There’s a lot more to Washington than just our gorgeous mainland. We’re also home to several picture perfect islands, many of which are pretty easy to reach. And with the weather getting warmer and summer around the corner, nothing is more refreshing than planning an island getaway, without even having to leave the state. Here are 13 of our many islands you should experience this season – some can be reached by road, while others are only accessible by ferry. Either way, the views and atmosphere are always well worth the visit.
1. Whidbey Island
Whidbey Island is a quaint place located north of Seattle across Puget Sound. It has miles of gorgeous sandy beaches, as well as many trails for hiking and biking. If you stop by Ebeys Landing and hike up the bluff trail, you'll be able to score some of the best views on the whole island.
2. Vashon Island
Vashon is a little slice of heaven just west of the Seattle area. You can easily head out to it by hopping on the ferry down at the Fauntleroy terminal. The island has a variety of beaches to relax on, from sandy ones to rugged, rocky ones and tide pools. While you're here, check out the galleries showcasing original artwork, as well as one of the many local artisan wineries.
3. Camano Island
Camano Island is a cozy vacation spot that can be easily reached by car. Located between Whidbey Island and the mainland, the island is accessible by taking State Route 532 just over the Camano Gateway Bridge. Their state park provides comfy beachfront cabins to stay in, as well as boat rentals if you're looking to head out on the water.
4. Guemes Island
Guemes Island is a small, quiet place to experience tranquility, a short ferry ride north of Anacortes. There are only two general stores on the whole island (one with a cafe), and of course, miles of beautiful beaches for you to walk along and explore.
5. Lummi Island
Lummi Island is a haven for artists, foodies, or just about anyone who likes to be outdoors. It can be found just north of Bellingham, and accessed by taking a short, half-hour ferry ride. The island's very own Willow's Inn is even known as one of the top hotels in the country for food lovers, and offers a variety of fine dishes for every kind of taste.
6. Orcas Island
Orcas Island is shaped like a horseshoe, and the largest of the San Juan Islands. It's home to charming villages like Eastsound, as well as Moran State Park, where hikers and bikers can enjoy miles of trails through old-growth forest.
7. Fidalgo Island
After crossing the famous Deception Pass Bridge, you'll find yourself on the beautiful Fidalgo Island. It's home to the seaside town of Anacortes, and miles of trails for glorious hiking all year round. To reach one of the best viewpoints, you can take a trail (or drive) up to the top of Mount Erie for a sweeping outlook of the island and Cascade mountains.
8. San Juan Island
It may share the same name, but San Juan Island is actually the second largest of the San Juan Islands (behind Orcas). It's known for its rocky bluffs, gravel beaches, tide pools and iconic Orca whales. Friday Harbor, the island's largest town, is a delightful place for art lovers, with neighborly shops, galleries and a variety of mom & pop restaurants, without any big fast food chains.
9. Lopez Island
Lopez Island is just as welcoming as it is breathtaking. Known as "The Friendly Isle" among the San Juan Islands, this place is full of rolling farmlands, beaches, and mountainous views. Their climate is ideal for growing fresh produce, from wine grapes to kiwis, as well as for outdoor recreation. Cycling, kayaking, hiking and boating are only a few of the many activities you can enjoy around here.
10. Blake Island
A scenic four-hour cruise will bring you out to Blake Island. Tillicum Village, on the northeast end of the island, offers visitors a one-of-a-kind cultural Northwest Coast Indian experience. During your trip, check out the local art, food, and the outstanding views of the Olympics and Seattle skyline.
11. Anderson Island
Puget Sound's southern-most island pretty much defines peaceful living. Only accessible by boat or ferry, this small, quiet island doesn't have any stoplights, only one general store, a single restaurant, a historic farmhouse, and a few B&Bs near the beach that make for a cozy, romantic retreat.
12. Sucia Island
Sucia Island is known as one of the top boating destinations in the world, for good reason. It offers plenty of moorage, and a one-of-a-kind marine park with miles of gorgeous shoreline. It's also a great spot if you're looking to go camping, hiking, fishing, clam-digging, or kayaking out on the water.
13. Bainbridge Island
Bainbridge Island is a lovely rural area just across Puget Sound from Seattle. It's full of forested hills, as well as trails for hiking and biking, seven wineries, a brewery, and several highly-rated restaurants to choose from. A few of our favorites: Cafe Nola, Harbour Public House, and Streamliner Diner.
Have you been to any of these islands in Washington before? Which one is your favorite to visit?