San Juan Islands

The San Juan Islands are a stretch of around 170 islands in the northwest region of Seattle, Washington, near the Canadian border. The area is famous for the numerous orca pods that call San Juan their home.

The San Juan Islands, known as an important tourist destination, offer prime orca whale-watching either by boat or air tours. The area is appreciated for its beautiful landscapes and wildlife. One of the main isles, Orca Island, is home to the Moran State Park and Mt. Constitution. Other activities include horseback riding, sea-kayaking, and scuba diving.

The small seaside town of Friday Harbor is at the center of San Juan and houses the world-famous marine biology facility, Friday Harbor Laboratories. Lime Kiln Point is a 41-acre state park easily accessed from Friday Harbor. For a panoramic ocean view to see the orcas in all their glory, or to catch the famous northern lights, visit the Lime Kiln Lighthouse or Cattle Point Lighthouse. San Juan also has several museums as well as the Orca Survey Outreach and Education Center.

The Pacific Northwest islands are part of a submerged mountain chain in the upper Puget Sound. Explorer Francisco de Eliza discovered the island on a 1791 expedition and named the island after his patron sponsor, Juan Vicente de Guemes Padilla Horcasitas y Aguayo, 2nd.

It's no wonder celebrities like Bill Gates own estates in San Juan. Locals say the summer season is the best time to visit, being the driest and sunniest time of the year.

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