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Pictures of Friday Harbor on San Juan Island from Semiahmoo Resort

Updated on August 11, 2017
Peggy W profile image

I live in Houston, and I have worked as a nurse. My interests include art, traveling, reading, gardening, cooking, and our wonderful pets.

Sunset from Blaine, Washington

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. | Source

State of Washington

This portion of our vacation trip addresses the San Juan Islands, Friday Harbor and our staying 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 Semiahmoo Resort was perfectly located along the route we wished to take. So reservations were made in advance and our room was awaiting our arrival.

Inn at Semiahmoo

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Grounds at the Inn at SemiahmooSunset as seen from the Inn at Semiahmoo
Grounds at the Inn at Semiahmoo
Grounds at the Inn at Semiahmoo | Source
Sunset as seen from the Inn at Semiahmoo
Sunset as seen from the Inn at Semiahmoo | Source

Inn at Semiahmoo

As we headed towards our destination for two nights we passed many huge lots full of boats for sale. It reminded us of the huge lots full of cars for sale in Houston.

That makes sense. Water is ever present along the coastline of Washington State.

The Inn at Semiahmoo is a resort that sits on the site of a historic salmon cannery that used to be located there. Situated at the top of a sand-spit at the entrance to Blaine harbor, the inn offers spectacular views and entertainment from each of it's 800 acres.

The resort is given top ratings by AAA, the Mobile Guide, Conde' Nast and others. In fact 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 prior to and during sunset.

There are five miles of coastline that is left in its natural state. We loved the undisturbed feeling of walking along the calm waters of the bay and looking at the interesting pieces of driftwood that had washed up on shore.

Sunset cruises took off nightly from that spot. We elected not to take one as we had reservations the next day for a San Juan Island cruise.

We simply enjoyed the ambiance of the evening and chose to dine at the casual Packers Lounge & Oyster Bar which is a separate building facing the bay. We each chose the same thing to eat which was a delicious fish and chips plus a salad.

The rooms were nicely appointed and we awakened the next day refreshed and ready to go.

A
Blaine, Washington:
Blaine, WA, USA

get directions

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 10:00am in the morning to return later that day at 6:30pm 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 the ship with wide windows or on top of the canopied deck with wide open spaces from which to walk around and take photos.

There was a sound system and as we passed different islands we were kept informed as to 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.

On board 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.

Friday Harbor

We were let off the ship at Friday Harbor which is located on the large island of San Juan. We had 4 hours to do what we wished. Some people shopped, others visited the Whale Museum.

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

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Port of Friday Harbor on the Island of San JuanPier at Friday HarborFriday Harbor viewWe had a quick salad at the Springtree restaurant before taking our bus tour of the island.We board the bus for our 2 hour tour of the island of San Juan.
Port of Friday Harbor on the Island of San Juan
Port of Friday Harbor on the Island of San Juan | Source
Pier at Friday Harbor
Pier at Friday Harbor | Source
Friday Harbor view
Friday Harbor view | Source
We had a quick salad at the Springtree restaurant before taking our bus tour of the island.
We had a quick salad at the Springtree restaurant before taking our bus tour of the island. | Source
We board the bus for our 2 hour tour of the island of San Juan.
We board the bus for our 2 hour tour of the island of San Juan. | Source

The San Juan Islands are located in the northwest corner of Washington State in what is called Puget Sound. There are 172 islands in the San Juan group, some of them tiny, some of them 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, porpoise, seals, sea lions and depending upon the time of year (and luck) the Orca whales.

Friday Harbor Town & Marina Tour

History Regarding the Pig War

What almost brought America and Britain close to war was the shooting of a pig!

We were taken to the English Camp via our double decker bus tour and learned more about this incident which happened back in 1860.

For many years both American and British troops co-existed peacefully on this island. They also both laid claim to the island.

What happened to bring things to a fever pitch occurred when a pig that was allowed to roam freely on the island kept digging up a private American citizen's potato patch.

Lyman Cutler kept complaining to the British but nothing was done. He finally caught the pig in the act and shot him. Cutler refused to pay $100 for reparation and until negotiated and finally settled, tensions between the nations were very tense.

In 1872 after a peaceful arbitration it was determined that the San Juan Islands would be a part of the territorial United States and by October of that same year the British abandoned the island.

The English camp
The English camp | Source

Lime Kiln Lighthouse

After touring the English camp and learning about the Pig War we were dropped off at the Lime Kiln Lighthouse.

This is an area where whales are often able to be viewed as a pod of them live in the area. We did not have the good fortune of seeing them that day.

Lime Kiln Point State Park is actually the first whale watching park in the country.

Spotting whales at Lime Kiln

This area is barren and windswept in comparison to what we had just enjoyed seeing at the English camp. Seabirds were in abundance and the lighthouse has served as a beacon to people in this area for years.

Our next stop was at Cattle Point Picnic area where we were told that cattle used to be dropped off of boats and would swim to shore in this area.

The Lime Kiln Lighthouse on San Juan Island
The Lime Kiln Lighthouse on San Juan Island | Source

Friday Harbor

After our bus tour of the San Juan Island, we had enough time to select a restaurant and have our main meal for the day before reporting back to the ship.

We chose the Downrigger which was located right on a beautiful location overlooking Friday Harbor.

It offered a great view of all the sailing vessels, ships and boats of all types. Dining alfresco, we soaked up the atmosphere which was totally charming. The sea breeze was refreshing.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Friday Harbor viewWe dine seated outside overlooking Friday Harbor at the Downrigger restaurant.Friday Harbor view
Friday Harbor view
Friday Harbor view | Source
We dine seated outside overlooking Friday Harbor at the Downrigger restaurant.
We dine seated outside overlooking Friday Harbor at the Downrigger restaurant. | Source
Friday Harbor view
Friday Harbor view | Source

Prior to boarding the Star of Semiahmoo for our return trip, a ship's steward fished a small (approximately 2 inch diameter) clear jellyfish out of the water and placed it into my niece's hand who had volunteered to hold it.

It is the only jellyfish in the world that does not sting!

Leaving Friday Harbor on board the ship, we took a different route through the San Juan Islands on our way back to the Inn at Semiahmoo. Many seals and porpoises were viewed. We even spotted a bald eagle land in it's nest high up in a tree on one of the islands.

Ending our day trip with many sights, sounds and newly acquired knowledge regarding the San Juan Islands we went to bed that night enjoying our last evening at the Inn at Semiahmoo resort. I would recommend this part of our trip to anyone! Obviously there would be so much more to do and see in this area if one had more time.

We certainly enjoyed our introduction to this beautiful part of the country.

A
Friday Harbor, San Juan:
Friday Harbor, WA, USA

get directions

Have you ever toured the San Juan Islands and spent some time at Friday Harbor?

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© 2009 Peggy Woods

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    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      6 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Robert,

      It truly was a wonderful vacation. We loved what we got to see in the State of Washington as well as our time spent in Canada. This San Juan Island tour and stopping off at Friday Harbor was just one of the fun filled and educational days spent on that vacation.

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      6 months ago

      Another great article about one of the many tourist spots in the United States. That had to be a fantastic vacation you had in '89.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      20 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Susie,

      I agree with you that the lighthouse looks interesting and is probably worth a closer look. San Juan is definitely a great place to spend some time. Wish we had been able to spend more time there.

    • colorfulone profile image

      Susie Lehto 

      20 months ago from Minnesota

      What really caught my eye in the photos is the lighthouse on the point. I would be drawn to go see that up close. Thank you for another informative tour, Peggy. San Juan Island looks like a lovely tourist attraction location.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi AliciaC,

      Now I can envision where you live having been very close to it on the U.S. side of the border when we spent the night at The Inn at Semiahmoo. You live so close to the San Juan Islands and such a beautiful part of the world. When you go to Friday Harbor, I hope you can spend a bit more time there. Thanks for your comment, 5 star rating and the share.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Kris Heeter,

      I can well imagine that doing marine biology research from Friday Harbor and other places on the Island of San Juan would be most interesting. Hope that you get to go there someday and see it for yourself. So happy to hear that you enjoyed this hub.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello dwachira,

      We merely started our vacation trip in Seattle. The focus of this day was our San Juan Island cruise and tour of San Juan Island. Spending the night at the Inn at Semiahmoo was also a plus.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for this lovely hub, Peggy. I work very near the city of White Rock, which you've shown in your first map. There's a border crossing there, as well as a trail called the Semiahmoo trail. I can see the San Juan Islands from White Rock but I've never been there. I want to visit them very much after reading your hub and looking at the photos and videos! I gave this hub a 5 star rating and will share it.

    • Kris Heeter profile image

      Kris Heeter 

      6 years ago from Indiana

      What a nice trip! I've always wanted to go to Friday Harbor - many of my colleagues in past years would go there to do marine biology research and I would hear great stories from them.

      Thanks for sharing your photos and all the information!

    • dwachira profile image

      [ Danson Wachira ] 

      6 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      It seems you had an enjoyable trip of Seattle, Washington. Great article.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Rusti Mccollum,

      It is well worth the drive to get to the ferry which will take you to the San Juan Islands. My suggestion, if you have a bit more time, would be to spend a few days on the Island of San Juan. We only had the one day and could have enjoyed seeing much more. Hope you get to take this trip someday soon. BTW...we LOVED our vacation in Oregon. Such a beautiful state! Thanks for your comment.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Mary,

      It is too bad that you missed getting to tour the San Juan Islands while your daughter lived in Seattle. Did you get outside of Seattle and do any touring while visiting her or did you just see more of Seattle? We started our vacation trip in Seattle and ended it there, but our main focus was getting up to Canada where we spent most of our time. Great part of the country!!! Guess I should say countries. :) Thanks for your comment & the share.

    • Rusti Mccollum profile image

      Ruth McCollum 

      6 years ago from Lake Oswego, Oregon

      we live in Oregon the san Juan islands are a few hours drive to the ferry. My husband and I always talk about going there!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      6 years ago from Florida

      Oh, my, what a wonderful trip this must have been. As usual, you did a beautiful Hub: great photos and videos, too.

      One of my daughter lived in Seattle for about a year, but we never made it to the San Juan islands. I'm sorry now I missed it.

      I voted this Hub UP, etc.etc. and will share. Mary

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Billy,

      There is much more to see on San Juan Island than our one day tour enabled, but we certainly enjoyed what we did get to see. Friday Harbor is a beautiful and lively port city. Happy to hear that you liked those sunset pictures taken from the Semiahmoo Resort. The sunsets were beautiful over the water.

    • billyaustindillon profile image

      billyaustindillon 

      7 years ago

      San Juan island looks beautiful - back to nature in many ways wit those whales and love that short of the pylons in the sunset - nice.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello danatheteacher,

      Glad that you enjoyed this depiction of our day spent vacationing and sightseeing on the Island of San Juan. What we saw of Friday Harbor and additional views of the Island would make us wish to return someday. Thanks for the comment.

    • danatheteacher profile image

      Dana Rock 

      8 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      This is a really beautiful depiction!

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello ss sneh,

      Happy to hear that you liked seeing this portion of our San Juan Islands and Friday Harbor trip taken many years ago. It is very scenic and we had a great time. Thanks for your comment.

    • ss sneh profile image

      ss sneh 

      8 years ago from the Incredible India!

      Hi! Beautiful hub! Useful info! Thanks for this Great holiday trip! -- Thanks

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Lee B,

      Glad you enjoyed this hub about the San Juan Islands, and specifically Friday Harbor and the Semiahmoo Resort. If it gives you ideas on how to organize your hubs...so much the better. Thanks for that compliment!

    • Lee B profile image

      Lee Barton 

      8 years ago from New Mexico

      Really enjoyed your video and photos. Sure would like to do some similar things on my hub. The music you chose really captures "that feeling" I get when I'm cruising--even though we're motoring not sailing. Always had a soft spot for sailing though.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      9 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello loveroflife,

      Yes, the San Juan Islands are beautiful to see from aboard ship and we especially enjoyed getting off at Friday Harbor and getting to see some of that island from being on land. It truly was a great day trip! Thanks for the comment.

    • profile image

      loveroflife 

      9 years ago

      Beautiful pictures of the San Juan Islands. Thanks.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      9 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi RedElf,

      We so enjoyed our stay at the Inn at Semiahmoo and our San Juan Island cruise that when I was going through some old photo albums I thought that it would provide good subject matter for a hub. So glad it brought back good memories for you. I would also like to go back and visit that area again some day. Thanks for the comment.

    • RedElf profile image

      RedElf 

      9 years ago from Canada

      Oh, Peggy. Such a breath of home. My grandparents lived in the Vancouver area and then White Rock for many years, just across the Straits from here. Your pictures are gorgeous, and your writing makes me want to pull up stakes and head back to the coast. Thanks so much for this lovely hub.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      9 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi kiran,

      Thanks! Very nice of you to be following my hubs so closely. You also do a good job on yours.

    • kiran8 profile image

      kiran8 

      9 years ago from Mangalore, India

      Another great eye catching hub, you make them so attractive :)

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      9 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi wittywriter,

      Thanks for the compliment and comment.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      9 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Pete,

      I must have been asleep in history class that day, but our trip there brought history alive. Thanks for the comment.

    • wittywriter profile image

      wittywriter 

      9 years ago from Concord New Hampshire

      It looks beautiful. Great hub.

    • Pete Maida profile image

      Pete Maida 

      9 years ago

      It sounds like a fun vacation. I remember the 44/40 or Fight from high school history. Your hubs are always so well layed out.

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