Roche Harbor

Hello, fellow adventure-seeking families! If you're looking for a perfect getaway that combines natural beauty, fun activities, and family-friendly amenities, Roche Harbor in Washington is your dream destination. As a mom of three energetic kids aged 14, 7, and 4, I can confidently say this charming spot on San Juan Island offers something for everyone. Here's our guide to making the most of your trip!

#### Getting There

First things first, getting to Roche Harbor is an adventure in itself! We flew on a short seaplane ride out of Kenmore, which was an exciting start to our trip. The kids were thrilled with the unique experience of taking off and landing on water. You can also take a ferry from Anacortes, which is a scenic 1.5-hour drive from Seattle, or other boats. The ferry ride offers breathtaking views and is another fun way to start your journey. Keep your eyes peeled for orcas and other marine life!

#### Where to Stay

Roche Harbor offers a variety of accommodations to fit any family’s needs:

1. **Roche Harbor Resort**: This resort is fantastic for families. It offers hotel rooms, quaint cottages, and spacious condos. We loved the convenience of having a kitchen in our condo to prepare meals for picky eaters!

2. **Camping**: If your family loves the outdoors, consider camping at nearby San Juan County Park. The park has campsites with stunning waterfront views, and it’s a great way to immerse yourself in nature.

#### What to Do

**1. Exploring the Harbor**

Start your day with a leisurely stroll around Roche Harbor Marina. The kids will love watching the boats and seaplanes come and go. Don't forget to check out the historic lime kilns and the iconic Hotel de Haro.

**2. Whale Watching Tours**

San Juan Island is famous for its whale watching. Book a family-friendly tour with one of the local operators. My kids were thrilled to see orcas in their natural habitat – a memory they will never forget!

**3. Hiking and Nature Walks**

For active families, there are several easy hiking trails nearby. We particularly enjoyed the trail to English Camp, a historic site with beautiful views and plenty of space for the kids to run around.

**4. Lime Kiln Point State Park**

Known as Whale Watch Park, this is one of the best land-based whale watching spots in the world. There’s also a lighthouse and picnic areas, making it a perfect spot for a family outing.

**5. Beach Time**

Don't miss a visit to one of the island's many beaches. South Beach is great for a family picnic and beachcombing. My youngest loved collecting shells while my older kids explored the tide pools.

**6. Arts and Crafts**

Roche Harbor has several art galleries and shops. We had a blast creating our own souvenirs at the local pottery studio, where the kids could paint their own pieces.

**7. Local Eats**

For family-friendly dining, head to Lime Kiln Café for their famous donuts and hearty breakfast options. For dinner, Madrona Bar & Grill offers a great menu with plenty of choices for both kids and adults. If you’re there in the summer, don’t miss the sunset ice cream social at Roche Harbor Resort!

#### Tips for a Smooth Trip

1. **Pack Layers**: The weather can be unpredictable, so bring layers to keep everyone comfortable.

2. **Book Activities in Advance**: Popular tours and activities can fill up quickly, especially in peak season.

3. **Bring Snacks and Drinks**: While there are dining options, having snacks on hand is always a good idea with kids.

4. **Plan for Downtime**: With so much to do, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement. Make sure to schedule some downtime to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

Roche Harbor is a gem for families looking to connect with nature and create lasting memories. Whether you’re watching whales, exploring tide pools, or simply enjoying the serene environment, there's something here for everyone. I hope this guide helps you plan an unforgettable family adventure to Roche Harbor!

Happy travels,