At least, you can explore it as fast as one of Susie’s Mopeds will take you, a recommended 25 mph maximum. Less than a 10 minute walk from the dock where Kenmore Air seaplanes pick up and drop off passengers, this local rental service offers a variety of options. Our two favorites include the mopeds and Scoot Coupes.
As a little inspiration for your day out and about, we’ve compiled a moped-island road trip filled with fun things to do, eat and see.
Before you take off on your adventure, we recommend popping into Café Demeter for a pastry or five. (It’s happened. We’re not ashamed.) Made in-house daily, the croissants are flaky and buttery. The Danishes are regularly stuffed with cheese and blueberries, but sometimes appear with peaches or pears. When available, the lemon turnovers are out of this world. And if you’re looking for something a bit heartier, they often have a variety of quiche that you can order room temperature or warmed. (Like we said, we’re not ashamed.)
Pick Up Your Ride
Susie’s Mopeds is directly across the street from Café Demeter. It’s a small shop where you can pick up your rental and receive a brief how-to on road safety.
Insider Tip: If you plan on renting a moped, pack a backpack. It will be easier to ride with.
Say “Hi” to Mona
Head north out of town on Roche Harbor Road to the lush green valley where Mona the Camel can be seen grazing away. You’ll frequently find her with her friend Lisa, a shaggy lama. Say hi. Snap a picture or two. But, “Please don’t feed them,” says owner Steve King.
Insider Tip: Mona and Lisa live just across the street from the San Juan Vineyards historic tasting room. Housed in an 1895 schoolhouse, this boutique winery is known for their Madeleine Angevine and Siegerrebe – two aromatic and brilliant whites that come from the surrounding 30-acre vineyard.
Explore the Sculpture Park
Keep driving north, over a few hills and past a series of lakes, to the San Juan Island Sculpture Park. Founded in 1998, the sprawling 20-acre grounds feature more than 150 installations. Butting up against Westcott Bay, the park offers five different walking paths which allow you to explore as little or as much as you would like.
Insider Tip: The entrance to the San Juan Islands Sculpture Park butts up against the entrance to Roche Harbor Resort. There you’ll find the Lime Kiln Café. Located beside the marina, its deck-seating offers stunning views of the water. The menu is scrumptious and the doughnuts are out of this world.
Try the Cider
Less than a mile from the Roche Harbor Resort dock – the spot where you probably just enjoyed lunch – two retired University of Wisconsin-Madison professors play with apples in a converted barn. Suzy and Hawk Pingree, owners of San Juan Island Distillery, originally set up shop to make apple brandy. But because brandy needs a minimum of three years to age, they began tinkering with ciders and gin. The results are amazing – in large part due to the couple’s commitment to sourcing exceptional island ingredients. Stop by. Taste, tour and learn about the process.
Insider Tip: Continue west past the tasting room to White Point Road, where you’ll want to hang a left. Westcott Bay will be on your right and the apple orchard that initially inspired Suzy and Hawk will be on your left.
Watch for Whales
Keep heading south along the coast to Lime Kiln Point State Park (aka Whale Watch Park). The iconic Limekiln Lighthouse is well-known as one of the best places in the world to view whales from the land.
Head Back to Town
Susie’s closes at 5:00 PM. Head back to town so you can turn in your motorized piece of freedom and grab a bite.