Get in touch with nature on Lopez Island

By | October 4, 2013

Known as the Friendly Isle because of its pleasant residents, Lopez Island is a 15-mile stretch of land that boasts nearly 65 miles of shoreline. To say it is a beach vacationer’s paradise would be an understatement. However, Lopez Island has a lot more to offer than beach combing. The island is a mix of forest and farmland, where peaceful bays and beaches mingle and the spectacular Cascade and Olympic mountains loom in the distance. Those who live here most likely know about all the wonderful attractions and treasures in Lopez Island, but for visitors, discovering all there is to see and do is part of the fun.

Spencer Spit

Spencer Spit State Park


Those looking for natural beauty need not look further than Spencer Spit State Park, a 138-acre marine park on the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Known for crabbing and clamming, Spencer Spit offers visitors a host of amenities, including groceries and kayak and bike rentals. There are several miles of hiking trails and beaches, perfect for bird watching, bonfires and wildlife viewing. A junior ranger is on site from Memorial Day through Labor Day to educate interested visitors in the natural history of the area.  For boaters Spencer Spit offers state park mooring buoys and good holding ground for anchorage.

Other locations not to be missed include a trip to Shark Reef Sanctuary, a low impact nature area that provides an opportunity to see nature up close on a pristine bit of land. Named after a nearby reef, this spot is perfect for seeing orcas, seals, and sea birds, as well as trail hiking and biking, though camping and fires are not permitted. A short walk brings visitors to the main part of the park, where rocky cliffs overlook the water and offer expansive views of the San Juan Channel and the Islands.

When you’ve had your fill of outdoor activities and it’s time to relax with a glass of wine or a meal, head to Lopez Village.  There you will find the Lopez Island Vineyards tasting room as well as a surprisingly wide variety of eateries.  Some of our favorites include The Bay, Vortex Cafe, and The Love Dog Cafe.  If you are looking for a tasty meal on the south end of Lopez Island give the Southend General Store and Cafe a try.

Watmough Bay, on southeast Lopez Island.

Watmough Bay, on southeast Lopez Island.

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