FLOAT AWAY TO THIS BOATER’S PARADISE
Step off your Kenmore Air floatplane and onto the dock of a boater’s paradise. Roche Harbor is located on the north end of San Juan Island, home to an incredible resort featuring 19th-Century clapboard buildings, pristine gardens, and unbeatable sunsets. Looking to be pampered: there’s a full-service spa. Want to get out on the water: This is the perfect starting point, and once you get back, there are three restaurants on-site, a shopping market, and the justifiably renowned donuts at the Lime Kiln Cafe.
The Roche Harbor Resort is luxurious, it is historic and it is absolutely unique with its brick-lined paths and expansive properties. A trip from Seattle requires almost four hours aboard a ferry and then a 20-minute drive on the island, but it’s just 60 minutes in the air aboard one of Kenmore Air’s float planes. You’ll arrive at the 377-slip marina at the site of what was once a company town for John McMillan’s lime works and is now an utterly unique Northwest vacation destination.
Fly to Roche Harbor year-round from either Kenmore Air Harbor or Lake Union, arriving at the pier aboard one of Kenmore Air’s six-seat de Havilland Beavers or 10-seat Otters. If you’re seeking something more intimate, the Cessna 180 is a two to three passenger floatplane that is the most economical charter option. Sorry, no complimentary baggage storage on-site.
The Roche Harbor Resort is a piece of Northwest history with the longest continuously operating hotel and it is a posh getaway with a full-service spa. Former President Teddy Roosevelt and the actor John Wayne. Today, your lodging choices range from a fully modern home to a quaint cottage to one of the 20 rooms in the historic Hotel de Haro. Tucked away on the west side of the island at Mitchell Bay, Snug Harbor Resort is a hidden gem, offering cabins and suites with vaulted ceilings and upscale rustic interiors.
Orca whales draw the majority of the attention in the San Juan Islands, and deservedly so. They’re remarkable. But whether it’s minke whales, stellar sea lions, or osprey, there is so much to see and booking a wildlife tour in advance is the best way to make sure you don’t miss out. There’s a local distillery, a 20-acre sculpture park sits at Roche Harbor and again, don’t forget the donuts at the Lime Kiln Cafe.
STRAIGHT TO THE HEART OF THE SAN JUANS
The largest town in the San Juan Islands is also its economic, social, and cultural hub, home to more than 2,000 residents and 90 orca whales from April to September. Arrive on a Kenmore Air floatplane, you’ll dock at the marina and walk off the pier and into a lovely downtown with uniquely local shops, museums, and restaurants whose menus are laced with island-sourced ingredients.
It’s 90 miles from Seattle to Friday Harbor, or 50 minutes aboard Kenmore Air compared to a 3-hour, 45-minute ferry ride. If you take one of our flights from Boeing Field, you’ll land at the Friday Harbor Airport, which is less than a mile from downtown. You’ll use every minute you gain whether it’s getting out on the water in a boat or kayak, getting into the water for scuba diving, or visiting the nearby alpaca farm. And we mentioned the whales, right? They’re not the only thing to see here on San Juan Island, but they’re certainly something you don’t want to miss.
You can fly to Friday Harbor Marina from either Kenmore Air Harbor or Lake Union, arriving at the pier aboard one of Kenmore Air’s six-seat de Havilland Beavers or 10-seat Otters. If you’re seeking something more intimate, the Cessna 180 is a two to three passenger floatplane, a most economical charter option. Sorry, no complimentary baggage storage on-site.
Kenmore Air Express provides year-round service from Boeing Field with its fleet of Cessna 208 Caravans and Grand Caravans, which accommodate eight to nine passengers. The Pilatus PC-12 turboprop is the newest option in the charter fleet, offering eight seats in a roomy cabin for a quiet and cutting-edge flying experience. Paid parking is available, complimentary on-site bag storage available.
The largest town in the San Juans offers the most lodging choices on the San Juans, everything from the historic exterior and modern interior of the Birdrock Hotel to the view at the Friday Harbor House not to mention plenty of quaint B&Bs like the Juniper Lane guest house and Hillside House. The San Juan Islands visitors bureau offers a great survey of your lodging options.