Lopez Island is a small community with big personality. With perhaps the most rural feel of all the islands, it has been dubbed “Slo-pez.” Expect a friendly wave and a smile from every passing motorist and cyclist. With miles of shoreline, there is an adventure around every corner.
The cultural hub of the island, Lopez Village is about 4 miles out of the ferry terminal. Here you’ll find places to eat and drink; afterwards, stock up from the bakery, grocery stores, pharmacy and bookshop.
Scandinavian farmers settled on the island in the 1850s and farming remains part of the local culture. The island also is abundant with artists, musicians, and fishers. Every Saturday, a farmers market is held in the community center where you can pick up locally grown foodstuffs and art and craft items made by some of the many artists and craftspeople who call Lopez Island home.
The library offers an unusual service – they don’t just rent out books, but musical instruments as well.
While the village is a treat, the island’s real charm lies in the tranquility of the many secluded accommodations available on the island. Whether you’re looking to sleep under the stars or want the bed-and-breakfast experience, make sure to reserve as far ahead as possible to avoid being disappointed.
Although small in size, the island has eight county parks and one state park. Spencer Spit State Park is 138 acres of forest, sand and water with opportunities for clamming, crabbing, and beachcombing. Odlin County Park is another popular choice with boat launch, mooring buoys and 30 campsites.
Lopez’s relatively flat topography (compared to the rest of the San Juans) makes it a favorite for cyclists. If you didn’t bring a bike, no worries. Lopez Bicycle Works is the oldest bike shop in the San Juan islands, offering both rentals and repair services. They also have kayaks for rent as well.
Iceberg Point, part of the San Juan Islands National Monument, is a great hike, rewarding walkers with a panoramic view of the island and surrounding waters. Park at Agate Park and follow the signs to the peak. With luck, you’ll see whales breaching in the nearby waters.
Enjoy your stay and don’t forget to wave back to the friendly faces of Slo-pez.