life slows down, the air becomes fresher, the trees more lush and your mood will relax into a blissful slumber.
During the summer months, the area sees a huge increase in visitors that come to take advantage of island life and all that it has to offer; boats, fishing, swimming, hiking and biking are just some of the things to do. But when the lively summer atmosphere goes into hibernation, fall brings a beautiful serenity yet there's still plenty to do outside. You can also cozy up in your hotel or B&B and indulge yourself with a fireplace and some down time. Best of all, fall is off-season, meaning rates are far lower, so all that fun costs far less than in summer.
The San Juan's Lime Kiln State Park is a wonderful place to go hiking in fall. and take in the sights of the area. Locals refer to this park as "Whale Watch Park" and if you're there at the end of whale watching season (September - October) you may be fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of these magnificent mammals migrating.
Should the weather not be ideal for hiking or cycling, why not hop in your car and take a tour of the island? The natural beauty will provide you with plenty of photo opportunities and you can always stop along the way to check out whatever catches your eye. Anglers will have their pick between freshwater lakes and the vast ocean surrounding the islands. No worries if you don't have your own boat: there are charters available.
The dining options in the San Juans are endless and range from quaint cafes (where you can take refuge in a warm bowl of homemade soup), to elegant restaurants that will indulge your senses will local ingredients and the freshest of seafood.
The San Juan Islands are a treat to visit any time of year, but if you're looking for an affordable and beautiful getaway in the fall, they're hard to beat
Though the sun sets earlier in the fall, it's still as gorgeous — Photo courtesy of San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau (Facebook)