The 10 Most Beautiful Washington State Islands (2023)
Whether you seek adventure outdoors or solitude in nature, Washington Islands are your go-to destination. The State of Washington is surrounded by various small and big islands, more than 170 named and several un-named. A visit to one of them makes up for a perfect Pacific Northwest-style vacation. Every bit of them grants a relaxing and mesmerizing getaway from the regular hustle and bustle of life. You can reach the Washington Islands via car, bike, or the ultimate Washington State ferry.
Washington Islands aren’t just water but a mix of miles of sandy beaches, rolling fertile hills, forest mix, and excellent views. While some of the Islands meet with the mainland, others are totally secluded from the common population affair. Though regardless of that, each of them provides an unforgettable experience. No matter which or how you visit them, the views and atmosphere are always worth it. With that said, here are the Most Popular and Mesmerizing Islands to visit in Washington State.
The 10 Most Beautiful Washington State Islands
Have a look:
1. Orcas Island
Orcas is the largest Island in the San Juan archipelago and a gem of Washington State. It is located in northwestern Washington state and is perfect for relaxing and adventuring both. For accessing the Island, you can take an hour-long ferry Washington State Ferry ride from Anacortes to the terminal in Orcas. Upon reaching here, you can enjoy activities like hiking, biking, whale watching, kayaking, and more. Orcas Island is home to the beautiful village of Eastsound and the Moran State Park. This brings a mix of settlement as well as isolation to the place. Some of its other prominent features include 2,409-foot-tall Mount Constitution, dense forests with waterfalls, rolling hills, endless ocean stretch, and a magnificent shoreline. Orcas is also home to several restaurants serving fantastic meals.
2. Bainbridge Island
Bainbridge is one of the most picturesque Islands in the San Juan archipelago. It is a 35 minutes ferry ride from downtown Seattle which makes Bainbridge ideal for a day trip. This picture-perfect Island is surrounded by Mount Rainier magnificently (southeast), Puget Sound and Cascade Mountains Range (east), and the Olympic Peninsula and the Olympic Mountains (West). In short, wherever you will look around, there is something panoramic to observe. Bainbridge is famous for an organic distillery, a craft brewery, seven wineries, and several quaint restaurants. Besides that, recreational activities, including hiking and biking trails through the lush parks too, are pretty popular here. And for visitors who aren’t done with a day trip, the park also has some friendly B&Bs facilitating for an overnight stay.
3. Anderson Island
Anderson is the southernmost Island in Puget Sound and is known for its peaceful settings. It is a part of the Kitsap Peninsula, close to the Key Peninsula and south of McNeil Island. Reaching Anderson Island is only possible by a short ferry ride from Steilacoom, Washington. Upon arriving here, the Island will introduce you to Lake Florence and Lake Josephine and three prominent Washington Parks. Its other notable features include the Anderson Island Vineyards, a 9-hole golf course, a small historic farm, whale sightings, and more. Anderson Island is one popular retirement destination amongst the Washingtonians, ideally for its lush green setting and tranquillity. Even for visitors, there are few cabins that facilitate overnight stay.
4. San Juan Island
San Juan is the second-largest Island in the San Juan archipelago. The Island is famous for its charming Friday Harbor, the beautiful Lime Kiln State Park, and the seaside town. A visit to San Juan Island will introduce you to gravel beaches, tide pools, rocky bluffs, iconic Orca whales, vast lavender fields, and more. Besides that, the town of Friday Harbor boasts delightful still art through a few galleries and museums. There is plenty of good dining, shopping, and street wandering options as well. Other exciting places here include Lime Kiln Park, which allows visitors to sit and observe orcas swim by. There is even an outdoor sculpture park near Roche Harbor, a spa offering massages, the Cattle Point Lighthouse, and much more.
5. Camano Island
Camano is a residential Island in Washington that also welcomes tourists. It is located between the mainland and Whidbey Island and is known for its large size in Puget Sound. Visitors can reach here via the Camano Gateway Bridge Day and Night. Camano Island is home to Camano Island State Park and Cama Beach State Park, vast natural landscapes with unparallel beauty and adventure opportunities. The entire Island is a rich spread of ancient evergreen forests, wildlife, a sky full of bald eagles, and more. Besides that, this unspoiled paradise has a long shoreline and a rarely crowded beach. Camano Island is also famous for its annual festivals and events. Some of the notables amongst them include the Spring Art Show (June), Stanwood–Camano Chili & Chowder Cookoff (November), and Port Susan Snow Goose and Birding Festival (February).
6. Whidbey Island
Whidbey Island is a small and quaint Island 30 miles north of Seattle. It is famous for its beautiful landscapes and excellent seafood. For reaching the Island, take a 20 minutes ferry ride from the Mukilteo ferry terminal north of Seattle. It is also accessible via road, and one can drive across the Deception Pass Bridge from Anacortes at the northernmost tip passing the giant cedars and observing wildlife. Whidbey Island has several hiking and biking trails encompassing through its undisturbed terrain. Upon trekking up, the bluff trail hikes can grab some astounding views of the entire Island. Besides that, water sports and camping too are noted as popular activities here. Lastly, the people of Whidbey Island are kind, friendly, warm, and one of the most welcoming ones you will ever meet.
7. Lopez Island
Lopez is one of those San Juan archipelago islands where life is relatively slow. Even though it is one of the largest islands in the archipelago, everything here is quiet, tranquil, and peaceful. In the name of traffic, it only has a small Lopez Village and the few ferries that land people here. Besides that, a visit to Lopez will disconnect you from the daily hustling life, far away from people. The entire Island is covered with rolling farmlands, lush forests, quiet bays, desert beaches, and magnificent nature. There is only a light hustle in the Lopez Village with a few historical museums, art galleries, charming shops, and quaint cafes yet relaxed vibes. The village also hosts a local market dealing in local produce. The best way to explore the Island is by cycling since most of it is plain land.
8. Vashon-Maury Islands
Vashon-Maury is the largest Island in Puget Sound, located south of Admiralty Inlet. Geographically though both are separate islands, an isthmus connects them both. Together Vashon-Maury is no less than a delightful slice of heaven. For reaching here, book a ferry ride from the Fauntleroy terminal or Seattle, Tacoma, and Kitsap County. A visit here allows relaxing on the beaches or exploring the water for some fun-filled adventure. The Islands are also famous for several festivals/ events, art galleries, local artisan wineries, and several great restaurants. Visitors who want to spend a night in this rural and fun setting can choose from several accommodations at the Islands.
9. Blake Island
Blake Island is a 475-acre marine camping park and a Washington State Park on its own. If you are looking for a fun-filled vacation, it is the best and most b3eautiful Island to explore in Washington. Before 1959 the Island for privately owned though today it is a Washington State government property. Locals and travellers visit here for observing the magnificent Seattle skyline and then an enchanting view of the Olympic mountains. The Island is also home to a 5-mile-long beach that offers accessibility for swimming and boating. Besides that, there are 1,500 feet of moorage for private boats, 7 miles of bike trails, 8 miles of hiking trails, and unending wilderness around. Last but not least is the Tillicum Village, a famous Blake Island junction that offers food, dance, music, local life, all with a touch of entertainment.
10. Marrowstone Island
Marrowstone unarguably is the most beautiful Washington State Islands of them all. This small Island is located near Fort Flagler and is kind of a hidden gem of Washington. A visit here will introduce you to a pastoral oasis with rolling hills full of ripening strawberries grounds. Marrowstone has got beaches, wineries, vineyards, an art gallery, a craft studio, and a whole lot of rugged beauty all around. Artists from all across the state visit here, especially for picturizing down the snow-covered peaks of the Olympic Mountains. Marrowstone Island is home to Nordland town/ village, which boosts residents to not more than 1000. It has a small general store, a boat dock, and a few small rustic cabins for staying overnight. And like all the Washington Islands, it is also famous for its hiking and biking affairs.