18520
Washington
Island Hopping on Three of Washington's San Juan Islands
Enjoy art and nature, learn about orca whales, visit a salmon hatchery, discover museums and immerse yourself in history and tradition as you explore the San Juan Archipelago.
Rating (4.85)
Program No. 18520RJ
Length
7 days
Starts at
1,399
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7 days
6 nights
16 meals
6 B 5 L 5 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Seattle
D
Hilton Garden Inn Seattle/Renton

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.

DAY
2
Hibulb Cultural Center, To San Juan Island, Island Life
Friday Harbor, San Juan Island
B,L,D
Earthbox Inn & Spa

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.

DAY
3
Island History, Friday Harbor Museums, Meet Local Artist
Friday Harbor, San Juan Island
B,L,D
Earthbox Inn & Spa

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.

DAY
4
Orcas Island, Creative Spirit, Salmon Restoration
Friday Harbor, San Juan Island
B,L
Earthbox Inn & Spa

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.

DAY
5
Wildlife, San Juan Island Excursion, Evening Music
Friday Harbor, San Juan Island
B,L,D
Earthbox Inn & Spa

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.

DAY
6
Lopez Island, Native History, Sustainable Farming & Living
Friday Harbor, San Juan Island
B,L,D
Earthbox Inn & Spa

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.

DAY
7
Program Concludes
Friday Harbor, San Juan Island
B

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!






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