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The San Juan Island from the Eyes of a Local

people at the shoreline at sunset
By Courtney Oldwyn published on December 5, 2016

Nobody knows a town better than those who actually live, work and raise their families there. Few of us are lucky enough to call ourselves a local of a place people always want to visit: the San Juan Island. We’re happy to share our little piece of paradise with the many visitors we have each year. Having a local’s perspective and insight into a place can be one of the most helpful parts of any vacation. Your innkeepers and staff members at The Harrison House are always ready to help you have the best stay possible!

So, on that note, here are a few things every visitor should do while in Friday Harbor, from a true local:

Jackson Beach Biking on San Juan IslandHit the Beach

Seriously, it’s why we live here and it’s probably one of the main reasons why you’re visiting. Locals spend a lot of time on San Juan Island’s many beaches, even in the winter months. Dress for the weather and you’ll be just fine! Our many beaches are the perfect way to experience island life. From summer beach bonfires, swimming holes and picnics to cold weather hikes, skipping rocks, and watching for whales.


If you drove onto the ferry, spend an afternoon just cruising around the island. Starting in the town of Friday Harbor, head to the South end of the island to the Cattle Point Lighthouse. From there, take in the 360 degree views out to the Olympic mountains and Lopez Island. Don’t forget to watch for foxes and the controversial bunnies that live on the south end. Then slowly make your way up the west side of the Island. Once you pass False Bay, go around to West Side road for some of the most incredible views and best whale watching on the Island. Once you’ve made it all the way to Roche Harbor, you can meander back toward town through the middle of the Island’s farming valleys and forests.

Take in a Sunsetwhales-and-sunset-sji

This is something all Islanders appreciate – watching the sun set into the ocean from one of the Island’s many viewpoints. In the summer, we locals love to watch sunset over a small campfire with a growler of locally made Island Hoppin’ beer. In the cooler months, we wrap ourselves in a blanket and catch an early sunset huddled up on a driftwood log. Try the San Juan County Park for some of the best sunset views around.

Get to Know our Island Community

The small, close knit island community is one of the many reasons we choose to live and raise families here. Visitors can get a true feel for island life at many of our local festivals and celebrations throughout the year. Experience a real small town county fair in August during the San Juan County Fair, an old fashioned holiday celebration and tree lighting in December and a traditional garden egg hunt at Easter.

Come Join us Soon!

Stay with us here at the Harrison House Suites which is part of the San Juan Island Inn Collection. We will ensure your stay is lovely any time of the year. When you join us for breakfast or it is delivered to you, be sure to ask our team members for recommendations of their favorite Island activities. Looking forward to meeting you soon or welcoming you back!


Courtney ~ Local Blogger for the San Juan Island Inn Collection

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