Top 10 Off-Season Activities
There is always a reason to visit Friday Harbor and San Juan Island. It offers spectacular beauty any time of year. Because Friday Harbor is our county seat, it is more likely to be bustling during the quiet season. Here are ten reasons to visit… okay, we have a little more than 12 here as well!
1. Wine Tasting
Just outside Friday Harbor is San Juan Vineyards, a family-owned winery that offers Chardonnay, Estate-Grown Siegerrebe, Madeleine Estate-Grown Siegerrebe and Madeleine Angevine, Riesling, “Afterglow“, Merlot, Cabernet-Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Mona Vino (the last one is affectionately named after the island’s only resident camel). Tour the winery, participate in tasting, and join their wine club. Or purchase a bottle of Washington state produced wine at one of our many casual and elegant restaurants on the island.
2. Culinary Exploration
During the summer months, you have so many great restaurants to choose from you might wish to sample appetizers at one, entrees at another and dessert at yet another! Or just plan to spend enough days on the island to indulge in each of the delicious fares. Pacific Northwest cuisine, oriental dishes, and a variety of deli’s exist to delight your palette.
3. Museum & Gallery Tours
If you love art and learning, you will stay busy on San Juan Island. Visit the San Juan Island Museum of Art’s Sculpture Garden for a truly unique experience. At the Whale Museum, you will find much more than a static display of whales, it is an organization committed to the preservation of orcas, the stewardship of whales and the Salish Sea environment.
4. Visit the Lavender Shop
Pelindaba Lavender is open year round in down town Friday Harbor. The shop contains essential oils, handcrafted personal products, and much more.
Open year round, this Island Jewel offers fresh from the Island cuisine.
A trip to San Juan Islands is not complete without learning about the infamous Pig War, a little known conflict between the USA and Great Britain that started over a pig’s death in 1859 and was not settled until 1872. Visit American Camp and English Camp for an interesting view into the politics of the time. Friday Harbor is steeped with history as well.
Yes, you can do that anywhere! But a true romantic knows that the right kiss at the right time at a spectacular place can be a memory of a lifetime. Friday Harbor has some places that are so famous for kissing they ended up in a book about the Best Places to Kiss in the Northwest!
8. Cuddle up in Front of a Fire
Whether you are with your sweetheart or a novel you have been longing to read, Friday Harbor ’s cool summer evenings and winter rainy days give you the perfect excuse to turn off the cell phone, shut down the email, and build a cozy fire in your suite at the inn. Lose yourself for hours wrapped in a warm blanket, gazing into the fire or into that special someone’s eyes.
9. Enjoy Local Music/Plays/Festivals
Friday Harbor people love music, food and culture. We have two thriving theater companies, and we use any excuse or holiday to have a parade and eat! Check with your innkeeper a couple of weeks before your trip about which plays and festivals will be happening when you are on the island.
10. Relax in a Hot Tub
Relax those muscles and especially that brain as you ease into island time while soaking in the hot tub. A glass of wine, a fantastic sunset, and the world is yours again.
11. Enjoy Precious Family Time
Get away from the routines, the soccer practice, the piano lessons and the minivan for a few days! Bicycle around the island, go to a small town play, stroll along the docks and admire the big boats. Reconnect with your family in a laid back atmosphere.
12. Bird Watching
Looking to add that Rhinoceros Auket to your birding life list? Or perhaps you would like to stand on a shore and watch bald eagles dip and turn in the sky above you? San Juan Island is home to many species, from finches to shorebirds. Bring your binoculars!
For even more information on all the great San Juan Island attractions and activities, be sure to download our Free Vacation Guide!