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The San Juan Islands are a major tourist destination for many who are local to the greater Seattle area or Canada. There are several islands – Lopez, Shaw, Orcas, and Friday Harbor, which is the largest town on the biggest island, San Juan. My first visit was during my freshman year at UW for a geology field trip, and all I could really remember was spotting an eagle from the giant school vans we were riding around in.

For whatever reason, I never paid much attention to the islands after the geology trip, and I even forgot that I had been up there.  As luck would have it, fate stepped in last June and I realized I would be getting to know the town of Friday Harbor and San Juan Island very, very well.

Out of the blue Jordan got a job in Friday Harbor that would span about 18 months. Suddenly I was stressing over ferry schedules and wondering if my car would make it the 160 mile round-trip every other weekend. It hasn’t been easy, I’ve missed a few ferries and gotten a new car since all of this started about 9 months ago. One thing is for sure, I have become an island expert with my numerous visits (true locals would probably roll their eyes at me saying that). There is a lot of fun stuff to do on the island, all of which I will probably share over numerous posts until Jordan completes the job this December.

To start things off, the basics…

Always research the ferry schedule. It’s imperative to starting your weekend off right and stress-free. If you are walking on, you can always arrive about 20 minutes early and be good to go. Driving on is another story. Either get to the Anacortes ferry dock several hours before your anticipated ferry or expect to be bumped back due to high volumes in the summer. It’s the main complaint you hear from everyone who tries to travel to any of the islands.

Once you make it to Friday Harbor, the rest is up to you. There is the choice to do nothing or do everything. I have done both. Here is one recent weekend…

Get a Growler from the Friday Harbor General Store right downtown. Where you choose to enjoy it is your choice...

Eat at Cask and Schooner. I avoided this place for months because it looked “too touristy” and is one of the first places you see when you get off the ferry. I finally went, and boy, have I been missing out! Great place for brunch, lunch, or dinner. I am so sad I do not have pictures of the steamed clams or crab risotto specials Jordan and I had when we first went. But we went back for brunch on another occasion…

Awesome Fish and Chips.

Corned Beef Hash Brunch.

Get ready, I will be back with more posts! By the end of the year, I will show you everything San Juan Island and the town of Friday and Roche Harbor have to offer!

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