Washington state islands tucked within Puget Sound and beyond provided an array of opportunities to traverse the exceptional beauty of the Pacific Northwest.
Washington state has various landforms, making it an attractive tourist destination. Washington state has spectacular sceneries, from cascade mountains and rivers to gorgeous islands.
It is surrounded by around 450 islands, which people explore on weekends, vacations, and during leisure time. The Washington Islands have a variety of parks and camping areas and spectacular views.
The islands of Washington state are eye-catching and splendidly beautiful. With copious national and state parks and wonderful mountain views, the islands are the hidden jewels of Washington state. The tranquillity and the aura of the islands make you fall in love with nature.
If you feel stressed out because of your jam-packed schedule, you can visit the islands in Washington state and ease yourself. The islands are worthwhile destinations to visit and explore.
Go on vacation for a while. You can use your car, a bicycle, or a Washington State Ferry to travel to the islands of Washington.
11 Beautiful Washington State Islands That Should Be On Your Travel Itinerary
1. The San Juan Islands
The archipelago consists of numerous islands, of which three are well-known because of their unique features. The San Juan Islands in Washington State boast dazzling landscape views, exquisite Pacific Northwest terrain, and gorgeous sunsets. They are located in the Salish Sea between Vancouver and Seattle.
The largest of the San Juan island cluster, Orcas island has the highest mountains. Lopez Island is the flattest, and San Juan Island has both features. Apart from these, the collection also encompasses Shaw Island, the smallest of all the islands, and Lummi Island, a small island in San Juan.
Shaw Island has no services except a general store, so it is advised to plan a trip there accordingly. The island is reachable by ferry and is a quiet, tiny green jewel with no development. Shaw Island is breathtaking with its varying green terrain, sandy beaches, and glistening blue ocean. Based on a sandy beach, this Washington island is best for solitude.
Lummi Island is another small island with a lively artist population and fabulous hiking opportunities along the narrow rural roads. Generally looked over by visitors, Lummi Island has beautiful beaches and hiking trails with minimal amenities. Lummi Island Heritage Trust is an alliance devoted to preserving the island’s beauty and nature for posterity’s sake.
You can reach the islands by taking a personal boat, a kayak, or a short ferry ride. You can do lots of fun activities in the San Juan Islands, like looking at the whale museum and state parks, exploring the fishing village of Friday Harbor, biking, hiking, etc.
2. Orcas Island
Orcas Island is the gem of the San Juan Islands, lying in the Pacific Northwest. The island is the hilliest and is famous for various enthusiastic activities like kayaking, whale-watching, sailing, fishing, etc. It has several amazing restaurants and hotels like The Inn at Ship Bay, Mijitas, and Lower Tavern.
Mount Constitution is the highest point on Orcas Island, around 731m. This Washington State island also embraces fertile rolling hills, waterfalls, dense forests, and an endless ocean stretching to the horizon. It is a good place for hiking and mountain biking. The island constitutes several state parks like Moran State Park, Obstruction Pass State Park, and Buck Park.
If you are a gaming fan, you must have known about the video game “What Remains of Edith Finch”, launched in 2017. This adventure game was set up on Orcas Island.
The main attraction of Orcas Island is the Orca whales, which are also known as killer whales. North American River otters, Steller sea lions, and harbor seals are some other mammals found on the island.
3. Lopez Island
Since Lopez Island is the flattest, it is great for hiking and biking trails. The locals of Lopez Island are welcoming and friendly, for which the island is known as “the friendly isle.” The island has only around 2000 residents, which makes the island charming and peaceful.
Reached via ferry from Anacortes, the island can be explored by car or bike. You can rent a bike or kayak, which may provide a great way to take in the panoramic views of Mount Baker, beautiful grasslands, farmlands, and rugged beaches. Moreover, you can hike up the mountain and enjoy the spectacular and hair-raising view of snow-capped Mount Baker.
The Lopez Village is a small town on Lopez Island, which is a great weekend getaway for those who are history enthusiasts. In addition to art galleries, cafes, restaurants, bakeries, and grocery stores, you can find everything important in Lopez village. By visiting Lopez Historical Society and Museum, you can enlighten yourself with the glorious past of Lopez island.
The Lopez Island Vineyards and Winery is a renowned place to visit. Even a winery there has been producing and bottling wines for a long time. Other tourist spots are the Lopez Island Historical Museum, Lopez Hill, Spencer Spit State Park, etc.
4. Camano Island
Camano Island is a huge island in Puget Sound between the mainland and Whidbey Island. It is one of the most delightful islands among the Washington state islands. Reach the island by vehicle since it is just a few miles away from Seattle. The island has numerous restaurants, coffee shops, markets, etc. Two state parks are the main tourist spots—Cama Beach State Park and Camano Island State Park.
Camano Island State Park is a 134-acre camping park covered in a protected forest with hiking trails and a rocky beach and is visited by tourists for fishing, scuba diving, and boating. Cama Beach state park has lovely restored cabins, long hiking trails down the forest, and a small beach.
Apart from these state parks, there are 13 local parks, including Freedom Park, Camano Ridge, Barnum Point County Park, etc. Camano Island is unspoiled heaven with rolling hills, rich wildlife, evergreen forests, and a wide range of birds like bald eagles and blue herons strolling along the beach.
What is more interesting than exploring the markets and wineries of different places? On Camano Island, you can drop by the Camano Commons Farmers Market, where you can find a wide range of commodities like chocolates, frozen meat items, craft items, gift shops, etc. Also, Dusty Cellars Winery in Camano Island offers a fine ambiance to hang out and chill. You can pay a casual visit there and taste the most incredible wines of all time.
The Matzke Fine Art Gallery and Sculpture Park is a wonderful venue for aesthetes. It displays the most promising talents of the Pacific Northwest, the USA, and Japan. The works of various brilliant artists are exhibited here at the sculpture park and the art gallery.
Camano Island has a large population of mammals like mule deer, whales, skunks, otters, etc. The marine life includes crappie, perch, sharks, and eels.
5. Vashon Island
Vashon Island is one of the most beautiful and crowded Washington State islands in the Puget Sound region. It can be accessed by ferry from the south of West Seattle or Point Defiance in Tacoma. You can engage in many activities like biking, grabbing a bite at prominent restaurants, visiting parks, and shopping in the unique shops of Vashon Island.
The annual strawberry festival is a distinguished tradition filled with exciting activities, music, dance, and fun. Agricultural activities are also prominent on Vashon Island. The small farms produce milk, eggs, and organic produce, which the locals consume.
Vashon-Maury Island is the largest island in Puget Sound, located south of Admiralty Inlet. Vashon Island was separate from Maury Island until 1916. But today, the two islands are connected by an isthmus and even have the little hamlet of Portage sitting on it.
Point Robinson Park on the shore of Maury Island is a great place to stop by. Located in the south of Bainbridge Island and the northern side of Vashon Island, Blake Island State Park has a long extending shoreline sweeping the unparalleled beauty of Olympic mountains and the Seattle skyline.
The Vashon Bookshops, the Raven’s Nest, an art gallery and gift shop, and the Vashon Farmers Market are some must-visits.
The island’s wildlife includes dogs, coyotes, bears, cougars, and livestock such as pigs, donkeys, and ponies.
6. Guemes Island
Guemes Island is a not-so-populous island in Washington state and is a lesser-known destination. Guemes Island provides a peaceful ambiance, and one could escape to this island to chill and be at ease.
Though the island has limited amenities, there’s no comparison with beautiful Northwest beaches. While on the island, visit the Guemes Island general store and pick up some baked goods. It’s a rural island that can be explored by bike as well.
Guemes Island is home to the Guemes island resort, which is family-oriented and has numerous lodging options along the water.
Spend your vacation on Guemes Island. Get yourself a bike and pave the way for fun and amusement.
7. Harstine Island
Harstine, west of Case Inlet on the Southern Puget Sound, is less than 10 kilometers from Olympia. The island is mostly covered with forest and is unpopulated. A bridge makes it simple to access the point of the Kitsap Peninsula.
You may wander around the island’s rugged beaches with kayaks, which are great for viewing whales and seals, or you can rent bikes and discover the island’s secluded hinterland. The enormous evergreen conjures up images of a bygone era.
Three outstanding parks border this area, one of which is McMicken Island State Park, which features a serene cove and 1,661 feet of shoreline and is perfect for relaxing and setting anchors.
8. Bainbridge Island
It’s simple to take the ferry from downtown Seattle to Bainbridge Island, making it a fantastic day trip. You can walk a long distance from the ferry terminal to Winslow.
Winslow is home to numerous excellent stores, including Esther’s Textile, the first fabric business in Washington. Bainbridge Island, one of Washington State’s most picturesque islands, is a must-visit location.
An outdoor area with a winding trail leading to a memorial wall honors the internment of Japanese Americans from Bainbridge Island during World War II. This area is known as the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial. The experience is profoundly moving. During their imprisonment, many islanders stayed in touch with their pals.
Explore Bloedel’s reserves instead for a few extra hours. The 150-acre estate has a park open to the public and a forest. There are 14 diverse scenery types totaling about two miles.
9. Fidalgo island
Just over 30 miles south of Seattle, in Skagit County, Washington, are two islands collectively known as Fidalgo Island. The famous rainbow bridge connects the island to the mainland over the Swinomish canal.
You don’t need special equipment to climb Mount Erie, Fidalgo Island’s highest point.
Whidbey Island and Fidalgo Island are divided by Deception Pass. At Deception Pass, a saltwater gorge separating Whidbey and Fidalgo islands, rugged cliffs plunge into choppy, swirling waters.
The island’s largest settlement, Anacortes, is called San Juan’s entrance. It is a prominent city on Fidalgo Island. Numerous annual festivals and events are held in Anacortes, including the Spring Wine Fest in April and the Anacortes Waterfront Festival in June.
Additionally, Anacortes has developed into a well-liked art hub showcases regional and well-known artists. Downtown Washington is home to the 210-acre park known as Washington Park.
10. Anderson Island
The southernmost island in Puget Sound, Anderson Island, is situated southern portion of McNeil Island. It is isolated from the continent by Puget Sound, is reachable through a 20-minute boat journey from Steilacoom, Washington, and is approachable via Puget Sound.
Since the 1950s, Anderson Island has been a tranquil, verdant retirement home. Four parks on the island prevent development on the vast bulk of its territory, hence why.
With two kilometres of pathways crisscrossing the park, Andy’s wildlife park comprises 1700 acres of woodlands, wetlands, and outlying islands.
11. Marrowstone Island
In Fort Flagler, Washington, there is an undiscovered jewel called Marrowstone Island. A peaceful haven with delicious strawberries lining the hills.
The descendants of the Norwegian immigrants who established Marrowstone Island in 1889 continue to care for the island’s productive and oyster-rich soil.
Nordland, the main city, is home to a tiny independent store, rustic cabins, a fishing port, and a fine wine-making region. In the gallery on the site, regional artists exhibit their works.
For fish, geese, ducks, seagulls, eagles, osprey, and herons to hunt, wetlands on Marrowstone Islands provide the ideal habitat. The beaches are abundant with clams, mussels, oysters, and the giant moon snail, and the slopes are covered in wild strawberries.
Fort Flagler State Park stands out at the island’s northernmost point. You can view the San Juan Islands, Mt. Baker, and Mount Rainier.
So why are you still waiting? Visit a stunning island in Washington for an island getaway! Join your friends, family, and coworkers on this excursion. Have fun and take the time to explore every inch of the island you visit.
Also read: Best Coffee Shops in DC.
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