Written by Courtney Oldwyn.
Want to score major points with your special someone this Valentine’s Day? Since the holiday falls on a Thursday this year, a romantic weekend getaway to a scenic island with a picturesque small town is the perfect way to do just that.
Book a romantic suite for two at the Harrison House Suites here in Friday Harbor, Washington on San Juan Island and read on for some tips on how to have the perfect island weekend.
It’s Friday in Friday Harbor
Able to skip out on work on Friday? Make a reservation for the San Juan Island ferry online and head north from Seattle about two hours drive to the little ocean side town of Anacortes, Washington. Make sure to plan enough time to arrive at the ferry landing! It’s about 10 minutes from the heart of downtown Anacortes. You’ll want to be in line thirty minutes before your ferry’s scheduled departure.
Before hopping on the ferry make a stop at one of the area’s best restaurants, Adrift, in old town Anacortes. Featuring locally sourced meat, shellfish and produce this little restaurant is the perfect kick off to your romantic weekend. Try the Green Dragon Steamer Clams made with local Taylor Shellfish Farm’s clams – they don’t disappoint!
Once on the ferry bundle up and spend a few minutes taking in the fresh salt air on one of the outer decks. Take a walk around the entire perimeter of the ferry to get the full views of the North Cascades and Olympic mountains.
Keep your eyes peeled for the famous black dorsal fins of our local Orca pods. Though rare in the winter months, sightings do happen!
Time to get out of the wind and cool February weather. Buy a local beer or glass of wine from the ferry galley and settle in for the rest of the ride.
Hit the Town
During your first evening in Friday Harbor take the time to explore our little town just a couple of blocks from your cozy room at Harrison House Suites. Stop in at San Juan Brewery for a flight of island made beers before wandering over to Spring Street, Friday Harbor’s main street.
San Juan Chocolate Shop should be one of your first stops – it is Valentine’s Day after all! Try the dairy free coconut milk chocolate truffles for a special treat. Looking for a gift for your special someone? Friday Harbor has many creative and unique little shops. You’ll find everything from handmade art to boutique clothing and jewelry.
For Friday evening’s dinner you’ve got multiple options. Go casual with a beer and a burger at Herbs Tavern, an island staple, or try some of the best seafood the San Juan Islands have to offer at Tops’l Sushi and Seafood.
Saturday mornings are for enjoying one of the amazing breakfasts our chefs here at Harrison House whip up for our guests each day. For a look at our yummy breakfasts, check out our website at https://www.harrisonhousesuites.com/food-wine/. If you stay at our partnering Tucker House Inn Bed & Breakfast, you enjoy breakfast in our cafe!
The best way to spend a cool Saturday on San Juan Island is to bundle up and explore the island. At just about 24 miles long and 9 miles wide it’s not hard to see almost all the island in one afternoon.
Swing by Café Demeter (less than two blocks from Harrison House Suites and next to Coho Restaurant where you’ll want to make an evening dinner reservation to get in on their special Valentine’s Day dinner special) to pick up a couple of yummy pastries and maybe a bottle of wine for a picnic during your island tour.
Ask your innkeeper for a map of the island and set out on your little road trip. Hit the south end of San Juan Island first and then work your way up the West side. Take in the sweeping views out toward the Olympic Mountains. American Camp and English Camp are both interesting historical monuments to check out.
If you make it all the way out to Roche Harbor Resort check out the short hike to the Mausoleum, the burial grounds of the McMillan family who founded the resort. Grab one of Lime Kiln Café’s famous Roche Harbor donuts as a snack on your way back toward town.
Your Innkeeper at Harrison House Suites can set you up with a reservation at Coho Restaurant, one of San Juan Island’s best eateries and our own sister restaurant. The Chefs have a special dinner planned for this Valentine’s Day and are offering this “Valentine’s Gustatory Rapture” multi-course dinner all weekend.
Check out Coho’s full Valentine’s Day (and Saturday’s) menu at our website www.cohorestaurant.com.
Sunday’s Here Already?
A leisurely Sunday morning breakfast awaits you. Pop open a bottle of bubbly and enjoy room delivery and mimosas in your bathrobes. If you have time before your ferry departs, walk off your breakfast with a stroll all the way down Spring Street to the Friday Harbor Marina to look at the boats. Breathe in the fresh ocean air and take in the views of the harbor.
Grab a made to order sandwich from Spring Street Deli, right on Spring Street, as lunch on the ferry. Don’t forget the yummy chocolates you bought at San Juan Chocolates! Then cozy with one of the many puzzles left by other ferry goers. Relax and enjoy the smooth ride back to reality. We’ll see you soon!