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© Courtesy Shearwater Adventures - Orcas Island

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Country: San Juan Islands, Washington

Travelers can access this scenic Northwest archipelago by ferry, but for a truly memorable entrance, book a seaplane from Seattle on Kenmore Air. You’ll take off from Lake Union, fly just under the Space Needle and arrive within an hour. Each island is charming, and hopping between them is a breeze from the port cities. On the eastern side, year-old Island Inn (from $200; 123 West; 877-512-9262) in bustling Friday Harbor (where you can also whale watch) is a LEED-certified condominium-style property. On the northern side, Roche Harbor Resort and Marina (from $250; 248 Reuben Memorial Dr.; 800-451-8910) offers condo rentals. For a more secluded experience, try glamping (read more about glamorous camping here) in canvas cabins at Lakedale Resort at Three Lakes (from $169; 4313 Roche Harbor Rd.; 360-378-2350) or relax at tranquil Turtleback Inn (from $260; Crow Valley Rd.; 360-376-4914) on Orcas Island, a working farm overlooking 80 acres of farmland and forest. Book the Orchard House for mountain views. You can also bike through Lopez Island or set out for a Shearwater Sea Kayak tour.

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