All-Inclusive | Private Escape
Private Escapes are available on request for any size group
6:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. | May 15 – Sept. 30 | Daily | Price on Request
The San Juan archipelago harbors near-mythical beauty amid its undeveloped islands and seascapes. Its historical relevance is just as intriguing. Spend the day on our San Juan Island Tour discovering this remote wilderness with a naturalist guide. As the morning ferry cruises to Friday Harbor, keep an eye out for sealife and birds. Then embark on a 3-hour whale watching search by kayak, passing wildlife refuges and rugged coastline. Picnic with local fare and a glass of wine, then explore historic British and American “Pig War” camps. As evening sets, visit an island winery or lavender farm before heading back to the ferry or optional flight.
- Naturalist-led kayak excursion with a focus on marine wildlife
- Cascadian safari picnic lunch
- Whale & bird watching at Lime Kiln State Park
- San Juan Island Winery
- Pelindaba Lavender Farm
- San Juan National Historic Park
- Views of rugged coastline, the Olympic Mountains and Mt. Baker while kayaking
- Beachcombing at South Beach
- Hike to the top of Young Hill
- Explore the character of Friday Harbor
* Kayaking dependent on weather and marine conditions; other highlights dependent on time and other conditions. Cycling available on request as an optional activity.
From Seattle we drive north to Anacortes, the jumping-off point to the world-renowned San Juan archipelago. The ferry ride from Anacortes is a marine cruise in and of itself, and is an excellent opportunity to keep an eye out for an impressive diversity of wildlife, including Bald Eagles, Harbor Seals, Dall’s and Harbor Porpoises, Stellar’s and California Sea Lions, a variety of marine birds, and even our resident Orcas if you’re lucky. After roughly an hour of traversing the scenic waterways between islands such as Cypress, Lopez, Orcas, and Shaw, we reach the quaint yet charismatic seaside town of Friday Harbor on San Juan Island.
Heading across the island to Roche Harbor, we embark on a naturalist-led 2- to 3-hour kayak excursion along remote rugged coastline that includes a number of wildlife refuges and dramatic views of the surrounding islands, Olympic Mountains, Mt. Baker, and more. We will explore kelp forests and shoreline ecosystems, searching for marine wildlife such as Harbor Seals, Bald Eagles, River Otter, colorful inter-tidal marine life, and a variety of birds – and, if we are lucky, we may even encounter porpoises or whales, including one of our resident pods of Orcas. Additionally, condition-dependent, we will have an intimate picnic lunch on Posy Island, the smallest state park in the country (depending on the tide!).
Upon returning from our kayak exploration, we venture to Lime Kiln State Park, considered one of the best places for observing Orcas from land in North America (and an excellent alternative for a picnic lunch). Even if J-, K-, or L-pod aren’t around, the dramatic and stunning views across Haro Strait towards Vancouver Island and the Olympic Mountains are well worth the stop, not to mention there is often plenty of other marine wildlife to keep an eye out for during a short hike along the shoreline.
Time-permitting, we can choose from a variety of additional nature-based activities, including a moderate hike to the top of Young Hill for remarkable views of the San Juan archipelago, beach-combing along the driftwood-strewn South Beach, and exploring the historic American and English “Pig War” Camps, which are part of the San Juan Island National Historical Park and were encampments during a post-Civil War boundary dispute between the United States and England.
We will end the day with a visit to Pelindaba Lavender Farm to revel in the intoxicating aroma of acres of lavender, or San Juan Vineyards for tasting locally-grown Siegerrebe and Madeleine Angevine varietals, among others, before finally getting in line for the return ferry with enough time to explore Friday Harbor (and perhaps sampling some delicious local fish and chips or – even better – ice cream!) on your own.
Skip the drive home, you’ve got options! Return to Seattle in style!
Soar in a scenic flight above the islands of Puget Sound in a Kenmore Air seaplane. Make a splash when landing in Lake Union in the heart of Seattle. Cuts the return time in half and is an unforgettable experience in itself.
Or stay another night to experience San Juan Island’s famous hospitality.
After a night sleeping in luxury with one of our select hotel partners in Friday Harbor, spend a leisurely morning in beautiful Friday Harbor followed by an incredibly scenic seaplane flight right into downtown Seattle’s Lake Union!
Full Day San Juan Island Adventure
Daily| 6:30am – 9:00pm** | Summer May 15 – Sep. 30*** | Price on Request
- Activities | Paddling,* intertidal beach walks, birding, whale watching, wine tasting, & educational sightseeing
- Interests | Marine biology, ecology, marine-life, botany, local and natural history
- Group Size | Private Escapes can be customized to any group size
- Pick-up and Drop-off at your Downtown Seattle Hotel, Cruise Terminal or downtown Arc’teryx retail store (400 Pike St.)
- Highly qualified naturalist Escape Artist guide
- Travel in adventure-outfitted Mercedes Vans and luxury SUVs
- Locally sourced and/or organic lunch
- Seasonal snacks and refreshments throughout the tour
- All entry fees
- All kayaking equipment
- Expert kayak guides
- Departing | ferry time dependent – 6:15-7:30am**
- Returns | ferry time dependent – 8:30-9:30pm
- Difficulty | Beginner to moderate
- All-Inclusive Rate | Price on request based on group size
- Age | 6+
* Please Note: Inclement weather may cancel our paddle and would be replaced by additional sightseeing and interpretive beach walks, or perhaps a sculpture park and winery depending on the escape!
** We will call you within 24 hours of the trip and confirm exact time and location for your pick-up. Please be sure to fill out your contact info during checkout.
This trip does not run May 27 & Sept 2, 2013
EverGreen Escapes is Cascadia’s premier local and sustainable adventure, nature and epicurean tour company. Specializing in private and small group, naturalist led escapes in bio-fueled Mercedes Vans and Crossovers. We’re a small business with a Big Mission: to create positive change in the world by connecting people with places and nature. Our guides aren’t just naturalists, they’re Escape Artists.
- We recommend wearing layers that you can add if there is wind or rain, and remove when there is sunshine. Comfortable walking shoes will allow you to explore further at some of our stops. It’s always a good idea to bring sunglasses and a camera! We provide reusable water bottles, along with other snacks and refreshments. See more on how to Pack and Prepare.
2. How strenuous is this? How much experience do I need to have?
- All of our scheduled departures are meant for beginners (easy to moderate). We try to cater our tours to all ability and interest levels – and this really depends on the group that day. Your Escape artist will choose the difficulty of the physical activity based on the group’s interest and ability level. If you are interested in a different level, we can certainly put together a private itinerary specifically for you. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions regarding specific questions!
3. Can I have vegetarian/ special diet food?
- Yes. Please advise us if you have any food restrictions or requests, we can accommodate vegetarian diets, lactose intolerant diets, and often times can also accommodate gluten free diets when given enough notice.
4. What is your Cancellation Policy?
- Please review our Terms and Conditions for information on changes and cancellations.
5. Should I get Travel Insurance?
- We recommend that you do. Travel insurance can be purchased to cover penalty costs in the event you need to cancel or change your travel plans (subject to approval of claim by the insurer). It also can provide medical and emergency assistance protection as well as some loss and delay coverage. Travel insurance can be purchased directly from EverGreen Escapes.
6. Should I tip my guide?
- We take great personal and professional pride in orchestrating rich and memorable adventures for each and every client we engage with, sometimes our clients are inspired to show their appreciation in the form of a gratuity. While gratuities are not an expectation, our guides traditionally receive an amount consistent with the rest of the service industry in the U.S., somewhere between 10% and 20%.
Prefer a private tailor-made adventure for your friends, family or corporate group?
Contact an Escape Artist for a custom tour, morale building adventure, or retreat.
Thank you for Exploring Cascadia with the Local Experts.