Ultimate Day Exploring San Juan Island with Susie’s Mopeds

San Juan Islands Susie's Mopeds
Susie's Mopeds on San Juan Island

San Juan Island is magical. Exploring San Juan Island in a Susie’s Mopeds scout coupe is arguably the best one day adventure from Seattle. Fresh air. Unparalleled views. This is the kind of Seattle to Friday Harbor trip you’ll consider extending.

What’s even better, is you don’t have to spend an hour (or more driving) to the Anacortes Ferry Dock, waiting for the boat, and then sailing from Anacortes to Friday Harbor. Kenmore Air offers convenient flights to Friday Harbor from Boeing Field, Paine Field, Lake Washington, and Lake Union. We even offer a direct flight from Victoria’s Inner Harbour to Friday Harbor Marina, the fastest way to reach the San Juan Islands from Victoria. 

Susie’s Mopeds in Friday Harbor

Founded in 1986 by Susan Doyle, the legendary shop was purchased in 2020 by Anna Stevens and her partner Greg Lewis. Today, the red fleet is an integral part of the island’s charm — providing an unforgettable and eco-friendly way to explore. 

It remains locally-owned and operated, ensuring visitors get lived-advice on the best things to do and see. Located on Nichols St. in the heart of downtown Friday Harbor, it’s less than .5 miles from the Friday Harbor Seaplane Dock (just a 7 minute walk). 

The rental shop sits across the street from San Juan Island Salt (a great place to grab freshly baked cookies to eat while you explore) and Brickworks, an island gathering hub that hosts the San Juan Island Farmers Market. It closes during the winter months, but reopened March 1 as the first signs of spring in the San Juans appear.

Susie’s Mopeds Rental Options

scoot couple on san juan island

True to its name, Susie’s Mopeds offers moped rentals, but that’s not all. This San Juan Island tour company also offers scoot coupes, electric F.U.V.s (Fun Utility Vehicles), electric bikes, and four-seater Chevy Trackers. 

Rentals are available from 9 AM – 6 PM, seven days a week. Overnight rentals are not available. 

Which is the best rental option? It really depends! While the mopeds can seat two people, they require a lot more attention from the passenger. If the passenger would like to relax a bit more (and take some pictures/video while moving) a scoot coupe is an excellent option. So too is an electric F.U.V., though it does require an endorsement. 

Top Things to See on San Juan Island in a Scoot Coupe

Hands down, the best part of exploring San Juan Island in a scoot coupe is the views. Sprawling farmland, rolling vistas, and canopies of redwoods make this excursion magical. While there are many places to stop during your ride, these are our favorites to see:

Cattle Point Road Just Above South Beach

The stretch of Cattle Point Road that runs along South Beach offers several different opportunities to pull off and enjoy the view. If you have enough time, be sure to visit American Camp and Grandmas Cove, one of the best places to go tidepooling in the San Juans. 

Cattle Point Lighthouse

Cattle Point Lighthouse on San Juan Island

While looking at the Cattle Point Road vistas, it’ll be hard to miss the idyllic Cattle Point Lighthouse. Roadside parking is available near a small footpath that will take you to the lighthouse and an unobstructed view of the Salish Sea. 

Lime Kiln Lighthouse (aka Whale Watch Park)

Lime Kiln Lighthouse on San Juan Island

There’s a host of trails through Lime Kiln State Park, the most popular of which will take you to Lime Kiln Lighthouse. The park is fondly known as Whale Watch Park, thanks to its waters being popular feeding ground for resident orcas. While it’s known as one of the best land-based whale watching destinations in the world, it is also frequently visited by seals, a variety of birds, and more. 

Westcott Bay Shellfish Farm

Westcott Bay Shellfish Farm grows and harvests some of the best Manila Clams, Mediterranean Mussels and Pacific Oysters in the Pacific Northwest. The location is ideal for shellfish — thanks to a nearby creek that freshens the water and helps the algae thrive. The result is shellfish that’s sweet and mild, with just a hint of salt. 

While you can purchase your shellfish to-go, we strongly recommend making a bit of time to enjoy them on-site. The farm’s Tide’s Tables restaurant sells accompanying butters, drinks, and extras perfect for pairing with your fresh ‘catch.’ Eat them raw or grill them on one of the complimentary grills right by the shore. It’s an experience that can’t be beat. 

The Farm at Krystal Acres

The Farm at Krystal Acres on San Juan Island

Krystal Acres Alpaca Farm boasts an 80-acre estate, serving as the residence for more than 50 alpacas. The picturesque landscape, adorned with sunny slopes and a grazing herd, appears as if lifted from the pages of a storybook. Although petting is not permitted, visitors have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of these inquisitive creatures by exploring the on-site gift shop, where they can gain an appreciation for the exquisite fibers they produce.

Pelindaba Lavender Farm 

Pelindaba Lavender Farm on San Juan Island

Unfortunately Pelindaba Lavender Farm closed. We will update this when there is news about what will happen to the farm.

Nestled on 25 acres of stunning farmland, the perfume of Pelindaba spreads throughout the surrounding region. Visitors are welcome to harvest their own lavender from your you-cut fields and picnic in designated areas. The arm store offers a wide range of lavender infused products including essential oils, lavender ice cream sandwiches, and more. 

San Juan Vineyard

San Juan Vineyard

A mere 10-minutes from Friday Harbor, San Juan Vineyard offers panoramic views of its expansive vineyard estate. Unwind on the patio of the tasting room, a charming space that was once the island’s inaugural schoolhouse. Alternatively, settle into an Adirondack chair and raise a toast to the good life with their distinctive Afterglow Rosé, named after the soft pink hues of the sunsets witnessed at the nearby Afterglow beach.

What to Pack for a Day Exploring with a Susie’s Moped Rental

Despite the fact that the San Juan Islands have an average of 247 days with sunshine, they can be a bit chilly — especially while exploring aboard an open-air vehicle. To make sure you’re prepared, you’ll want to bring:

  • Layers (A jacket that packs down is ideal, as space can be limited.)
  • Hat 
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera (You’ll definitely want to get some pictures along the way.)
  • Snacks & Water (While there are some opportunities to grab a bite while exploring, it’s always a good idea to have a few quick-and-easy things to eat and drink.)

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to explore the island?

Susie’s Mopeds has a predefined 48-mile loop that they require all rentals to stay on, as the other routes throughout the island are not designed for their vehicles. With no stops, the loop takes roughly 2 hours to complete. That being said, you’ll want to give yourself at least half a day to explore the island. There’s A LOT of places worth stopping. 

Where is the best place to fill up at the end of your rental?

Spring Street, Argyle Street, and Nichols Street, is a small convenience store and Shell station. This is the closest gas station to Susie’s Mopeds and the easiest place to fill up before returning your rental. 

How Close is Susie’s Mopeds to the Seaplane Dock?

Susie’s Mopeds is less than a 10-minute walk from the seaplane dock at Friday Harbor Marina. Centrally located in downtown Friday Harbor, you can easily explore the town and island without needing a car.