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How to Plan a San Juan Holiday Getaway

Updated October 2018

Late fall and winter are marvelous times to visit San Juan Island. The Olympic Rain Shadow graces the island with crystal clear, sunny days while other Washingtonians are donning fleece and rain gear. The peak season is over, the beaches and trails are empty, some restaurants and adventure providers close, but with a little insider knowledge and planning, you can treat yourself to an unforgettable island holiday for half the price of a summer vacation.

  1. Decide why you want to travel

Are you looking for a true island adventure? Most Whale Watch providers close shop for the Winter. Not so Capt. Maya with Maya’s Legacy Whale Watching. Capt. Maya goes out year-round, weather permitting. The chances of seeing Orcas are slimmer than in the Summer, but they are around. So are the Stellar Sea Lions, Porpoises, Otters, Bald Eagles and other amazing wildlife.

Is it deep relaxation you are seeking? Pamper yourself at the Spa at Earthbox. Go for a swim, sauna and hot tub in their pool house before indulging in a Soothing Sea massage and Tree of Life facial. You’ll feel like a new person and your body will thank you for the treat.

Are you escaping the Holiday hustle and bustle, the crowded malls, elaborate family meals? Friday Harbor is the place to get your holiday shopping done without any stress. Stroll from lovely boutique to friendly holiday market to breathtaking gallery, while leisurely sipping an egg nog latte. Have somebody else cook the holiday meal for you and your family and walk back to your cozy hotel room.

Holiday Tree Lighting in Friday Harbor Washington

  1. Pick your travel dates

First, we should tell you that our dear Bird Rock Hotel is closed from December to January. But don’t worry, we’re still answering the phones and promise to take good care of you! We’d like to suggest that you strongly consider staying at our sister property, Earthbox Inn & Spa. They’re just up the street and have lots of great amenities.They have an indoor heated pool, onsite day spa, beach cruiser bicycles (weather permitting) and free parking.

Call us to ask about special island Holiday events you may not want to miss, like the Village Tree Lighting or the Friday Harbor Winter Fest. Friday Harbor’s small town charm and its slow paced, festive Holiday Season will help make lasting memories for your kids and put a smile on your face.

  1. Consider your lodging needs

We at the Bird Rock Hotel, have 15 unique rooms, from two-bedroom suite with two person jetted tub to a simple queen bed room with a shared bath. Would you like a harbor view or a fire place, can’t do stairs, need a crib or your own private outdoor hot tub? Call us we’ll find the perfect room for you and yours.

If you opt to stay at our sister property, Earthbox, we have 72 rooms in various configurations.  We’re happy to help you find the perfect setup!

  1. Let us make reservations for you

Of course we’ll take care of room reservations, but we’re here to help you with all of your trip. If it’s a Wildlife Tour, a Farm to Table dinner, a spa treatment or a Holiday show you want to enjoy while here, simply let us know, we’ll make reservations for you.

Steller Sae Lions on San Juan Island

  1. Plan some unplanned time

Sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? There is so much to do here: hiking, biking, beach combing, history, the sculpture park, farms, museums, galleries, live music & theater, shopping. Don’t forget to leave time to amble, explore and let your senses guide you. That’s what island time is all about.

We can’t wait to see you!

"What a delightful place to stay!...

The staff is wonderful and the little extras

make it a comfortable place to stay."