Written with Help from Owner Shelley Sharp
If you’ve spent time in Friday Harbor, no doubt you’ve noticed four-legged visitors out and about with their owners. Whether crossing the street, at a park or beach, shopping for gifts, or enjoying a cup of coffee at an outdoor table, it’s very possible your neighbor donned a leash and collar. If you yourself don’t go anywhere without Sherlock and Watson, then you may have already scoped out San Juan’s dog-friendly shops and businesses. And, for those of you thinking of bringing Sadie along on a future visit, we asked our own Dogrector of Guest Services, Iggy, for some of his recommendations based on multiple trots around town. In no particular order, here are Iggy’s picks:
Best for Watching the Ferry Come and Go – Salty Fox Coffee
“Being a guy who likes to socialize and smell the ocean air, the Saltly Fox will let me lay under a table of their deck while mom and dad have a snack and iced coffee,” explains Iggy. “As long as I have my leash on and mind my manners, I can hang out to my heart’s content.”
Best to Get Out of the Hot Sun (or Windy Weather) – Griffin Bay Books
On a recent wet December day, when Iggy and owner were looking for shelter, they popped into Griffin Bay Books on Spring Street. “Is it okay for Iggy to come inside?” Shelley double-checked. “As long as he can read,” grinned the friendly clerk. Shelley likes to look at the recent best-sellers and travel books. “I like to go to the cookbook section,” Iggy shares. “The only problem is that the food photos make me hungry.”
Best if the Two-Leggeds Need Some Lunch – The Golden Triangle & Hermosa
”I love the smells just getting here,” says Iggy licking his lips. “Asian Mexican fusion works for me.” In a short alley accessed from First Street are two great spots to order a tasty meal, then eat outside at a shady bistro table. The Golden Triangle, with a weekday buffet Thai lunch, and Hermosa that serves tacos and burritos, are perfect choices for take out and then to hang out on a warm winter or summer day.
Best When Mom Needs a Shopping Fix – Deer Hazel & Be Chic Boutique
Signs in the window at both of these Friday Harbor shops that cater to well-dressed islanders and visitors exclaim, “Your Dog is Welcome!” And while Iggy is grateful for their non-discriminatory views, he is not a fan of tagging along. “Standing around while mom takes years to look at everything and go in the little room with the curtain is pretty boring,” he sighs. “Sure, I love sweaters as much as the next dog, but I really don’t care what color they are.” If it ends with a treat from the nice lady though, he thinks its worth it.
Best for Something Sweet
If you hate to tie your companion to a lamp post while you dash inside to get a sugar fix, then Sweet Retreat & Espresso is the dessert spot for you. With it’s outside walk up counter, and extensive selection of ice cream and more, you won’t have to lose sight of precious Pepe while satisfying your craving. Iggy concurs. “It’s all about strategy and placement,” he slyly shares. “If I sit nicely and look pathetic, I can usually catch a drip or two.” Or even better (he winks), “Get to lick the bowl.”
Best for an In-Town Picnic
If you have the makings for your own lunch, or want to pop by Market Chef on A Street, then Waterfront Park, just north Downriggers, is a happy hang-out. This picturesque green space has a number of picnic tables and, for humans, incredible views of Friday Harbor and the marina. Iggy likes that he can make acquaintances and catch a little culture. “I love to dance,” he says. “In the summer, the steel drummers and other music-makers help me get my groove on.” If you don’t already know the Catchy Canine Two-Step, Iggy would be happy to teach you.
Best Home Away from Home
Sure, he’s biased, but Iggy loves The Harrison House Suites pet-friendly rooms and cozy cottages at The Tucker House Inn. “I’m a road-trip veteran,” Iggy says. “I have slept in campgrounds, motels, Bed and Breakfasts, and fancy resorts. But I can’t think of a place I’ve felt more welcome — and you can’t beat the food!” Chef Jessica makes homemade dog bones for our four-legged guests but Iggy’s favorite treat is the pupcake with frosting. “I know I should savor the goodness,” he admits. “But I just can’t help inhaling it when I visit.”
Outside of Friday Harbor there are many wonderful walks and nature areas to enjoy with your own furry family member. Among Iggy’s favorite car outings are:
- Jackson Beach and “The Quarry” – Unofficial off-leash places to let Misty run, just a short drive from the Inn
- The trails at Jakle’s Lagoon and Mt. Finlayson – Head toward South Beach for spectacular walks to hidden coves and the highest point on San Juan Island
- Shoreline trail from English Camp to Westcott Bay – This in-and-out trail for less adventurous pups and their people has lovely water views along the way
- Roche Harbor Disc Golf Course – Park at the course and head with Buster down the forest service road for a loop walk in a fairy forest
- Mt. Young hike – Looking for a good amount of exercise in a short amount of time? This vigorous hike takes you from English Camp to the switch-back vantage point of the Brits
As a guest at the Tucker House Inn and Harrison House Suites, you have unlimited access to our free concierge service.
We are just a phone call or email away from finding out more about dog-friendly establishments, pet-sitting services and activities with your pet. Better yet, during your stay, ask for Iggy for his picks to best suit your needs.