• Tail Travelers

Dog-Friendly Washington | San Juan Island

Have you ever visited a place that you immediately felt connected to? My first visit to San Juan Island was an instant love connection and has continued to hold a special place in my heart. San Juan Island is a true hidden gem and absolutely beautiful. It is a wonderful place to explore, breath in the vitamin sea and relax. All members in the family will have loads of fun, including your furry family members. Below are some of our favorite places to visit, savor and stay on the island.

TRANSPORATION Getting to the island is half the fun aboard the Washington State Ferry. Reservations are recommended and make sure you arrive early. You can catch the ferry to San Juan Island from the Anacortes Terminal. Pets are welcome on the ferry, but there are restrictions on where they are allowed. Please check out the pet policy before making your reservation.


We love to camp on the island when we visit. Our favorite place to camp is San Juan County Park. Reservations for summer camping are recommended and begin on March 5. The park sits on the west side of San Juan Island and in my opinion has some of the most spectacular views. Keep an eye out for the local wildlife. I have had the pleasure of seeing otters, seals, deer, fox and Orca Whales. The campground does have running water and bathrooms, but no showers. If you are looking for a hot shower, I recommend heading to the Friday Harbor Marina. They have coin showers available for you to use.

If you are not interested in camping, you might want to consider staying at the Earthbox Inn & Spa. Pets are welcome as much as the humans are. They have treats, food and water stations and a pet area for your pooch. There is a $15.00 pet fee per night.


South Beach is a drift wood scavenger’s dream. If you are like me, you can spend hours looking for the perfect piece of drift wood. Dogs must be leashed, but it is a wonderful place to take in the sea breeze and views. Jackson’s Beach is close to town and is a great place for you to do some beachcombing and enjoy a picnic while your pups head in the water for a swim.


Eddie & Friends Dog Park is a wonderful off leash dog park just outside of Friday Harbor. This park offers an area for both small and large dogs. There is fresh water, toys, benches, and plenty of shade on those sunny days. Looking for doggie day care or overnight boarding? Check out the Animal Inn or Paw Spa & Resort. You can be at ease knowing your dogs will be well taken care off while you are enjoying a day exploring the island.


San Juan Islands Sculpture Park is a great place to see art is a nature setting. Dogs are welcome and can be off leash if behaved.

Pelindaba Lavender Farm is a must stop. Pets are allowed on leash, but must remain outside the fields. They have an array of products to purchase including pet care products. A stop at the lavender farm would not be complete without getting a taste of their delicious lavender ice cream and dog biscuit. Everyone in the family will walk away happy.

Kayaking is a MUST activity while visiting the island. Spend a day on the water while learning about the Salish Sea and your chance to see the local wildlife and marine mammals. Two of my favorite outfitters is Outdoor Odysseys and Crystal Seas Kayaking. I have done day trips with both outfitters and LOVED every minute of it. They even have multi-day tours available as well if you have more time. Hopefully you will get lucky and be able to see Orcas in their nature habitat.

San Juan Vineyards has some great wines to try and dogs are allowed on leash. They have a charming old school house that serves as their tasting room. Cheers!

Lime Kiln Point State Park is located on the west side of the island and is a wonderful place to enjoy a hike, picnic lunch or simply enjoy the sunshine and spectacular views. This park is a great spot to do some whale watching from the shore. Dogs are allowed at the park and must remain on leash.

San Juan Island Distillery has some of the best cider and gin you will ever taste. The distillery is cute, quaint and the team there is so lovely and make you feel so welcome.

No visit is complete to the island, without a stop at The Whale Museum in Friday Harbor. You will have a chance to learn about the Southern Resident Orcas that call the Salish Sea their home. You can bring small dogs into the Whale Museum as well.

RESTAURANTS (Dog Friendly)

Market Chef has an incredible food selection and delicious. There is outdoor seating on the patio or take your food to go and have a nice picnic along the water.

Roche Harbor Resort has a varitey of restaurants to choose from. We like to take our meal to go and sit on their beautiful patio overlooking the marina.

Friday’s Crabhouse is a great place to grab a drink and some food while overlooking Friday Harbor.

Mike’s Café and Wine Bar has a lovely front patio that you and your pup can enjoy. You will be able to sip on some northwest wines and beer while enjoying a plant based meal.

Waggin Tails, Happy Travels!

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© 2023 Krista Kirkeeide

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