Itinerary
The U.S. San Juan Islands in the state of Washington and the Canadian Gulf Islands are all part of an archipelago which are known for their unparalleled beauty.  While there are over 200 named islands in this region of the Pacific, we’ll only be visiting a few of these on this semi-fixed base tour (5 nights on San Juan Island and 4 nights in Sidney, B.C.).  This will be the sixth time your Ride Leader has guided participants on a tour of the San Juan and Gulf Islands., which USA Today has named one of “The World’s Top Bike Rides”. 

 

We’ll all gather in Anacortes, Washington on Fidalgo Island as we prepare for our adventure, spending one night in this charming seaside town.  The next day we depart on our bicycles, which get priority loading on Washington State ferries, for Friday Harbor on San Juan Island.  This will be our base for the next 5 days as we explore the other U.S. islands with free passage on the inter-island ferries.  Here are some highlights which previous participants enjoyed:

  • San Juan Island – The largest of these U.S. islands, is distinguished by the lively seaside town of Friday Harbor, Lime Kiln Point State Park (an orca-whale lookout), lavender farms, sea kayaking excursions, and lots of good cycling roads.

  • Orcas Island – This horseshoe-shaped island is home to Moran State Park's old-growth forest and Mt. Constitution, the tallest peak on the islands at 2,400 ft.  An optional climb to the lookout tower at the top makes for a challenging climb and rewards cyclists with breathtaking views.

  • Lopez Island –We have a lovely loop ride that takes in forests, ocean views and quaint stores on what is often called the “friendliest island.”

  • Shaw Island – The smallest and quietest of the islands served by the Washington State ferry system, this ride makes for a scenic and relaxing day.

 

On day seven we’ll board a ferry for the picturesque town of Sidney, which is located at the northern end of the Saanich Peninsula, on Vancouver Island in the Canadian province of British Columbia.  We’ll base here for another 4 days.  Here are some highlights which previous participants enjoyed:

  • Salt Spring Island – The largest and most visited of the Gulf Islands, it has an abundance of quaint stores for shopping in the town of Ganges.  In the rural sections you’ll enjoy forested hills, wineries, organic farms, and studios of a variety of artists.

  • Pender Island – There are dozens of beaches and miles of forested lanes to explore on Pender, plus a few stores to supply your needs.

  • The town of Victoria – Some say you’ll feel transported to a charming English town as your walk among the stunning architecture in Victoria.  In addition, excellent seafood is plentiful at both high-end restaurants as well as at simple pubs.  Don’t miss Chinatown too.

  • Butchart Gardens - CNN, National Geographic, and USA Today have all named Butchart Gardens one of the world’s top gardens.

 

On our last day we’ll make one final ferry crossing, leaving Sidney and returning to Anacortes.

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