The San Juan Islands are in the northwest corner of the United States between the US mainland and Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. The San Juan Islands are part of the U.S. state of Washington. Although the majority of the San Juan Islands are accessed by sea plane or the Washington State Ferry system, this lesser known San Juan Island, Lummi Island, is reached by an easy drive just north of Bellingham, Washington followed by a 10 minute ferry ride on a small, friendly car & passenger ferry operated by Whatcom County.
Climate in the San Juan Islands
The warm ocean currents reflected off the mountain ranges is what creates the moderate Marine West Coast climate that Western Washington experiences, with no severe highs or lows. However, the weather in this area can change fairly rapidly and is a typically forcast as a 40% chance of somthing, not reliably predictable. None-the-less, the San Juan Islands are located in the rain shadow of the Olympic mountains and this region is known as the banana belt of the Pacific northwest.
Typical dress in the San Juan Islands consists of layers that include a sleeveless top or tee-shirt, fleece and a rain jacket with sensible shoes that want to travel on rock, grasslands, woodlands and mud. Are you smiling yet?
Well, come and experience it for yourself, have some good fun and breathe the better fresh air the planet has to offer.
How to get to Lummi Island
Bellingham International Airport (BLI) is the nearest airport to Lummi Island, followed by Abbotsford International Airport (YXX) and Vancouver International Airport (YVR), about 1 hour away, then by Seattle Tacoma International Airport (SEA) which is around a 3 hour drive.
- From I-5 take Exit 260, Slater Road
- Head west for 3.8 miles
- Turn left on Haxton Way for 6.5 miles
- Catch ferry at Gooseberry Point, pay for round trip while on the way to Lummi.
From Seattle take a detour via Chuckanut Drive
If you are traveling between Seattle and Bellingham on a sunny day, and looking for a cure for I-5 drudgery, travel along the edge of the cliff on the narrow, winding, Chuckanut Drive. Chuckanut Drive was built beginning in 1895 and eventually became part of old Route 99. Driving the narrow road under the dense forest canopy gives you a feeling of what road travel was like a century ago. There are several viewpoints along the route offering breathtaking glimpses of the San Juan islands and the Washington coast ( parking at these viewpoints is at a minimum) . Part of Chuckanut Drive runs through Larrabee State Park, Washington’s oldest state park. Here you can stop and stretch your legs ( about $10 park fee). The northern terminus is the town of Fairhaven, a 19th Century village full of fun shops and restaurants. Going north on I-5, take Bow Valley exit near Burlington ending up in Fairhaven Village, just south of Bellingham proper. Coming south from Bellingham, exit I-5 at Fairhaven exit and head for Chuckanut Drive.