Press Releases

Find recent press releases below. For previous years, please contact us. Members of the media and film industry may reach Communications Manager Amy Nesler at (888) 468-3701 ext. 6 or by emailing her at amy@visitsanjuans.com.  

FRIDAY HARBOR, WA… “We are not makers of history. We are made by history.” -Martin Luther King, Jr. When we say “History Lives Here,” it is to bring attention to our island community’s often somewhat hidden, or at least not broadly remembered, rich local history. In typical years we celebrate with guided walking tours, history talks, displays and other events that bring the history of the islands to life. This year, however, we are adapting the way we tell our story to reflect social distancing made necessary by the COVID-19 pandemic.

November 4, 2021 San Juan Islands, WA… “Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments, embark upon a sentimental journey, and enjoy every idle hour.” -John Boswell. The approaching holiday season is a perfect time to get away from crowded parking lots and cookie-cutter chain stores. This year, celebrate with a winter forest hike or walk on a stormy beach, a great meal by the fire, and holiday spirit with friends old and new in the San Juan Islands.

July 6, 2021 FRIDAY HARBOR, WA… What do you call a pepper in late autumn? A little chili! Join us as the gourmet archipelago celebrates more than a decade of great food, local farms, and independent filmmaking. Savor the San Juans returns in person for its 14th year with film festivals, farm tours, harvest dinners and much more. Savor is a great way to ease into a slower time of year while basking in the food, spirits, music, and natural beauty of Orcas, Lopez and San Juan Islands

February 1, 2021 Friday Harbor, WA… “You always gain by giving love.” – Reese Witherspoon. This Valentine’s Day, give some love to our island communities and support your favorite shops, restaurants, and lodgings. This last year has been tough on business owners keeping up with changing restrictions.

October 28, 2021 FRIDAY HARBOR, WA… Galileo Galilei once said, “Wine is sunlight, held together by water.” In the San Juan Islands, local winemakers Marti McConnell and Chris Lawler have taken that sentiment to heart with their new label, new vintages, and new winery in Friday Harbor.

April 13, 2021 If COVID has created anything, it’s the opportunity to be tourists in our own backyards, all while helping Islands’ businesses stay afloat. What island adventure is on your bucket list? Because we live here, we take so much for granted and put off exploring our own stomping grounds for “someday.” Make someday happen this spring!

June 2, 2021 Kickstarter campaign raises $155,000 making it the most successful in Washington State history Orcas Island, WA. Roots Orcas Island, a new wine bar and café slated to open this summer, set a new record in restaurant crowd sourcing in Washington State while becoming the fourth most successful campaign in United States history when it raised $155,086 last month. The Kickstarter campaign ended on May 28th raising a total of $155,086 over the course of thirty days. The previous record of $91,626 was set last year by Musang, Melissa Miranda’s Beacon Hill, Seattle restaurant. Musang was named the Seattle Met Restaurant of the year in 2020.

November 10, 2020 FRIDAY HARBOR, WA… If you’re getting ready to turn that jack-o-lantern into a pie, then you’re probably thinking about holiday shopping. Make that list, perhaps check it twice, and find a San Juan Islands gift for both the naughty and nice…

September 30, 2020 FRIDAY HARBOR, WA…We’ve been inviting food, farm and film aficionados to “Savor the San Juans” every fall for the last 13 years. This year COVID has changed the way we do things, so we are bringing Savor the San Juans right into your home.

April 30, 2020 Friday Harbor, WA… National Travel and Tourism Week, May 3 -- 9, is the annual salute to the positive effects of travel in the U.S. Now, more than ever, is a time to reflect on what visitors bring to the vitality and resilience of the San Juan Islands.

Since government stimulus checks have started to arrive in bank accounts, many of our most vulnerable islanders have already spent their funds, need to hold onto their checks, or are not receiving any stimulus funds. We fully support everyone who needs to spend or hold on to their stimulus checks.

March 3, 2020 Friday Harbor, WA … How is it that a porcine provocateur pilfering potatoes could start a war between the U.S. and Great Britain? While this might sound like a political cartoon, it's a true story. The history of the San Juan Islands shaped the state of Washington – literally. Discover the saga of the "Pig War," and other colorful stories during History Lives Here – National Historic Preservation Month (www.visitsanjuans.com/history-lives-here) in the San Juan Islands.

February 13, 2020 Friday Harbor, WA … “Now I see the secret of making the best person: it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.” – Walt Whitman. On this 50th anniversary of Earth Day, spend a day (or more!) working with locals to maintain trails in beautiful Moran State Park on Orcas Island, or clean up a beach on Lopez, Orcas, or San Juan Island. Ride your bike in the Tour de Lopez and then enjoy the Procession of the Species Parade in Lopez Village. After a trip to the Islands, you might just discover the best version of yourself.

January 14, 2020 Friday Harbor, WA… Searching for the secret to a better balanced New Year? Use your vacation time! Letting 768 million vacation days go unused is just absurd. 46% of Americans skip the one step that could help them vacation: planning. January 28th is National Plan for Vacation Day. Whether it’s a long weekend with your pals or spring break with the family, there’s no better place for a getaway than the San Juan Islands of Washington State. Whether by ferry or floatplane, getting here is half the fun.

August 20, 2019 San Juan Islands, WA … “What’s this? There’s color everywhere. What’s this? There’s white things in the air. What’s this? Good feelings everywhere?”* Although it rarely snows, island holidays are as magical here as in Tim Burton’s mythical Christmas Town.  It’s a perfect time to get away from nightmare parking lots and cookie-cutter chain stores. This season, celebrate with a winter forest hike or walk on a stormy beach, a great meal by the fire, and holiday spirit with friends old and new.

August 1, 2019 Friday Harbor, WA… "Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers, we more than gain in fruits." — Samuel Butler. Join us as the gourmet archipelago celebrates over a decade of great food, local farms, and independent filmmaking. Savor, the San Juans encompasses film festivals, farm tours, harvest dinners, workshops, demonstrations, and much more. Ease into a slower time of year while indulging in the food, spirits, music, and natural beauty of Orcas, Lopez and San Juan Islands. Sample the artistry of award-winning chefs using ingredients from the land and sea of the San Juans.

July 23, 2019 San Juan Islands, WA. … Up-and-coming filmmaker Craig Mapp says, “If you can film an idea in your mind, follow that film idea shot for shot, scene for scene and enjoy it, that idea is worth making for the world to see. It can change someone's life.”  Film lovers can experience a medley of such life-changing moments this October in the San Juan Islands of Washington State.  Two unique film festivals make an autumn getaway an artistic feast, as the “gourmet archipelago” sets the table to experience the bounty of the islands at its peak from mid-September to early November.

July 11, 2019 San Juan Islands, WA…“Pacific Whale Watch Association (PWWA) members on both sides of the border will be prioritizing their efforts on watching the abundant Bigg’s killer whales and humpbacks whales, instead of the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKW), when this option is available,” says Kelley Balcomb-Bartok, Communications Director for the Pacific Whale Watch Association.

June 18, 2019 Friday Harbor, WA… How do you fix a broken pumpkin? With a pumpkin patch! Join us as the gourmet archipelago celebrates more than a decade of great food, local farms, and independent filmmaking. Savor the San Juans turns twelve this year and has grown to encompass film festivals, a farm parade, harvest dinners, and much more. Savor is a great way to ease into a slower time of year while basking in the food, spirits, music, and natural beauty of Orcas, Lopez and San Juan Islands.  Hops on the Rock beer festival pays tribute to craft brewing and makes a fitting finale to this annual autumnal affair.

March 28, 2019 Friday Harbor, WA… Dolphinitely! Join us this June for our annual celebration of the black and white creatures so quintessential to the Pacific Northwest. Orca Action Month is a time to celebrate the presence of the Southern Resident orcas in the Salish Sea and take concrete action together for their survival and recovery. Festivities will be hosted throughout British Columbia, Oregon, and Washington. For the little ones, fun and learning combine at The Whale Museum in Friday Harbor, the first museum on the West Coast dedicated to the stewardship of whales.

March 12, 2019 Friday Harbor, WA … A rogue barnyard animal starting a war sounds like the beginning of a bad joke. But here in the San Juan Islands, it’s a true story. The history of the San Juan Islands shaped the state of Washington – literally. Discover the saga of the “Pig War,” and other colorful stories during History Lives Here – National Historic Preservation Month (www.visitsanjuans.com/history-lives-here) in the San Juan Islands.

February 26, 2019 Friday Harbor, WA… “The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.” –Douglas MacArthur. The new exhibitions at the San Juan Islands Museum of Art are a testament to this sentiment. MY WAR and companion exhibit A War Never Ends open April 5th, 2019 and run through June 3rd, 2019, at the San Juan Islands Museum of Art (SJIMA), located at 540 Spring Street in Friday Harbor, WA. MY WAR features the Vietnam War through the lens of the “average Joe.”  The exhibition showcases photographs, poems and journal entries by twenty-five Vietnam veterans from around the U.S.

February 19, 2019 Friday Harbor, WA … “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” It’s hard to argue with Nobel Prize winner and scientific genius Albert Einstein. Take his advice and come to the San Juan Islands for a chance to “look deep into nature” this April during National Volunteer Month. Spend a day (or more!) working with locals to maintain trails in beautiful Moran State Park on Orcas Island, or clean up a beach on San Juan, Orcas, or Lopez Islands. Ride your bike in the Tour de Lopez and then enjoy the Procession of the Species Parade in Lopez Village. After a trip to the islands, you might just “understand everything better.”

January 9, 2019 We are honored to announce that Orcas Island, in the San Juan Islands of Washington state (aka the gourmet archipelago), is listed in the #33 position on the New York Times world list, published January 9th.

January 7, 2019 Friday Harbor, WA… Looking for the secret to a better balanced New Year? Take vacation time! Letting 662 million vacation days go unused is just pathetic. 51% of Americans skip the one step that could help them vacation: planning. January 29th is National Plan for Vacation Day. Whether it’s a long weekend with your pals or spring break with the family, there’s no better place for a getaway than the San Juan Islands of Washington State.  Whether by ferry or floatplane, getting here is half the fun.

Contact Us:
San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau
info@visitsanjuans.com
1-888-468-3701 | (360) 378-9551
P.O. Box 1330, Friday Harbor, Washington 98250
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