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If you’re wondering about how to get to San Juan Island from the mainland, I suggest taking the ferry from Anacortes. To get to San Juan Island in Washington, you have three choices–hop aboard a seaplane, hire a private boat, or take the ferry. We discovered that the ferry is the most economical way to get to San Juan. Taking the Ferry from Anacortes to Friday Harbor–The Background As we planned our road trip that included two nights in Seattle, a friend I worked with suggested we check out Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. I’d never heard of this area, but since we were considering taking a whale tour, and I discovered this was a popular place for orca-viewing, we made a plan to spend a day on the island. Knowing what I know now, a day is simply not enough time to enjoy all that San Juan has…

One of the places we visited while in the Pacific Northwest was Ruby Beach in Olympic National Park. We wanted to visit during low tide so we could maybe see some aquatic life in the nooks and crannies, and evening was the perfect time for our schedule since we had limited time in the area. For a first-time visit, we scratched the surface of Olympic National Park, and now we know we want to visit again someday. Earlier in the afternoon, we arrived in Forks, Washington. That’s right. The setting Stephanie Meyer chose for her Twilight books. We found some of the locations that inspired the different locations in the books, and we checked out the Twilight Forever exhibit in town. We had dinner in La Push (baby!) and even stayed in a Twilight-themed room at the Pacific Inn in Forks. To read all about that adventure, click here. But…

Mount Rainier National Park is one of the prettiest places we’ve ever visited. Though we only got a taste on our day trip from Seattle, Mount Rainier was certainly a highlight. Whether you have a day or a week, Mount Rainier National Park is certainly worth a visit. A Little History of Mount Rainier A very long, long time ago… According to archeological findings, Mount Rainier has been used in some fashion by native peoples for at least the last 9,000 years. Scientists and historians believe that people came to Mount Rainier to hunt and gather other necessary items for survival. People from the Cowlitz, Muckleshoot, Nisqually, Puyallup. Squaxin Island, and Yakama tribes still use the area for worship and other gatherings. In 1792, Captain George Vancouver, an officer in the British Royal Navy, spotted the mountain and named it for his friend, Rear Admiral Peter Rainier. Though people of…

The Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle may very well be my favorite museum I’ve ever visited. As I researched our road trip that passed through Seattle, I encountered information on this fun museum over and over. The more I read, the more I knew my family would love it. The Museum of Pop Culture, also known as MoPOP, celebrates all things that have become America’s favorite obsessions–movies, stories, video games, and music, especially Seattle’s influential music scene. The museum opened in 2000 as the Experience Music Project. Founded by Microsoft’s Paul Allen, this museum has undergone changes and rebranding over the years, including adding the Science Fiction Museum and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame at one time. The museum became its current incarnation in 2016. Along with viewing great exhibits, visitors can also create music and participate in other interactive activities. The museum also hosts film…

I’d always wanted to do a whale tour. As we were planning this trip, we were hoping we somewhere along the way, we could squeeze in some whale-watching. When a co-worker told me about San Juan Island, I knew this should be the place to take the tour. I’d never heard about San Juan, Washington, before, but the more I read about this special place, the more I knew we had to check it out. My only regret about San Juan is that we didn’t spend the night there. If you are planning to visit, I would certainly recommend at least one night on the island. We just didn’t realize how much time we’d want to spend there. Also, we initially booked a much smaller tour with another outfitter. It would’ve been a tour with a maximum of eight guests. When that tour guide told us he had to rebook…

I was not a Twilight fan. As we planned the road trip that eventually would include Olympic National Park, I didn’t know that Forks was the setting of the exceptionally successful book series and a string of movies. My oldest child read the first book several years ago, and we rented the first movie in which during the viewing, I’ll admit, I fell asleep. We continued to plan, and I realized we needed a place to stay that would be convenient to the Hoh Rainforest and Ruby Beach, two sections of Olympic National Park that were at the top of our list. Forks is a nice location for exactly that–Ruby Beach and the Hoh Rainforest are on either side of the small Washington town. It wasn’t long, however, until I realized what the town of Forks was famous for. Though I wasn’t a fan, I wanted to gather some Twilight information…

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