Make the Holidays Shine with an Island Getaway - Press Release, November 22, 2017

Retreat and Meet in the San Juan Islands - Press Release, November 22, 2017

Savor the San Juans - Press Release, August 15, 2017


For Immediate Release

August 4, 2017

Fall Film Season in the San Juan Islands

Dozens of films at 3 festivals will delight cinema lovers during the 10th Annual

Savor the San Juans: A Celebration of Food, Farms & Film

San Juan Islands, Wash. … Three unique fall film festivals make an autumn getaway to the San Juan Islands 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.

September 22, 2017 - The 6th annual one-day Wild & Scenic Film Festival at Orcas Center features short films made by change makers that are rethinking how we inhabit our planet. This year’s short documentary films combine stellar filmmaking, beautiful cinematography and first-rate storytelling with the festival theme “At the Edge.” Hosted by Orcas Center and the San Juan Preservation Trust.

October 6-9, 2016 - The 4th annual Orcas Island Film Festival (OIFF) (, takes place in the arts-rich village of Eastsound, and focuses on feature-length films that are just entering the film festival circuit. Exciting Q&As by directors, actors and other artists are a highlight of this intimate festival. Many of the films shown at OIFF have gone on to garner Academy Awards and other major awards in past years. The festival will showcase three short films funded by OIFF grants awarded earlier this year. Grant-awarded filmmakers used the Islands as the canvas to create short inspirational works. New this year is a summer film series of festival favorites to help promote OIFF.

November 4-6, 2015 - On San Juan Island on the 1st weekend in November, the fifth annual Friday Harbor Film Festival – Stories from the Pacific Rim & Beyond (, carries forward the momentum of the past four years’ successes. In addition to award-winning documentary films, several premiers and special events, this film festival focuses on the filmmakers themselves, with Q&A sessions from every filmmaker. A special gala and awards ceremony honors Andrew V. McLaglen Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and Blackfeet activist, Elouise Cobell, whose story is told in the film, 100 Years: One Woman’s Fight for Justice. Several venues within easy walking distance of the ferry terminal, airport and float plane dock, present the opportunity to discover the historic waterfront town’s galleries, museums and shops without a car.

Lodging specials, farm tours and farmers markets on Lopez, Orcas and San Juan Islands, and wine events are just a few of the signature events unfolding this October during Savor the San Juans: A Celebration of Food, Farms & Film.


Please help spread the word about Savor & Film Festivals via social media:

Tweet: October's Savor the San Juans-A fall medley of Food, Farms & Art @VisitSJIslands @OrcasFilmFest @FHFilmFest

Look for Facebook posts in September and throughout October. Like us on Facebook:

#visitsanjuans #savorthesanjuans #sanjuanislands #FHFilmFest #OrcasFilmFest

Dropbox with high resolution photos:


Media Contact:

Barbara Marrett

Communications Manager

San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau

(360) 378-6822, ext. 6

[email protected]


For Immediate Release

July 6, 2017

Washington State Ferries celebrate Orcas Island terminal grand opening

SEATTLE – Just in time for the busy summer season, Orcas Island has a new ferry terminal building. 

“We’re excited for the opening of this new facility in partnership with San Juan County,” said WSF Director of Terminals Nicole McIntosh. “The new terminal will provide accessibility for Orcas Island community members for many years to come.”

The new terminal replaces the old waiting room and ticketing structure and adds a pedestrian pick-up and drop-off area. The new facility is located on the upper floor of the San Juan County building adjacent to the Orcas ferry dock. It is accessible at street level and includes a ticket counter, a self-serve ticketing kiosk, and improved ADA access to new restrooms.

Washington State Ferries, a division of the Washington State Department of Transportation, is the largest ferry system in the U.S. and safely and efficiently carries 24 million people a year through some of the most majestic scenery in the world. For breaking news and the latest information, follow WSF on Twitter.

WSF Twitter:


Ian Sterling

(206) 714-1556

WSF media hotline, 206-402-8070


For Immediate Release

June 15, 2017

The only scheduled direct service between

Washington's San Juan Islands and Portland, Oregon begins Friday

Friday Harbor, WA ... AlbionAir, the only direct scheduled flight between the Portland area and San Juan Island, is scheduled to begin service Friday, June 16. AlbionAir is owned and operated by Mark Hills, a pilot who was trained by Royal Air Force (RAF) pilots at the Oxford Air Training School in England, where he was born and raised. He has lived in the Pacific Northwest since 2000 and now operates out of the Aurora State Airport (KUAO) near Portland. AlbionAir flights arrive at Friday Harbor Airport (KFHR). “In 27 years of flying, I have never flown a more beautiful route than the one from Portland to the San Juan Islands,” says Hills. “I started this service up because I love making this flight, and I wanted to share it with others.” Hills says he wants to make it easier for Portland area passengers to enjoy the one of a kind experience that is the San Juans Islands. At the same time, he wants to give San Juan area residents the opportunity to experience the eclectic, urban delights of Portland. All without the added flight time and inconvenience of commercial flight lines.

AlbionAir offers: •Non-stop flights every Friday and Sunday between the Portland area and Friday Harbor/San Juan Island. Flight time is about 1:15 pm. •Spacious twin engine Piper aircraft •Free parking at Aurora State Airport (Portland area) •Competitive “by the pound” rates for passengers and luggage •On demand charters throughout the Pacific Northwest. For more information, call Mark Hills at 503-925-4444, ext. 101 or [email protected]

Contact: Mark Hills 503-925-4444, ext. 101 [email protected]


For Immediate Release

June 7, 2017

Friday Harbor House Kicks Off Summer with Refreshed Rooms,

a Harborside Patio and a Seasonal Dining Menu

Friday Harbor, Wash. ... Friday Harbor House, a boutique, 23-room Inn overlooking the scenic harbor, recently unveiled refreshed guestrooms and enhancements to its picturesque outdoor patio. Locals and visitors alike will enjoy delicious seasonal offerings at the onsite restaurant, created by executive chef Jason Aldous. Chef Aldous has developed an inspired summer menu, incorporating ingredients from local waters, artisans, and farmers into its Pacific Northwest cuisine and craft cocktails.

Guests can expect an exquisite overnight experience in one of Friday Harbor House’s newly upgraded, contemporary guestrooms, many of which offer stunning views of the marina and ferry landing. Jensen / Fey Architecture oversaw the planning and redesign of the remodeled rooms, which provide relaxed luxury and comfort, with modern, clean lines. Guestrooms also include luxurious linens, European king beds, gas fireplaces and spacious bathrooms with large, jetted tubs. Additional property enhancements include an expansive patio that offers ample seating and new fire pits for diners to enjoy while soaking up incredible views of the San Juan Channel.

“We’re thrilled to showcase a new look and feel just in time for our popular summer season,” said Meaghan McCormick, co-innkeeper of Friday Harbor House. “This property refresh further enhances the guest experience through customized offerings and personal touches. Whether you’re an island resident or from out of town, we want you to feel like family at Friday Harbor House.”

Upon arrival, guests are welcomed with a house-made, barrel-aged sangria and Fidalgo Bay coffee beans that are ground during check-in for use with Chemex® coffeemakers in every room. For a restful night’s sleep, they receive a complimentary Puget Sound Sleep Kit, which comes with an eye mask, chamomile bath salts and lavender pillow spray. Travelers can also customize their stay by selecting from a pillow menu with a variety of options, such as goose down, organic buckwheat and bamboo. Additional amenities include DIRECTV and daily complimentary made-to-order breakfast.

Guests and locals are invited to take in the stunning views at the restaurant at Friday Harbor House, while enjoying al fresco dining and an array of fresh fare from the surrounding waters and farms. In addition to featuring local ingredients, Chef Aldous creates seasonal menus inspired by dishes from around the world, like Northwest carnitas with braised pork cheek and wild fiddlehead ferns, or local littleneck clams with house-made kimchi and smoked oyster mushrooms. The extensive cocktail program includes crafted infusions like fig leaf vodka and quince syrup, made with ingredients from the onsite garden.

“We’re committed to providing an authentic island dining experience and are always looking for ways to push the envelope and introduce new flavor profiles,” said Chef Aldous. “Using natural ingredients from the surrounding area allows us to showcase dishes that reflect the essence of the island.” 

To expand on the personalized offerings available at Friday Harbor House, a Guest Experience Coordinator has joined the team to provide recommendations and reservations for activities throughout the island.

For rates, availability and reservations, call 866.722.7356 toll-free or visit  

About Friday Harbor House

Perched on the bluff above San Juan Island’s iconic marina, Friday Harbor House is a home base for adventure and exploration. The luxurious boutique hotel is in the heart of a picturesque and bustling village, filled with family-owned galleries and shops. The Inn’s 23 guestrooms, most newly updated, have been designed to reflect a contemporary and relaxed getaway, with jetted tubs and fireplaces. The recently-renovated restaurant is dedicated to the craft of making menu items and cocktails from scratch with locally sourced ingredients. The large outdoor patio offers a welcoming place to enjoy it all, with stunning views of the harbor, ferry landing and San Juan Channel. The Inn is owned by a group with local ties to the San Juans and is managed by Seattle-based Columbia Hospitality. For more information or reservations, please call 866.722.7356 or visit

About Columbia Hospitality

Columbia Hospitality (Columbia) is a Seattle-based hospitality management and consulting company that was established in 1995 by founder and CEO John Oppenheimer. Columbia’s growing portfolio includes award-winning hotels, public and private golf facilities, conference centers, distinctive venues and residential properties. Columbia creates exceptional experiences for guests and team members while achieving phenomenal results for property owners. With over 20 years of proven success in management, Columbia has also consulted on over 100 hospitality projects worldwide, delivering a high level of customized service to partners and investors. For more information about Columbia and to view the entire portfolio, visit

Media Contact:

Carley Fredrickson

Public Relations, GreenRubino for Friday Harbor House

P: 206.452.8172

E: [email protected]


For Immediate Release

June 7, 2017

Summer Vacation Equals ARR and ARR!

Tall Ships Tell Tales in the San Juan Islands, June 23 - 25, 2017

Friday Harbor, WA… Dead men may tell no tales, but tall ships do! Hoist the colors high this June in the San Juan Islands as we celebrate maritime history and high sea adventure.

Rub shoulders with pirates and scalawags at the Port of Friday Harbor’s 1st Annual Pirate Festival June 23rd – 25th. Climb aboard the classic sailing vessel the Lady Washington, featured in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Star Trek: Generations, and TV’s Once Upon a Time. There will be Battle Sails (Saturday the 24th from 5-8 p.m. and Sunday from 2-5 p.m.) and ongoing vessel tours. Dockside visitors can expect to tour the vessels and talk with the crew, while sailing passengers will experience the crew in action and the ship under wind power. 

Have fun in the sun and enjoy things to do including a treasure hunt, pirate stories, dinghy races, knot tying, and a pirate costume contest. Live music will be going on Friday and Saturday nights, with a pancake breakfast Sunday morning.

Few are familiar with the term "tall ship", but the Washington-based nonprofit Grays Harbor Historical Seaport is on a mission to change that. Their historic sailing ships, the Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain, travel the west coast year-round featuring a living history experience with demonstrations of tall ship handling, sea shanty singing, and maritime storytelling.

With fair winds and following seas, come and see if it’s a pirate’s life for you!

For more information, call 360-378-2688 or [email protected]

On the web:

On Facebook:

Dropbox for photos:

Media Contact:

Barbara Marrett

Communications Manager

San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau

(360) 378-6822, ext. 6

[email protected]


For Immediate Release

June 1, 2017


Historic Vessels Dock at Friday Harbor June 23-27, 2017

June 1, 2017 - Few are familiar with the term "tall ship", but the Washington-based nonprofit Grays Harbor Historical Seaport is on a mission to change that. Their historic sailing ships, the Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain, travel the west coast year-round introducing the public to maritime history. 

"Some people imagine a modern ship, or a Navy cutter," Executive Director Brandi Bednarik shares with a smile. 'Pirate ship' comes pretty close, but it leaves out the truth of why ships like these sailed-mostly for trade, exploration, and in military action. Our mission is to share this history with the American public."

From June 23 to June 27, the Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain will dock at Friday Harbor, Washington as part of Friday Harbor's first Annual Pirate Festival. Dockside visitors can expect to tour the vessels and talk with the crew, while sailing passengers will experience the crew in action and the ship under wind power. 

Aside from the rare opportunity to see a historic sailing vessel in action, a point of interest is often the crew themselves. The Lady Washington typically has a crew of 10-14, from paid officers to volunteer deckhands to participants in our two-week maritime training program. Some sail for the fun of it, others to learn the job skills of the maritime industry. As Captain Ken Lazarus explains:

 "Our vessels are a place where anyone can build a home. You can come aboard for two weeks as a trainee and experience what it's like to live and work in a closely knit, interdependent community where effort and teamwork are the most valued 'currency'. Some people stay on as long-term volunteers while others launch their careers in the maritime industry from our training.  What everyone who crews the boats takes away is a sense of camaraderie, connection, and belonging."

Launched in 1989 as part of Washington State's centennial, the wooden-hulled Lady Washington has appeared in several motion pictures and TV shows, including Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, and Once Upon A Time. Constructed of steel, Hawaiian Chieftain was launched in 1988 in Lahaina, Hawaii.

If you're ready to run away to sea, a full schedule of events, tickets, and volunteering information can be found on the organization's website, For the seasickness-prone but curious, free walk-aboard tours never leave the dock.  

The vessels are in Friday Harbor 204 Front North Street. Please call (800) 200-5239 for directions. For tickets visit:

Caitlin Stanton
(360) 532-8611
[email protected]


For Immediate Release

May 30, 2017

All That Jazz (and Rock, and Blues, and Classical)

Music Heats Up Summer in the San Juan Islands

Friday Harbor, WA … The San Juan Islands are alive with the sound of music! Adjust your latitude this summer and join us for a season of songs. Lakedale Resort will debut a summer concert suite and Doe Bay Fest and the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival celebrate benchmark anniversaries.  

20th Anniversary of the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival

Among the highlights at this Vicennial Festival will be the Concert on the Village Green, with a special appearance by Stewart Copeland of the Police. Other star performers during the August 5th through the 20th festival include the popular Miró Quartet and charismatic violinist Chee-Yun.

Star-studded Orcas Center Line-up

San Francisco-based crooner Sean Hayes, performing his new album Low Light on July 29th, has duetted with Aimee Mann, toured with Ani DiFranco, and had his music featured in a variety of television shows, films, and commercials. Actress, singer, and songwriter Merideth Kaye Clark performs Joni Mitchell’s iconic album BLUE July 9th, played from beginning to end in the original keys. Jesse Boleyn’s Summer Concert Series includes gueststars Seattle blues master Nick Vigarino (July 15th), guitar virtuoso Ralf Illenberger (July 21st), and pianist Adey Bell (August 26th).

10th Annual Doe Bay Festival

This weekend festival, running August 10th – 13th, features an extensive line-up of musicians, local cuisine, camping and activities in one of the most picturesque venues the Northwest has to offer. This event sells out each year, so check their website right away or contact the resort front desk at 360.376.2291 about how to obtain tickets.

Lakedale Resort’s 1st ever Music Festival 

Renowned jazz guitarist Brian Nova will perform Labor Day weekend (September 2nd and 3rd) at Lakedale Resort on San Juan Island. Brian is bringing many of his talented friends to add to the fun…Stephanie Porter, Dan O’Brien, Missoni Lanza and Max Holmberg. The Music Festival is for registered guests of Lakedale only—no gate ticket sales. Call 800.617.2267 for more info.

Outdoor Fun in Friday Harbor

Enjoy free Music in the Park concerts starting July 2nd at the Port of Friday Harbor on Friday evenings at 5:00-7:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00-4:00 p.m. Bring a picnic, relax and listen to bands such as Bootleg Sunshine, Rock Terra, and the Retro Rockets as you gaze out at the harbor.

Bring the kids to Music on the Lawn at the San Juan Historical Museum on Wednesdays July 5 – August 9. Among the all-star line-up is Portland-based Tapwater, Port Townsend’s Uncle Funk and the Dope 6, and Friday Harbor’s own JBots.

All Stars at San Juan Community Theatre

Summer sizzles at the San Juan Community Theatre in Friday Harbor with a visit from the Northwest’s gypsy jazz kings Pearl Django on June 24th, and the chance to soak up some soul with Curtis Salgado on July 22nd. Travel back to the 1970s and Pink Floyd with Portland’s Pigs on the Wing July 28th and 29th.                                                    

Lopez Island has Rhythm, Blues, and the Beatles

The Lopez Center for Community and the Arts has an exciting line-up planned for the 2017 season. Pay tribute to the Fab Four with Abbey Road LIVE! in the outdoor pavilion on July 3rd.  Also at the pavilion and back by popular demand is the second annual Rhythm and Waves Festival on August 12th. The Rock-EN-Roll Music Festival on September 3rd is back for a third year with a full day of festivities and fun filled music.

So don’t forget to pack your dancing shoes and make this summer all about that bass!

For a complete list of events, visit

Media Contact:

Barbara Marrett

Communications Manager

San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau

(360) 378-6822, ext. 6

[email protected]


For Immediate Release

May 31, 2017

Registration open for 2017 Pod Nods at The Whale Museum: June 30, July 28, and August 25

Friday Harbor, WA—Pod Nod overnight marine adventures return this summer to The Whale Museum! These popular “pajama party” sleepovers are geared for children ages 6 to 11 and will be held on the following Fridays: June 30, July 28, and August 25. Pod Nods are led by Museum Educators with assistance from other adult professionals.  Youth participants will learn to value whales and their environment through art projects, science labs, games, the traditional flashlight tour of the Exhibit Hall, and a bedtime movie.  We promise a high adult/child ratio and a whale of a good time!

Participants will engage in crafts, activities, story-telling and museum exploration as they learn about our Marine Mammal Neighbors living in the Salish Sea. Each Pod Nod will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Friday with pick-up the next morning at 8:30 a.m.  A bedtime snack and breakfast are included.

The cost per Pod Nod is $44 for children/grandchildren of Whale Museum members.  The cost for non-members is $49 per Pod Nod.  A limited number of scholarships are available.  Pre-registration is required at least two days in advance of Pod Nod dates to ensure a great experience for the Pod Nodders as well as a high adult to child ratio. Please call The Whale Museum at (360) 378-4710 extension 30 or email [email protected] for more information.  Registration materials are available at


Tracie Merrill, Education Curator

(360) 378-4710 ext. 23

[email protected]


For Immediate Release

May 21, 2017

Let Wildlife Be Wild

Do your part to protect our island wildlife

FRIDAY HARBOR – San Juan Island National Historical Park provides habitat for many species of animals. When you visit the park, you are visiting their home. The choices you make have a direct effect on the wild animals that live here. By following the simple steps listed here you can help protect these animals and help to keep wildlife wild.

  • Do not approach any wildlife within 25 yards (75ft). Keep a safe distance from all wildlife.
  • Use binoculars or telephoto lenses for safe viewing and to avoid disturbing them. By being sensitive to its needs, you will see more of an animal's natural behavior and activity. If you cause an animal to move, you are too close! It is illegal to willfully remain near or approach wildlife, including birds, within ANY distance that disturbs or displaces the animal.
  • Some wildlife has unfortunately been conditioned to human presence and may approach you or your possessions looking for food. It is your responsibility to move away and discourage direct interactions.
  • Do Not Feed Foxes or Other Wildlife

You may think you are doing wildlife a favor, but feeding them can result in harm to yourself and the animal because:

  • Wildlife can lose their natural fear of humans. This can create a situation where animals bite or attack. If this happens the animal may have to be destroyed.
  • It attracts animals to roadways and parking lots where deadly and dangerous accidents can occur.
  • Mammals and birds carry diseases that can be fatal to humans or their pets.
  • Human food affects their immune and digestive systems leading to premature death.
  • Animals lose their natural fear of humans and could become more vulnerable to pets and humans who might harm them.
  • Increased territorial behavior and fighting may occur when many animals are attracted to small areas competing for the same food source.
  • There is plenty of natural food in the park

How You Can Help

  • Do not approach any wildlife within 25 yards
  • Do not feed wildlife
  • Discourage close encounters with animals—it is your responsibility to get out of the animal’s space
  • Dispose of waste properly

For more information contact Jenny Shrum at (360) 378-2240 x2225 or [email protected].


San Juan Island NHP

650 Mullis St. Suite 100

Friday Harbor, WA 98250

360-378-2240 phone


For Immediate Release

May 11, 2017


Eastsound, WA … The Orcas Island Film Festival invites filmmakers to explore the San Juan Islands and use it as a canvas to create short films that inspire, inform and entertain.
OIFF is awarding three, $5,000 grants to independent filmmakers who will have the chance to bring their film project to life, using the magic of the San Juan Islands as a backdrop during the summer of 2017.  These three grant winning films will be featured at the 2017 Orcas Island Film Festival where the audience will choose a first prize winner who will be awarded a festival trophy and will have the honor of being featured in the prestigious Seattle International Film Festival in 2018. For more information about submissions please visit .
ABOUT OIFF FESTIVAL As one of the best kept secrets in the film festival world, the Orcas Island Film Festival features a curated selection of acclaimed international films and audience favorites direct from their debuts at the world’s greatest film festivals.  Many of the films are award contenders at the Oscars each year, and attendees will see these films before their official theatrical release. With 30 films shown over 4 days, gala parties and filmmaker panel discussions, the OIFF provides a unique opportunity for filmmakers and film lovers to connect and share the cinematic experience in one of the most beautiful places in the world.  
Former Seattle International Film Festival’s Artistic Director Carl Spence curates the films, and helps make this emerging new festival a unique experience worthy of an annual pilgrimage.  
The arts-rich village of Eastsound on Orcas Island is the perfect festival backdrop, with directors, producers and actors on hand for lively Q&A sessions and special events. For more information about the festival go to

Media Contact:
Shannon Borg
[email protected]
(360) 317-6563


For Immediate Release

May 4, 2017

National Tourism Week’s Faces of Travel: Green San Juan Islands

Friday Harbor, WA…  In the San Juan Islands, visitors spent just over 211 million dollars in 2016, and approximately 2,140 jobs are directly related to the tourism industry.* National Travel and Tourism Week, May 7th through the 13th, is the annual salute to the positive effects of travel in America. The San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau is taking this opportunity to shine a spotlight on the people who are leading the charge in eco-conscious tourism practices locally. Globally, we are supporting the U.N. International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development by promoting sustainable practices by our member businesses and visitors, such as Leave No Trace (

Our tourism economy depends on our beautiful environment, and a healthy ecosystem provides much more than jobs to support our communities. These businesses put the green in great lodging & food:

Lopez Island’s Midnight’s Farm ( is a hub of environmentally sound operations for work and recreation. Owners David Bill and Faith Van De Putte are committed to “living solutions to climate change.” Midnight’s Farm helps teach the importance of healthy food production and farm conservation practices through hosting participants in Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) and their farm stay. Guests staying at the solar-powered Field House are welcome to feed the pigs, help in the garden, walk the trails, peek in at Barn Owl Bakery and rejuvenate in the sauna and Down Dog yoga studio.

The waterfront Doe Bay Cafe ( at Doe Bay Resort & Retreat on Orcas Island is dedicated to celebrating the unique seasonality, flavor and freshness of San Juan Island farms, foragers and fishermen. Chef Jon Chapelle packs the menu with fresh fish from the nearby Salish Sea and oysters from Buck Bay Shellfish Farm just down the road.  The one-acre organic garden aims to create a model of sustainability that’s good for both the environment and the business. By growing food onsite and returning compost waste to the soil, Doe Bay is ‘closing the loop’ as much as possible.

What makes The Island Inn at 123 West ( on San Juan Island “off the coast of ordinary?”  Passion. The Inn’s design, eco ethos and operation are driven by owner Misty Todd’s uncompromising passion for the guests, the team and care of its magical Island home. The Inn’s buildings are LEED-certified, but the green can be seen in everything from linens to lighting, carpet to coffee that help immerse guests in an experience that they like to call ‘INN style’. Even rainwater is reused – collected from the roofs and walkways to irrigate plants around the Inn.

With tourism occupying such a significant percentage of the San Juan Islands economy, this is a golden opportunity to add sustainability to the mix of what attracts visitors from around the globe.

The San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau is the official destination marketing organization for San Juan County and Town of Friday Harbor.  It represents over 300 island businesses representing local history, arts, outdoor recreation, agri-tourism and visitor education. Mostly funded by lodging tax paid by the visitor, it also receives business membership dues.

Dropbox of photos:

Media Contact:

Barbara Marrett

San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau,

[email protected]

360-378-6822 ext.6

*According to the 2016 projections made in the latest Dean Runyan Associates Travel Impacts and Visitor Volume Report


For Immediate Release

May 1, 2017

Book Launch of Boyd C. Pratt’s Lime: Quarrying and Limemaking in the San Juan Islands

Friday, May 12th at 7pm at the San Juan Island Grange Hall

Friday Harbor, WA ... Have you ever wondered how lime is made from limestone?  Or gazed in wonder at the lime kilns scattered across our islands?  Why, for that matter, is our State Park called Lime Kiln?  Local architectural historian Boyd C. Pratt’s new book Lime: Quarrying and Limemaking in the San Juan Islands tells all.  Boyd will review the history and technology of limemaking in the San Juan Islands.  Refreshments!  Free!  (Except, of course, for the book, which is $9.95, cash or check only, please.)

Here are the blurbs:

How the carcasses of sea creatures became the building blocks of modern civilization.

Formed through eons of geologic time and sculpted by glaciers, the limestone deposits along the islands’ shore provided the essential ingredient for the block and mortar that built and rebuilt the West Coast’s major cities.  Read all about the islands’ economic booms and busts, dramatic changes to the landscape, bloody murder, contentious lawsuits, and deadly shipwrecks.

For more information contact:

Boyd Pratt

Mulno Cove Publishing

(360) 378-7172

[email protected]


For Immediate Release

April 28, 2017

Friday Harbor voted #6 out of 20 in the contest for Best Small Northwestern Town

Friday Harbor, Washington on San Juan Island, was voted #6 out of 20 in the contest for Best Small Northwestern Town. Here are the top 10:

Sequim, WA

Florence, OR

Buffalo, WY

Port Townsend, WA

Sitka, AK

Friday Harbor, WA

Winthrop, WA

Wallace, Idaho

Cooke City, MT

Talkeetna, AK

The full list of winners is at

Nominees are chosen by a panel of relevant experts which include a combination of editors from USA TODAY; editors from; relevant expert contributors; and sources for both these media and other Gannett properties. The nomination panel for each award category is displayed on its associated contest page. All voting is digital and the 10Best Readers’ Choice Award contest is accessible on the website.

While the 10Best Readers’ Choice Award contest lives on - a standalone travel media site - it is promoted across USA TODAY Travel Media Group’s digital and mobile products, as well as via social media. Nominees are also announced and/or promoted across relevant USA TODAY departments, and through Gannett media outlets. provides users with original, unbiased, and experiential travel content of top attractions, things to see and do, and restaurants for top destinations in the U.S. and around the world. The core of the site's uniqueness is its team of local travel experts: a well-traveled and well-educated group who are not only experts in their fields - and their cities - but discriminating in their tastes. These local experts live in the city they write about so the content is constantly updated. averages 5 million visitors per month. It was acquired by USA TODAY in January of 2013.

USA TODAY is a multi-platform news and information media company. Founded in 1982, USA TODAY's mission is to serve as a forum for better understanding and unity to help make the USA truly one nation.

Barbara Marrett

Communications & Stewardship Manager

San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau

[email protected]



For Immediate Release

April 20, 2017

Wolf Hollow and The Whale Museum’s Collaborative Wild San Juan Lecture Series

Friday Harbor, WA --The Whale Museum is joining forces with Wolf Hollow Wildlife Rehabilitation Center to host the "Wild San Juan" Series. The goal of the series is to learn more about wildlife, what's going on in nature, and how we can be better neighbors.

The next lecture in the series is on "Fawns, Fledglings and Fox Kits" which will take place on the first Friday in May - May 5, 5:30 pm at The Whale Museum. The series will continue on the first Friday of the month with: June 2 - "Songbirds"; July 7 - "Harbor Seal Pups"; and August 4 - "Explorers".

This exciting lecture series will feature local wildlife species & activities and how we can reduce human impacts which harm wildlife and their habitats. Impacts can include everything from removing nests/nesting material when working in the yard to vehicle strikes. Through becoming more aware of the impacts of our actions, visitors and residents of San Juan Island can learn to be better stewards of the wildlife that share their home with us.

This lecture series is free and open to the public. For more information, call (360) 378-4710 ext. 30 or email [email protected].  The Whale Museum is located in Friday Harbor at 62 First St. N. Both organizations can be found online: The Whale Museum at and Wolf Hollow at



For Immediate Release

April 12, 2017

Spark the Senses with the San Juan Islands Summer Arts!

Friday Harbor, WA…. Travel down picturesque private roads to tucked away artist studios to get an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at island artists’ life and work, create your own fragrant masterpiece out of lavender, or kick up your heels at one of the concerts at the Summer Arts Festival in Friday Harbor. The arts are alive and lively all summer long in the San Juan Islands of Washington state.

Start off summer with the 26th Annual San Juan Island Artists’ Studio Tour the first weekend in June, when a group of mutually supportive island artists open up their personal studio spaces and gardens to the public for an entire weekend. In addition to displaying their work, including sculpture, jewelry, pottery, printmaking, glass, fiber and fine art, the artists share insights into how their art is created and what inspires and motivates them in their chosen media. For more information:

Beat the heat with the Lavender Festival and Arts Fair this July. Visit the Craft tent and create your own beautiful wands, wreaths, crowns and more out of organic lavender. Then meander through the fragrant fields and visit the tents of the over 30 artists who will have their work on display. For more information:

“Dialogues of the Forest” will continue at the San Juan Islands Museum of Art with Legends from the Human Spirit: Traditional and Contemporary Coastal Peoples by First Nation artists. More details coming soon! For more information:

If live theater is more your milieu, don’t miss Island Stage Left’s production of Charlotte Jones’ “Humble Boy.” Multi-award winning and set in an English country garden, this play is replete with beekeeping and astrophysics. Imbued with heartbreak and wit, full of large questions about the universe and smaller questions about family dynamics, it is moving, sad and tremendously funny. Performed by professional actors both indoors at the San Juan County Fairgrounds and outdoors at Island Stage Left’s stage on Wold Road. For more information:

This August, enjoy the quirky culture of the San Juan Islands at the 2nd Annual San Juan Summer Arts Festival. Soak up the sun each Friday evening in August with live music, a beer garden, and locally made textiles, pottery, jewelry, wood carvings, and handmade soap. Stroll around Brickworks Plaza in Friday Harbor and experience the best musical and artistic talents the Islands have to offer. Paint your face, get a tarot reading, and sample some delicious Northwest delicacies.  This event is sponsored by the San Juan County Arts Council, a non-profit organization serving as an umbrella for all the arts on the San Juan Islands.

For more information:

For other summer arts events, visit  

Dropbox for photos:

Media Contact: Barbara Marrett, Communications Manager

San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau, 360.378.6822 ext. 6 or [email protected]


For Immediate Release

February 8, 2017

The San Juan islands Artists’ Studio Tour, June 3rd & 4th, 2017

Friday Harbor , Wash. ... Want a fabulous weekend in the San Juan Islands?  Save the date for the San Juan Islands Artists' Studio Tour on June 3rd and 4th, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. This free event is very popular, and you have a chance to meet artists, see their studios, see demos and chat with other art lovers on this fun self-guided tour of more than 20 art studios around San Juan Island. Make a weekend of it with great food, beautiful springtime weather and plenty of outdoor activies like hiking, kayaking and beach walking to enjoy.

This year 20 mutually supportive island art studios with over 36 artists have joined together to create the largest, most exciting and fun-filled weekend event yet. Take the self-guided tour to visit personal studios around the island and watch great art in the making.

Each year island professional artists open their doors to welcome the public on the first weekend of June. Go down hidden drives and into private workshops where local island artists celebrate the annual San Juan Island Artists’ Studio Tour. You’ll see a complement of prints, paintings, ceramics, glass, jewelry, photography, sculpture and fiber. This is your chance to buy fine art at its’ source so mark your calendar!

An annual free event, the SJI Artists’ Studio Tour showcases individual art studios along with guest artists and musicians amid luscious gardens and breathtaking views. Sign up for a raffle at each studio for a chance to win local fine art. Maps and brochures are available online for your convenience at and at many local businesses in Friday Harbor. 


Mary and Dan Sly,   
Susan L. Williams,   


For Immediate Release

January 27, 2017

Tribute Event to Honor Granny

Friday Harbor, Wash. – Join us for a special Tribute Event to honor Granny (J-2) on February 12. The event is a community potluck, taking place that Sunday from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. at the Brickworks in Friday Harbor.  Granny was the matriarch of the Southern Resident Community of orcas. Estimated to be 105 years of age when she passed, she was well-known around the word and much loved by many.

During the Tribute, there will be opportunities to share photos of and stories about Granny and the orcas. The event is free and open to the public. Please bring food and/or drink contribution to share with other attendees. And, if you feel moved to do so, please bring your Granny memories! The Tribute Event is co-hosted by The Town of Friday Harbor and The Whale Museum.

Prior to the event, you are invited to create an 8 x 8 paper art piece (i.e., drawing) that will be included in the Granny “quilt” which will be displayed at the Tribute event. Stop by The Whale Museum on Friday, February 10 between 2:30 and 4:00 to create your square.

For more information, call The Whale Museum at (360) 378-4710 ext. 30.  The Whale Museum is located in Friday Harbor at 62 First St. N.  Founded in 1976, The Whale Museum’s mission is to promote stewardship of whales and the Salish Sea ecosystem through education and research.  In addition to providing exhibits, the Museum also provides programs including the Marine Naturalist Training, Orca Adoption Program, SeaSound Acoustics Program, Soundwatch, San Juan County Marine Mammal Stranding Network, and the Whale Hotline.  The Whale Museum can be found on-line at                                                                                               

# ##

Jenny L. Atkinson
Executive Director
The Whale Museum
P. O. Box 945 (62 1st St., N.)
Friday Harbor, WA 98250
(360) 378-4710 ext. 26


For Immediate Release

January 6, 2017

Campaign for Mount Grant Preserve
Reaches Finish Line

San Juan Island, Wash. ... We did it! After two years of fundraising, the $4.2 million Campaign for Mount Grant Preserve has come to a successful completion. The 141-acre ridgeline, which includes open grassy knolls and stately old-growth Douglas firs, is now permanently protected. 

The San Juan County Land Bank made an initial investment of $1.5 million in this project – one-half of the property’s purchase price of $3 million. The San Juan Preservation Trust raised the remaining $2.7 million from private philanthropic sources, including a $1 million stewardship fund for the long-term care of the property. More than 850 families, residents of San Juan and surrounding islands as well as visitors, contributed more than 1,200 gifts to top out the campaign.

In addition to its rich endowment of native plant and animal habitat, the Mount Grant property will offer multiple recreational opportunities. From its summit, visitors can take in remarkable views in every direction. An existing road to the top was opened to vehicles on select “Sundays on the Summit” over the course of the campaign. Time and again, expressions of “Wow, I never knew this was here!” could be heard as visitors got out of their cars or completed the one-mile hike to the top to take in the 360-degree views.

A volunteer steering committee of 18 community members advocated and raised funds for the project. Hiking and equestrian groups, students, visual artists, musicians, and other volunteers contributed their labor, talents, advocacy, and countless hours to the campaign’s success. Stewardship funds will be used to build trails and other visitor amenities, maintain the summit road, control invasive plants, and implement restoration of compromised portions of the preserve. “Acquisition is only the beginning,” says Kathleen Foley, Stewardship Manager of the San Juan Preservation Trust. “Our job now, as stewards of the land, is to balance human enjoyment and safety with protection of the fragile aspects of a nature preserve.”

Now that the campaign is complete, the property will be owned and managed by the San Juan County Land Bank, and the Preservation Trust will hold a conservation easement on it. A management plan will be developed through a process that includes significant public input. “We will listen carefully and work hard to accommodate as many ideas and requests as possible,” says Doug McCutchen, Preserve Steward for the Land Bank. “Please stay tuned and participate in the public scoping meetings that will soon be announced.”

For more information and directions to Mount Grant Preserve, visit or

Tim Seifert
(360) 378-2461
[email protected]