10 San Juan Island Father's Day Ideas for the Best Dad in the World

Updated May 2017

He taught you how to swim and how to ride a bike. He got you that smelly hamster and didn’t complain (too much) when it escaped. He put you through school and helped you move about twelve times and this Father’s Day he is in for a real treat from you!

Here are 10 ideas for every budget to make this Father’s Day unforgettable.

1)  Flight Lesson

Get Dad an introductory flight lesson with Westwind Aviation. Have him fly a Cessna Superhawk over the islands, handling all the controls from take off to landing. You can come with and film his face looking like a little boy, or just wait at Ernie’s Café for your hero to return.

2)  Salmon Fishing

Salmon season starts July 1. King Salmon, the most majestic among the species, can grow up to 130 lbs but are most commonly between 25 and 30 lbs. Book Dad & the gang an unforgettable fishing trip on the Cedar Fishing Charters. And don’t forget to mention to Capt. Carter to drop a couple of crab pots on the way out. 

3)  A Round of Golf

San Juan Golf & Tennis Club, home of the Celebrity Golf Classic, situated on stunning Griffin Bay with views of magnificent Mt Baker, features a beautifully manicured 9-hole golf course with alternating tee boxes that convert into a long and challenging 18-hole experience. Treat Dad to a round of Twilight Golf and a drink on the patio of the Greenside Grill.

4)  A Massage at the Spa at Earthbox

He is gonna frown and will try to find some way to give it back to you. Then he will give in, because he loves you. Then he will want to do it again and again. Pamper Dad with a delectable massage at The Spa at Earthbox, to relax and rejuvenate the body that carried you on his shoulders during long hikes when you were little.

5)  Dinner & Bonfire at South Beach

Fetch some fresh crab, halibut or oysters from the Friday Harbor Seafood Co, a houseboat down at the Port of Friday Harbor, get some charcoal and a couple of salads at Kings Market and head to South Beach. On San Juan Island’s longest beach you will find numerous grills, picnic benches and two bonfire pits. Grill for Dad while watching Orca whales, seals and otters swim by. Then sit around the bonfire and listen to stories from when he was your age.

6)  Nerd-Out on History

Does your Dad read every interpretive sign on the side of the road, pick up all pamphlets in National Parks, and read out loud from the guide book? Yeah, mine too. Indulge him for the day and explore the rich history of San Juan Island together. Learn why San Juan Island belongs to the United States (and not Canada) at British and American Camp. Climb the restored Lime Kiln at Lime Kiln State Park and learn about the island’s early economy. Tour early settler’s homes and the island’s first jail at the San Juan Historical Museum. Or look for Native American arrowheads in the dunes above South Beach.

7)  Distillery Tour and Dinner at Roche Harbor

Take a tour of San Juan Distillery a mile from Roche Harbor and taste their award winning ciders and apple-based spirits. Don’t leave without a bottle of Spy Hop Gin and Apple Brandy for the bar at home. Then head over to Island-Certified-Local McMillen’s Dining Room in historic Roche Harbor Resort for an elaborate, waterfront dinner.

8)  Kayak with the Orca Whales

San Juan Island is considered the best place in the world to sea kayak with the Orcas in the wild. Come see for yourself. Treat Dad and yourself to a 5 hour Whale Sanctuary Tour with the San Juan Outfitters for a once in a lifetime experience.

9)  Birding

San Juan Island is a bird and birding paradise. We have a pair of nesting bald eagles for every mile of shoreline, more than any other place in the US.  We are home to virtually all American waterfowl, hawks, owls, pheasants, wild turkeys, woodpeckers, bluebirds, hummingbirds. Over 300 different species call the islands their home. Bring a pair of binoculars, a birding book and a picnic basket. Head to Cattlepoint Lighthouse in the south or Mt Young in the north and watch our feathered fiends with Dad.

10)  Zip Line Tour

Do you want to hear Dad scream like a little girl just once? Go zip lining with Zip San Juan. Fly through tall Douglas Firs and Western Red Cedars, over wetlands, ferns and an otter inhabited lake. You’ll both feel like kids, we promise.