San Juan Island offers not only breathtaking nature and big-city culture, it also has fascinating history. The Tourists Hotel (today the cute Bird Rock Hotel), built in 1891, was one of the first hotels on San Juan Island and was very modern and high end for its time. It had indoor plumbing for all its rooms, a restaurant, pool hall and a bar. A travelling dentist provided dental services there, probably with anesthesia provided by said bar. Since the bar was for men only, a ladies’ reception room was also provided.
In today’s Bird Rock Hotel ladies are not only welcome everywhere, the cute historic hotel is also owned and operated by women.
Photo courtesy of the San Juan Historical Society & Museum, located in walking distance to the Friday Harbor ferry dock. The museum is home to the annual 4th of July Pig War Picnic, the Music on the Lawn Summer Concert series and the old-fashioned Christmas Celebration. Museum grounds consist of historic island buildings, including the first Friday Harbor jail.