Discover the Salish Sea

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The Salish Sea is full of opportunities for exploration. Multiple islands give you many different places to explore: Go horseback riding or bicycling along the gorgeous seafront or cliffs, make your heart pound with zip lining or flightseeing, Get up close and personal with orcas and other wildlife from a sea kayak. 

This area is rich in artwork from local artists as well as artists from all over the world. Catch a show like Shakespeare Under the Stars at the Island Stage or go to an intimate poem reading at Lopez Island library. You’ll also see stunning artwork like sculptures of orcas, mazes of stone and grass, and abstract sculptures all around the islands.

This vast area offers some unique fishing opportunities. Take your pick between salt and freshwater fishing opportunities. It’s hard to beat the hiking, whether you want to explore the rocky cliffs and beaches or you’d like to treck through the beautiful forest terrain. Wherever you hike, it’s hard to get far from gorgeous sweeping views of the water.

Of course, this area offers much more than natural beauty. Enjoy the gorgeous wineries, breweries, and cideries in the area. Spend some time shopping and window browsing, or have a relaxing day at the spa. Whatever else you do, you’ll likely want to end your day with some of the superb dining opportunities available.

Puget Sound

Puget Sound is a unique area where the Pacific ocean reaches 50 miles inland. It is made up of an intricate system of waterways which are truly a delight to explore by boat. If you want to enjoy gorgeous views from the water but you don’t want to deal with ocean chop, this may be the perfect area for you to travel. 

As an added advantage, some of the most attractive areas in Puget Sound are only a short distance from downtown Seattle, which makes it an extremely convenient destination. For instance, Bainbridge Island is just west of downtown Seattle. While the island is reachable by ferry, exploring by boat offers more extensive exploration. 

This island features the Bloedel reserve, which is heavily forested and has gorgeous landscaped gardens as well. An east-facing beach has beautiful views of the Cascade Mountains and Puget Sound. Blake Island is an even more exclusive natural area as it is only accessible by boat. You will lose yourself in the stunning blue waters and beaches scattered with driftwood. You even have a good chance of catching your dinner by fishing or digging for clams.

San Juan Island Marine State Parks

There is nowhere in the world like the San Juan Islands. This is a cluster of 400 islands and rocks speckled through the Salish Sea. There are 16 state parks throughout these islands, boasting a wide range of natural areas. 

Four islands are accessible by ferry using your car, but to fully appreciate the diversity that these islands have to offer, you will want to take a boat. Boating from island to island gives you the opportunity to intimately experience the beautiful scenery. Moor or dock your boat and enjoy some hiking or camp on the shore.

Sucia Island State Park – The ‘Crown-Jewel’

If you only have time to visit one island, Sucia Island might be the one to choose. It is one of the northernmost islands and is widely considered to be one of the most stunning. 

A 564-acre park includes 77,700 feet of shoreline. There are lots of places to anchor, which, along with the natural beauty of the area, makes it one of the best boating destinations worldwide. 

Pristine beaches and trails wander through otherworldly sandstone formations with fossils scattered throughout the rock structures. Multiple bays including Echo Bay, Shallow Bay, and Fossil Bay. The many bays provide plenty of shelter in any conditions at any time of year, so even if you are a bit uncertain with your boating and anchoring, you’ll find a secure place to drop an anchor here.

Vancouver Island & Gulf Islands

The cluster of charming islands known as the Gulf Islands are a boater’s paradise, particularly if you are looking for the slower, more relaxed pace of island life. Most of these islands are not accessible by car, so everyone you meet is either a local or a boater. We have a home port located among these islands.

The still waters are perfect for paddleboards and kayaks, and are unlikely to make even the most prone-to-seasickness boater ill. There are so many beaches scattered among the many islands that you’re sure to find one all to yourself. 

The lack of crowds also means that wildlife thrives in this area. Expect to see orcas and otters in the water and bald eagles circling overhead. Take a break from your explorations to hike inland and find a charming cafe or a little shop, the majority of which are owned by locals.

Vancouver Island is considerably larger and accessible by car, so if you want a more cultural experience instead of being focused on nature, it may be a better destination for you. That said, there are plenty of beautiful parks and beaches on Vancouver Island as well.

Vancouver Lower Mainland & Sunshine Coast

The shoreline of Vancouver Lower Mainland in the Sunshine Coast as well as the islands between them are lovely for boating exploration. We offer a home port in this location, making it a convenient stop on your explorations. If you enjoy nature but also want the opportunity to enjoy quality craft beer, check out local artists, or go inland for some biking, this is the perfect area for you. 

Hike the famous Sunshine Coast Trail or check out one of the most incredible whitewater wonders of the world in the Skookumchuck Narrows. Twice a day the tide changes and the water flow shifts, causing 200 billion gallons of water to flow through the narrows, making spectacular whirlpools and an impressive wave that attracts kayakers and surfers from all over the world. 

If swimming and beachcombing are what you’re after, check out Savary Island, where a warm southern tide creates a subtropical paradise with the warmest water north of Mexico. You’ll need a boat to get to this wonderful location, which makes it pristine and private for you to enjoy.

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