More than just a Victoria airport hotel: Kayaking the San Juan Islands from the Cedarwood

by admin on January 26, 2012

victoria airport hotelIf you’re already starting plan your next big summer adventure, you might consider kayaking the San Juan Islands, and using the Cedarwood Inn and Suites as your home base – we’re more than just a Victoria airport hotel.

Why kayak the San Juan Islands? The islands are a beautiful, tranquil part of America that really represents a different way of life. It’s a nautical culture that is centered around boats and other marine craft. The summers are warm, and, thanks to a “rain shadow” provided by the Olympic Mountains, the summertime is warm and dry, perfect for camping (although there are many bed and breakfasts located throughout the islands) and paddling.

There are 172 islands in San Juan County, however the four ferry served Islands; San Juan Island (with the county seat Friday Harbor), Orcas Island, Lopez Island and Shaw Island are the most populous and feature the largest number of hotels and other places to stay.

So, it’s possible to kayak from town to town in the San Juans. You can rent a kayak when you arrive, or bring your own. And the things to see! There is one “resident pod” of killer whales that reside in the region, plus harbor seals, sea lions, elephant seals, porpoises, as well as a large number of resident bald eagles.

Summer is salmon fishing time as well (these salmon are the prime attraction for many of the larger species of wildlife), so you can look forward to excellent seafood, and, if you’re lucky, excellent fishing.

And if you’re looking for something to do, the official tourism website Visit San Juan Islands says:

In the San Juan Islands, you’ll find it’s less a question of where’s a park than of where isn’t a park. From the 5,252 acres of Moran State Park on Orcas to the national historical parks of American and English Camps on San Juan to Shaw’s secluded campsites by the beach to the variety of shoreside parks on Lopez, the islands’ parks offer you unspoiled natural beauty and diversity. Camp . . . watch whales . . . walk the beaches . . . step back into history . . . hike . . . enjoy.

It’s a fantastic place. But what’s the Sidney connection?

What’s the Sidney connection?

First of all, Sidney and the Cedarwood are located just across Haro Strait from San Juan Island, and we’re about 20 kilometers from Friday Harbour. It’s not necessary to cross Haro Strait to reach the San Juans. Instead, you can hop from island to island on the Canadian side of the line, heading for James Island or Sidney Spit, and then across to San Juan Island, avoiding more relatively open stretches of water.

Sidney is also close to YYJ, an international airport (we like to bill ourselves as a “Sidney airport hotel”), so you can fly in, stay overnight at the Cedarwood to get set up, and rent kayaks right in town.

As well, the Cedarwood is located just across the street from the Anacortes ferry terminal. So, it’s possible to drive up to Anacortes, near Bellingham, hop on the ferry, and get off in Sidney. Retrace your ferry route by kayak (since Friday Harbor is so close it may be a little more convenient than starting your kayaking trip in Anacortes.

But whatever you do when kayaking the San Juan Islands, be sure to make Sidney part of your travel itinerary, and try out the Cedarwood – we’re much more than a Victoria airport hotel.