This verdant archipelago is clustered throughout the waters of Puget Sound between Washington and British Columbia. The number of islands in the San Juan cluster depends upon the tides, with a smattering over 700 peeking above the surface when the sea at its lowest. Of these, 172 are named, a few dozen are inhabited, and just four — San Juan, Orcas, Lopez, and Shaw — are accessible by public transport aboard the Washington State Ferry from Anacortes. On Lopez, gentle slopes are ideal for biking and you'll lose count of the number of locals who give you a friendly wave. Orcas' calm waters invite even beginning paddlers to explore the spectacular coastline from a kayak. In San Juan, Friday Harbor is where the action is, if you can call it action, with the largest collection of galleries, hotels, and restaurants. Lime Kiln State Park is considered one of the best spots to view the islands' three resident pods of orca whales.