Washington Adventures

San Juan Islands Hiking Adventure Tours

Discover the best of the Pacific Northwest – spectacular scenery, diverse wildlife, and incredible fresh food on our Washington adventure vacations.

Stop at the historic Lime Kiln Park Lighthouse, enjoy the scenic hike down to various lookout points, and dine in the fresh air with a picnic at South Beach, where you can watch for the 80+ orcas who make this area their summer home. Bike past fields of lavender and Jakle’s Lagoon and enjoy a short walk at Mount Finlayson. Orcas Island is a playground for kayak adventures. Paddle quiet bays and shoreline, keeping your eyes peeled for sea lions, bald eagles, otters, porpoise and – if you’re lucky – orca whales!

Washington Adventures Vacations

North America

San Juan Islands Adventure

4.11

  • Duration 6 days
  • Travel Style
  • Activity Level Level 2 
    • Activity Level 2

      On the Move

      Sure, I own some hiking boots, they're even worn in, but they don't go on long trips. I like my creature comforts and I like to give a range of activities a go.

    Read more about the Active Range

On this six-day, exclusive adventure around some of the San Juan’s 172-islands, hike, bike, boat and kayak before settling into your cozy accommodations and indulging in some of the finest wining and dining in the Pacific Northwest.

Trip Start: Seattle, Washington Trip End: Seattle, Washington

North America

San Juan Islands Family Vacation

  • Duration 6 days
  • Travel Style
  • Activity Level Level 2-3 
    • Activity Level 2

      On the Move

      Sure, I own some hiking boots, they're even worn in, but they don't go on long trips. I like my creature comforts and I like to give a range of activities a go.

    • Activity Level 3

      Earn Your Lunch

      I stay active on vacation and love the feeling of relaxing after a busy day on the go. I season my trips with a little fresh exercise.

    Read more about the Active Range

Trip Start: Seattle, Washington Trip End: Seattle, Washington
San Juan Islands Trip

When is the best time to visit Washington state?

Washington has been nicknamed "The Evergreen State” because it is loaded with trees (kept very green by the ample precipitation)! While the state can receive its fair share of rain, near the coastline maintains a consistently mild climate that is comfortable all year long.

Spring (March-May)

April is the best time for seeing the apple trees in full bloom in the state, so if that is something you have on your bucket list plan for an April visit. As the saying goes April showers bring May flowers and this holds true for Washington state weather. The average temperatures this time of year are relatively consistent in March at 42°F to a balmy average high of 54°F in May.

Summer (June – August)

Temperatures vary depending on where you are in the state, but if you are along the coast in June you can expect average daily temperatures in the mid 60°F range. In July and August, the average high is closer to 70+°F. All three months, expect the evenings to be cool enough that you’ll need a light jacket.

Autumn (September – November)

If you’re visiting the coast or specifically the San Juan Islands, then September is a great time to go. The weather is still averaging around 66°F during the day, the crowds have thinned out, and as mentioned earlier has more than 247 sunny days per year.

Winter (December – February)

Temperatures may be lower so this might be the perfect time for a winter vacation. Statewide, the average daily highs are in the mid 30°s, and lows are right around 30°s. Skiing is popular at Mount Baker, Steven’s Pass, White Pass and several other locations throughout the state.

NorthAmerica WA San Juans Killer Whale

What to pack for your Washington Adventure

Rain Gear

Washington has a reputation for being rainy because it is. But don’t let a little rain stop you from hiking the secluded trails, biking the winding roads, or kayaking the bays! Whenever your travels bring to visit the beautiful state of Washington always bring along your raincoat and get out there.

Clothing in Layers

Mornings start out cooler, so you will want to have a plan on a base layer, an insulating mid-layer and then pack and an additional shell that you have the option to wear or not. It may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many summer travelers think that they can get away without packing a warm layer. Even in the dead of summer, the evenings can be cool enough to require long sleeves and pants, so plan accordingly!

Sunscreen

This could be one of the most essential items you can pack for any trip. Do not leave home without it! But if you do, no worries! Your guide will be able to provide some for you so you will be more than safely covered.

San Juan Islands Trip

Travel tips for Visiting Washinton

When it comes to travel tips, sharing is caring, so we’re happy to pass on a few pointers on how you can best experience Washington.

Best Place to Catch some Sunshine

The San Juan Islands average around 247 days with sunshine and about half of the rainfall that Seattle typically gets. If you are looking for some blue skies, the San Juan Islands should be towards the top of your list!

Marine Life

If you are looking to see a lot of marine life Washington will be eager to accommodate. Orca whales are a big draw from May through September when they migrate. You can also see Humpback, Gray, and Minke whales. If you are traveling on the water (ferry, sailboat, kayak, etc.), it is very common to see anemone, sea cucumbers, coral, jellyfish, sunflower starfish, and the ever-stunning purple starfish. Bald Eagles and many other species of seabirds also frequent the area.

Tasting Time

Washington is known for having fantastic coffee and great wine. Starbucks originates in the great state of Washington as well as Seattle’s Best Coffee. Washington state has many fine wineries, but a few of the most noteworthy are located on the San Juan Islands. If you are traveling on our San Juan’s adventure, we will pedal to by one of them for you to do a bit of taste testing.

Plan to spend a day or so extra in your Host City

If your schedule allows, you should plan to stay a couple days pre/post your adventure in Seattle! No other city in the Pacific Northwest provides such a diverse offering of natural, cultural, historical, or recreational opportunities. Seattle is home to the Space Needle, it has a zoo and aquarium, city tours, aviation museums, public markets, and more for you to explore.

Active Adventure Assurance

Secure Your Spot Now, Pay the Rest Later

As members of the Active Adventures family, Austin Adventures offers booking assurance that allows you to secure your spot with a deposit now and pay the rest later. Plus, if your plans change or you can’t travel, you can transfer your booking or request a refund on any additional funds paid (less deposit) up to 90 days from your original trip start date.  

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FAQs About Washington Adventures

Do you recommend buying travel insurance?

As an Austin Adventures traveler, it’s highly recommended you take out travel insurance to cover the likes of travel delays, missed connections, medical expenses or injury, or lost baggage for your travel with us. Please head to our Travel Protection page for more in-depth information and our recommended insurance provider.

What's included on your North America trips?

Accommodation

We've spent years finding places to stay that are quaint, perfectly-located, and comfortable when we take you to the most amazing parts of North America. We offer a wide variety of accommodations on our trips ranging from locally run inns and first-class hotels to resorts, dude ranches and historic national park cabins. Accommodations are selected for their location, unique charm and history, and offer a true feel for the region. We strongly believe in the value of a good night's sleep and our accommodation reflects this. We also like to have somewhere comfortable to relax after the day's activities.

Transport

We're really focused on ensuring that we spend as little time as possible sitting in vehicles, and that we optimise your vacation for adventuring in the great outdoors. Our average driving time is just over two hours a day, and we make plenty of stops for bathroom breaks and sightseeing along the way. We use modern, comfortable 15-passenger vans for all of our transfers and a second van is added to most departures to provide more flexibility and more room to spread out while seeing the sights! Make no mistake - our trips are not typical bus tour vacation packages! Picture more of a road trip with family complete with good music, tasty snacks, and plenty of guide-supplied fun facts along the way to keep you entertained!

Meals

Just about all your meals are included when you travel with Austin Adventures in North America. We provide a wide variety of cuisine - breakfasts are typically eaten at your hotel on your own time in the morning before meeting up with the group. Lunches feature everything from elaborate picnics to roadside cafes to sandwiches trailside. Dinners are usually eaten at our hotel's dining room or a local restaurant with plenty of options to choose from. We easily cater to vegetarians, picky kids, and people with particular dietary needs. All our guides have food safety certificates and are well-practiced in the art of food prep and serving while on-the-move. You'll find the meals are a real highlight of your trip!

All Guiding Services

Each trip features two or three incredible guides and our average guest to guide ratio is 6:1. Our guests are often drawn to North America by the beautiful scenic landscapes, promise of wilderness and clean air - and there's no doubt you'll find all that, though what you may not be expecting is to forge real, genuine friendships with your fellow tripmates, including our wonderful guides. They're hands-down the BEST guides you'll ever come across.

Activities

Any activity described in our itinerary, such as hiking, rafting, horseback riding, kayaking and biking, are included in your trip cost. Our itineraries are pretty jam-packed to maximize our time spent exploring in these amazing places, and your guides will make it clear if there are additional activities available (at your expense).

How many people are there on each of our North America trips?

We get a real variety of people on our trips and they all seem to have one thing in common – a love of the outdoors! Our trips can accommodate up to 22 guests, depending on each departure. Our adult-only departures require a minimum age of 16 years and generally feature a mix of singles, couples and friends, and our family departures require a minimum age of 6 years to join (7 years on our Alaska Family Adventure) and are a great way to meet other like-minded families who like to get outside.
Please note child rates apply to children 12 years and under.

Do you charge a forced single supplement if I'm a solo traveller?

We regularly accommodate single guests on our group trips and there’s no forced single supplement if you don’t mind sharing a room (you might even get a room to yourself sometimes). If you prefer not to share a room at all, you can upgrade to a single room.
PLEASE NOTE: If you book within 90 days and you’re a Forced single, you’ll be required to pay for your own room.

If I book a trip with my children, will I be sharing a room with them?

Active Adventures & Austin Adventures family vacations are naturally about spending time with family and as such, most families opt to share rooms on our trips. At time of booking, families consisting of four guests with children aged 17 and under will be automatically assigned one shared room. However, the following alternative rooming allocations are available:

  • Families consisting of four guests with all children aged 13 and above are welcome to opt for additional rooms as per advertised double occupancy adult rates.
  • Families consisting of four guests with at least one child aged 12 and under are automatically assigned a shared room. However, families can opt to pay the adult rates for all guests in their family to have an additional room.
  • The same principles apply for families consisting of more than four guests.

Rooming preferences are subject to availability and must be communicated in writing at time of booking. Automatic assignments as per this policy will be applied in the absence of any specification provided by guests. Any request for additional rooms during trips will be at the guests’ own expense and subject to rates made available by the accommodation provider at the time. All minors (guests aged 17 and under) must be accompanied by at least one adult.

What if I need a special diet?

We’re accustomed to catering to the following special diets:

  • vegan (no meat or animal products)
  • vegetarian (no meat products)
  • pescatarian (vegetarian, and eat fish)
  • no red meat (eat chicken & fish)
  • no pork (eat chicken & fish)
  • gluten intolerant (no wheat, rye, barley or oats)
  • lactose intolerant (no dairy products)
  • picky kids (send us a list of what your child will eat and we'll make sure to have it!)
You will get the opportunity to specify your particular requirements when you fill in your travel wallet. If you have any other dietary requirements please let us know well in advance, via email or the online travel wallet.

 

How much luggage can I bring on the North America trips?

You'll need one piece of luggage, plus a daypack. Your main piece of luggage can be a soft sided duffel or a suitcase with wheels, and you'll need a good quality 18-24 liter daypack to carry with you throughout the days on the trails.

As far as extra luggage goes, if there's not too much (such as one small extra bag per person) then it shouldn't be a problem to fit it in our luggage trailer during the trip. If you've got more than that, then all major airports have luggage facilities available on a weekly basis, or if you are staying at a pre-trip hotel they may be able to store it for you until you return too.

How much spending money should I bring and where do I get cash?

You'll be able to find a reliable ATM once you arrive to start your trip, within the township or at the airport you land in, as national park ATM locations are sparse at best. Aside from tips for your guides, you could bring $200 and go home with change though some people like to bring some cash to cover a round of drinks, a few souvenirs, and dinner on "night on your own", although you could just as easily use a credit card for these purchases too.

What are your recommended guide gratuity guidelines?

You will have 2-3 guides on your Austin Adventure (depending on group size) and we recommend $15-25 per day, per guest, per guide. Typically, gratuities are offered by check or cash in local currency on the final morning of the trip and can either be given to each guide individually or to one guide to be equally distributed. Most of our guides these days also accept gratuities via Venmo (please note this app does not work in Canada). All dining, housekeeping and activity tips are included in your trip price.

Is there a number to call in an emergency? How can my family, friends or colleagues contact me

Please contact our office using the details below. If the office is unattended (outside of business hours), dial the extension for the emergency line. If no one immediately responds, please leave a message so we can pick it up and return your call as soon as we can.
Free phone 1 800 661 9073
Email: service@austinadventures.com

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Washington Adventure Blogs and Tips

Why Travel With Us

benefit group size

Just-right group sizes allow you to get off the beaten path

With an average of 12 guests per departure and an industry-leading 6:1 guest-to-guide ratio, you’ll enjoy a highly personalized experience with the perspective of an insider.

benefit guides

Award-winning guides lead the way

It’s so much easier to relax and enjoy your adventure when you have fun, caring guides who know the land, are experts in motivation, sweat all the details and whip up incredible meals, too!

benefit inclusive

You’ll never need to sweat the details

When we say all inclusive, we mean it! Meals and snacks, activities, lodging, transportation, guiding services and more. Every detail is handled; all you need to do is show up!

benefit safety

Enjoy freedom to push your boundaries – safely

Every aspect of your trip is thoroughly considered for your safety, from highly vetted vendors and well-maintained equipment to extensively trained guides and our seasoned operations team at headquarters.

benefit family

Decades of expertise mean you’ll experience only the best

Family travel and North American National Parks are our specialty. We’ve perfected our itineraries and sustained relationships for decades, ensuring you'll experience your destination to the fullest.

benefit wow

"Wow Moments” take your trip from enjoyable to extraordinary

For us, the extra mile is never extra, it’s part of the way! Count on special touches throughout your trip that will amplify your experience. If we’ve done our job, they’ll have you saying “wow!”