What do freshly shucked oysters, Madrona-infused Brandy and lavender massage oil have in common? They are all sustainably grown and lovingly made on San Juan Island. Clean water, clean air and fertile soil make the isle not only the perfect place for wild things, like the Orca Whales and Bald Eagles, but also for small, family-owned farms to grow and manufacture healthy, fun, unique crops. The best part: you can tour these unusual farms for free and eat, drink and smell your way through their exquisite harvests.
1) Westcott Bay Shellfish Co.
Open to visitors between Memorial Day and Labor Day, Westcott Bay Shellfish Co. produces Pacific Oysters, Manila Clams and Mediterranean Mussels in the pristine tidelands of Westcott Bay. Come on by and pick up dinner or stay a while for a Summer picnic at the comfy picnic tables overlooking the serene farm operation. Have a beer and some freshly baked island bread and cheeses, learn how to shuck your own oysters, or have them barbequed fresh off the grill.
2) San Juan Island Distillery
The nearby boutique Distillery, also home of Westcott Bay Ciders makes for a picturesque, fun next stop. Ciders, Brandy and other spirits are made from their apple orchards lining Westcott Bay, infused with unique island flavors and distilled in the gorgeous all-copper Adrian Still. Tours and tastings start on the hour on Summer weekends. The award-winning, incredibly delicious spirits are hard to get off-island. Stock up on their Spy Hop Gin or Lavender & Wild Rose Liqueur as unique gifts and a real treat.
3) Pelindaba Lavender Farm
For desert, check out the local, certified organic Lavender Farm. Have a lavender cookie, lavender ice cream and sip on refreshing lavender infused lemonade, while browsing over 200 lavender products, manufactured right here, at the Gatehouse Farm store. Stroll through endless fields of purple goodness, take a guided farm tour or partake in a craft workshop. Cut your own lavender or pick up a few plants for your garden at home. Don’t miss the annual Lavender Festival in July, a mini Summer fair in paradise.