If you hail from a small town, people waving to you isn’t unheard of. But if you’re from the city, it can be a little unnerving. Lopez Island in Washington state’s San Juan Islands is known as one of the friendliest places on earth – the people waving to you are genuinely excited to see you and share their slice of heaven with you.
Lopez Island is about 15 miles long and has over 60 miles of gorgeous shoreline. The island is home to around 2,500 residents and is dotted with forests and farmland. Quiet, secluded coves and beaches strewn with driftwood make this one of the most beautiful places to relax. From the beaches, you can even see snow-covered Mount Baker.
The central village on the island has plenty of local shops, cafés, and diners, plus a bookstore, art and history museum, and even a library.
The beauty of the island and the quality of life it offers has beckoned residents from all walks of life, from writers and artists to farmers and fishermen. The gentle landscapes drew farmers from Scandinavia in the mid-19th century and these family farms bring a host of varied products to the island today, such as sheep, grapes, wine, and even kiwi fruit.
If you want to experience a true disconnect from city life and its many distractions, Lopez Island is the perfect place. Leave your common comforts at home. It’s the simplicity of life on an island that’s most enjoyable. What you won’t find on Lopez Island includes shopping malls, movie theaters, or public transportation. But this is the bliss of Lopez – unless you live on an island already, where else can you step outside your door and go for a walk on the beach? Watch native birds? Or simply relax with a good book as you kayak the tranquil waters?
If you’re the kind of traveler that enjoys solitude and self-directed tourism, Lopez checks all the boxes. This is the place where you can do it all or do nothing at all – it’s all up to you!