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Washington

"Itinerary 3: Wildlife Adventures - Whale Watching/Nature Cruise San Juan Islands


Day 1: Mount St. Helens & Wolfhaven (100 miles)
Day 2: Nisqually Wildlife Refuge & NW Trek (75 miles)
Day 3: Issaquah/Snoqualmie Falls, Padilla Bay National Marine Reserve (110 miles)
Day 4: Whale Watching / Nature Cruise San Juan Islands

Day Four: The San Juan Islands

The Whale Museum:
Educates about whale watching guidelines and the Islands’ famous resident orca whales and their cousins. Orcas, now on the endangered species list, are also Washington State’s official marine mammal. Approximately 85 orcas make their home in the San Juans with most sightings, typically, occuring from May until the end of September. Some of the world’s best shore-based whale watching occurs here. Orcas can be seen near the shoreline, most easily from the west side of the Island at South Beach, Lime Kiln Point State Park (also known as “Whale Watch Park”) or from San Juan County Park. Another popular option is to opt for a com-mercial whale watching tour with onboard marine naturalists. Other wildlife to watch out for include porpoises, seals, sea lions, and occasionally humpback, minke and gray whales. On land, watch for red fox and bald eagles. Migratory birds, including trumpeter swans, winter on lakes and wetlands. Transient and indigenous species make this one of the best wildlife viewing areas in the world.
Lunch: Salish Lodge

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Aerial Shot of San Juan Islands
OAerial Shot of San Juan Islands

Orca Pod, San Juan Islands
Orca Pod, San Juan Islands

   
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Source: Washington State Tourism; magazineUSA.com
Last modified: 20080822
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