Lopez Island

Lopez Island is the first ferry stop on the magnificent ride through the picturesque San Juan Islands. It takes just 45 minutes to get to this most rural of the islands. Rolling hills and flat farm country lead to places like Lopez Village, the commercial hub of the island. Enjoy the scenery along Fisherman Bay as you stroll through shops, galleries and enjoy the good food at restaurants, the coffee shop and bakery. Take time to browse through the historical museum, the community center or stop at the Chamber of Commerce. Relax at the Lopez Village park.

Summer season the Famers Market attracts locals and tourists for it features not only produce from local farms but also the work of island artists and craftsman. Check out a booklet that lists the names of 27 different farms open to visitors. A few of them are Bay Hill Gardens & Farm, Crowfoot Farm, Horse Drawn Farm, Lopez Community Farm, Redgate Farm and Sweet Grass Farm. Many are listed under the names of the owners.

What do they sell? Veggies, herbs, fruit, berries, eggs, lamb, beef, pork and seafood. Wine lovers like to stop at Lopez Island Vineyards to taste their premium award-winning wines.

Mountain bikers, equestrians and hikers enjoy Lopez Hills Trails, a short drive from the ferry landing. The longest trails are named Cedars Trail, Rainbow Trail and Dojo Trail. There are five other trails, eight in all. Owned by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, this land is being kept as natural as possible for present and future generations.

Some public parks and beaches to check out are Agate Beach, Sgark Reef Park, Otis Perkins Park, Spencer Spit State Park, Odlin County Park and Upright Head.

A couple of seasonal annual events that delight tourists in the off-season are Tour Lopez and holiday lights. The bicycle tour takes riders all over the island to experience its magic and quiet beauty. The Winter Village Gathering (holiday lights) features a beautiful after-dark display of decorations and lights. Christmas carols are sung, cookies are available and hot chocolate warms people up.

Besides the scenic ferry ride, visitors can take a flight from the SeaTac Airport or a seaplane ride from Lake Union in Seattle to Lopez Island. Boaters easily find protected anchorage around the island, and there are some fine marinas. The climate here is a bonus with only 19 inches of rain a year compared to twice as much in Seattle. Known as the friendliest island in the bunch, say “hello” to everyone.

Thank you Shirley Dever for the information!