Nature takes center stage at San Juan Passage. Eagles soar overhead. Herons high-step on tidal flats below, and Orcas cruise between islands. Surrounding San Juan Passage are five marinas, 12 miles of beaches, pristine fly-fishing lakes and 3200 acres of protected forestland and parks.
It's a short walk from San Juan Passage to the Washington State Ferry Terminal, where you can take your car, bike, kayak, or just walk-on to travel to the San Juan Islands or Sidney and Victoria, B.C.
It's a quick bike to the 220-acre Washington Park, a magical place with boat launch and picnic facilities and hiking trails that lead through sun-filtered forests to tide-pool beaches and high-bluff lookouts.
It's a quick drive to more than 3,000 acres of city-owned parks and forestland, with beaver ponds, eagle roosts, swimming lakes, a fly-fishing lake, flower-filled meadows and views atop 1,273-foot Mount Erie that extend north to 10,775-foot Mount Baker and south to 14,410-foot Mount Rainier.
A short stroll west from the amphitheater at San Juan Passage's Overlook Park is the Ship Harbor Interpretive Preserve, a protected wetland where birdwatchers catch hawks on the hunt and listen for the song of the Marsh wren. Bob Gilbane, Chairman of Gilbane Development Co., and a longtime member of the Nature Conservancy, is donating three acres to the preserve, and, through double impact fees, will help fund upcoming construction of an interpretive kiosk and wooden walkways.