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10 Favorite Ways to Treat Yourself on your San Juan Island Vacation

Updated April 2018

Do you sometimes feel you need a vacation when you come home from a trip? Do you long for a little alone time or not being in charge for a while? Well, then, we have just the place for you!  It’s almost impossible to get stressed out on San Juan Island. As soon as you get off the ferry in Friday Harbor, you are on island time. There is a slower pace here, people actually look you in the eyes and smile. The church bells ring on Sundays. We have no traffic lights. Instead we have endless and awesome opportunities for you to treat yourself right on your island vacation. I live in this paradise and here are 10 things I do when I need a break from the daily grind:

The Spa at Earthbox in Friday Harbor

  1. Spa Day at the Spa at Earthbox

The full-service spa at our sister hotel just two blocks from the Bird Rock Hotel is the place to get pampered in Friday Harbor. Get a Hot Stone Massage with stones collected from the island’s beaches, a rejuvenating body wrap or a Tree of Life Organic Face Treatment. Get your brows shaped and toes polished, while sipping on aromatic herbal tea and nibbling on delicious chocolate. My absolute favorite is the Open Sky signature massage, which incorporates some hot stone work and a mini-facial into a full-body Swedish Massage.

  1. Buy the Unusual

Friday Harbor has an abundance of cute boutiques and shops, like Deer Hazel on Spring Street, and high-end consignment stores like Girlfriends on Nichols Street. Meander and browse and buy something outside of your normal. A wild-colored blouse, knee-high socks with frills, or a fuzzy hat. Wear it with pride and feel a little wild. I’m trying to wear more bright colors right now. My last venture was finding a red dress, just because I never had one before.

  1. Read a Book on the Beach

Cozy Griffin Bay Bookstore with its comfy coffee shop, excellent local and national selection and fabulous author events is an absolute must for any reader. Treat yourself to a fat hardcover of your favorite author and head to the beach for the day. Your calm, focused mind will applaud you.

Topsl Sushi Bar in Friday Harbor, Washington

  1. Make it a Seafood Extravaganza

Go to the Topsl Seafood Bar overlooking the water and let classically trained sushi chef Kasu San do his thing. All seafood and seaweed is sourced locally from San Juan Island fishermen and absolutely delicious. The last time I had oysters on the half shell there, I actually found a pearl!

Friday Harbor Ferry San Juan Island

  1. Write Postcards

Buy a stack of pretty post cards, sit at a coffee shop and write to your favorite people. Just imagine the smile on your aunt’s face and the giggle of your best friend when they get it in the mail. Write somebody you haven’t talked to in a while. Try a poem. Or write backwards. I like to write separate postcards to my husband, son and daughter, but they only make sense if all three cards are held next to each other.

  1. Go Dessert Hopping

It’s like bar hopping, but with desserts. Have a dripping cone of dark cherry ice cream from the Friday Harbor Ice Cream Co., an Island Cobbler while overlooking the harbor at the Friday Harbor House, and a Salted Caramel Martini at Downriggers on the waterfront. Yes, that last one is a dessert. Trust me.

  1. Relax with Yoga

For me there is no better way to gently exercise my body and calm my soul than yoga. Drop in on one of Katarina’s awesome yoga classes at Island Soul Studios. I’ll see you there.

  1. Take a Bath

Get some San Juan Sea Salt bath salts from the Food Coop and get soaking. If you reserved a room at the Bird Rock Hotel without a jetted tub, take your bath in the claw-foot tub on the second floor. Don’t forget your book. If you time it right, you can take Bird Rock’s afternoon lemonade and cookies up to your tub.

  1. A Day at the Museums

Friday Habor is home to the amazing Whale Museum, the first museum in the nation to be dedicated to a species living in the wild. Learn abpout the island's rich history at the Historical Museum. Don't miss the lovely Museum of Art in the heart of town and it's contemporary exhibitions about the Pacific Northwest and get inspired.

Shakespeare under the Stars San Juan Island

  1.  See Art

We are so blessed to harbor so many creative minds here on the island. I swear I see more theater, movies, concerts and exhibitions on San Juan Island than I ever did when I lived in the city. Check out the San Juan Community Theatre for fantastic live theater and classical concerts. Don’t miss Shakespeare under the Stars and the free Music on the Lawn series on the San Juan Island Historical Museum grounds in July and August.

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