San Juan Islands Scenic Byway

The San Juan Islands Scenic Byway includes a marine highway and driving tours on both Orcas and San Juan Islands. For centuries, this was a historic canoe route once traveled by the Coast Salish people. Today, Washington State Ferries ply these waters laden with locals and visitors traveling by car, by bike or on foot.

As you drive off the ferry, take a deep breath and relax into Island Time. Everything moves at a slower pace here. You’ll notice there’s less traffic and the rural countryside is a welcome sight for city eyes. Watch for bald eagles soaring above and water views that will keep you gasping with delight. Keep an eye out for artist’s studios, romantic wineries, and quaint farm stands that sell fresh veggies. Don’t just drive by, stop and enjoy the beauty and bounty of island life.

Key points of interest:

  • Mount Constitution, Orcas Island – If you want the challenge of a steep hike and the reward of breathtaking views, grab your hiking boots and a packed lunch and head to Mount Constitution in Moran State Park, the highest point in the San Juan Islands—2,409 feet. It’s not a hike to be rushed, however, as there is a lot to appreciate on the way up. Hike from the cool shade of old-growth forest to sunshine and wildflowers in alpine meadows.
  • Friday Harbor, San Juan Island – a charming, historic, walkable seaport just steps from the ferry landing, with small, friendly shops and restaurants, and a refreshing absence of fast-food chains.
  • Lime Kiln Lighthouse – Also known as Whale Watch Park, Lime Kiln Point State Park is a 36-acre day-use park with an iconic lighthouse set on the west side of San Juan Island. The park is considered one of the best places in the world to view whales from land.