Domestic Bliss: 9 Vacation-Worthy American Islands

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San Juan Islands, Washington
Danita Delimont / Getty Images9/9

San Juan Islands, Washington

It might be warmer elsewhere, but Washington State's San Juan Islands have all the fun. This is a place for paddling, along the short or in the open was from island to island: Lopez, Orcas, Shaw, and San Juan. Early summer is prime time for humpback whales on their way to Alaska, and orcas have been known to come close enough to be seen underwater as they forage and play in the kelp (so you'll want to paddle in a group, with a guide if you're inexperienced). Locally grown island food can be found at spots like Orcas Island’s Doe Bay Café, whose produce comes from their one-acre onsite garden, or dine at Hogstone’s Wood Oven, co-owned by Chef Jay Blackinton, who was recently named one of Food & Wine’s 2017 Best New Chefs. If you choose to pack your own picnic, toast the island sunset with a bottle of San Juan Vineyard’s Siegerrebe or Westcott Bay apple brandy. Stay overnight on a farm like Pebble Cove Farm on Orcas or Midnight’s Farm on Lopez.

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