This time of the year is about romantic love. Celebrating love, believing in love, longing for love, deepening your love, committing to love. San Juan Island is one of the most romantic places on the planet and the perfect spot to tie the knot. I should know, I did so myself. So did Hannah & Kate. Their friends made a wedding video so tender, so beautiful, it gets me every time. But that’s not all, it’s also a very picturesque guide on how to have a simple outdoor wedding on our beautiful isle. Read more and watch the video in this article from our friends at the Bird Rock Hotel.
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Why not give the gift of spending quality time together? Experience the adorable coastal town of Friday Harbor on gorgeous San Juan Island this February. Laugh and be silly together, have a romantic, candlelight dinner and a rejuvenating couple’s massage. Want some more ideas? Check out these Insider Tips for a Relaxing Valentine’s Day in Friday Harbor from our friends at the Earthbox Inn & Spa.
The cute coastal town of Friday Harbor, just 65 miles and a stunning ferry ride away from Seattle, is the perfect setting for a romantic weekend getaway. Charming restaurants, shops, galleries, boutiques and museums line the streets of this perfectly walkable gem. It’s the basecamp to San Juan Island adventures like beach-combing, birding, hiking, biking, kayaking and whale watching. A place to celebrate love and nature and good food, prepared with care from island grown ingredients. Here are our favorite Friday Harbor restaurants, which serve not only outstanding food, but are also so romantic, you might want to pop the question (all over again).
1) Vinnie’s Ristorante
Romantic Vinny’s serves classic, gourmet Italian dishes with an emphasis on fresh, local seafood. Don’t miss the Drunken Manila Clam appetizer from the local seafood farm, served with a to-die-for Vodka-cream sauce. Rediscover your Italian favorites, like Puttanesca or Penne Primavera and leave room for the best Tiramisu you’ll ever had.
Insider Tip: Visit right when the restaurant opens to pick the most romantic table and feel like you own the place.
2) COHO Restaurant
Located in a cozy Craftsman House, this amazing Farm-to-Table restaurant will indulge all of your senses. Chef Ryan sources the finest local ingredients from land and sea and creates truly awe-inspiring concoctions, you might find too beautiful to eat. COHO is open on all holidays and features themed Chef’s Dinners regularly. Reservations are a must.
Insider Tip: Treat your Sweetie to their Valentine’s Gustatory Rapture, a 5-course meal, paired with the perfect wines and sparklies, raw oysters and of course chocolate and roses.
3) Back Door Kitchen
Tucked behind the ferry overflow parking lot, where you least expect it, you will find the Back Door Kitchen and its lovely gardens. This adorable island oasis serves local, organic food with an Asian twist and outstanding specialty cocktails. Back Door is open seasonally between March and December.
Insider Tip: Reserve an outside table in their garden. They have heat lamps for chilly evenings.
Deadman Bay on the Westside of San Juan Island got its ominous name from the isle’s turbulent past as a smuggler’s haven. In the late 1880, Ben Ure and his motley crew, smuggled illegal Chinese laborers in burlap sacks – to avoid detection from US Customs – from Canada to the US. When Customs came into sight, he threw the immigrants overboard. Some didn’t make it. The current washed them up at Deadman Bay.
Today the beautiful crescent shaped bay with the best tide pools on the island, is a popular rest stop for kayakers, day hikers and beach combers alike. Visitors can often observe whales, otters, seals and seabirds.
~ Photo courtesy of Don Price.
You know how they tell you on an airplane to put the oxygen mask on yourself first before helping your kids? Makes sense, right? So why do we feel so guilty when we care for ourselves first any other time? Here is the thing, if you don’t take care of yourself, there will come a time, when you won’t have anything left to give. Selfcare isn’t selfish. Selfcare will fill your emotional coffers, alleviate stress, clear your mind and make your body feel good…thereby giving you more to give to those around you.
The adorable former fishing village of Friday Harbor on San Juan Island is truly a sight to be seen during the holiday season. The shops, restaurants, galleries and hotels are all decked out in holiday finery to light up the long dark nights. The Earthbox Inn & Spa with its beautiful gardens puts on an especially bountiful display each year. Take advantage of their amazing Winter Specials and check it out yourself.
Above photo was taken by talented, local photographer Chris Teren.