The Ultimate San Juan Island Adventure

San Juan Island… the sunshine, the water, the wildlife- it truly is paradise!  If you are looking for an easy one-day adventure from Seattle, San Juan Island is the place to come! 

Situated just two hours north of Seattle, a trip to the San Juan Islands is just a gorgeous drive on I-5 away!  From Anacortes hop on the Washington State Ferry and take it over to Friday Harbor, located on San Juan Island. Voted one of the top 10 most beautiful ferry rides in the world, taking the ferry is half the adventure!   The San Juan Island ferry terminal is in the heart of Friday Harbor, the main town on the island.  Once you depart from the ferry, you are just steps from fantastic restaurants, shops, beaches, parks, kayaking and whale watching! 


Here is a look at the perfect schedule if you only have one day on San Juan Island. (Yes- this is scientifically proven to be the best schedule for your day trip!).

Roche Harbor Sea Kayaking on San Juan Island

Good Morning Friday Harbor!

8:00am Arrive to San Juan Island via the early morning Washington State Ferry to maximize your time on island!

8:15am Brunch to begin your day off strong!  Perhaps at Rocky Bay Café if you want pancakes, omelets, mimosas and other breakfast classics, or Friday Harbor House Restaurant if you want a gorgeous view and a fine dining experience. 

9:00am Head over to King’s Market, or Spring Street Deli to grab snacks for your kayaking trip!

9:15am Meet your San Juan Outfitters shuttle and head over to Roche Harbor to begin your kayaking trip!

9:45am Arrive in beautiful Roche Harbor, where your guided kayak tour departs from. Check in for your tour at our private docks in the center of the resort.

10:00am Get on the water! Paddling this area offers our guests rugged coastline, expansive ocean views, snow covered mountains, and lots of marine wildlife including orca whales, seals, sea lions, eagles, and more. Join us for a paddle, and let us show you why the San Juan Islands are considered one the top sea kayaking destinations in North America. Learn how to prepare for youSan Juan Outfitters 3-hour wildlife tour by sea kayak here.

San Juan Outfitters Guided Kayak Tour
Roche Harbor Resort Kayaking

Afternoon Adventure Awaits!

1:00pm Bid farewell to your San Juan Outfitters kayak guide and staff. It’s time for lunch! Enjoy a quick and casual lunch at Limekiln Café with fish and chips, salads, or wraps.  Or if you’re wanting to enjoy a waterfront balcony restaurant head up to the Madrona Bar & Grill for crab mac & cheese, steak salad, or fish tacos.

2:30pm Return to Friday Harbor via San Juan Outfitters shuttle. After a quick stop at the San Juan Safaris office to pick up boarding passes for tonight’s Sunset Whale Watch & Wildlife Tour, there’s more time to explore Friday Harbor. The town is one square mile filled with locally owned shops, restaurants, galleries, and museums. Walk around the Friday Harbor Marina to look for harbor seals and marine birds.  Don’t forget to grab a commemorative Friday Harbor t-Shirt and a few post cards to make your friends jealous of your adventure!

5:10pm Meet your naturalists and board M/V Sea Lion for your Sunset Whale Watch & Wildlife tour (Psst. Have we told you? This is our favorite tour!).

Seattle Sunset Whale Watch Tour

Serene Sunset Cruise

5:30pm Depart for your 3-4 hour Whale Watch & Wildlife Tour in search for killer whales, humpback whales, and so much moreHistorically, our sunset tours have been some of our most intimate, with small, comfortable group size. As one of only a handful of companies in our area to run a sunset tour in the San Juans, there are usually very few boats out on the water. This coupled with the typical lack of recreational boaters at that time of day, usually yields a very peaceful experience. The light is incredible, and offers amazing dimension to the sweeping scenery of the islands.

Humpback whale at sunset near Seattle
Sunset Orcas near Seattle Whale Watcching

Hungry after your tour? We thought so! Head upstairs from the San Juan Safaris office to Downriggers Restaurant for good food, good drinks, and an amazing view of the Friday Harbor Marina.  

Take a late evening ferry back to the mainland and begin planning your next trip back to the island!

Sounds pretty exciting, right?! 

Click here to reserve your kayaking trip  &  here to reserve your whale watching trip!


Looking forward to having you come adventure with us on island!

-Naturalist Alexandria


(*Please note that the listed times may vary for each date, upon booking your trip one of our friendly and fantastic reservation specialists will be able to provide you with exact times specific to your scheduled excursion date)