Fall is our favorite time of year. The island takes on a slower rhythm and this year’s Indian summer couldn’t have been better. We never tired of each day’s spectacular sunrise followed by a sunset that was even more colorful and vivid than the previous. There was a bright blue sky day after day without a cloud to be seen. There was a winter chill in the air.
The 7th annual Savor the San Juans featured gallery walks and visual art festivals; farm parades and tours; farmer’s markets, 3 for $30 and special event dinners; and theatre, concerts and other performances throughout the islands. The first annual Bite of the San Juan Islands, the last Sunday of October, paired local chefs and restaurants with food producers under the same roof at Brickworks. For $2, $4 or $8, you could savor local bites and libation from more than 30 restaurants, distilleries, breweries, wineries and other producers. If you needed to work off your over indulgences of too much savoring or sipping, there were plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy – hiking, biking, and whale watching and kayaking.
Day tripping to other islands is another favorite fall pastime. You can catch an afternoon interisland ferry, have time for a hike and dinner on one of the neighbor Islands and be back in time for a night cap on San Juan Island. We were lucky enough to spend an afternoon on Orcas hiking Turtleback Mountain the first week of November. The San Juan Preservation Trust has been expanding the trail system and each visit we explore new side trails. There are many new benches for a picnic lunch or to take in the majestic views. You can see evidence of the Gary Oaks restoration project on the site as well. We worked up a perfect appetite for dinner at the Inn at Ship Bay. We enjoyed a leisurely dinner before heading back to Friday Harbor for the night.
The 2nd annual Friday Harbor Film Festival was another rousing success. The down town was quite a buzz November 9-11 with film makers, producers, volunteers and audience members vying to screen more than 40 documentaries available each day from 10 am – 10 p.m. Due to overwhelming audience demand, the festival serendipitously extended a fourth day to repeat a few screenings of the most popular films.
We hope you now agree that fall is the best time to visit!