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Visiting Friday Harbor and San Juan Island From Semiahmoo Resort, WA

I live in Houston and have worked as a nurse. I have a lifelong passion for traveling, nature, and photography (preferably all together!).

Beautiful sunset overlooking the harbor of Blaine, Washington from the Inn at Semiahmoo

Beautiful sunset overlooking the harbor of Blaine, Washington from the Inn at Semiahmoo

State of Washington

This portion of our vacation trip addresses the San Juan Islands, Friday Harbor, and our stay at the resort of Semiahmoo. In July of 1989, my mother, niece, and I had enjoyed the start of our 15-day vacation by spending a few days in Seattle, Washington. One of those days, we checked out the Bavarian-styled town of Leavenworth, which was an easy day's drive back and forth.

When leaving Seattle to continue our vacation, we stopped and had lunch at the famous Salish Lodge at Snoqualmie Falls, and our next destination was to spend two nights at the charming Inn at Semiahmoo.

In planning these trips, I always did a lot of research ahead of time and discovered that the location of the Semiahmoo Resort was along the route we wished to take. So I made reservations in advance, and our room was awaiting our arrival.

As we headed towards our destination for two nights, we passed many huge lots of boats for sale. It reminded us of the large lots full of cars for sale in Houston. That makes sense. Water is ever-present along the coastline of Washington State.

Inn at Semiahmoo

The Inn at Semiahmoo is a resort that sits on the former site of a historic salmon cannery. Its location is at the top of a sand-spit at the entrance to Blaine harbor. The inn offers spectacular views and entertainment from each of its 800 acres.

The resort is given top ratings by AAA, the Mobile Guide, Conde' Nast, and others. It rates highly as one of the top resorts in the world. We did not utilize many of the offered amenities such as tennis, golf, sailing, charter fishing, and massages, etc. What we did do was relax and walk along the beach before and during sunset.

There are five miles of coastline that are in their natural state. We loved the almost solitary feeling of walking along the calm waters of the bay and looking at the interesting pieces of driftwood that had washed up onshore. Sunset cruises took off nightly from that spot. We had reservations the next day for a San Juan Island cruise.

We enjoyed the evening on land and chose to dine at the casual Packers Lounge & Oyster Bar in a separate building facing the bay. We each had the same thing to eat, which was delicious fish and chips plus a salad. The rooms were nicely appointed, and we awakened the next day refreshed and ready to go.

San Juan Islands Cruise

It was a Tuesday morning when we boarded the Grayline Water Sightseeing tour of the San Juan Islands. It was so convenient for us since it departed right from the Inn at Semiahmoo. We left at 10:00 am to return later that day at 6:30 pm back to Semiahmoo.

The weather cooperated, giving us a nice clear day for sailing on the "Star of Semiahmoo." The ship was comfortable, offering good views from inside with large windows or on top of the canopied deck with wide-open spaces to walk around and take photos.

There was a sound system, and as we passed different islands, we found out what made each one special. Some of the islands offered wildlife refuges. Some were private islands with wealthy people's homes visible from our vantage point on the ship. Many of those people utilized private airplanes to get back and forth to their homes on the islands.

Onboard the ship was a galley, and they offered sandwiches and other snacks and beverages. Naturally, restrooms were on board as this tour took several hours.

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San Juan Islands

The San Juan Islands are in the northwest corner of Washington State in what is called Puget Sound. There are 172 islands in the San Juan group. Some of the islands are tiny, some of them are larger. The San Juan Islands have also been declared a U.S. National Monument.

One sees many marine animals that live in and around these islands. Commonly seen are seabirds, porpoises, seals, sea lions, and, depending upon the time of year (and luck), the Orca whales.

Friday Harbor

We were let off the ship at Friday Harbor, located on the large island of San Juan. We had four hours to do what we wished. Some people shopped, others visited the Whale Museum.

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We took time out for lunch and also took the 2-hour double-decker bus tour of San Juan Island.