I recently got back from a rejuvenating weekend in the San Juan Islands. You may think this time of year wouldn’t be the best to visit the San Juans – I mean, it is stunning in the summertime, but I’m telling you, don’t sell this season short! I sure do love a glass of champagne in the hot tub when it’s chilly outside (don’t we all?). I had the loveliest time in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. This trip is so perfect for a couple or a solo traveler looking for a little solitude and rejuvenation.
You can’t really explore the San Juan Islands without taking a ferry and the main one leaves from Anacortes to take you to the other islands. This shot is of the ferry docking in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. This is the darling little island I stayed on and the ferry ride over is enchanting! Check out the ferry schedule from Anacortes here.
I had the pleasure of staying at the Bird Rock Hotel on San Juan Island and boy was it a treat! I stayed in the luxurious Marrowstone Suite and it came complete with a fireplace, private patio and hot tub, king bed and complimentary welcome bubbles.
Dinner at Black Fish Bistro was delightful. Pictured here was the highlight of the evening for me: Seafoood Risotto. Menu items include local seafood, bistro salads, gourmet sandwiches, steak pomme frites, a fantastic dessert selection and more. A charming atmosphere and very personable and attentive staff made this a very special experience indeed.
I give you the Blackened Fish Burger at Blue Water Bar & Grill in delightful Friday Harbor: Spicy Blackened Seasoned Alaskan Cod with Tartar Sauce. This was bomb! The seasoning on it is perfection. I highly recommend this sandwich.
It’s cold this time of year so bundle up and go for a little walk in Friday Harbor! This is the marina where all the boats are and the ferries come in. As a southern girl from a very landlocked city in central Alabama, I always get excited about boats! I literally walked around and took photos for hours. Case in point:
Just shooting on a chilly day in Friday Harbor… Don’t mind me… I love this beautiful place and all the boats.
Coho is an absolute must as far as culinary destinations go on San Juan Island. Let me first say, I had one of the best steaks of my life here: Grilled Painted Hills Beef Tenderloin with Mashed Potatoes, Sauteed Kale & Roasted Beets, Red Wine Demi, Caramelized Onion & Basalmic Compote. Cooked rare to medium rare of course (how else do you cook a good steak?!). Okay y’all, the steak was good but dessert was maybe even better! Decadent desserts include crème brûlée and a delicious chocolate with cream, not to mention a fantastic sherry flight (SWOON y’all!). Go here!
When you’re staying in Friday Harbor, you have to take a walk down by the marina at least twice a day and I did just that. Quiet morning walks here are just good for the soul and I promise they will leave you feeling oh-so-content!
Holy moly, y’all – this Braised Goat Sandwich at Cask and Schooner blew my mind and was my favorite thing I ate on San Juan Island. Just fall apart in your mouth goodness and amazing flavor come together to make this a perfect sandwich. It’s also right by the water, so it’s a perfect place to grab a sandwich or a beer (or both) and go for a walk in the marina.
When you’re on San Juan Island make sure not to miss the Lime Kiln Society Lighthouse, located on a 36-acre day-use park set on the west side of San Juan Island. The park is considered one of the best places in the world to view whales from a land-based facility. Orca whales are often seen in the waters off Lime Kiln. The park, which features a richly diverse environment, includes the remnants and landscapes of a history filled with change, along the rocky shoreline and through the wooded uplands.
Well, I didn’t want to say goodbye but I had to. And of course that means back on the ferry. No complaints, I had a blast in the San Juans and getting there was just as fun! Did you know they sell wine and Ivar’s clam chowder on the ferry? Just sayin’ y’all…