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A taste of Puget Sound's San Juan Islands, this sampler is ideal for people who are newer to bicycle touring or those with limited time. Ride peaceful island roads, and enjoy guided sea kayaking and hiking through the lush island scenery. Lodging on this tour is charming, and the fresh island-grown Northwest cuisine rivals California’s best.
Meet in Seattle, Washington. Ferry to quiet, rustic Guemes Island (pop. 563) and ride the island’s perimeter. Sail aboard a Washington State Ferry to charming Lopez Island and ride to the Edenwild Inn, our lodging for the next two nights.
Meet us on Monday morning in Seattle for a complimentary van shuttle to Anacortes, at the edge of Puget Sound, then catch an island-hopper ferry for the 10-minute ride to Guemes Island. Guemes is a small, quiet islet with one commercial establishment (but big bragging rights): a general store with the world’s best ice cream cones. Pedal around the wooded, rocky shores of this peaceful island, sample the ice cream, then take an afternoon ferry to Lopez Island and our lodging at the charming Edenwild Inn, home for the next two nights.
Ride to Spencer Spit State Park's lagoon, Agate Beach and Shark Reef Sanctuary, with its harbor seals and inimitable views of the Olympic Mountains.
Tuesday, ride the perimeter of Lopez Island. Lopez is considered 'the bicyclist’s island': relatively easy terrain; miles of winding low-traffic roads; friendly residents who wave to you as you pedal by. Explore Spencer Spit, where bald eagles nest in the winter, and Shark Reef, whose sunny rocks make the perfect hangout for basking harbor seals. Enjoy the views of a lighthouse on San Juan Island just a mile away across the channel; on a clear day you'll even see the outline of the city of Victoria on Vancouver Island and the panorama of glacier-covered mountains in Olympic National Park across the Straits of Juan de Fuca.
Ferry to vibrant, eclectic Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. Ride to historic Roche Harbor. Spend a glorious afternoon on a guided kayak tour.
Wednesday, catch a ferry to San Juan Island, where you’ll have the chance to go sea kayaking. The calm waters of Puget Sound are ideal for first-time kayakers. Bicycle Adventures has hired a local outfitter to supply us with two-person kayaks, guides, and instruction. After receiving dry-land instruction from our outfitter, we explore the rocky shore and watch for seals and eagles. Afterward, cycle to our lodging for the night at Lakedale Resort, or simply take a ride back in the van to relax and enjoy the property. The Fine Living Channel ranks Lakedale Resort as one of the world’s '10 Most Romantic Getaways.' You’ll love relaxing on the deck overlooking a tranquil lake surrounded by woods.
Ride to Pelindaba Lavender Farm. Watch for bald eagle and white-tail deer at Cattle Point. Ride to Lime Kiln State Park and (hopefully) savor the sight of the resident Orcas as they feed offshore.
Thursday, cycle the perimeter of San Juan Island and thrill to commanding views of the Olympic Range and the other islands. Along the way you’ll visit historic American and English Camps, where opposing armies were hunkered down during a post-Civil War boundary dispute between the U.S. and England. Ride to gorgeous Pelindaba Lavender Farm and Lime Kiln State Park, the only state park in the country devoted to observing orca (killer) whales. Lunch at a lighthouse park, then pedal back to the ferry that returns us to Anacortes and our shuttle to Seattle.
As an optional extra, a person traveling solo on any inn-to-inn trip may reserve a room for his or her exclusive use. This will guarantee you a private room and private bath every night. If you're willing to share a room, there is no extra charge for coming solo, no matter when you sign up for the tour - even if you wind up with a private room by default.