San Juan Islands and Beyond

When we made it to Mt. Vernon Washington I only knew one fact: It’s located halfway between Seattle and Vancouver BC, two of my favorite cities, so it can’t be bad right?!?

mt vernon

To the West lies the town of Anacortes and the famous San Juan Islands and to the East is beautiful Mt. Baker and endless wilderness.  To say this region is filled with beauty and adventure would be a complete understatement!

Thanks to a climate similar to that of Northern France the city is known for its famous Tulip Festival Street Fair (not that we were in time for it).  There’s a neat historic downtown, a little Food COOP (grocery store), and a tasty local brewery. We spent a little time exploring Mt. Vernon because there was just too many other things to see and do!

I could do my best to inspire you with beautiful words written in flowing succession but I think our photos will tell a better story. To set the stage my father flew up for a short visit so it was like a mini family reunion, and with a guest to entertain we were determined to make the most out of his visit, so grab your hiking gear and join us (digitally of course).

camping san juan islands

We began our exploring with the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.  Along the way we found old growth forests filled with lush greenery; picked wild huckleberries off the hiking trails that were so sweet we couldn’t stop indulging; hiked to picture perfect ponds; and summited Mt. Shuskan for panoramic views of Mt. Baker. We finished our day at the North Fork Brewery in Deming with Perfect Brews and tasty pizza…a must after a long day of hiking!!!


Keeping the adventure in full throttle we drove to Anacortes and explored the drivable parts of the San Juan Islands. We didn’t take the Ferry due to cost and limited time, but there was more than enough to keep us busy for a day.  From famous statues, to mountaintop views, to the World Record holding Island on an Island at Lake Campbell, hiking across Deception Pass, and finally ending up at Eby’s Landing in Historic Coupeville the town preserved by the National Park Service and home to the original Seattle’s Best Coffee house. We finished our tour with a VERY local experience at Toby’s Tavern with fresh Whidbey Island Mussels and their own Parrot Head brew.

deception pass


san juan islands

One the way back to camp we decided to search out some live jams and we ended up at the Anacortes Brewery and the Rockfish Grill.  A 6 piece band packed the house and we gorged on yummy bar food and beer. If only every day could be this great!


We spent the week parked at the Thousand Trails Mt. Vernon Campground but to be perfectly honest we only slept there (besides the day we filmed)! The park was in good condition even though it was the last weekend they were open…and they gave away free ice cream! Take a peek at the video we created for the resort.

Needless to say a week isn’t nearly enough time to really explore it all.  If you’ve been to the Skagit Valley or the San Juan Islands let us know what your favorite spots are!  We need a list for our next visit.   Till then we’ll do our best to keep it between the lines.

Disclaimer: While we were compensated to film the campground (thanks Thousand Trails!)…all of our experiences and opinions are NOT purchased and are still our own.

Famous for my "how-not-to" videos, and typically the man behind the camera, sometimes I’m forced to be here in the “spotlight”. When you see my face you’re probably reading something more technical than adventurous, but either way I do my best to tell it like it is and infuse my opinions into the commentary…after all this is a blog and not MSN.

Comments (17)

  • Victoria Stewart

    Calico Cupboard in Mt Vernon is a must stop…vegan/vegetarian menu plus a drool worthy bakery

  • Roz

    Selling my house and excited to find new adventures. Enjoying your so informative articles, but I’m especially tickled by how your cats follow you on the trail and their comfort traveling. Alas, had to rehome my cats because they cannot even tolerate the 1 mile ride to the vet.


  • Washington Park(city owned) in Anacortes is one of my favorite places. It is just past the ferry terminal. They have a campground & Bambi & friends always seem to be out to say hello. Glad you are living the dream!

  • Rick

    San Juan Islands – Great place! Over the past few years we have traveled up there twice (from southern CA), and it is amazing. The first time we took the ferry over to Orcas Island, staying at Doe Bay. The 2nd time we ferried around some of the islands on our to Olympic National Park. – another great area.

    Another place we would like to go – with enough time to make it worthwhile – is Vancouver Island. Since it is largely so wild I think it would be great for boondocking. But that whole area of the US & Canada is fantastic and we cannot wait to go back.

    • We almost went to Vancouver Island while we were up there. we didn’t want to pay the steep ferry prices for only a week long stay. so we have to plan a longer trip! If you make it before us, let us know how it goes!

  • If you ever make it back to this neck of the woods, check out the Train Wreck Tavern in Mt Vernon. I swear it has the worlds largest Bloody Mary and some good food too. Heck they way they serve the Bloody Mary there is no need to order food.

    • Ha ha, we do love a good bloody mary…especially one that doubles as dinner! Thanks for the tip!

  • sandra mcculloch

    My backyard! (sort of, there’s a border in the way) Damn, can’t wait to sell my house and get out there!!!

  • paulvan

    Fantastic time!!

    Great company, beautiful scenery and fun places. Thanks again Nikki and Jason.

  • beautiful place and pictures, thank you for sharing .The video is linked to Mt Hood instead of mount Vernon, (fyi) so i searched for the Mt. Vernon video and found your other you tube channel so it was a win win:) Thanks for your efforst we love reading and watching your adventures.
    Ted & Judi

  • Kathy Cox

    Did you buy a new RV; if so, what kind?

  • Dawn Moore

    We love Toby’s! It was the first business in Island County to go smoke-free & folks in the County Health Dept. wanted to name the owner Health Hero of the Year! They chose someone else, unfortunately. We live on Camano Island–just wish it was a shorter trip to get over to Whidbey! Glad you enjoyed our corner of the world!


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