If you really want to leave it all behind for a night or two, you can hardly do better than Shaw Island. The least populous and least-visited among ferry-served San Juan Islands, Shaw is a quiet, wooded treasure. The island has only one commercial establishment, the Shaw General Store, famously operated by nuns until just a few years ago. San Juan County Parks operates the lone public campground, charging $12-$16 per night for one of 11 tent sites. The campsites rest on a cliff above a sandy, south-facing beach with great views of San Juan, Canoe, and Lopez Islands.
If you strap on a backpack with a small tent, or better yet take a bicycle, you can have an easy car-free loop, 2 nights of quiet camping, a late lunch in Friday Harbor, and a scenic cruise back to Seattle…while still arriving back in Seattle for a full night’s sleep before work Monday morning. Here’s a sample itinerary, below the jump.
Caution: Neither Skagit nor Island Transit offer Sunday service, so the suggested itinerary is the best way to do this on a full weekend. Though avoiding the Clipper and doing an out-and-back is possible, connections between WSF, Skagit Transit, and Amtrak are difficult and inconvenient on Saturdays.
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