Mayas Whale Watching
Photo courtesy of Maya's Legacy Whale Watching

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What Not to Miss on Your Winter Road Trip to San Juan Island

After the harvest festivities and before the holiday season it gets soothingly quiet on San Juan Island; an excellent time for a weekend road trip to deeply relax, totally unplug and wholly recharge. We here at the Bird Rock Hotel have compiled a list of our favorite Winter activities and are always available to help you plan them, so you can spend your time solely focused on being present.

The Spa at Earthbox
The Spa at Earthbox is a wonderful place to relax

  1. Spa and Pool Day

One of the perks of staying at Bird Rock is free access to our sister hotel’s pool house, complete with heated pool, hot tub, sauna and exercise room. The Earthbox Inn & Spa also features a full-service, on-site spa offering treatments with enticing names like Soothing Sea Massage or Mother Earth Mud Body Cocoon. Imagine a stormy day while you are immersed in the bubbling hot tub before getting that deeply relaxing massage you promised yourself months ago.

  1. Whale Watching 

Most kayak and whale watch adventure providers close shop during the Winter months. Maya’s Legacy Whale Watching is one of the few going out year-round. There is so much to see in Winter,--Humpbacks, Orcas, migrating birds, sea lions. Maya’s custom-built, luxurious, zodiac-style vessels have heated cabins with super comfy, theater style seats, allowing excellent viewing through the large cabin windows. Maya’s crew is knowledgeable, so much fun and known to go the distance (literally). 

Vinny's Restaurant on San Juan Island
Vinny’s Ristorante across the street from Bird Rock Hotel is so romantic

  1. Romantic Dinner

That feeling when you enter a romantic restaurant in a small coastal town in the off season and it looks like the entire place was reserved just for you - priceless. Vinny’s Ristorante, an upscale Italian across the street from us, serving fresh, local seafood, is one such place.

South Beach Fire Pits on San Juan Island
South Beach is unrivaled for long walks on the beach, bon-fires, picnics and wildlife watching

  1. Bonfire & Sunset

San Juan Island sits in the heart of the Olympic Rain-shadow and enjoys an average of 247 sunny days per year. Through the years we’ve learned, that even on stormy days the weather often clears up in the afternoons for a lovely beach outing for sunset. Head to South Beach in American Camp National Historical Park, make a fire in one of the designated fire rings, have a picnic and watch the seals, otters and foxes feed.

  1. Museum & Art Day

There are three museums and seven galleries within blocks of our hotel, in addition to countless shops selling island made treats, gifts and crafts. One of this Winter’s not to be missed exhibitions is the Food for Thought Micro-Views exhibit on how our food is connected to climate change at San Juan Islands Museum of Art. Powerful stuff.

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