With all of us making up for an entire year of travelling, hugging and eating out, things seem a bit more crowded in our gorgeous Washington State than usual. So we decided to treat ourselves to a midweek getaway on beautiful San Juan Island and we were not disappointed.
Lunch at the Market Chef
This cute, gourmet deli on A Street is open Tuesday through Friday, 10:00am to 4:00pm and worth a midweek trip to San Juan Island alone. Everything, including the breads and deli meats, is made fresh from scratch, local and seasonal. Check out the daily salad sampler and do not miss the roast beef sandwich with Arugula on a caraway-salt-roll. Full confession: I had three of those…
Saltspring Suite at Bird Rock Hotel
Due to the pandemic and a severe labor shortage on San Juan Island, Bird Rock Hotel has changed to being a remotely-managed property. We stayed in the Saltspring Suite, which is a large studio-like apartment with a two-person jetted tub and its own entrance. Staff is available via text and phone and responded to all our requests and questions immediately. We loved being able to walk to all the restaurants, shops, museums and cafes.
Massage at the Spa at Earthbox
The adorable Spa at Earthbox is just three blocks from the Bird Rock Hotel and offers massages, facials, sugaring and eye lash extensions. Reservations are highly recommended, but as of this writing, they still had a fair amount of availability midweek. My husband and I hadn’t have a massage since 2019. We both got massages from Rachael. Best we’ve ever had.
Sushi at Sunset
Even though most restaurants started offering limited indoor dining right around our visit, I had it in my head to have the fanciest sunset picnic at the whale watch park on this trip. Equipped with table cloth and wine glasses, local wine and beer and the fabulous Sashimi Plate from Topsl’s Sushi & Seafood Bar, we set out to Lime Kiln State Park to find ourselves the most scenic picnic table overlooking the Salish Sea. Another perk of traveling midweek: we had the entire whale watch park to ourselves.
Whale Watching Tour with San Juan Safaris
The grand finale of our trip was a guided whale watching tour on San Juan Safaris’ zodiac. San Juan Safaris’ office on the Friday Harbor waterfront is also home of the Riptide Café, perfect to pick up a snack for the boat ride.
While we were putting on our exposure suits for the three-hour, open-air ride, we were introduced to Naturalist Olivia and Captain Gabe, and off we went to see a grey whale feeding incredibly close to the shore near Lopez Island. Grey whales are solitary travelers, about 45 feet long, consuming about 2,500 pounds of shrimp per day and are a rare sight in these waters. Next we explored a rock full of loud and rowdy sea lions, then went on to see several porpoises, bald eagles and a total of three lighthouses, including the most northwestern lighthouse in the continental US: Turn Point on Stewart Island. Wow. Happy and tired we returned and had a well-deserved local ale at the cute Cease and Desist tap room next to San Juan Safaris’ office.