Sylvan Cove - Decatur Island

Sylvan Cove is on Decatur Island, in the San Juan Island Archipelago off the coast of Washington state. Located in the sun belt, the island receives less rain than Seattle, and enjoys a sunny, moderate climate with summer temperatures generally ranging from the high 40's at night, to mid-70's daytime. In winter, the thermometer drops below freezing an average of only 15 days per year.

While Decatur is one of the largest of the San Juan islands, it is more remote than the major islands. There are no marinas, no grocery store or commerce, and the state ferries do not stop here. The island is much as it was in the early 1900's, including a one-room schoolhouse serving local children.

In this magical place, you'll feel the pull of the natural world. It's not uncommon to see eagles, goldfinch, kingfishers, loons, hawks, blue herons, juncos, pileated woodpeckers, song sparrows, thrush, wrens and more...on any given day. River otter, raccoons and mink live in harmony with the flocks of deer and wild sheep that roam the island, while on the water, seals, sea lions, dolphin and the occasional orca, gray, or minke whale are frequently seen.

On a warm summer's day, push your skiff a few feet off shore and gaze down. Beneath the clear emerald waters, you'll see purple starfish, sand dollars, anemones, the graceful dance of waving kelp and all manner of sea creatures.

The flora and fauna are equally stunning. Towering old-growth cedar, Douglas fir, hemlock, madrona, alder and maple fill the forest canopy, while wildflowers, sorrel, western buttercup, clover, yarrow, shooting star, larkspur, camas, licorice fern, Indian paintbrush, orange honeysuckle, woodland strawberry and white fawn-lily are only a few species that thrive in the lush understory.

If you seek a little more activity, access to the other islands is easy and convenient. The mainland town of Anacortes is 40-minutes away by private ferry, and Lopez, San Juan and Orcas Islands, each a short ride from Sylvan Cove by hired boat, enchant visitors with their many restaurants, shops, art galleries, and sights.

  • Madison Park
  • Paradise Road
  • Sylvan Cove
For general inquiries and reservations, please contact us at 360-468-3618 or at