Shaw Island is a place that you might make up in your head. Have you ever thought of finding like-minded people who value both privacy and a sense of community, then living in harmony with them? Do you dream of a place where the weather is fine and there are walking trails and lovely beaches? Would you love having no traffic lights, very little traffic, and two lane roads where you knew the drivers of most every car? Do you long to be far away from the maddening crowd and separated from the rest of the world by…a moat, maybe, or a sea?
Discover the secret of Shaw Island, a step back in time. The population of Shaw hovers at close to two hundred people, rising slightly in the summer. Shaw Islanders, when creating their vision of the future in planning for growth did the exceptional for San Juan County: they chose not to have any tourist facilities. The ferry will take you to Shaw and it will get you to the mainland without those dreary lines of cars the other islands suffer.
When you arrive at Shaw you will find the welcoming and unique general store and small marina. The store carries local specialties as well as basic staples. There is a small eating area behind the stove. In front of the store is a long bench where people leave things for each other, gifts of special plant starts, packages from “the mainland,” and other surprises. There is a cat that will greet you as you wait for the ferry in the main landing area. Across from the store is a small kiosk to leave notices of meetings and messages. Now that you are on Shaw Island, you know that you are truly away from it all. You can stand at the ferry dock and see across the way to Orcas Island, just a five minute inter-island ferry ride. There at the Orcas ferry landing you will find a large grocery store, cafes, hotels, and commerce. You can go there whenever you like if you wish to remind yourself of what you have chosen to leave behind.