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The San Juan Islands, located in the northwest corner of Washington State, offer a variety of outdoor recreation opportunities, dining, shopping and accommodations, seasonal events and festivals, and small town charm. Three ferry-served islands - San Juan Island, Orcas Island, and Lopez Island - are popular destinations for families and friends to reconnect with nature, discover the slower pace of "island time," and find inspiration for the senses.
Need ideas for a trip to San Juan Islands? Check out this people and planet-friendly adventure from Intrepid Travel:
Whale and wildlife tours, hiking trails, kayak expeditions, and recreational boating are popular in the San Juan Islands. Fresh seafood and locally grown produce make the Islands a "foodie" paradise, and mild weather makes it an ideal year-round destination. Explore the San Juan Islands!
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Bellingham ( BEL-ing-ham) is the most populous city in, and county seat of Whatcom County in the U.S. state of Washington. It lies 21 miles (34 km) south of the U.S.–Canada border in between two major cities of the Pacific Northwest: Vancouver, British Columbia (located 52 miles (84 km) to the northwest) and Seattle (90 miles (140 km) to the south). The city had a population of 80,885 as of the 2010 census and is estimated to have grown to 92,314 as of 2019. The city of Bellingham was incorporated in 1903 through the consolidation of Bellingham, Whatcom, Fairhaven, and Sehome into the city of Bellingham. Located on Bellingham Bay, which had been named by George Vancouver in 1792, for Sir William Bellingham, the Controller of Storekeeper Accounts of the Royal Navy during the Vancouver Expedition.Today, Bellingham is the northernmost city with a population of more than 50,000 people in the contiguous United States. It is a popular tourist destination known for its easy access to outdoor recreation in the San Juan Islands and North Cascades. Bellingham is undergoing redevelopment on more than 100 acres (40 ha) of former industrial land in its Waterfront District, with a hotel, conference center, condos, retirement living, retail and commercial development planned for the site.
Island County is a county located in the U.S. state of Washington. As of the 2010 census, its population was 78,506. Its county seat is Coupeville, while its largest city is Oak Harbor. The county's name reflects the fact that it is composed entirely of islands. It contains two large islands, Whidbey and Camano, and seven smaller islands (Baby, Ben Ure, Deception, Kalamut, Minor, Smith, and Strawberry). Island County was created out of Thurston County on December 22, 1852, by the legislature of Oregon Territory, and is the eighth-oldest county in Washington. It originally encompassed what are now Snohomish, Skagit, Whatcom, and San Juan Counties. Island County comprises the Oak Harbor, Washington Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Seattle–Tacoma, WA Combined Statistical Area.
Port Townsend is a city on the Quimper Peninsula in Jefferson County, Washington, United States. The population was 9,113 at the 2010 United States Census and an estimated 9,704 in 2018. It is the county seat and only incorporated city of Jefferson County. In addition to its natural scenery at the northeast tip of the Olympic Peninsula, the city is known for the many Victorian buildings remaining from its late 19th-century heyday, numerous annual cultural events, and as a maritime center for independent boatbuilders and related industries and crafts. The Port Townsend Historic District is a U.S. National Historic Landmark District. It is also significantly drier than the surrounding region due to being in the rainshadow of the Olympic Mountains, receiving only 19 inches or 480 millimeters of rain per year.
Camano Island is a large island in Possession Sound, a section of Puget Sound. It is part of Island County, Washington, and is located between Whidbey Island and the mainland (Snohomish County) by the Saratoga Passage to the west and Port Susan and Davis Slough to the east. The island has one road connection to the mainland, via State Route 532 over the Camano Gateway Bridge at the northeast end of the island, connecting to the city of Stanwood. The island has a total area of 39.77 square miles (103.0 km2), making it one of the largest in the state of Washington. It has a year-round population of 15,661 as of the 2010 census. The population peaks at over 17,000 during the summer months due to part-time residents with vacation homes on the island. It is an unincorporated area with several small communities and shares civic facilities with nearby Stanwood, including its school district, post office, and emergency services. Camano Island is home to two state parks, Cama Beach and Camano Island State Park, and several county and local parks.