San Juan Islands, Washington, USA
© Stephen Matera/Tandem Stills + Motio
Islands of the Salish Sea
More than 400 islands and rocks make up the San Juan archipelago, which sits in the Salish Sea between the US state of Washington and Canada’s Vancouver Island. No bridges connect the San Juans to the US mainland, but four of the largest islands - San Juan, Orcas, Lopez and Shaw - are accessible via ferry. Tourists come here for the stunning coastal views, to catch a glimpse of resident orcas or try their hands at sea kayaking, cycling and hiking. One popular destination is the San Juan Island National Historical Park, established on 9 September, 1966 to commemorate the Pig War. That strangely named confrontation between the US and the UK was sparked, in part, by the killing of a pig in 1859. But it was really a dispute over ownership of the islands.