K-Pod orcas seen from the shore; photo by Libby Baldwin

K-Pod Returns to the San Juans

Over the weekend, orca enthusiasts on the island were thrilled when several members of K-Pod were reported as inbound from an area to the north called Race Rocks. Sure enough, a couple of hours later they were seen making their way down the southern end of San Juan Island. Several whale-watching operators trailed them as […]

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The view from the Orcas Hotel of the ferry landing

Island Hopping – Visit Orcas Island!

Of course, there is no shortage of amazing ways to fill your days right here on San Juan Island…but the beauty of our archipelago is that each of our ferry-served islands (San Juan, Orcas, Lopez and Shaw) are all unique, and have their own unforgettable experiences to offer. This week, I’d love to share a […]

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Need Something To Do on a Cloudy Day on SJI? Here’s 10!

The sun is starting to make its triumphant reappearance here in the San Juan Islands! Thanks to the “rainshadow effect,” we enjoy an average of 250 or more sunny days every year, and receive only about half of the rainfall that our friends to the south in Seattle receive! The “banana belt,” as our area […]

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Charmed by Whales

 Anna Maria and Dave recently enjoyed a well-deserved vacation in Hawaii, and she shared with me the story of an incredible whale encounter that they had. As we approach the start of whale-watching season here on San Juan Island, I wanted to share it with all of you. We hope it inspires you to book […]

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Why Do You Travel?

We often hear a lot about the baby boomer generation, but what we’re hearing now is that they’ve got the travel bug. According to an article from NextAvenue.org, boomers spend almost $160 million every year on travel. There are several categories of travel that are becoming increasingly popular, and most of them are related to […]

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The Best Vacation Resource You’re Not Using

With the advent of the Internet, planning your entire vacation down to the hour has become easy, with online check-in, competitively priced booking websites, and readily available reviews of every hotel, restaurant and activity in any given place. But no matter how much careful planning you do, there will always be something you’re missing in […]

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Photo Courtesy of Captain Jim Maya

Update on our Orcas w/ Captain Jim!

The summer of 2013 was the worst summer in a long time for orca sightings, with the J-Pod whales being sighted only 27 times in our area between April and August. But the winter has been excellent, with lots of orca appearances in addition to an abundance of other amazing wildlife! Captain Jim Maya of […]

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Meet the Washington state Poet Laureate!

On January 29, Friday Harbor will welcome a very esteemed guest. Kathleen Flenniken has served as Washington’s Poet Laureate since 2012. She will hand the post over to a new Poet Laureate this year, but before she does, she wanted to make sure to visit every county in Washington. San Juan County is her last. […]

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Take in a Tuesday Night Film at the Grange This Winter and Spring!

Looking for a fun new way to pass a cold winter evening as we wait for spring to return? Try checking out a provoking film at the San Juan Island Grange! Every other Tuesday at 7 p,m., through winter and spring, the folks at the Friday Harbor Film Festival will be showing a selection of […]

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San Juan Island has some great spots for enjoying year-round tide-pooling. Marine Naturalist Brittany Bowles offers tips on getting the most from your excursion.

Tide Pooling on San Juan Island

Tide Pools can be a place of endless fascination and entertainment, for young and old alike. When the sea recedes on the rocks near the shore, it leaves little puddles of water, often home to delicate creatures that survive in both wet and dry conditions. They may hide under rocks or seaweed to protect themselves […]

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San Juan Island has its share of "characters," and this B&B Blogger particularly loves Cow and Pig

More San Juan Island Characters

What is it about small communities and islands that breeds “characters?” You find them in every small town, every remote enclave; they are the people who feel free to express themselves in whatever way they choose, and seem to be accepted – good, bad, or indifferent – as just another part of the whole. They […]

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On hot, summer days, nothing's better than rich, creamy ice cream; this Friday Harbor B&B has the scoop on where to find the best cone.

Favorite Ice Cream on San Juan Island

It’s a hot summer day, you’re enjoying a stroll through Friday Harbor, there’s a festive atmosphere in town; mmmm, ice cream would be a nice treat as you window shop or watch the boats in the harbor. But not just any ice cream; you want the rich, deeply creamy kind; so where do you go? […]

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Favorite Picnic Spots on San Juan Island

I adore picnics. Whether it’s an elaborate feast or a simple, impromptu meal, nothing compares with the charm of dining outdoors in nature. Nature’s rhythm and beauty lends an air of serenity to the repast, a feeling of peace and contentment that is not as readily grasped indoors. Decades ago, when visiting Martha’s Vineyard, I […]

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Photo by Jim Maya

What Time Do the Whales Come By?

“What time do the whales come by?” It’s a question we hear almost daily in the summer months. Yes, at first it seems rather ludicrous; obviously the whales don’t check in with us on their schedule. But we know what people really mean when they ask this question. They want to know if there is […]

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Back  row left to right: Wenda Shinall, Stephanie Prima-Sarantopulos, Leticia Cazares, Erin Dannelly, Anna Maria de Freitas, Molly Prima. Front row left to right: Janeth Lopez Carvajal, Elsa Prieto Lopez, Elsa Lopez, Beth Fricke, Haide Torrez-Lopez, David Pass

Inn Staff Plays Hooky

It always seems like winter goes by in a flash because there are so many projects to get done before the majority of our visitors arrive for summer fun. We enjoy pleasing our guests, helping them plan their visit,  and introducing them to our lovely island; but it is a cruel irony that those of […]

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Friday Harbor Picnic Cruise

Think you’ve seen and done it all on San Juan Island? Think again! Set out from Friday Harbor Marina in your private Duffy electric motor launch! Tour the harbor or undeveloped Marine Reserve Shoreline along China Cove, or head out to the UW Marine Labs and Point Caution. We’ll pack a cheese and fruit picnic with […]

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Family Fun Package

Bring the whole family and hop aboard your kid-friendly Hobie pedal kayaks. Head out to Turn Island State Park for beach combing and picnic, or pedal north to the undeveloped Marine Reserve shoreline, the UW Marine Labs and Point Caution for an afternoon of exploring. The next day, zoom across the tree tops on the […]

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Legacy Charters Ling Kings Compressed

Fish the San Juans Package

Sport Fishing is available year-round in the islands, and the knowledgeable captains at Legacy Charter know just when and where to drop the line. We’ll send you off with a tasty Snack Pack to munch on while waiting for the fish to bite. Have the captain filet your catch and use our house grills to cook […]

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Orca Sing 2012

Orca Sing 2012

  Saturday, June 16 Lime Kiln State Park, San Juan Island 7:00pm   Each summer the City Cantábile Choir, directed by Fred West, conducts a “musical celebration of the environment” at Limekiln State Park on San Juan Island. This annual summer solstice event is dedicated to the recovery of the resident orca population. The gathering […]

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Island Events For the Holiday Season

The town is always lovely in December, with storefronts decorated and lights twinkling everywhere. There’s no trace of the hustle and bustle of mainland cities – a peaceful calm fills the air, and there is truly a sense of joy everywhere on the island.

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