With our lush valleys and temperate climate, it’s no wonder that agriculture is San Juan Island’s second largest industry. We are so grateful for that. Most restaurants serve some of our healthy, clean island-grown food. The Saturday’s Farmer’s Market in downtown Friday Harbor is a festive, fun affair. You will also pass by countless farm and flower stands on your way to the beaches and sites. The best part: some farms on San Juan Island will pleasantly surprise you with their unique offerings, special tours and ways to spend time there. Here is how you do it:
- Pelindaba Lavender Farm
If you are staying with us here at the Bird Rock Hotel, you will have already experienced some of Pelindaba’s magic. All of our body care products for our guest rooms are handcrafted on the farm. Pelindaba is open year-round to visitor’s with the height of ”purpleness” being in July and August. Besides rolling fields of lavender, including a cutting field for visitor’s and stunning sculptures throughout the fields, the farm also features a very comprehensive learning center and the on-site Farm House store, selling over 200 lavender products for decorative, culinary, personal care and therapeutic uses. Bring a picnic, sip a lavender lemonade and stay for star-gazing on a clear evening.
- Westcott Bay Shellfish Farm
Open to the public between Memorial Day and Labor Day this working farm, growing oysters, mussels and clams in the pristine Westcott Bay is so much fun to visit. Shuck your own oysters and have a draft beer, local bread, salads and charcuterie under colorful umbrellas on their beach. During the Summer, they barbeque oysters and steam clams for lunch. Don’t forget to buy some shellfish to take home or to grill on the beach later.
- San Juan Islands Distillery & Westcott Bay Ciders
Open year-round for Saturday Tastings, this cute boutique distillery and ciderworks is the perfect place to stop for a tour and tasting before heading to a romantic sunset dinner in Roche Harbor. They tastefully incorporate island-grown ingredients, like salal, rose and nettles, into their award-winning vodkas, gins and brandies. Their infused liqueurs are to die for.
- Sweet Earth Farm
Organic, sustainable Sweet Earth Farm on Mitchel Bay Road, is exactly what you might imagine when you think of an island farm. They raise chickens, turkeys, ducks and pigs and grow fruit, vegetables and herbs on 20 acres of truly sweet earth. There is also one very cute donkey in residence, because owner Elaine always wanted one. Find their seasonal abundance at the Saturday Farmer’s Market and their farm stand open from Spring through Fall. The farm is open to visitors every Wednesday in Summer. Don’t miss their delightful Farm-to-Table dinners hosted at the farm.
- Krystal Acres Alpaca Farm
Speaking of “very cute”: on the way to English Camp National Historical Park find the island’s alpaca farm and country store. Stroll around the farm and see over 50 fuzzy alpacas frolic under 100 year old oak trees. Check out the Country Store selling high-end alpaca clothing and toys from Peru, as well as yarn, gloves, hats, scarves and socks made from the herds at Krystal Acres. Local artist, Candy Hoeschen, hand dyes the yarn and even offers Seahawks colors. The farm is open year-round.