Better book now if you plan to visit the San Juan Islands this year.
Monday, President Obama granted a long-held wish of many San Juan Islands advocates and created a San Juan Islands National Monument, shining a bright national spotlight on Washington’s favorite archipelago. Now comes another pop in the news cycle, and it’s no weasel: TripAdvisor, everybody’s go-to travel-review website, announced that San Juan Island has gotten the nod from its users as the best island in America.
And it’s a global honor, too: San Juan Island, the home to Friday Harbor, the Pig War, Mona the camel and the reputed world’s best whale-watching park (Lime Kiln Point State Park), is ranked fourth island in the world in the same Travelers’ Choice awards. (Ambergris Cay in Belize, St. John in the Virgin Islands, and Bora Bora were No. 1 through 3, so don’t cry too hard in your beer, all you Friday Harbor Rotarians.)
Here’s what TripAdvisor had to say about San Juan: “An island vacation on San Juan Island in…Washington? San Juan might not be a tropical retreat, but this scenic scape proudly features beaches, orca pods and one of the country’s largest lavender farms. Lime Kiln Point State Park is the perfect place for whale watching, while Pelindaba Lavender Farm will set you up with a lifetime supply of the fragrant purple plant. The bustling Friday Harbor is a jackpot of restaurants and shops, plus unique attractions like the 19-acre sculpture garden at Westcott Bay Reserve.”