Things to Do in Washington's Islands Region

Washington's archipelago offers endless possibilities for exploration.

Home to Whidbey Island, Camano Island, and the San Juan Islands, this region beckons visitors with natural beauty. While Whidbey and Camano are reachable by driving from the mainland, visitors to the San Juan Islands will need to hop aboard a ferry, private boat, or charter flight.

Here are some interesting ways to experience Washington's Islands Region.

Bike Camano Island

Pedal around Camano Island on a scenic 45-mile loop that winds through rolling hills, dense forests, and flat farmlands, or dip into Camano Island State Park for an easy mile on car-free routes.

Explore historic Coupeville

Nestled on the south side of Penn Cove on Whidbey Island, the historic waterfront community of Coupeville was once a bustling port of commerce, ferrying products and people between the mainland and the island. Today, you can stroll its quaint wharf and browse charming boutiques and cafes.

Visit Deception Pass

Rugged cliffs plunge into swirling waters at Deception Pass, which separates Whidbey and Fidalgo islands. The Deception Pass Bridge offers phenomenal views, while the surrounding Deception Pass State Parks is a nature-lover’s playground. You could spend all day exploring the park’s abundant hiking trails, beachside tidepools, and pristine lakes.

Get to know the region’s whales

The San Juan Islands are known for the resident pods of orca whales that frequent the surrounding waters. Join a whale-watching cruise or visit The Whale Museum in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island to learn more about these iconic marine mammals. Explore dozens of exhibits and artifacts while learning about the resident J, K, and L orca pods, see real whale skeletons, and listen to different underwater “songs” in the whale phone booth.

Take in the view from Mount Constitution

At 2,409 feet, Mount Constitution on Orcas Island is the highest point on the San Juan Islands. Drive or hike to the summit, where you’ll find panoramic views of the surrounding islands and mainland. Those who want an even higher vantage point can climb to the top of the stone observation tower.

Admire the Meerkerk Rhododendron Gardens

Showy rhododendrons, flowering trees, and conifers fill Greenbank’s Meerkerk Rhododendron Gardens on Whidbey Island with lush color and life. Tour the display gardens or wander along more than 4 miles of trails within the woodland preserve.

About the Author

Angela Cabotaje