8 Rad Airbnbs in the San Juan Islands, Washington

by K.C. Dermody
Updated November 06, 2023

best airbnb rentals san juan islands washington
Photo: Airbnb

A visit to the San Juan Islands is like stepping into an entirely different world, away from the busy Puget Sound region. And getting there is part of the adventure.

The San Juans are accessed by a scenic ferry ride from Anacortes, or by a worth-the-splurge seaplane flight.

Of the three ferry-served islands, San Juan is the most populous in the archipelago. It’s home to the charming seaport town of Friday Harbor, which hosts museums, art galleries, unique shops and many farm-to-table eateries.

Orcas Island, the largest, is known for its tranquility and wealth of outdoor adventures, though the other islands offer plenty of that, too. Lopez, (a.k.a. the “friendly isle,”) is a favorite for those wanting to enjoy the simplicity of island life and escape some distractions of urban living.

Best Airbnb Rentals in the San Juan Islands

No matter which island you choose, the Airbnbs in the San Juan islands are beyond stunning, whether you feel like splurging for a lux getaway or prefer more of a budget stay. You won’t be disappointed.

Related Read: 10 Best Airbnbs Near Leavenworth, Washington

1. Orcas Sunset Retreat

Orcas Sunset Retreat airbnb
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: A spacious home with lots for both the kids and adults.

  • Location: Eastsound, Orcas Island
  • Sleeps: 9
  • Minimum stay: 3 nights
  • Rates from: $488/night

You’ll enjoy plenty of space in this luxurious home on nearly three acres. It’s ideal for a group of couples or friends traveling together, or a family who wants to bring some of the extended family members, too. It overlooks the Salish Sea, so you get sweeping water and sunset views from inside and outside the home. The secluded setting ensures plenty of peace and quiet for a stress-melting getaway.

Just a few of the other highlights include a huge backyard with corn hole and badminton, board games, a fire pit, and a hot tub. And you’re less than two miles from Eastsound, a charming downtown area that feels like a quaint New England village mixed with a PNW harbor town. Swing by the farmer’s market if you’re there on a summer Saturday.

“One of the best, if not the best, Airbnb experience I’ve had…oh my that view.”

Alex, San Francisco, CA

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Related Read: 10 Marvelously Unique Places to Stay in Washington State

2. Cabin on Hunter Bay

The Cabin on Hunter Bay
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: Remote tranquility (or a perfect cabin for sports fans.)

  • Location: Lopez Island
  • Sleeps: 8
  • Minimum stay: 2 nights
  • Rates from: $301/night

This log cabin on Hunter Bay is on Lopez Island, the perfect island for those seeking a slower pace of life. There are no major shopping centers here, but it is home to a handful of outstanding restaurants and cafes, a fantastic bakery, little independent shops, art galleries, a grocery store, and even a winery.

The view from this rental is absolutely breathtaking, with 270-degree vistas of the San Juan Islands and the sea from its prime cliffside position at the south end of the island.

While you might want to spend your days taking advantage of the outstanding fresh- and saltwater fishing, crabbing and even clamming, the cabin includes indoor entertainment. You’ll get not one but two 60-inch Smart TVs with Roku, a YouTubeTV subscription for local live stations, and all the top streaming apps. As the host notes, “subwoofers are ready for Sunday night football.” It’s definitely the best Airbnb in the San Juan islands if you’re a die-hard sports fan.

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Related Read: 9 Best Hikes in Washington State for Epic Outdoor Adventures

3. Orcas Island Getaway

Orcas Island airbnb
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: Minutes to Moran State Park and a ton of special extras.

  • Location: Eastsound, Orcas Island
  • Sleeps: 6
  • Minimum stay: 2 night
  • Rates from: $247/night

The Orcas Island Getaway @ Rosario has a great location and many impressive perks. No longer will you have to drive to a coffee shop when you need an early-morning espresso shot.

After a day of exploring (it’s super close to Obstruction Pass, Cascade Lake, and Moran State Park), there’s a hot tub with a peek-a-boo view of the water, as well as a rec room with a billiards table for a little friendly evening competition.

As guests frequently note, the hosts are incredibly thoughtful, providing fabulous personal touches like external batteries to bring on your hikes so you don’t have to worry about your phone dying. The TV has a sound bar and  portable speakers for the deck, which also has an outdoor dining set and stainless-steel BBQ grill. It’s a good San Juan islands Airbnb if you have dogs, since up to two are allowed in the home (with a pet fee, of course.)

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Related Read: 9 Amazing Lake Camping Sites in Washington

4. Eastsound Beach House

the beach house airbnb san juans
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: Soak in the hot tub with as bald eagles fly overhead.

  • Location: Eastsound, Orcas Island
  • Sleeps: 4
  • Minimum stay: 2 nights
  • Rates from: $308/night

The Beach House is a thoughtfully designed space along the waterfront that makes for the perfect romantic stay. It’s just minutes from the fantastic hiking trails around Moran State Park and Eastsound. While the inside is modern and elegant, the outside really shines, with a huge deck and lawn as well as a garden space that looks like a professionally manicured zen garden.

The master bedroom has its own private door to the deck and hot tub, and you’ll be able to swim and kayak just a few steps from the yard. And don’t forget about the sunsets – seeing those gorgeous colors splashed across the sky is the perfect finale to every day. It’s one of the pricier Airbnbs in the San Juans if you only have just two guests, but it’s truly a dreamy home.

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Related Read: 12 Best Cabin Rentals in British Columbia for a Great North Getaway

5. Water View Home

san juans wa airbnb
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: A five-star experience at a value price (and pet-friendly!)

  • Location: Eastsound, Orcas Island
  • Sleeps: 6
  • Minimum stay: 2 nights
  • Rates from: $267/night

The perfect place for a family who doesn’t want to spend an arm and a leg on a vacation (or leave their furry best friend at home), this three-bedroom house has a modern Northwestern design scheme and more than 2,000 square feet of open living space. There are views of the water from nearly every room.

“Beautiful place! Very clean, spacious and modern. Was very nice as a couple to stay and enjoy a private hot tub with a view.”

Katelyn, Kirkland, WA

It offers affordable luxury with lots of upscale amenities like a hot tub and an espresso machine. For six people, it’s one of the most affordable Airbnbs on the San Juan islands, which aren’t exactly known for being affordable.

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Related Read: The 10 Best Pet-Friendly Cabins in Washington

6. Madrona House

Madrona House airbnb
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: A roomy house with a private beach.

  • Location: Olga, Orcas Island
  • Sleeps: 5
  • Minimum stay: 4 nights
  • Rates from: $473/night

The Madrona House offers a serene setting in a quiet, remote location close to scenic trails, within walking distance to Obstruction Pass State Park and about a 20-minute drive to Eastsound. Look forward to dazzling views from nearly every room, including all three bedrooms.

The property overlooks Buoy Bay and has its own private strip of beach where you can watch for wildlife or catch sunrise and sunset. While the home has a very well-appointed kitchen, be sure to dine out at least once. The bistro at Buck Bay Shellfish Farm is popular restaurant focused on fresh seafood, along with healthy organic options that utilize the island’s bounty of produce. You might want to consider grabbing an ice cream from Clever Cow Creamery afterward.

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Related Read: 12 Charming Airbnbs In & Around Quebec City, Quebec

7. Waterfront Beach House

Waterfront Beach House airbnb
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: An affordable bungalow with beach toys and a private beach near charming Friday Harbor.

  • Location: Friday Harbor, San Juan Island
  • Sleeps: 6
  • Minimum stay: 2 nights
  • Rates from: $342/night

This spacious home is ideal for families who want to be near the activities and offerings in Friday Harbor but also want some dedicated space just to themselves – this San Juan Island Airbnb has a roomy yard on a private beach.

You can search for sea glass, launch your paddleboard or kayak (or borrow theirs), or just relax in the sun listening to the sounds of the water. But you’re just 1.5 miles from town for when you do feel like going out.

The price on this home can double on busy summer weekends, so consider a midweek trip to save some money if you have your heart set on staying here.

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Related Read: 12 Romantic Getaways in Washington to Take Your Sweetheart

8. San Juan Outpost

San Juan wa airbnb
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: A private cove for when a private beach isn’t quite enough.

  • Location: Friday Harbor, San Juan Island
  • Sleeps: 4
  • Minimum stay: 2 nights
  • Rates from: $230/night

If you’re a wildlife lover, you’ll definitely want to book the San Juan Outpost. Watch for orcas and other whales along with bald eagles, great blue herons, seals, deer, and much more right from the property.

“Lovely place in a great private location with an amazing view! We were lucky enough to see orcas 2 days in a row swimming by and some sea otters in the cove!”

Jason, Tacoma, WA

It’s in a secluded cove within a 15-minute drive of the ferry dock and Friday Harbor on the west side of San Juan – very near where the whale-watching boats come and go. You can walk to the sandy beach, kayak with wildlife, or hang out and grill on the roomy patio. It’s one of the most highly recommended Airbnbs in the San Juan Islands for people keep to see wildlife.

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