The San Juan Islands are often called the “jewels” of the PNW, and also right outside of Seattle with the best spot to watch orca whales. I had never seen a whale before. But apparently the San Juan Island is considered the best place to view orcas because of the salmon migrate up and down the west coast of San Juan island. Im not 100% sure about the accuracy of this but a local we talked to said that there is no “best” time to whale watch out there cause they are there basically all day. We took out a bottle of wine and a little cheese plate, a little blanket and our binoculars. We watched and relaxed as the sun sat.
Regardless of whether you are bringing your car on the ferry, it is best to be at the Anacortes ferry parking lot 1 hour prior to the ferry departure (not to be confused with the time of your tour departure) In July and August arrive at least 1.5 hours prior to the ferry departure if you bring your car across.