The San Juan Islands are some of the most picturesque in the entire country. San Juan Island is the second largest and most populous in the group. 

It’s a cool place to visit because of its true natural beauty and friendly small town feel. And, it’s one of the best spots for whale watching in the country. 

At the far end, only a few miles from the Canadian border, you’ll find Lime Kiln Point State Park. In this post, we’re going to share all the unique things about Lime Kiln Point that make this park such a unique place to visit. 

Things to Do

There are two primary activities that people visit Lime Kiln to see, the lighthouse and whales. Both are pretty cool in their own rights, so let’s cover each individually. 

Lime Kiln Light

Lime Kiln lighthouse on San Juan Island, Washington, USA

The light was first established on the point back in 1914. It was the last major lighthouse built in Washington State. By 1920, an extension added a 38-foot tower. In 1962, the Coast Guard automated the lighthouse, removing the need for anyone to stay there and man the light. 

Today, visitors can see the area around Lime Kiln Light as part of the park. Or, you can take a tour offered by the Friends of Lime Kiln Light that run May to September on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. Check the schedule for exact dates.

Whale Watching

Now the big attraction of the park is whale watching. Lime Kiln Point happens to be perfectly situated near common feeding grounds and pathways of Orcas, Minke whales, and Grey whales. And the deep water that surrounds the Western part of the island means the whales can get very close to the shore. 

It’s no wonder Lime Kiln State Park is often right at the top of lists of the best state parks in the country. 

Get lucky, and you’ll see Orcas and whales breaching and playing from only 20 feet away. To say it’s amazing is an understatement; This is one of only a handful of places in the world where you’ll be able to see whales in the natural habitat so close to shore. 

Getting There

Sunset over Lime Kiln

Lime Kiln State Park is on the Western side of Washington State’s San Juan Island. Unless you live on the island, there are only two ways to get here, by ferry or plane. Passenger ferries (some allow you to bring your car) run from Seattle, Vancouver Island, Canada, and other points along Puget Sound. The trip can take anywhere from 2-4 hours depending on your launch point and ferry speed. 

Flights, including seaplanes, and ferries arrive at Friday Harbor, on the Eastern side of the island. From there, it’s only about a 20-minute drive to Lime Klin State Park. 

This is a truly unique spot that is still really a hidden gem. So taking the time to plan a trip to the San Juan Islands is going to be worth it. You’ll make some amazing memories!