The end is near! The end of Winter, that is. The end of being cooped up at home, the cold, the dark, the wet. Time to take the family to get a change of scenery and some sun on gorgeous, kid-friendly San Juan Island.
Here are 10 tips on fun, family things to do on San Juan Island for Spring Break:
1) Kite Flying and Bunny Counting
In American Camp National Park on the south end of San Juan Island lays South Beach, the isle’s longest and most rugged beach, perfect for running, kite flying, drift wood castle building and wildlife watching. Look closely at the prairie above the beach and you’ll see millions of bunnies and probably some foxes and Bald Eagles. In the water watch for river otter, seals, sea lions and Orca whales.
2) Whale Watch Tour
The best time to see Orca whales on San Juan Island is March through October. Go on one of the first Whale and Wildlife Tours of the season and make memories of a lifetime.
3) Bowling and a Movie
The cute coastal town of Friday Harbor is entirely walkable, super safe-- there isn’t even a traffic light--and kid friendly. Go bowling and play some arcade games at Paradise Lanes and watch a movie at the tiny, historic Palace Theater, before strolling the docks and heading for dinner.
4) Bicycle Pear Point Loop
Pear Point Loop is a lovely, relatively flat six-mile loop along the water, starting at Jackson’s Beach and ending smack in downtown Friday Harbor where the ferry lands and the ice cream shop is. Stay at the Earthbox Inn & Spa or the Bird Rock Hotel; both offer complimentary beach cruiser bikes for their guests to check out.
5) Experience Art and Nature
Wander the five trails on 20 acres through woods and along pristine Westcott Bay and see over 150 sculptures at the San Juan Islands Sculpture Park. Kids are free. There is even an entire area to make your own art and a Friendship Totem Pole to sign and feel connected to people all over the world.
6) Wildflower Hike
In Spring English Camp National Park, on the north end of San Juan Island, is a sea of daffodils. Play on the beach around the barracks of this former encampment or hike through ancient oak forests to the top of Mt Young amidst a sea of wildflowers.
7) Pool (and Spa) Day
Pools are for kids what cardboard boxes are for cats. You don’t need anything else. The Earthbox Inn & Spa features a heated indoor pool, sauna and hot tub for their guests and an on-site, full service spa for the entire family to enjoy.
8) Lime Kiln Lighthouse and Tide Pools
The historic lighthouse at Lime Kiln State Park (aka the Whale Watch Park) turns 99 this year. Tour the lighthouse, check out the whale viewing platform, climb down to a re-built lime kiln and play in the tide pools.
9) Find the secret Fruit Houses
Drive along Westside Road north of Lime Kiln State Park and come across a wondrous sight: mysterious, furnished fruit houses for the littles to enjoy. On cold days, the woodstoves inside are lit. The perfect stop for a picnic out of the wind.
This fun, interactive, natural history museum is a delight for young and old alike. Learn about the whales and whale research, listen to the Orca sing, walk inside a real whale skeleton and adopt a whale as a family.