Lopez Island is a small community with big personality. Having 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 heart of the island, Lopez Village, is about 4 miles out of the ferry terminal. The village has places to eat and drink, stock up on baked goods. There is also a grocery stores, pharmacy and bookshop.
Scandinavian farmers settled on the island in the 1850s and farming remains part of the local culture. Lopez Island is also rich with artists, musicians and fisherman. Every Saturday, a farmers market is held in the community center, putting the bountiful food, art and wares grown and created locally on display.
An artful and musical community, the local library even rents out musical instruments.
The island’s charm lies in the tranquility of the many secluded accommodations available, from bed and breakfasts, to camping under the stars.
Although small, 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 a boat launch, mooring buoys and 30 campsites.
Lopez’s relatively flat geography makes it a favorite destination for cyclists. Lopez Bicycle Works is the oldest bike shop in the San Juan Islands, offering both rentals and repair services. Kayaks are available to 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.
The friendly atmosphere of Slow-pez inspires visitors to leave their worries at the ferry dock, and stroll through the island with a smile.