Discover Ocean Life at San Juan Island National Historical Park www.nps.gov/sajh
The San Juan Islands are full of natural and historical charm. The archipelago, off the coast of Washington, roughly equidistant from Seattle and Vancouver, comprises four islands open to visitors year-round. The park is a draw for whale watching, sea kayaking and hiking, and even offers the experience of traveling back in time. Pig War re-enactors from the U.S. and Canada gather July 26-27 to celebrate the peaceful resolution of a long-festering border dispute that was ignited in 1859 when an American settler shot a British-owned pig for trespassing in his potato patch. Accessible by air or sea only, charter planes and ferries serve the islands from Seattle, Bellingham, Anacortes and Sidney, B.C. One charter company, CEO Expeditions, offers a complete package with a whale watching expedition and trips to the four main islands, as well as a few others nearby. We recommend you stay overnight on Orcas Island, the "gem" of the San Juans, for a peaceful place to lounge after a busy day of exploration.