Late Summer Edition, 2018

Note: Contacts and phone numbers below are for media follow-up and may not be the best contact for consumers

Restaurants & Shops

A Beer with a View

If you picture yourself at a cool little craft beer tavern on the waterfront, check out the brand-new beerhouse at the Port of Friday Harbor’s Spring Street Landing Building at 105 Front Street. Tentatively opening under the name “Cease and Desist” they curate a fantastic tap list in a friendly community atmosphere (read, no TV). The idea is to encourage conversation and collaboration. They’ll be teaming up with businesses such as Paellas San Juan, to serve delicious locally made foods at monthly events. Owners Justin Heikkinen and Phil Carvalho met in Portland where Carvalho helped launch two beer bars—Hoplandia and Bridgetown Beerhouse. Their 15 rotating taps (2 are dedicated to cider), feature Northwest favorites and unique specialty beers. Additionally, they will have a "Crowler" machine to create 32-ounce cans on demand of beers on tap for to go customers. Contact: Justin (650) 219-4088;

Living La Vida Lopez with Two New Food Trucks

Lopez welcomes two fun new food trucks. El Taco ‘Bout It is a new taco truck by Jennifer Contreras featuring fresh local meats and vegetables. They are currently serving their delicious tacos at Isabelle’s Coffee on Fridays and at the Lopez Island Farmers’ Market on Saturdays. Contact: Jennifer Contreras;

Maison de Poutine calls Lopez Island home base, but take their poutine show on the road to regional festivals and markets. They serve the much-beloved frites, cheese curds, and gravy with various toppings from chili to Mexican to eggs & bacon. Contact: Jen & Ted Buckallew, [email protected];

Gold in These Waters

The less than year-old  San Juan Brewing Company in Friday Harbor took home a Gold Medal in the ESB (Extra Special Bitter) category at the Washington State Brewery Association Awards. The Bull Kelp ESB was chosen in a blind taste test by a panel of experts. With over 390 breweries in Washington State; the competition was stiff! Brewmaster Jesse Visciglia remarked, “The ESB, a fantastic beer, exemplifies our dedication to beers that are balanced, highly drinkable and made with the highest quality ingredients in the world.” Find it and 12 other of their micro-brews on tap at the San Juan Brewery and select restaurants and bars in San Juan, Skagit, and Whatcom counties. Sean Aylward, (360) 378-2017; [email protected];

Creative Minds – A New Artists Co-op Gallery on Orcas Island

Creative Minds Art Gallery on Orcas Island is a gem in the San Juan Islands. It is the first artist cooperative to open in the San Juan Islands since Orcas Islands Artworks so many years ago. The gallery is home to several island artists and debuts several northwest artists whose work has previously only been available by commission. Contact: Janet Gadallah, (360) 622-5309; [email protected]; [email protected]

The “Port” of Friday Harbor (and Local Chocolates!)

Friday Harbor Chocolates, located in downtown Friday Harbor, is a purveyor of fine chocolates, handcrafted by award-winning chocolatiers from the San Juan Islands as well as the Pacific Northwest. Its licensed wine shop specializes in imported ports, domestic port-style dessert wines, and aperitifs. In addition, made in the San Juan Islands items  are featured, including San Juan Sea Salt (San Juan), Just Heavenly Fudge (Lopez), Rainshadow Sweet and Savory (San Juan), Kathryn Taylor Chocolates (Orcas) and Lopez Island Vineyards dessert wines. Renowned Rogers Chocolates from Victoria complete the picture. Contact: Aylene, (360) 370-0050; [email protected];

Grand Openings & Lodging Upgrades

The New Web Suites Offer Bird’s Eye View of Friday Harbor

Stay, refresh and re-center in The Web Suites. Each of the three newly constructed, deluxe one-bedroom condo suites are nautically themed; each features a king size bed, kitchen, living area and a modern gas fireplace. Enjoy the Crow’s Nest, a rooftop deck with a 360-degree view of Friday Harbor. Listen to live music over the rooftops, watch the ferry glide by and enjoy beautiful sunsets—or snuggle by the fireplace with a good book. With thirty years of hospitality and service experience, islanders Rex and Lisa Guard want to share their life-long island knowledge with you. Contact: (360) 317-1798; [email protected];

Snug Harbor Resort Marina Expands

Snug Harbor Resort’s new 60 slip marina will be constructed in deeper water with wider docks and a better functional design. The latest ecological standards will transform the aging marina which welcomes both permanent and visiting yachts. After the marina is completed, guests of the resort—entirely rebuilt over the last three years—will be able to enjoy the convenience of walking from their cabins to the marina to enjoy kayaking tours and whale watching trips provided by Crystal Seas Kayaking and Maya’s Legacy Whale Watching. Contact: Erik Nelson, (206) 498-5608; [email protected];

Lakedale’s New Yurt Village; With All the Comforts of Home

Lakedale Resort has added a Yurt Village to its portfolio of expansive glamping offerings. The Village is composed of seven well-appointed yurts situated on the southern end of the serene 82-acre property. Offered May through October only, each private, 450 square-foot yurt comes fully furnished, has an en-suite bathroom with shower, electricity, wet bar, refrigerator and wrap-around deck with hot tub and BBQ. Images and the full press release announcing the new yurts. Contact: Althea Conyers Achem, [email protected]

Concierge & Wedding Services

Dancing Under the Stars with Orcas Events’ Vintage Stage

In the mood for romance? Orcas Events has a new outdoor vintage dance floor (up to 29 x 39 feet in diameter). Create your perfect wedding ambiance with contemporary lounge furniture, farm tables, and chairs, vintage dishes and silverware, European crystal glassware—all available on Orcas Island, but can go anywhere in the San Juans. Contact: Veronica Ste. Martin, [email protected];

WaterWorks Gallery’s “Have Art, Will Travel” Service

Ever see an art piece you love but are unsure what it will look like in your home or office space? WaterWorks owner and curator, Ruth Offen, offers a new solution with her “Have Art, Will Travel” service. A frequent traveler to Seattle, Ruth states, “I would be delighted to bring a painting or sculpture from the gallery for a trial period in an office or home.” Since 1984, WaterWorks Gallery has highlighted world-class painters, printmakers, sculptors, jewelers in an intimate and fun gallery space in Friday Harbor. Contact: Ruth Offen, gallery (360) 378-3060; cell (360) 317-8262; [email protected];

Events & Activities

Local Magician Matthew Laslo Opens Escape Room on Orcas Island

Join in the Escape Room trend, built by Orcas Island’s very own young magician, Matthew Laslo. This Harry Potter-themed escape room gives you and several friends the thrill of following clues to get out of a tight spot. The perfect answer to the question: “what do you want to do tonight?” Contact: Matthew Laslo, [email protected];

Craft Brewery and Kayaking Tour

Outdoor Odysseys Sea Kayaking is partnering with local craft breweries for three days and two nights of kayaking, wildlife watching, and pairing locally crafted beers with their delicious camp cuisine. Relax on Jones Island as our expertly guided sea kayaking tour by day becomes a waterfront tasting room by night. Wander Brewing from Bellingham, Fremont Brewing from Seattle, and Icicle Brewing from Leavenworth all are sending their expert brewers and delicious beers their way this summer. Contact: Tom Murphy, (360) 378-3533; [email protected];

E-Bikes for Rent at Wildlife Cycles

E-bikes are a great way to enjoy Orcas Island! Wildlife Cycles on Orcas Island now offers E-Bikes for rent by the hour, with a 2-hour minimum. The shop is open every day during the summer months, and reservations are recommended. These bikes are pedal-assist and have a range of 30-60 miles depending on the level of assistance. Contact: (360) 376-4708; [email protected]

27th Annual Wildlife 100 Tour of the San Juans

On Sunday, August 19th, Wildlife Cycles will be hosting our 27th Annual Wildlife 100 tour of the San Juan Islands. Your $10 donation goes to Orcas Island Recreational Program, which provides year-round activities for youth, teens, adults, and families. The Tour will start at Wildlife Cycles at 6:00 am but anyone can meet up with the group at any point of the route. This is an unsupported ride. Contact: Taryn Collis, Operations Manager, Outdoor Odysseys, (360) 378-3533; [email protected]

Pod Nods: Not New but Very Cool!

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: August 10, and August 24. 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. The museum promises a high adult/child ratio and a whale of a good time! Sign up online: Contact: Tracy Merrill (360) 378-4710 ext. 23; [email protected];  

Rent a Boat in Friday Harbor

Friday Harbor Boat Rental co-owners Noah Easterbrook and Kayla Short have a passion for boats. Noah grew up sailing around the world with his parents, and Kayla grew up in Friday Harbor with a connection to the natural environment. Together, they hope to share their love of boating and the San Juan Islands by renting their six different boats, from a 24-foot sailboat to a small 13-foot skiff perfect for cruising around the harbor and setting crab traps. Contact: Noah or Kayla, (360) 317-5578; [email protected];

Savor the San JuansA Medley of Food, Farms, and FilmKeeps Growing

Farm tours, wine dinners, a Bike & Brew cycling event, the Hops on the Rock Beer Festival, and other fun events fill the autumn months, rounded off by Eat Island Grown, a tasting event featuring the farms and chefs of the San Juan Islands. Two unique film festivals—the Orcas Island Film Festival and the Friday Harbor Film Festival also make an autumn getaway an artistic feast this fall. Formerly just in October, Savor events now take place September 9 through November 10. For dates and more information, visit  Contact: Barbara Marrett, (360) 378-6822; [email protected]

Friday Harbor Film Festival Honors Captain Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd

Captain Watson will be honored on Friday, October 26, during the Friday Harbor Film Festival opening night party. The gala will take place at San Juan Community Theatre, and will include a screening of the film, Chasing the Thunder, a high-seas documentary that follows the eco-warriors of Sea Shepherd as they engage on an epic 110-day, 10,000-mile chase of the notorious poaching vessel, the Thunder. Contact: Karen Palmer, [email protected];

New Travel Resources

New Blog Shares Stories of the San Juan Islands

See island life from the local point of view in the San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau’s new blog, Island Stories, a collection of experiences, sustainable travel tips, and profiles of some of the farmers, artists, adventurers, naturalists, chefs, innkeepers, whale researchers and others who make up the close-knit creative communities of the San Juan Islands. Island Stories features local and regional bloggers writing about life in the islands—nature, the arts, food, sustainability, travel, history, and more. If you have a blog post idea or would like to write a guest blog post, contact our blog editor at [email protected].

New Storefront and App from Center for Whale Research

For over 40 years, the Center for Whale Research has studied the dynamic populations of J-, K-, and L-pods, also known as the Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKWs). Now they’ve taken a step further with the opening of the Orca Survey Outreach & Education Center in downtown Friday Harbor this summer. People and orcas are brought face to face with big screen video footage of whales in the wild and other fun displays. And now, a new app by the Center for Whale Research provides budding orcaholics with the opportunity to learn how to identify individual whales, understand their tight-knit social structure, prey choices, and scroll through the Center’s amazing gallery images. Location: 185 S. First St., Friday Harbor. Contact: [email protected];



Barbara Marrett,  Media & Communications Manager

Phone: (360) 378-6822 ext. 6,  [email protected],


Early Summer Edition, 2018

Note: Contacts and phone numbers below are for media follow-up and may not be the best contact for consumers

Restaurants, Lodging, Shops

A Tasting Room for The Orcas Project

Doe Bay Wine Company has remodeled and refocused to provide a dedicated area in Eastsound for wine tasting and educational wine experiences. With themes like Food & Wine Pairing, Wine 101 and Boutique Producers of the Northwest, this promises to be one of the most engaging evening activities in the islands. The Orcas Project are small-production, limited release wines made in collaboration between acclaimed winemakers and vineyards in the Pacific Northwest, featuring labels designed by Orcas Island artists. These are 'get it while you can' wines. Contact Cole Sisson, [email protected]; (360) 376-7467

More Delicious Views from Friday Harbor House

The only thing that could make the views from Friday Harbor House better is more space to enjoy them. An expanded, upgraded outdoor deck at the restaurant at Friday Harbor House is on schedule to be completed this summer! The deck features comfortable seating, a fire pit, and an outdoor kitchen.  With over twice as much available outdoor dining space at the restaurant, there will be plenty of room to revel in Friday Harbor House’s stunning San Juan Channel vistas and feast on Chef Jason Aldous’ delectable Northwest fare. Contact Joleen Zanuzoski, [email protected]; (206) 452-8189

ADA/Drive-up Comes to Lopez Farm Cottages & Camping

Three new year-round campsites have been added to the camping menu. The sites have their own sweet little camp building with a hot water shower, sink and flush toilet. The building exterior has a covered kitchen (microwave, coffee maker, and sink) picnic table, wood-burning fire ring and barbecue. All are designed to meet all the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Farm Cottage owners offer a 50% site discount for wheelchair-bound campers to encourage handicapped guests to enjoy an easy camping experience. Morning coffee is complimentary. Sites are suitable for cars, pickup trucks with camper shells and camper vans. No trailers or RVs due to space constraints. Contact Cathie, [email protected];  (360) 468-3555

Revamp at Roche Harbor Resort & Spa

The Roche Harbor Village is becoming more village-like every year with the recent addition of new upscale homes for rent by the resort. A new organic market garden now supplies the resort’s three restaurants with fresh, local vegetables, berries, and flowers. The historic Hotel de Haro enjoyed major renovation of the Presidential Suite (where President Theodore Roosevelt is rumored to have stayed) and Sunset Suite this winter. The majority of the hotel rooms have been refurbished and the historic miners’ cabins, condos, and McMillin Suites have all been refreshed recently as well. In April, the lovely new Courtyard Suite overlooking the Pavilion Courtyard will open. Trent Huntsman is McMillin’s Dining Room new sous chef, bringing years of experience in kitchens across the country. The new menu will provide a balance of classic dishes and iconic Northwest staples. Contact Alyssa Ostenrude, [email protected]; (360) 378-2155

Brunch at Ursa Minor Select  Summer Sundays

You can expect a classic spread with a creative Ursa Minor twist. The preset menu possibilities may include crepes, yogurt, eggs, cured meats and pickles. Offering a creative agrarian northwest cuisine, Ursa Minor is a destination that is uniquely Lopez. Come enjoy an experience that reflects the idyllic island setting. Chef Nick Coffey works closely with local farmers, fishermen and foragers to offer a constantly evolving menu of inventive small plates, complimented by a unique list of natural wines. Contact Nova, [email protected]; (360) 622-2730

‘Thyme’ for Goats

Since 1996, Island Thyme™ has been creating botanically-based skin and body care products in small batches from their farm and apothecary studio on Orcas Island. Essential oils, wild-crafted herbs, distillate waters and natural emollients like shea butter and jojoba oil are just a few of the muses that guide their original recipes. Now a small herd of goats has arrived at the farm. Goats’ milk soap will be a silky addition to the line this spring. [email protected]

Grand Openings

Time to be Juanderers™

A small design studio in Olga, Washington fashions the allure of a big lifestyle brand. Starting this spring, these stylish island goods are exclusively available online. Weary travelers and loyal locals can rejoice in the convenience of scoring the perfect souvenir, or a bit of homegrown apparel, whenever and wherever they’d like. They’ve tirelessly toiled over their designs and have handpicked their apparel and merchandise. Plus, they’ve worked really hard to craft a fun and comprehensive online shopping experience. Most important:  they’re on the Islands, for the Islands. They’ll split a dollar of every shirt that they sell three ways to help all islanders: whales, wildlife, and humans. Contact Scott Hale, [email protected]; (315) 527-4891

Tours, Concierge & Wedding Services

Salish Sea Tour Company

A new tour company, the Salish Sea Tour Company, started its tours in June. Featuring brand new, 12-person, custom Mercedes high-top vans with local tour guide/drivers. The morning tour's focus is on the Island’s scenic beauty and artists. The afternoon tour's focus is on the local food and beverage scene. Each tour highlights four to five fascinating local businesses and sites. Several times a week, an early morning photo and coffee tour will take guests from Rosario Resort & Marina up to Mount Constitution to sip coffee, eat pastries and explore the view. From learning how to shuck oysters to picking out vegetables at farm stands, each tour will focus on the highlights but also the people and ideas behind them. Space reservations [email protected]. Contact Cole Sisson, (360) 376-7467

The Isla Vida Group

The Isla Vida Group is a local travel & concierge company that specializes in enhancing your San Juan Islands travel experience. It is their goal to take the time to get to understand your style of travel, and then customize your itinerary to suit your tastes. Making your trip exceptional is about taking care of the details. Whether you’re a solo outdoor enthusiast, a couple seeking a romantic getaway, or on your way to wedding activities, a family vacation, business retreats and more, The Isla Vida Group is your go-to resource for stress-free travel planning. Contact Taryn Hall & Sarah Shaefer, [email protected]; (800) 277-1956

Orcas Island Tours & Islands Weddings and Events

Didier Gincig has created a new tour business on Orcas Island for travelers visiting for a dream vacation, a wedding, a special event, or a family trip. A long-time islander-turned-local-guide will share the best places on the island, whether it’s in nature, in town, or even a tour of the breweries and best drinking spots. They will also help with logistics for couples who are coming to the Islands to be married. Islands Weddings and Events will coordinate a wedding venue, caterer, wedding cake, flowers, DJ, photographer, videographer, officiating services, and even help with lodging, transportation, and all that is needed for a successful wedding for all the visiting guests. Tours: Didier Gincig, [email protected] Weddings: Didier Gincig, [email protected] (360) 298-0362

New Events, Exhibits, and Activities

Conversations with Gee’s Bend at SJIMA

On display at San Juan Islands Museum of Art from May 25th – September 3, 2018, Part II of the Museum’s 2018 theme The Female Gaze. Fifteen years ago an astounding exhibit of quilts made by women of Gee’s Bend, Alabama toured the country. These women, descendants of West African slaves, inspired artists across the country to speak through their work. Exhibiting artists in this show work in conventional and unconventional materials across a variety of media, some traditional, some unconventional. What they all have in common is a particular aesthetic, a direct response to the amazing Gee’s Bend quilts, where artists inspire artists. Contact Diane Martindale, [email protected]; (360) 370-5814; Annie Adams, [email protected] (360) 378-2638

Field of Blues

The Orcas Center Summer Concert Series takes music lovers outdoors. What could be better than the landscape of Orcas Island combined with a concert of your favorite music? “Field of Blues,” in partnership with Mt. Baker Farm, is a new summer outdoor music series that celebrates a variety of musical genres that will attract music lovers across all demographics. Contact [email protected]; (360) 376-2281 ext. 4

Turn Island Wildlife Refuge Kayak Tour

Just five minutes from Friday Harbor this new half-day guided kayak trip offers a fantastic few hours of paddling, hiking, and wildlife viewing. Spend the morning exploring the secret bays and paddling the protected waters of Griffin Bay and Turn Island National Wildlife Refuge. Deep forest, quiet beaches, mountain views and plenty of wildlife highlight this half-day adventure! San Juan Kayak Expeditions has been sea kayaking here since 1980, and it shows in their knowledge of the “secret places” to go! This trip is reminiscent of sea kayaking in days past. Contact Sally Thomsen, [email protected]; (360) 378-4436

Awards and Anniversaries

Good Food Award for Girl Meets Dirt

Girl Meets Dirt on Orcas Island is well known for its archipelago preserves with heirloom varietal fruits and fresh herbs. Now their new line of shrubs is gaining recognition, with the Ruby Spiced Apple Shrub winning a 2018 Good Food Award. Tart Everest crabapples are juiced and accessorized with star anise, cinnamon and black pepper for a warm spice especially suited for warm days and cold, dark rum. Contact Jessica Brinson, [email protected]; (360) 375-6269

James Beard Nomination for Blackinton

Orcas Island Chef Jay Blackinton, who daringly split his locavore haven Hogstone’s Wood Oven into two restaurants last year with the advent of Aelder, is once again a semifinalist for the 2018 James Beard Award for Rising Star Chef of the Year. Aelder’s focus is on a seasonal tasting menu while Hogstone’s is an outdoor venue focused on pizza, salad, and more rustic fare. Contact Jay Blackinton, [email protected]; (360) 376-4647

West Beach Resort turns 80

West Beach Resort, a rustic getaway on the west side of Orcas Island, celebrates 80 years as a destination resort with a rebuilt marina and brand-new playground. Contact Jamey Hance, [email protected] (877) 937-8224

Kirk House Honored by TripAdvisor

Kirk House Bed and Breakfast in Friday Harbor has been recognized in the B&Bs and Inns category of the 2018 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards for Hotels, ranking #20 out of 25 in the United States. The 1907 Craftsman style house exudes turn-of-the-century charm and is surrounded by lovely gardens with serene seating areas. Contact Roxy Kasman, [email protected]; (360) 378-3757

New Owners as Vic’s Drive Inn turns 60

Cheeseburgers and milkshakes, a classic American combination popular since the days of poodle skirts and sock hops, are go-to menu items at Vic’s Drive Inn in Friday Harbor. Vic’s has been proudly serving the San Juan Islands since 1958. While the beloved Drive Inn (that isn’t a drive-up) has been spruced up, it hasn’t lost its 50s charm. Its where the locals go for an affordable meal and a great burger! Contact Brian Carlson, [email protected]; (360) 378-8427

Wolf Hollow Celebrates 35 Years of Wildlife Rehab

Since it was founded in 1982, Wolf Hollow Wildlife Rehab Center on San Juan Island has provided care for over 16,000 injured and orphaned wild animals, with the aim of releasing them back into the wild. Hummingbirds, swallows, woodpeckers, eagles, owls, herons, snakes, raccoons, deer and seals are just a few of the more than 200 species of wildlife that have been cared for at Wolf Hollow. Contact Amy Saxe-Eyler, [email protected]; (360) 378-5000  

Lime Kiln Lighthouse turns 100 in 2019

Likely the most photographed object in the San Juan Islands, the photogenic lighthouse will celebrate its centennial with special events, tours, and exhibits. Located at Lime Kiln Point State Park on the west side of San Juan Island, AKA Whale Watch Park, it’s one of the best areas in the world to see orca whales from shore.  Contact: Erin Corra, [email protected];

Dropbox link to photos:



Barbara Marrett, Media & Communications Manager

Phone: (360) 378-6822 ext. 6, [email protected]


Winter Edition, 2018


Shops, Restaurants, Lodging


Lavender in Eastsound

An institution on San Juan Island, Pelindaba Lavender Farm has expanded is aromatic empire to the charming shopping district in the heart of the village of Eastsound on Orcas Island. The shop offers more than 250 products, from lotions, teas, vinegars, oils, cleaning products, pet products, all made from oil distilled from lavender grown on their farm on Wold Road on San Juan Island. The spacious new store opened on Main Street in July 2017 amidst other locally owned boutiques, galleries and restaurants, just a 15-minute drive from the Washington State Ferry Terminal. Contact: Amelia, [email protected];

Lakedale Resort adds yurts and activity center

Lakedale will be opening its 8 th different type of accommodation in 2018. Current options include: a cozy lodge, log cabins, Airstream trailers, canvas-sided glamping tents, canvas cottages, campsites, RV campsites, and now yurts. Each of the seven new 24-foot yurts on the shores of Fish Hook Lake will be decked out with all the amenities you’d expect from a glamping site, including a queen-size bed with pillow-top bedding and flannel duvet, a table and four chairs, a cordless lantern, bath linens, and a Toasty Toes turndown service. They also will be breaking ground on a new activity center where you can make tie-dye shirts, learn how to paddle board, paint your own birdhouse, create crazy jewelry, and take a campfire cooking class. Contact: Karl Bruno, [email protected];

North Beach Inn restores historic Lodge

On the northern shore of Orcas Island, the North Beach Inn is a historic resort featuring quaint beachfront cabins. Its recently re-opened Lodge was built in 1932 as the original dining hall for the resort. A gracious front porch overlooks a beautiful sand and gravel beach just steps away. And, a generous fireplace, vaulted beamed ceiling, deep bay windows maintain its period charm. This distinctive building, designed in the style of an 1800s Scottish hunting lodge, features an 800-sq. ft. event venue with a commercial-sized kitchen. Along with a dozen beachfront rental cottages, the Lodge is a perfect venue for conferences, seminars, and retreats of up to 50 adults. Contact: RuthAnne Comrie, [email protected];

Local meat now on the menu at Doe Bay Café

This year brings a big change to Orcas Island’s popular café which has gained local and national kudos for its pescatarian menu and fresh locally grown fare. "We are very excited to announce we will now feature locally raised meat on our menu," says Chef Jon Chappelle. "We will be sourcing our meat with the same set of standards that we do all of our products, utilizing only locally produced, organic, and ethically raised animals." The Doe Bay Café menu will maintain focus on produce from its one-acre onsite garden, and "vegetable-forward" cuisine. The Café is a member of Island Grown in the San Juans  (, which promotes locally grown products. Contact: Chef Jon Chapelle, [email protected];

Doe Bay Wine Company open

Sommelier Cole Sisson, who worked at The Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas and at many restaurants in Seattle, grew up just down the road from the Doe Bay Resort & Retreat on Orcas Island. Sisson has returned to Orcas with his wife Stephanie, where Doe Bay Resort (and Orcas Island in general) has is now a foodie mecca. In honor of where he grew up, Sisson named his new wine shop Doe Bay Wine Company, and features a thoughtfully-curated international selection of wines, beers & ciders. The Sissons also host themed tastings, a lineup of classes and personalized, private tastings. Sisson also has created his own line of wines, the Orcas Project, for sale at the shop. Contact: Cole Sisson, [email protected];

The Exchange on Orcas Island reopens

Recycling in the Islands is almost a religion. A new thrift shop with a long history opened on Orcas Island in late 2017. An island institution, The Exchange was a part of the transfer station, attracting locals and visitors alike in search of treasures. A fire broke out in 2013, and The Exchange burned to the ground.  The resilient community persevered, and Orcas Recycling Services/The Exchange took over the San Juan County Transfer Station seven months later. Orcas Recycling Services’ goal is to be a model for sustainability, by creating a new kind of recycling, reduction, and reuse system, the new and improved Exchange is part of that goal. Contact: Pete Moe, [email protected];

New Permanent Exhibits at Whale Museum

The Whale Museum becomes multi-lingual and more--Audio tours are now available in English, Spanish, German, French, Chinese, and Japanese at the museum. A new exhibit, The History of Endangered Orcas, explores over 50 years of research using historic images, audio recordings, and games. Organized by decade, each section describes major discoveries and how they changed our understanding of an animal that was feared and hated and has now become a symbol of the Pacific Northwest. The Museum’s new Challenge Wheel encourages actions to protect the marine environment. Whichever wedge you land on gives a simple action to take in your life to help endangered orcas. Contact: Rebekah Cousins, Museum Curator, [email protected], (360) 378-4710 ext. 31;

Planes, Trains & Bicycle Wheels

New airline finally takes off...connecting Canada and the San Juans for the shortest international flight in North America. Starting February 2, 2018, NorthStar Air Tours will offer daily flights from Sidney (near Victoria), British Columbia to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. The nine-passenger small plane has been waiting for FAA approval, but has now received the go-ahead to fly several flights a day. It’s just a 15- minute hop between San Juan Island and Vancouver Island. It’s perfect timing, as the International ferry from Sidney B.C. to Friday Harbor, WA, takes a winter hiatus every year.; (888) 604-7272. Media Contact: Sophia Siegal, [email protected], (250) 800-1381

Bicycle Adventures adds trips

Bicycle Adventures, a bike touring company offering trips in the San Juan Islands, lets you choose from one-day to six-day trips. Enjoy a comfortable van ride from Seattle – take your own favorite bike or use theirs – and then beat the traffic back to Seattle on a fantastic 45-minute floatplane ride over the stunning San Juan Islands. When you land on Lake Union in Seattle, your bike will meet you there.

Activities & New Events


Ride the Train at Mount Baker Farm Campground

Mount Baker Farm is a unique, private campground on 80 wooded acres just a 5-minute walk from the village of Eastsound on Orcas Island. Featuring a full-gauge railway on a 2-mile track, a huge barn, historical exhibit and a petting farm with donkeys, goats, and chickens, Mount Baker Farm is an ideal location for families. Wooded campsites are scattered throughout the back of the property, and the campground is walk-in only, so kids can play safely. The train can deliver you to your campsite or canvas glamping tent, where camp chairs, hammocks, dinnerware and butane stoves are provided. Contact: Cheryl, (360) 376-2425 [email protected];

Writer Island Workshop with Artsmith

Spend two days in an intimate and supportive setting, and enjoy an infusion of new craft techniques and the stimulating conversation of other serious writers including Alaska writer and workshop leader, Peggy Schumacher. The Artsmith Writer Island Workshop on March 2 and 3 takes place at the historic Kangaroo House Bed & Breakfast in Eastsound on Orcas Island. Limited to twelve participants, the workshop is focused on improving the writer’s craft. Contact: Jill Johnson-McCabe, [email protected];

1st Annual Orcas Island Literary Festival

The Orcas Island Literary Festival brings together people who love to read books with the authors who love to write them. From April 13th to 15th, 2018, festival-goers will participate in dynamic panel discussions, writing workshops, a book fair, and a lit crawl featuring exciting new literary voices, including New York Times bestselling and Pulitzer-prize winning authors. A few of the participating writers include: Victor LaValle, author of the short story collection Slapboxing with Jesus, and four novels including The Changeling; Poet Kevin Clark, author of Self-Portrait with Expletives and In the Evening of No Warning; and Kim Fu, author of the novel For Today I am a Boy, winner of the Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction. Contact: Jule Treneer, [email protected]; Find their press kit, poster and more at



Lime Kiln Lighthouse turns 100 in 2019

Most likely the most photographed object in the San Juan Islands, the photogenic lighthouse will celebrate its centennial with special events, tours and exhibits. Located at Lime Kiln Point State Park on the west side of San Juan Island, AKA Whale Watch Park, it’s one of the best areas in the world to see orca whales from shore.  Contact: Erin Corra, [email protected];

Island Shakespeare Turns 20

2018 marks the 20th anniversary of Island Stage Left theatre company, celebrating two-decades of professional theatre productions performed under the stars in the San Juan Islands. Note: additional winter, spring and fall plays and productions are performed indoors. This summer’s play is most appropriate: Shakespeare’s The Tempest—set on an island surrounded by magical creatures and summoning all the forces of nature—and will run from July 5 th through August 12th, with performances on Orcas, Shaw and Lopez Islands from July 5th through July 8th. Contact: Helen Machin-Smith, [email protected];

Sleep in a little bit of Friday Harbor History

The Tucker House Inn turns 120 years old in 2018. This sweet little bed & breakfast just steps from the ferry landing in Friday Harbor was built in 1898 by Clarence and Marie Tucker. The Tuckers’ house was eventually transformed into The Tucker House, an inn welcoming visitors for almost 40 years, owned by Coho Restaurant owners Anna Maria de Freitas and Dave Pass. [email protected];

Farm-to-Fork Coho Restaurant turns 10 with a new chef

Coho Restaurant, part of the San Juan Island Inn Collection (which includes Harrison House Suites and Tucker House Inn), is pleased to announce its 10-year anniversary April 15 th 2018. Executive Chef Timothy Payne will lead Coho Restaurant into its second decade of providing farm-to- fork dining on San Juan Island. Having grown up on a farm, Chef Payne’s passion is deep-rooted. He loves cultivating relationships with farms and food purveyors who are providing the many local ingredients he showcases in his dishes. Contact: Anna Maria de Freitas, [email protected];

Dropbox with photos:

New & Cool Archives

2017 New & Cool