Phones and technology are such amazing tools and can help us with anything we need; but often it’s easy to start living life behind a screen. On your vacation here in the San Juan Islands, we want to make sure you have the option to unplug with no technology to weigh you down. Check out our tips to put away those devices – we promise you’ll be feeling like you never even needed them in the first place.
1. Watch the Ferries Instead of TV
Not many places use ferries as one of the only modes of travel, so take time to enjoy them even if you’re not on them! Head over to Friday’s Crabhouse across from the ferry terminal and head up to the rooftop bar. From there you can sit, sip a drink, and enjoy a nice lunch or snack completely unplugged. They offer a variety of seafood and burgers as well as grilled oysters on the half shell. It’s a fun, casual, experience. Stop by even if you’re only looking for a cocktail before dinner, all ages are welcome on the top bar. There’s long railing countertops that face the throat of Friday Harbor, front seat viewing to the nautical show.
2. Browse Through a Book Instead of Surfing on Your Phone
Griffin Bay Bookstore is one of the cutest additions to our little town. If you like books you’ll be able to unplug and find the one there for you. They also have a cafe so while you’re shopping you can grab an espresso. When you’ve found the right book, head down to the waterfront park. There are two almost hidden benches just down the grassy hill from the Port of Friday Harbor’s Fairweather Park, a perfect little reading nook. They are right next to the water so you can relax, drink your coffee, enjoy your book, and watch the boat traffic come and go.
3. Kayak at Night Instead of during the Day
Kayaking any time of day is a beautiful experience but you may get caught up with taking photos and videos. If you really want to unplug then why not go at a time when your pictures may not turn out? This way you will have no other option but to live fully in the moment and not behind a screen. We promise you will create a photo trove of memories instead.
Several outfitters including San Juan Outfitters and Outdoor Odysseys offer a bioluminescence kayak tour that starts around 8pm. The best possible way to view bioluminescence is by being on a boat at night surrounded by the water and the sky. You’ll see how amazing and crazy our world is as every stroke of your paddle leaves a glittering trail of lights behind it. Seeing something like that in person is more amazing than you could ever dream. The trails of light and the flickering look like something outside of this world. We also are fortunate not to suffer from light pollution in our night sky. This will allow uninterrupted view of the stars and our galaxy as you drift along a quiet sparking oasis.
4. Try Forest Bathing Instead of Hiking
Taking a hike is always a way to unplug but forest bathing is taking it a step farther. The idea of this traditional Japanese practice, that has recently gained large popularity in the US, is to essentially soak in the forest atmosphere. Forest bathing aims to bring healing through connection to nature and trees. The practice is said to enhance well-being, reduce stress and restore calm. The Tucker House Inn and Harrison House Suites actually offer it as a package to your stay. Your guide is Stephanie Prima, the owner of Move Into Mindfulness, a Holistic Health Mentor, Certified Qigong Instructor, and avid Forest Bather. As you venture into the forest, letting your senses soak up the energy of the forest, you will be relaxed, feel free, and not even think about your phone.
5. Watch the Embers of a Crackling Beach Bonfire Instead of a Movie
When you’re traveling, it can be easy to have an early dinner and then retire to your room and spend the evening in bed with a good movie. If you’re looking to change it up go to the beach instead!
South Beach at American Camp National Park is one of the longest beaches on the Island. It is a beautiful pebble beach filled with wildlife and drift wood; and the best part is it’s a beach where bonfires are allowed. Although it closes at dusk, in the summer the sun sets so late that you can easily make a nice night of it. There are fire pits already installed, or you may make your own on the beach as long as there is no fire ban. Spend your evening roasting marshmallows, watching the tides change, and listening to the quiet crash of small waves as they hit the beach. What better way to enjoy the island.
Here at the San Juan Island Inn Collection we like to make your stay as easy and hassle free as possible, enabling you to really unplug. We are happy to arrange any plans or adventures that you might be interested in. We are proud to recommend the great activity partners we work with . Let our complimentary concierge service help you disconnect so you will return home recharged.