#8 San Juan Islands, Washington
Visiting the San Juan Islands isn’t just about how green they are, how they emerge out of nowhere out of the mighty Pacific, or how the light hits them just so. It’s both about the slower, relaxed island pace of life and the San Juans’ proximity to Seattle. In the summer the city is bustling and if you do this trip consider July’s Beerfest and Bite of Seattle, though most weekends there is something exciting going on.
The islands are busier during the summer but there’s also lots more to do. The locals love the influx of people and you’ll see summer-only activities like the various farmer’s markets, events like Lopez Island’s Tour de Lopez in July, and what could be the best fourth of July fireworks anywhere. Remember that the San Juans are a cyclist’s paradise. If you’re not an avid cyclist still consider renting a bike and poking around the mostly flat, rural Lopez Island. Orcas Island’s Mount Constitution is the trek for those more serious about the sport.