Let’s compare the San Juan Islands with Sequim. If you’re planning to retire to the great Northwest from California or Arizona or Texas, you’re undoubtedly looking for a milder climate, but what else are you looking for? Your online search may lead you to the beautiful islands of the Northwest outside the Seattle metropolis, the San Juan Islands. So how do we compare the San Juan Islands with Sequim?
Compare the San Juan Islands Weather
Sequim has annual rainfall of 16.2 inches while Friday Harbor on San Juan Island has annual rainfall of 28.2. That means the San Juan Islands get 12 more inches of rain annually. Sequim is famous for its Blue Hole or Rain Shadow getting one-third the rainfall of Seattle. The San Juan Islands are just a little beyond the Blue Hole. The temperatures in the summer and winter are similar. Sequim recorded the warmest temperature of 94°F in 2007, and Friday Harbor recorded the lowest temperature of -8°F in 1950. In both places most of the time summer temperatures are in the 60s and 70s, and the winter temperatures in the 40s and 50s.
Compare the San Juan Islands Accessibility.
Living on San Juan Island means access to the mainland is by ferry only. The ferry trip is one hour and five minutes one way. That takes you from Friday Harbor on San Juan Island to Anacortes. From Anacortes to Seattle is one hour and 30 minutes, if you’re not driving in rush hour traffic. You may want to plan additional time for potential ferry or driving delays. Sequim is a two hour drive from Sea-Tac or a two and a half hour drive from Seattle, or you can take the Bainbridge ferry, which is one hour from Sequim and a 30 minute ferry ride to downtown Seattle. Sequim has Highway 101 access in all directions. Depending on your personal preferences for travel, this is an important consideration when you compare the San Juan Islands and Sequim.
Compare the San Juan Islands Shopping.
The islands are fairly remote when it comes to shopping. Residents who want to shop will need to go to the mainland for most shopping. Sequim is fortunate to have a number of major stores, including Safeway, QFC, J.C. Penney’s, Home Depot, Petco, Costco, and of course Starbucks. Both San Juan Island and Sequim have boutique shops. Sequim is a 50 minute drive from Silverdale, which has a large mall and lots of shopping. When you compare the San Juan Islands and Sequim on shopping, most women will clearly prefer Sequim.
Compare the San Juan Islands Recreation.
Both the San Juan Islands and Sequim boast extraordinary recreational opportunities on the water, and on that level they are probably equal. Sequim is blessed with the Olympic National Forest to the south and hundreds of miles of hiking trails in old growth forests. From Sequim around the Olympic Peninsula are plenty of inland fishing and hunting opportunities.
Compare the Sailing and Boating
The San Juan Islands have plenty of sailing and boating opportunities, but Sequim and Port Angeles have plenty of surface water and sheltered bays, too. This may be a wash in terms of comparison, but Port Angeles does have substantially more maintenance facilities and equipment repair facilities along the Port Angeles Marina than the San Juan Islands by an order of magnitude.
Compare the San Juan Islands Real Estate Prices.
San Juan Island real estate prices are much higher than Sequim’s. A home that is $1.6 million in the Islands may be half that price in Sequim. Here are the search results for a 3 bedroom+, 2 bathroom+, 1,600 minimum square foot home in both locations, listed from the most expensive to the least expensive:
San Juan Island Homes for Sale
Sequim Homes for Sale
Port Angeles Homes for Sale
The Best Sequim MLS Site
Luxury Waterview Homes On the Islands
There is no doubt the northwest is one of the most beautiful destination retirement areas in the entire country. If you have questions about any of the homes on these lists, email me at ChuckMarunde@gmail.com or simply call me on my cell at 360-775-5424. Of course, one of the best things anyone could do to compare the San Juan Islands and Sequim is to spend a little time in both locations.
Last Updated on September 14, 2015 by Chuck Marunde
I was wondering t if there are any clear, clean lakes for swimming in the San Juans or Olympic peninsula. I actually do like cold lakes, so that’s ok. Also, some additional sunshine, and less rain sounds nice with Sequim, but also looking for green lushness in the landscape, so can you recommend a place that might have a little more moisture than Sequim, but not as much as Seattle?
Nancy, there aren’t very many lakes that are warm enough to enjoy swimming regularly on the Olympic Peninsula, nor are there on the San Juan Islands. On the opposite side of the state around Spokane, there are dozens of warm swimming lakes in the summer. We do have a hot springs out past Lake Crescent, and there are some hot springs up in the Olympic National park if you don’t mind a miles long hike. Sequim has an Olympic pool at the YMCA. As for the Strait of Juan de Fuca, it’s too cold to swim in for most of us.