• Lunch Daily: 11:30am
  • Dinner Daily: 4 – 9pm
Tags: Samish Bay Oysters

September San Juan Whale Watching from Boat and Shore

With the Oyster Bar’s guide to the best places to observe orcas in the San Juan Islands, you can organize a free trip yourself or book a whale-watching tour at a reasonable price. 

San Juan Boat Whale Watching Tours

According to San Juan Safaris, the sightings data collected for 20 years demonstrate a 90 % chance of seeing orcas in the high season, from June to September.

It is also a great time to see humpback and minke whales, Dall’s and harbor porpoises, sea lions, harbor seals and white-sided dolphins.

Whale watching tours start from Orcas Island, San Juan Island, or Lopez Island. The average prices range for a standard 3-hour tour is $ 109-139/adult.

You can find more details and pick the best tour operator on the Official Travel Site the San Juan Islands, Washington.

During this time, residential and migratory pods of orcas inhabit the waters and can be seen from many places. The following tips will help you to make your own whale-watching trip for free.

The Best Spots for Shore Whale Watching

Friday Harbor

Whichever the outcome of your San Juan orca quest, start or finish it at the Whale Museum, Friday Harbor. It boasts an impressive collection of artifacts related to whales.

With various educational sources – a whale gallery, museum, a gift shop – your whale watching experience will be more informed and enjoyable.

Lime Kiln Point State Park

Frequently nicknamed ‘Whale Watch Park’, Lime Klin Point State Park is situated on the hunting route of orcas who come very close to the shore while feeding with salmon. So there are many chances to see whales passing below from the rock cliffs.

Get the most from your visit and see other landmarks of the 41-acre park – the 100-year-old lighthouse and the remnants of the original lime kiln operation started 160 years ago when the surrounding area was quarried for limestone.

San Juan Island National Historical Park

With astonishing vistas of the ocean and grassland, San Juan Island National Historical Park is a must-visit place for hikers and landscape photograph enthusiasts. The Cattle Point Lighthouse constructed in 1935 is the highest and most beautiful spot of the park.

By walking along the bluff of the shore towards the end of the park’s windswept plateau, you will reach the lighthouse. In addition, the place is a comfortable platform for observing whales.

Westside Scenic Preserve

With 16 acres of spacious panoramic area, Westside Scenic Preserve is a natural gem itself. The preserve combines stunning field and marine landscapes.

Despite being the favorite haunting spot for local orcas, the Westside Scenic Preserve is a less-known whale watching spot. Yet, you can surely add it to your a must-visit places list in the Pacific Northwest.

Finish your day with a delicious local-style dinner  at the Oyster Bar. Make a reservation 360-766-6185!

It’s All About The Oysters

Local Oysters

It’s no secret that the Pacific Northwest is home to some of the best seafood the world has to offer. This undeniable fact is part of the reason that The Oyster Bar‘s proprietors, Guy and Linda Colbert, originally moved to the area. Since taking ownership of the restaurant in the early 1990′s the two have tirelessly sought to provide both top notch preparation of these marine delicacies as well as the most calming atmosphere in which to enjoy them.

Samish Bay

As our name might suggest, The Oyster Bar On Chuckanut Drive offers a variety of fresh, local Oysters. Located past the cliff and just beyond the restaurant is beautiful Samish Bay. If one were to happen upon the bay during high tide, it would appear deceptively deep. To wait just a few hours longer would be to reveal a hidden bounty, dutifully collected by the men and women of Taylor Shellfish Farm.


Taylor Shellfish Farm

Just below the cliff and directly off of Chuckanut Drive, Taylor Shellfish Farm provides The Oyster Bar with a wide variety of fresh, local shellfish on a daily basis. A trip to their Chuckanut Drive location yields not only spectacular views but the ability to handpick from the live dungeness crab, fresh mussels, and a wide variety of fresh oysters grown and harvested on site. If you’re lucking enough to pass by the area during the right year, and the right time, you’ll even get to see Oyster Creek full of spawning salmon.

Here at the Oyster Bar we are proud to be able to say that our mussels, clams, Samish Bay Oysters and Kumamoto Oysters come directly from Samish Bay. With the help of Taylor Shellfish Farm, we’ve been able to provide the freshest shellfish the Pacific Northwest has to offer.

If you find yourself travelling along Chuckanut Drive this summer, or simply need a break on a trip between Vancouver, B.C. and Seattle, WA, we’d like to recommend these fresh, delicious delicacies. And if you like what you find, you might even try stopping by Taylor Shellfish Farm to pick up a dozen or two from their on site retail shop. After all, it’s just a stone’s throw away.

Make a Reservation

Warm up by our fireplace. Call ahead to reserve your seat at the table! 360-766-6185


Featured Wine: Domaine Magdalena Cabernet Sauvignon

(Bin #1114 $87) This sophisticated, balanced Washington Red is everything a Cabernet from Red Mountain should be. It’s fine tannins accent the beautiful notes of blackberry, rose petal and earth. Domaine Magdalena is not only beautifully made but also thoughtfully made. The wine undergoes wild yeast fermentation, is unfiltered and is Demeter certified biodynamic. This wine can stand alone but would pair nicely with so many of our dishes including our vegetarian and wild game options.


For Your Favorite Foodies

Call Today for Your Reservation!

Call 360.766.6185

+ Closing times may vary seasonally so please call for a reservation if wishing to dine after 8pm.

+ It is our policy not to seat parties with children under 9 years of age unless our downstairs dining room is unoccupied.