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Taking Jenny to San Juan Island this weekend

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Joe Link, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. Joe Link

    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    This has been really stressful week for Jenny, so I decided to surprise her with a weekend trip to San Juan island. We've been so busy we didn't really do much for our 7 year anniversary either, so this will be a chance to celebrate that too :D

    My plan is to leave Friday after work around 5pm and drive up to Anacortes, where I booked us a small motel for Friday and Saturday night. We probably won't get up there until 10pm-11pm, and I doubt there's much to do that late in such a small town, so we'll probably call it a night. Saturday we're going to wake up, grab breakfast, look around Anacortes a bit, then catch the ferry to Friday Harbor (walking, leaving the vehicle on the mainland). I've heard great things about The BBQ Shack on the island, so we'll probably try that for lunch. For some reason for as long as I've known her Jenny has wanted to rent a moped. I certainly won't do that in Seaside (where there's a much higher chance of being recognized :laugh:) but I figured we'd do it this time to explore the island. We're planning on heading west from Friday Harbor, down to check out American Camp and the lighthouse (and hopefully some tide pools), then North to False Bay, Lime Kiln Point (hopefully see some whales!), and each of those little points of interest until we get to Roche Harbor. I think we should be able to make it around the island in time to turn the mopeds back in and catch the 6:30pm ferry back to Anacortes, where we'll have dinner at Adrift that evening. Sunday we're planning on getting up early again and driving back down to Seattle, where we'll spend the day until we drive back to Portland that evening.

    So, considering I've been up to Seattle only a handful of times, and never further North, do you guys have any tips for me? Is there anything we *must see or do* in Anacortes, on San Juan Island, or in Seattle? If we make it to Seattle around 8pm how is traffic? Should we stay on I-5 or take a different route to get to Anacortes?

    I appreciate any and all input :)
     
  2. DeletedUser1

    DeletedUser1 Member

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    buy ferry tickets in advance thru the dept of trans website
     
  3. Ought Six

    Ought Six Snoqualmie Valley area Active Member

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    Walking around the old downtown district is fun. Stop in at the Anacortes Brewery for lunch and have a Vienna Lager and some coconut shrimp. Cafe Adrift is good for a more serious seafood meal. Make sure you get the oven roasted herb fries and the honey lemonade. Frida's has great Mexican food at reasonable prices. They not only have the standard dishes, they put together some really interesting specialty dishes. You might also go to rhe Sea Bear Smokehouse and pick up some smoked salmon to take home.

    If the weather is good, check out the Cap Sante lookout. You can also go to Mount Eire Park take a short hike to the summit (a big hill, really), and get some great panoramic views.

    There are a number of outfits offering whale watching tours, and some offer discounts for AAA members.

    If you are into more athletic pursuits, you can rent kayaks and paddle around Burrow Island. Very scenic, lots of wildlife. Stop and check out the lighthouse. There is also a ferry that goes to the island.

    If you like history, there is the Skagit County Historical Museum. It is only $4 to get in, and it is pretty good for a small local museum. The W.P. Preston Snagboat Museum is also interesting.
     
    BANE and (deleted member) like this.
  4. Joe Link

    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Thanks for the suggestions!

    We're definitely going to check out Adrift on Saturday night, I've heard it's excellent. I wish Jen would rent a kayak, but if I can't get her to go out in the Willamette I know I won't be able to get her to go out in the sea.
     
  5. Ought Six

    Ought Six Snoqualmie Valley area Active Member

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    Have fun! I got my timing belt done on my car last weekend, so I may head up there myself on Saturday.
     
  6. 97321

    97321 Albany Active Member

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    At the ferry terminal in Seattle, stop by Ye Olde Curiosity Shop at Pier... 51 I think. It's a total tourist trap, but it's fun. We always had to go when I was little, now my kids have to go when they're up there. It's fun. Hit Pike's Place Market, too. They're in walking distance of one another.
     
  7. ATCclears

    ATCclears Seattle area, WA Well-Known Member

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    Greater Seattle has many options. What are the interests of you or wifey?

    Peter
     
  8. 19 Adam

    19 Adam rural Clackamas County, Oregon Active Member

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    Plan on spending some time at Rosch Harbor:

    •#3 best place for a 2011 summer visit - National Geographic Traveler


    •#2 place to visit in the world 2011 - The New York Times


    We anchored the boat there for a week over the 4th of July and would highly recommend at least one afternoon there. I can not wait to go back!
     
  9. mat33

    mat33 Portland, OR Active Member

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    I've only been up there on private boats. The smaller islands like Deer and Sucia have some great hikes and breathtaking lookouts. I'm sure you can find similar on San Juan Island. Of the towns on the island, Friday Harbor is a quaint harbortown with lots of little shops, restaurants and I think a few B&Bs. Picturesque cove too. There's a good mexican restaurant just off the ferry dock that my buddy says has the best margaritas, but he says that everywhere he goes because his wife is a teetotaler and he needs a good excuse to drink. Rosch Harbor is basically a country club- go there for a $20 cheeseburger and to poke around some ostentatious yachts at the dock. We once saw Merv Griffin aboard 'The Griff".

    On the way to Seattle I love Gig Harbor, which is just northwest of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Very similar feel to Friday Harbor, although the stock option billionaires seem to be finding it mroe recently. Tides' bubblegum has a big deck on the water with a quirky Jimmy Buffet impersonator on Sundays that basically does karaoke on the deck. You can rent kayaks or peddle boats really cheap in back of the harbor. It takes an hour or two to paddle through the harbor, across the narrows, and back.
     
  10. John Gault

    John Gault clackamas county Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Just got back from San Juan on a 3 day/2 night Kayaking trip. Saw Orcas twice and so many bald eagles. Enjoyed all aspects of the trip. Just as you get off the ferry in San Juan there's a couple of eateries. We got Blackened Red Snapper Tacos (my first time ever)that were so good we went back on the way out of town and had them again. I've been trying to find find something like it since I got back to mainland. Have fun!
     
  11. Glockman19

    Glockman19 Hillsboro Active Member

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    If you have time and havent been to Deception pass Bridge thats a nice walk across. Lots of hiking on both sides of the bridge if that interests you. Its about 15 minutes from Anacortes ferry terminal. And I would be more worried about getting out of P-Town at the time you stated than Seattle at 8. I know with out traffic I can make from Hillsboro to my dads door ( 15 past Anacortes) in about 4:30.
     
  12. Joe Link

    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Heh I remember that place from our last visit up there, definitely some neat stuff.

    I don't really know. We've seen the pier and Pikes Place, and we have no interest in seeing the Space Needle. What would you see if you were visiting?

    Thanks, I'll definitely make sure we budget a bit more time. Had no idea it won those awards!

    Thanks for the info. I'll be sure to stop in Gig Harbor on our way home.

    Very cool, I sure wish Jenny was up for kayaking.

    Awesome, thanks.
     
  13. Stomper

    Stomper Oceania Rising White Is The New Brown Silver Supporter

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    Don't forget to NOT cross the border with your CCW... its Canada, eh? ;)
     
  14. Joe Link

    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    So we changed our plan a little, since we have a whole day tomorrow and we've already seen Seattle. We're going to head over to the Washington coast after leaving Anacortes, take 101 down, see Long Beach, then cross the Astoria bridge and take highway 30 home. Getting ready to head to the ferry terminal now :)
     
  15. DieselScout

    DieselScout S Clackamas County Well-Known Member

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    If you're into boats at all or fresh seafood, be sure to hit Illwaco, south of Long Beach. It's a great fishing harbor and it use to be we'd head up there and buy a fresh tuna once a summer then can it at home. I don't recommend doing this in your condo as it will smell like fish for weeks on end! Have a good time and stay safe.
     
  16. Joe Link

    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Well we're back, safe and sound. Had a great time! I'll post more about it later.

    Here's the route we followed, though we didn't add most of the points of interest or little mini-detours we took. In all, it was around 750 miles by car and 65+ miles by moped on San Juan Island.

    Portland, OR to Portland, OR - Google Maps