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Lime Kiln State Park

Also known as Whale Watch Park, this diving site is one of the best places in the world to view wild orca pods from the shore.

Lime Kiln State Park offers a splendid opportunity to see orca pods in the wild and with activities such as diving and bird watching it is easy to see why sightseers are so enamored with the park. Bring the family for a day trip to this scenic spot and if you are staying on the island, don’t miss your chance to photograph the panoramic view of the setting sun over the ocean.

Lime Kiln State Park was established in 1984 after the Coast Guard handed over the area to Washington State Parks. Previously, it was a quarry where kilns were built to burn limestone and produce lime, explaining the park’s industrial name. 

One of the top attractions in the park is Lime Kiln Lighthouse. Head there first to learn more about orcas, seals and porpoises before trying to spot them in the wild. Naturalists are usually on hand to offer guidance. Follow the path and check the lighthouse’s reader board and see when orcas were last spotted. Bring a picnic and don’t be in a hurry, because it may be a few hours before they pass by. 

The park has a rich environment of nature and a rocky shoreline. It is a marine preserve, so no fishing is allowed but scuba divers with their own gear can wade in and explore the subaquatic landscape and colorful fish. See if you can find rockfish, wolf eels and the occasional octopus. The best time to dive is during low tide, just take care on the steep, rocky entry.

The 36-acre Lime Kiln State Park sits on the western shore of San Juan Island and is open year-round from early in the morning until dusk. It is a 20-minute drive from Friday Harbor on the east of the island. Admission is free, although parking costs a small fee. Restrooms are available at the entrance and dogs are allowed on a leash. 


Top Hotel Deals

See all 144 properties near Lime Kiln Point State Park
Snug Harbor Resort
Snug Harbor Resort

Snug Harbor Resort

1997 Mitchell Bay Rd, Friday Harbor, WA
     
    2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated in Friday Harbor, this hotel is 2.6 mi (4.1 km) from San Juan County Park and within 6 miles (10 km) of English Camp and Lime Kiln Point State Park. Wescott Bay and San Juan Island National Historic Park are also within 6 miles (10 km).

    Earthbox Inn & Spa £212
    Earthbox Inn & Spa

    Earthbox Inn & Spa

    410 Spring Street, Friday Harbor, WA
       
      2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in the heart of Friday Harbor, this spa hotel is 0.3 mi (0.5 km) from Whale Museum, and within 9 mi (15 km) of English Camp and Lime Kiln Point State Park. San Juan County Park is 10.1 mi (16.2 km) away.

      Trumpeter Inn £167
      Trumpeter Inn

      Trumpeter Inn

      318 Trumpeter Way, Friday Harbor, WA
         
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated near the airport, this bed & breakfast is within 2 miles (3 km) of PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center, San Juan Historical Society and Museum and San Juan Islands Museum of Art. Whale Museum and Shaw Island are also within 3 miles (5 km).

        Bird Rock Hotel £172
        Bird Rock Hotel

        Bird Rock Hotel

        35 First Street, Friday Harbor, WA
           
          2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in the heart of Friday Harbor, this spa hotel is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Whale Museum, and within 9 mi (15 km) of American Camp Visitor Center and English Camp. Lime Kiln Point State Park and San Juan County Park are also within 12 mi (20 km).

          The Orca Inn £106
          The Orca Inn

          The Orca Inn

          770 Mullis St., Friday Harbor, WA
             
            2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated in Friday Harbor, this motel is within a 15-minute walk of San Juan Islands Museum of Art and Whale Museum. Shaw Island and San Juan Island National Historic Park are also within 6 mi (10 km).

            Friday Harbor Suites £167
            Friday Harbor Suites

            Friday Harbor Suites

            680 Spring Street, Friday Harbor, WA
               
              2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated near the beach, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of San Juan Islands Museum of Art and San Juan Historical Society and Museum. Whale Museum and Shaw Island are also within 2 miles (3 km).

              Inn to the Woods Bed and Breakfast
              Inn to the Woods Bed and Breakfast

              Inn to the Woods Bed and Breakfast

              46 Elena Drive, Friday Harbor, WA
                 
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated near the airport, this bed & breakfast is within 6 miles (10 km) of Whale Museum, Wescott Bay and San Juan Historical Society and Museum. San Juan Islands Museum of Art and San Juan Islands Sculpture Park are also within 6 miles (10 km).

                Tucker House Inn £179
                Tucker House Inn

                Tucker House Inn

                275 C Street, Friday Harbor, WA
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated in Friday Harbor, this beach bed & breakfast is within a 10-minute walk of Whale Museum and San Juan Islands Museum of Art. San Juan Historical Society and Museum and Shaw Island are also within 2 miles (3 km).