An excellent program and I want my kids to savor it.
Activity note: Hotel check-in available from 3:00 p.m.
Afternoon: Program Registration & Orientation: After you have your room assignment, head to the conference room at 5:00 p.m. to register with the Road Scholar program staff, which is also where our Orientation session will take place. You’ll receive a welcome packet with your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any changes, and other important information. If you will arrive later than 8:00 p.m., please ask for your packet when you check in. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Periods in the daily schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
Dinner: In the Conference Dining Room, we’ll enjoy a catered buffet meal, plus coffee, tea, water.
Evening: Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead. Be sure to prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.
Activity note: Driving approx. 96 miles total; about 3 hours. Morning drive of approx. 46 miles to Marysville; about 1.5 hours. Afternoon drive of approx. 50 miles to Anacortes; about 1.5 hours. Walking up to 1.5 miles throughout day; standing for up to 2 hours at museum. Getting on/off ferry; ride is approx. 20 miles from Anacortes to Friday Harbor; about 1.5 hours. Short shuttle ride from ferry to Friday Harbor hotel.
Breakfast: In the hotel breakfast room, we’ll have a buffet featuring an egg dish, breakfast meats and breads, waffles, a variety of fresh fruit, yogurt, and hot and cold cereals, plus milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.
Morning: Once checked out of the hotel, we’ll visit the artfully designed Hibulb Cultural Center for a field trip led by a museum docent. The cultural center has over 23,000 square feet of exhibits and classrooms and the natural history preserve is 50 acres dedicated to telling the story of the “salmon people,” the Tulalip Nation. The artifacts, carvings, art and interactive displays weave insight and understanding to the land, the people, and the culture of the many Northwest Tribal ancestors. Then we’ll continue to LaConner, Washington, an artistic waterfront community in the heart of the Skagit Valley.
Lunch: At a local restaurant, we’ll have a plated Northwest-style lunch with coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.
Afternoon: Next, we'll board our motorcoach and travel northward to Anacortes where we'll board the Washington State ferry bound for San Juan Island. You may wish to enjoy the view of the National Scenic Byway through a tapestry of Islands from the inside passenger cabins or from the outside decks as we take our 1.5 hour journey through the archipelago to Friday Harbor. Upon arrival at the dock in the late afternoon, we’ll make a quick transfer via shuttle check into the hotel.
Dinner: At the hotel, we’ll enjoy a tasty buffet meal featuring salad, a main entrée, sides, vegetables, and dessert, plus coffee, hot and iced tea, milk, water. You may bring other beverages of your own with you.
Evening: We’ll then be joined in the hotel conference room by a local resident expert who will offer an insider’s look at contemporary life in the Islands and explores issues affecting island life.
Activity note: Walking up to 1.5 miles throughout the day; 25 steps with railing at Whale Museum; standing for up to 1.5 hours at each museum; mostly sidewalks or paved walkways.
Breakfast: In the hotel conference room, the breakfast buffet will feature a variety of fresh fruits, assorted hot/cold cereals and breakfast breads, cottage cheese, and boiled eggs, plus juice, milk, coffee, tea, water.
Morning: A local resident historian will join us in the hotel conference room for a presentation on San Juan Island history. Following our presentation, we will split into two groups and each will set out for a walking field trip to either the San Juan Island Historical Museum or the Whale Museum. A docent will lead an exploration showcasing the exhibits at each. The groups will switch field trip locations in the afternoon so everyone gets the opportunity to visit both.
Lunch: At the hotel, we’ll have a buffet meal featuring a soup of the day, salad, and dessert, topped off with coffee, tea, water. You may bring other beverages of your own with you.
Afternoon: Splitting into two groups again, everyone will go on a walking field trip to the museum they didn’t see in the morning and engage in a docent-led field trip. The Whale Museum is the nation's first museum dedicated to whales living in the wild. The remainder of the afternoon is yours to explore Friday Harbor or otherwise enjoy as you wish!
Dinner: At the hotel, we’ll enjoy a tasty buffet meal featuring salad, an entrée, sides, and dessert, plus coffee, hot and iced tea, water. You may bring other beverages of your own with you.
Evening: Gathering in the hotel conference room, we’ll attend a presentation given by a local guest artist showcasing the creative and artistic spirits that are abundant in these islands.
Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles throughout the day; paved walkways, dirt paths with uneven surfaces or exposed tree roots; some stairs (less than 60 steps total for all stairways); periods of standing up to 2 hours at museum and 1 hour at hatchery. Getting on/off mini-buses; approx. 20 miles total; 3 ride segments of about 1/2 hour each. Getting on/off ferry; ride is approx. 20 miles roundtrip; approx. 1 hour each way.
Breakfast: Early hotel buffet.
Morning: We’ll start out by boarding the inter-island ferry for the scenic cruise to Orcas Island where we’ll explore the creative culture of Orcas through a visit to the village of Eastsound. Arriving at the dock, we’ll transfer via mini-bus to our meeting point where we’ll have a presentation given by a local author that will explore how the island provides inspiration for numerous authors and other artists. After a short break, a scientist will then join us to explain how they who transformed their passion for birds into a second career in avian artistry.
Lunch: In a covered location in the village of Eastsound, we’ll have our sack lunches featuring a sandwich, whole fresh fruit, chips, bottled water, and a chef’s choice fresh bakery treat for everyone. Each member of the group will build their own sandwich to their liking in the morning before leaving the hotel, choosing from an assortment of meats, cheeses, breads, condiments, and accoutrements.
Afternoon: We’ll then enjoy some time to independently explore the galleries, bookstores, and eateries in the waterfront Village of Eastsound, equipped with a custom-made map our leaders have put together just for us. After rendezvousing at a predetermined time and place, our field trip will then continue to an historic farmstead, now a showcase Chinook salmon enhancement facility seen as a benchmark for natural rearing methods in the Northwest. During a presentation while here, a hatchery biologist will teach us how the project was started and what distinguishes it from other hatcheries. We’ll also learn about the tagging and rearing methods, as well as the return rates of the fish. Back aboard the ferry in the late afternoon, we’ll cruise through the islands and return to Friday Harbor in time for dinner.
Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.
Evening: At leisure.
Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles throughout the day; paved, some uneven pathways and dirt trails with exposed rocks and tree roots. Driving approx. 55 miles total; 5 ride segments of about 1/2 hour each.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: A wildlife rehabilitation expert will join us in the hotel conference room to begin our morning with an informative presentation about the wildlife that calls the San Juan Islands home. We’ll learn about the rehabilitation efforts and techniques of the organization while also learning about the specific characteristics of local species. Then, we’ll set out via mini-buses for a field trip with our Group Leader around the south end of San Juan Island to American Camp National Park where we will stop at the Visitor’s Center for an overview of the Pig War, during which both American and British troops occupied the island. Afterwards, we’ll walk to the redoubt area and view the remaining American Camp structures. Our field trip will continue with our Group Leader at Limekiln Point State Park, one of the best places in the world to view whales from land, and home to Orca research outpost and lighthouse. Keeping an eye out for the whales as they search for their main food source, salmon, we’ll make our way with our Group Leader to the lighthouse research center to see the studies being done on Orcas.
Lunch: At Limekiln Lighthouse, we’ll have our sack lunches featuring a sandwich, whole fresh fruit, chips, bottled water, and a chef’s choice fresh bakery treat for everyone.
Afternoon: Continuing, we'll travel to the northern tip of San Juan Island to explore the National Historical Park at English Camp with our Group Leader. While here, we’ll see the parade grounds, formal garden, historical buildings, and the blockhouse, all of which remain from the times of British occupation. As we look around, we’ll take note of contrasts with the American encampment we saw earlier on the south end of the island. At our final destination at the northern tip of the island, where we'll stop for some independent exploration. You may wish to visit either the historic Roche Harbor Village with its lovely marina and English gardens, or visit the Westcott Bay Sculpture Park where one can view hundreds of outdoor sculptures thoughtfully placed amidst acres of quiet forests, wetlands, meadows and rocky outcroppings. Regrouping at a predetermined time and place, we’ll return to the hotel late afternoon.
Dinner: Hotel buffet.
Evening: Joined by a beloved local musician in the hotel conference room, we’ll be treated to an exclusive musical performance.
Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles throughout the day; paved walkways, dirt paths with uneven surfaces and exposed tree roots; some stairs (less than 30 steps total for all stairways); periods of standing up to 1 hour outside at farm. Driving approx. 20 miles; 3 ride segments of less than 1/2 hour each. Getting on/off ferry; approx. 20 miles total; about 2.5 hours roundtrip.
Breakfast: Early hotel buffet.
Morning: Hopping aboard the Washington State Ferry again, this time we’ll sail to Lopez Island. Arriving in Lopez Village and making our way to the uniquely designed community center in the heart of the village, we'll begin with a presentation given by a local resident expert who will uncover the authentic native history of Coast Salish, with particular attention paid to the island’s rich archaeological heritage.
Lunch: At the community center in Lopez village, we’ll have our sack lunches featuring a sandwich, whole fresh fruit, chips, bottled water, and a chef’s choice fresh bakery treat for everyone.
Afternoon: Then, still at the community center, we'll hear first-hand from a Lopez Community Land Trust representative about an acclaimed local organization dedicated to building a diverse, sustainable Lopez Island community through award-winning environmentally designed affordable housing, sustainable agriculture, and other dynamic and successful rural development programs. Following, we'll visit a beautifully restored historic farm, home to a goat dairy, gardens, and a fruit orchard. Upon arrival, a local resident farmer will lead us around while teaching us about the history of the farm, the process it underwent in order to convert to a USDA-approved goat dairy, and how sustainable farming has enhanced the community. Afterwards, we'll return to the ferry and make our way back to San Juan.
Dinner: At the hotel, we’ll have a tasty buffet farewell dinner. Share some of your favorite experiences from the program with new Road Scholar friends.
Evening: As our program winds to a close, we’ll celebrate the final evening with a brief review of our week and go over the morning departure details. Be sure to prepare for check-out and departures in the morning.
Activity note: Hotel check-out by 7:15 a.m. Ferry transfer to Anacortes, WA, is approx. 20 miles; about 1.5 hours. Driving approx. 100 miles from Anacortes to Seattle; about 2.5 hours. Drop-offs at SeaTac International Airport and the starting hotel will be at approximately 12:30 p.m. and 1:00 p.m., respectively. Scheduling outbound flights after 2:30 p.m. is advised.
Breakfast: Early hotel buffet.
Morning: Once checked-out of the hotel, we’ll depart Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, via the Washington State Ferry. Upon docking in Anacortes, we’ll transfer to a chartered motorcoach and ride to Seattle with drop-offs at SeaTac International Airport and the starting hotel. This concludes our program. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!
An excellent program and I want my kids to savor it.
Island Hopping on Three of Washington's San Juan Islands was a good introduction to the islands. The speakers were well informed, the program well organized and the food good. The ferry rides were fantastic! But be aware that the days are very structured and a participant has little free time or ability to leave the group for any independence. Overall it was a very positive experience but one has to pretty much keep up with the group and for me, at times, that was stressful.
My atlas showed me that there were a lot of islands in Puget Sound, but I neither knew nor cared whether they were occupied or were merely rocks that seals used for birthing their pups. Instead I found very friendly people lived on several of these islands and in addition to their natural beauty there was quite an interesting history attached to them. This history was told to us by our group leader who was very knowledgeable and as we went to the historic sites, he reminded us of what we had been told and brought the history to life for us. I would recommend this program to anyone who is interested in the beauty of nature and history.
Enjoyed the total program except one part. The Lambiel Museum was overwhelmed with good art in a over stuffed setting.
This program has a lot of variety in subject matter. You learn about the culture, both past and present, of the islands. Experiencing the use of the ferries for everyday life is very different from my day to day experiences where I live.
A great way to experience the San Juan Islands. The accommodations, meals and staff were outstanding! The group size of 32 was very nice and our Skagit College leader, John Pachuta, was informative and fun. This was our first RS trip and did not disappoint. Friday Harbor Inn was very convenient, clean and comfortable. Friday Harbor town was very active and interesting. The Ferry rides added to the overall experience. The food, prepared by Chef Frank, was outstanding, very high quality. As good or better than one could find in a restaurant.
This was an amazing trip. Our group included ages from 21 yrs to 89 yrs and there was enough for all to enjoy. The education made the trip. The location and scenery were wonderful (as was the weather), but the orientation and enrichment presentations are what made the trip outstanding. Would do it all over again if I could! (And the food at Friday Harbor was absolutely delicious!)
I got to see a beautiful part of the country that I hadn't before explored, right in my own backyard!
We thoroughly enjoyed this program. It is a wonderful overview of the history of the San Juan Islands and what life is like on islands. Leadership and topics, accommodations and food all high quality on this trip. Glad to recommend it to others.
A relaxing, low-key experience, enhanced by great weather and views of Mt. Baker!
This trip is a great way to experience the San Juan Islands!
This was a very interesting program in a beautiful location. Some of the walking was rather hilly however, if mobility is a problem.
This was a wonderful program. Our leader John and all of the instructors were so helpful and knowledgeable. I really enjoyed that we were able to travel to 3 of the islands and see and learn so much of this beautiful area. Our chef Frank provided delicious meals all week long. It was a great week!
I have been going to Road Scholar programs for 15 years, and this certainly was one of the 3 best trips I have participated in. The scenery was beautiful, I learned so much that was new and interesting, the transportation, both land and sea, was excellent, and the whole experience especially delightful.
Great staff and meals. Interesting visits and presenters. Fun week.
What a wonderful way to experience the San Juan Islands and the local culture as well as some beautiful scenery.
Little is generally known about these islands and their rich history. It was fascinating to learn how they fit into the economy of our country as it developed.
The San Juan Islands are a treasure to be enjoyed.
Roughing it in style, is how I'd describe this program We got out into some rather remote areas but very comfortably. No fancy dress, no concert music but a lot of down-home experiences. The atmosphere of the tour complemented the surroundings.
It would be nice to have a slightly larger typeface!!
This is an amazing part of the country historically and in terms of its natural beauty. A wonderful experience as are all Road Scholar trips!
Exploring the San Juan Islands was fun fantastic and full of surprises; I highly recommend escaping to the islands for 6 days of adventure. J.T. October 2016
Island Hopping on the San Juan Islands was a wonderful introduction to the Pacific Northwest's beauty and diversity! The scenery was stunning, meals and accommodations were excellent, the company was exceptional! The tour guide was knowledgeable and personable and seeing the Orcas was a real plus! Loved all of it!
It was a new area for me and I learned a lot about the history of the San Juan Islands and its people of long ago.
A remarkable program. Quality of learning sessions was phenomenal! The San Juan Islands were on my 'Bucket List' for years...with good reason, a beautiful place...land, water and spectacular views across the water to Mt. Baker, Mt. Rainier and the Olympics. Enjoyed a whale watching afternoon (on our own) that completed the week perfectly.
If you have never been to the San Juan Islands consider a Road Scholar trip! It was the most wonderful travel experience we have had! The instructors were knowledgeable, passionate, and excellent presentors. The activities, accommodations and food terrific! You will enjoy it for sure.
This was a great program. Learned many new things, and it is a fantastic place to visit. Every day was such fun and a great learning experience. As most said , just another day in paradise. The presenters were all wonderful, and we learned so much. It was a joy to attend.
This was an informative and enjoyable experience and anyone who enjoys the outdoors should try a "Road Scholar Trip".
SanJuan Islands are a hidden gem. They are a must see
Road Scholar's San Juan Island-Hopping is a trip not to miss! I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing the Washington ferry system, in addition to experiencing the diversity of the three islands we visited. Leaders, lectures, food, and accommodations were great, too!
I enjoyed the ferry rides through the San Juan Islands. Tthe scenery is beautiful as you have views of both the Cascade and Olympic Mountain Ranges. The flowers were in full bloom on our trips and were just beautiful. We even sighted some sea lions on one of our trips,
The islands are most inviting and interesting. This was a delightful experience that I highly recomnend.
the program described it well
I highly recommend this trip to anyone who has an interest in Island hopping and seeing a very diverse area. The beauty of the Islands, the beautiful weather and absolutely lovely plants, sustainable living and cleanliness leads me to want to return again with gusto!
Great program, outstanding guides, nice pace - best way to experience San Juan Islands.
Wonderful time. I can't stop talking about it. I'd go back again but want to see other wonderful places in the US
Stunning beauty every day-forests, fields, farms and flowers abound. San Juan Island reminds me of a painting by a French Impressionist. Go there and be renewed.
We learned more about Salmon and their role with the Orcas!
This was an extremely enjoyable program. The speakers were excellent and subjects very interesting. Ferry rides to the different islands provided views of all the islands in the San Juans. Our leader, Kevin was knowledgeable, friendly, helpful to all and made the experience a week to be remembered.
Perfect weather, fun co-travelers and mind-blowing vistas all combined with great speakers for a perfect week. Thank you, Road Scholar!
Essentially a good, clear, easy to follow site. We've been attending Road Scholar adventures at various times over the years since you were Elderhostel. You continue to improve and expand - not sure how you manage to keep track of the multitude of programs. but do keep it up. They're great !!