People flock to the Pacific Northwest for a reason.
Each year, the picturesque Pacific Northwest attracts tens of thousands of visitors from around the globe. From the snow-capped mountains to the San Juan Islands, western Washington offers scenery to suit all tastes. There’s simply no better backdrop for watching wildlife.
The areas surrounding our departure locations boast some of the best scenery in the world.
Our departure ports are strategically positioned across western Washington to provide the best wildlife viewing opportunities available, but each location also boasts breathtaking scenery typically seen only on postcards. Whether sailing from the rugged Olympic Peninsula, the world-famous Puget Sound, or throughout the charming San Juan Islands, you can be assured of views found nowhere else on earth. Snowy mountain peaks, evergreen forests, and mirror-like seas are just the beginning. Around every turn is an opportunity for the photo of a lifetime!
Areas of Interest
Make the most of your visit by taking time before or after your whale watching tour to explore some of the iconic locations below.
San Juan Islands
Located in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountain Range, the San Juan Island archipelago receives nearly 250 days of sunshine a year. While the four main islands of San Juan, Lopez, Orcas, and Shaw are accessible through the Washington State Ferry system, many of the 172 named islands remain mostly uninhabited with pristine coastlines and undisturbed wildlife. As the tides change, so does the landscape.
The relatively undeveloped Olympic Peninsula is the “Wild West” of Washington. The Hoh rainforest receives nearly 14 feet of rain each year giving rise to lush green vegetation. The jagged Olympic Mountains are typically capped with snow even in summer months, providing remarkable vistas at any time of year. Carved by glaciers, the brilliant blue Lake Crescent is also not to be missed.
Fidalgo Island is home to Anacortes, considered the homeport to the San Juan Islands. At 1,273 feet, Mt. Erie is the highest point on the island and offers sweeping panoramic views from the summit, which is accessible by both hiking trail and road. Connecting Fidalgo Island with Whidbey Island to the south is the dramatic Deception Pass Bridge. Completed in 1935 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the bridge is one of the most photographed sites in all of Washington State. Visitors can stop and cross the bridge by foot or continue on to Deception Pass State Park for a great vantage from below.
Hurricane Ridge, part of Olympic National Park, is easily accessible from Port Angeles and is known for hiking, skiing, snowboarding, and most importantly, unparalleled views. Nearly a mile high at 5,242 feet, snow can be found on the trails as late as July. Named for the intense winds that blow through the ridge, especially in winter, Hurricane Ridge does have a softer side – in spring and early summer, much of the snow melts giving rise to fields of wildflowers.
Learn more about the area’s wildlife and scenery.
The waters surrounding our three departure locations offer some of the most diverse whale and wildlife viewing on the west coast. Onboard each of our tours, an experienced naturalist helps identify all of the whales, wildlife, and rich history that this area holds