Roche Harbor, San Juan Island
Have an adventurous soul? Need a day away? There are so many options to choose from, but I found one that fit my time constraints and filled all the boxes of adventure, relaxation and renewed me for dealing with life’s struggles with being a mom and full time healthcare provider. This was a one day trip to Roche Harbor and kayaking adventure.
How To Get There?
There are a few options. There is a ferry from Anacortes that has multiple departure times, but does require reservations. It is not hard to get reservations though time be sure to get an early enough one to account for any delays that may happen. This is a great cost effective option, and I have done this many times. You can walk on the ferry, leave your car in Anacortes and take a shuttle or taxi to Roche Harbor.
There are two options to fly, San Juan AirIine and Kenmore Air. Between the options, I choose to take the seaplane direct to Roche Harbor. After all the years of riding the ferry, which I love, the seaplane was a whole new level. I am used to sitting at the ferry terminal waiting for the ferry, sometimes hours go by. I am sure San Juan Air would have been a good option as well and lands directly in Roche Harbor near the Sculpture park.
At the Kenmore Air strip we just drove up, checked in and took off! So fast, simple and really fun. It flew around Seattle showcasing the Space Needle and all the islands as we headed out to San Juan Island.
What To Do In Roche Harbor?
We booked a guided tour and flight combo deal with San Juan Outfitters who coupled with Kenmore Air. We decided on the 5 hour kayak adventure around Henry Island. When we landed, we had about an hour and a half to walk around Roche Harbor, grab some breakfast, see the sites, and then head to the meet up area.
Kayaking on Puget Sound
We met our guide and another couple and went over some safety rules, received lift jackets and headed out. The weather in the San Juan islands changes minute by minute. I looked ahead of our trip and every day the weather prediction was different each time. It wasn’t clear what the weather be really be until we were on the water, and even then it changed. Luckily our guide was amazing and realized our original plan to go around the island was not a great idea and we headed to a different spot for lunch. We saw multiple Bald Eagles, Harbor seals and learned about the history of San Juan Island and the Pig War. The pictures do not do it justice for sure.
So we arrived back about an hour before our flight left, which gave us enough time to grab a drink and a little food from Madrona Bar and Grill. If you have more time, there are a few options for spending the weekend. There is the historic Hotel De Haro, cottages that were once the housing for the groundskeepers and other help and condos and villages homes that are available to rent as well. As we only had a day, we flew back. Even though we were exhausted, we headed to Kirkland, only 15 min from the terminal and had some amazing cocktails and interesting food at Bull & Bottle. Reservations are required these days, which surprising we planned perfectly.
This was truly an experience I will not forget. I love the San Juan islands, though I did not appreciate them when I was a kid. I was a nervous about flying in a seaplane, but wow, it was so different and exciting. I will continue to find new exciting places to travel with budget and time constraints always in mind. Everything is not always available when we have time, but being flexible and thinking outside the box, there is always something to do if you look hard enough!
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