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The Perfect Day on San Juan Island

My husband and I travel well together. We are very active, outdoorsy people, but also like to learn about the history and culture of the places we visit. We love San Juan Island because it has it all: rich history, astonishing nature, and world-class art. We set out to experience all of it on one recent Saturday and I have to say that we might just have experienced the Perfect Day on San Juan Island.

Our day started early with breakfast at the lovely Bird Rock Hotel where we stayed. We loaded our plates with mountains of fresh fruit, Greek yogurt and still warm cranberry scones and headed out to the sunny patio to eat. I love their coffee, roasted just a block down the street at the San Juan Coffee Roasting Company. We chatted with the other guests and Kris, the front desk manager, who was a fountain of ideas of things to do.

free beach cruiser bikes at Bird Rock Friday Harbor Hotel

I’m a volleyball player and bring a ball on every trip. We decided to check out the complimentary beachcruiser bicycles from the hotel and ride down to Jackson’s Beach for a round of volleyball. It has been a long time since I rode a beachcruiser with back pedal breaks. It was so much fun. John and I giggled the entire mile there. We had not only the volleyball court, but the entire beach to ourselves. The water was calm. We played, combed the beach for driftwood and sea shells, and looked at the snow-covered Olympic Mountains in the distance. The air smelled clean and salty.

Back in town, we decided on San Juan Bistro for lunch. On their cute outdoor patio we shared a Charcuterie Plate and a Northwest Cheese Board. John is a cheese connoisseur, a snob, really. He was blown away by the aged goat cheese from the island.

Popeye harbor seal Friday Harbor Washington

After lunch we strolled downtown and walked to the harbor, where we enjoyed watching the locals going out to fish and the tourists getting ready to kayak. Down by the docks we saw Popeye, a half blind harbor seal, who is almost tame. Popeye cleverly positioned herself right by the Friday Harbor Seafood Company, a stationary boat selling fresh fish and live crab.

Popeye harbor seal San Juan Island

John bought a huge slab of local Sockeye salmon. I asked him if he was planning on bringing fish back to Seattle with us. He smiled and said: “You just wait.”