Camping Holiday

9 Places to Go Camping or Glamping in the US for the Holidays

For seaside hiking and harbor activities, I’d book a luxury yurt on the charming San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington state.

Lime Kiln Lighthouse. A stormy day on San Juan Island, Washington State. Waves crash against the rocky coastline. Shutterstock

Head to San Juan Island off the coast of Washington state for whale-watching and seaside strolls.

Shutterstock/Edmund Lowe Photography


Friday Harbor is a charming seaside village located on the San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington state, and I think it makes for a beautiful Pacific Northwest escape with an abundance of outdoorsy winter activities.

Hiking in particular is exceptional here, in my opinion. One of my favorite hikes is Jakle’s Lagoon & Mt. Finlayson just outside of town — it’s an easy, 300-foot forest loop hike traveling to the top of Mt. Finlayson, which is the highest point on San Juan’s south end, with beautiful views of Cattle Point Lighthouse and nearby Lopez Island.

After hiking, I also think this is a special place to spend some time on the water. Here, you can go whale watching for wild orcas that live in the San Juan Islands year-round, or rent kayaks for a self-steered adventure or a guided tour. 

Friday Harbor also has plenty to do for a leisurely day in town, with local shops, a sculpture park, and several museums.

For visitors who want to be more immersed in nature, I recommend spending the night at Lakedale, a camping and glamping retreat just outside of town. Choose between rooms at the main lodge, log cabins, lakeside canvas cottages, or glamorous outdoor yurts with a full bathroom and private hot tub. 

Lakedale also has RV sites, which include electrical and water hook-ups, and the property has November through January specials for three-night minimum stays.