What’s New & Cool in the San Juan Islands? Summer Edition, 2017
Press Releases
Written by Barbara Marrett   
Friday, July 14, 2017 04:48 PM

Restaurant Evolutions, New Lodging & Marina Options

Duck Soup Drops the “Inn” & Adds Rock Star Cocktail Crafter

Formerly known as Duck Soup Inn, the acclaimed restaurant has a new menu, new chef, new management and a shorter name: it’s simply Duck Soup! The addition of a star cocktail crafter, Kari Koski, has infused the cocktail/mocktail menu with seasonal, mouth-watering beverages. San Juan Island distillery gin mixes with island-foraged fruits, herbs, spices and petals to create botanically-inspired libations. An example: strawberry basil gimlet with cracked pepper.  www.ducksoupinn.com (360) 378-4878 [email protected]

Ursa Minor Restaurant, a Major Contributor to Lopez Island’s Culinary Scene

Acclaimed former Seattle chef Nick Coffey’s much anticipated restaurant, Ursa Minor, opened in April. Serving foraged and hyperlocal foods such as halibut, salal leaf and sea beans. Coffey states “The ultimate vision for Ursa Minor is to serve as a destination that is uniquely Lopez…that reflects the idyllic island setting.” Coffey will grow and gather his own food and take advantage of the abundance of local farms and fishers on Lopez. www.ursaminorlopez.com; [email protected]; (360) 622-2730

Food & Wine Best New Chef Opens New Restaurant Ælder on Orcas Island

Chef Jay Blackinton one of Food & Wine magazine’s “10 Best New Chefs” for 2017 opened a new restaurant, Ælder, on Friday, July 7th in what is currently Hogstone’s dining room. Open four evenings a week, Friday—Monday, three tasting menus at 4, 7 and 12 courses will be offered using foods grown or foraged exclusively on Orcas Island. Reservations via @tockhq and the website. Follow @aelderpnw www.hogstone/aelder.com (360) 376-4647 [email protected]. Hogstone’s will be located on a newly revamped backyard area and will feature a simple menu with emphasis on vegetables from Maple Rock Farm, raw seafood and wood-fired pizza. Added shelter and warmth in the backyard will extend its season.

Downriggers Restaurant Rises from the Ashes

Past meets present as Downriggers celebrates its first summer season after reopening. A handsome new waterfront building houses the much-missed, iconic Friday Harbor restaurant after a fire destroyed the building in 2013. The spacious new interior with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooks the marina and ferry dock and offers an expanded deck for waterfront outdoor dining. Old classics chicken gorgonzola salad and fish tacos join new items like steak salad and crab tater tot appetizer. http://www.downriggerssanjuan.com. (360) 378-2700 [email protected]

Free Horse Farm’s Tipi Temptation

Free Horse Farm now has a tipi offered for farm stays.  The tipi is a beautiful space with bedding and simple furnishings set on a grassy knoll amidst firs, maples and cedars.  A peaceful place to rest, it’s the perfect home base for island explorations. https://www.freehorsefarm.com/ (360) 378-2968 [email protected].

New Camping Facility at Mount Baker Farm on Orcas Includes Petting Farm & Train Rides

Located just 5 minutes from downtown Eastsound on Orcas Island, the farm is a private campground on 80 wooded acres with 30 campsites. Stress-less camping means riding the farm’s full-gauge railroad to your site and renting anything you need from tents to stoves to sleeping bags to tableware. And the kids will love the donkeys, goats and chickens. www.Mountbakerfarm.com, [email protected]

New Docks at Rosario Resort on Orcas Island
The new docks at Rosario Resort marina are open for the first summer season. The docks have a new “U” dock configuration – keeping boats away from the rocks. There are also wider slips, a wider fairway, rebuilt marina family pool and showers, and a bigger seating area at the Cascade Bay Grill so you can have a burger and a cold beverage on a sunny day. www.rosarioresort.com; [email protected]; (360) 376-2222

New Ways to Fly to the Islands & New Orcas Ferry Terminal 

New Direct Scheduled Air Service between Portland and the San Juans

Albion Air started the first scheduled service between Portland and San Juan Island on Friday, June 16. A Royal Air Force-trained pilot, owner Mark Hills states, “in 27 years of flying, I have never flown a more beautiful route than the one from Portland to the San Juan Islands. I started this service because I love making this flight and wanted to share it with others.” Mark Hills (503) 925-4444 ext. 101 or [email protected]

New Airline Connects Canada and the San Juans for the Shortest International Flight in North America
NorthStar Air Tours will offer daily flights from Sidney, British Columbia to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island this summer. The nine-passenger small plane will fly several flights a day. It’s just a 15-minute hop between San Juan and Vancouver Island. www.northstarairtours.com; (888) 604-7272 Media Contact: Sophia Siegal [email protected] (250) 800-1381

Kenmore Air Fly + Stay Packages Make Getting Here Half the Fun
Whether you're looking for a weekend getaway or a longer vacation, Kenmore Air’s Fly + Stay Packages to the San Juans offer flexible fare options combined with preferred lodging and activities, including Earthbox Inn & Spa and Tucker House Inn. Info and reservations at Kenmore.com; (866) 435 9524          

Orcas Island Ferry Terminal Grand Opening

Just in time for the busy summer season, Orcas Island has a new ferry terminal building. The terminal, which officially opened on July 11, replaces the former cramped waiting room and ticketing structure and adds a pedestrian pick-up and drop-off area. Located on the upper floor of the San Juan County building adjacent to the Orcas ferry dock, it’s accessible at street level and includes a ticket counter, a self-serve ticketing kiosk, and improved ADA access to new restrooms. Ian Sterling 206-714-1556, WSF media hotline, 206-402-8070

What to Do: Events, Attractions, Activities, & More

The Friday Harbor Airport Fly-In is Back

After a three-year hiatus, get up close and personal with vintage and experimental aircraft, motorcycles and more. Enjoy a fly by or two. Exhibits, open hangars, demos and food will keep the family entertained for the day. New event components include: vintage, custom and road race motorcycles plus select luxury cars on display. Event co-sponsor Kenmore air will have an aircraft display. Skagit Powersports display will include land-speed record holding motorcycles. Alta Motors will participate with a variety of and exciting demonstrations. Contact: Stuart Hansen (360) 317-8674 [email protected] 

The following Sunday, August 27, from 11 to 3 pm, The Sports Car Club of the San Juan’s Concours d’Elegance auto/motorcycle show will take place at San Juan Vineyards. Over 100 intriguing vehicles will be on display including BMW, Porsche and Tesla. Contact: Phil Johnson (360) 370-5509 [email protected]  www.sanjuanconcours.org

Orca Whales and Solar Eclipse Viewing Party at South Beach on San Juan Island

An Eclipse Viewing Party on August 21st from 8:30 am until noon at the San Juan Island National Historical Park will showcase a predicted 85% coverage (think a slightly skewed Oreo instead of a perfectly stacked one). Grab a free pair of viewing glasses and soak in the natural history of the National Historical Park. Look through telescopes with viewing filters, or create a solar art project. Orca whales are often spotted off Park shorelines. Beaches and bluffs provide a stunning view of the Olympic Mountains. Raena Parsons [email protected] or 360-378-2240 ext. 2222 www.nps.gov/sajh/planyourvisit/2017-solar-eclipse.htm

Savor the San Juans Celebrates 10th Anniversary

This September 22 – November 11, enjoy Savor the San Juans, a fall feast for the senses. From wine tasting to harvest dinners, farmers’ markets to farm tours, to three film festivals, more delicious details, specials and links will be added to our website as they unfold: https://www.visitsanjuans.com/savor, [email protected] (360) 378-6822 ext. 6

Pod Nods Return to The Whale Museum

Pod Nod overnight marine adventures return this summer to The Whale Museum. This popular “pajama party” sleepover is geared for children ages 6 to 11 and will be held on July 28 and August 25. Pod Nods are led by Museum Educators with assistance from other adult professionals. Youth participants will learn to value whales and their environment through art projects, science labs, games, the traditional flashlight tour of the Exhibit Hall, and a bedtime movie. www.whalemuseum.org/products/pod-nods; [email protected]; (360) 378-4710 x 30

Don’t miss TEDx San Juan Island this September
This year’s TEDx San Juan Island theme is “What’s Next,” and will include a diverse lineup of speakers presenting talks on a range of emerging issues. Register online for updates and a spot at the event. Seating is limited to 210 this year; tickets will be $45-$55, including lunch. www.TEDxSanJuanIsland.org

New San Juan County Biking Maps

Each of the San Juan Islands—Lopez, Orcas and San Juan—have very different terrain, landscapes and vistas, so it's best to get an idea of what each island is like for your level of expertise and particular interests as you plan your bicycling adventures. San Juan County has just released three comprehensive, printable maps for biking on each island. The maps show safest routes and other ways to make the most of your biking trip.

Lopez Island: https://www.visitsanjuans.com/sites/default/files/media/cyclists-guide-lopez.pdf

San Juan Island: https://www.visitsanjuans.com/sites/default/files/media/cyclists-guide-san-juan.pdf

Orcas Island: https://www.visitsanjuans.com/sites/default/files/media/cyclists-guide-orcas.pdf

The New Omari Beauty Bar Presents: An Invigorating Maui Facial Summer Special
A new holistic day spa on Orcas Island offers rejuvenating, natural skin care treatments, including a special summer Maui Facial. This 90-minute treatment, increases circulation, stimulates collagen, plumps the skin and smells wonderful and is offered through August 31.  Other facials, face and body sugaring, and bridal makeup artistry offered year-round. Omari aspires to not only treat the skin but educate clients on proper skincare routines though ingredient awareness. www.OmariBeautyBar.com; (360) 378-7638 [email protected]

Orcas Events Offers Everything for Weddings
Orcas Event Rentals has added special touches for weddings, anniversaries or other events. Brides and grooms can now rent beautiful crystal glassware, china plates, wine barrel furniture, farm tables, chairs, benches and more to make their special day even more perfect. www.orcasevents.com; (360) 376-8376 Veronica San Martin [email protected]

Wedding Officiant, Orcas Island Tour Guide 
Didier Gincig, a wedding officiant on Orcas Island is now available to conduct tours of around the island for wedding couples and their guests. Didier will pick guests up from the ferry landing, so they can walk onto the ferry and have transportation taken care of. Didier can help brides, grooms and their families plan and help coordinate services for weddings, reunions, anniversaries and more. [email protected] and (360) 298-0362

New Charter Service in Friday Harbor Offers Fishing & Wildlife Photography Excursions
San Juan Island Fishing Charters is new and running from Spring Street Landing docks. It’s an intimate and fun experience, whether fishing or taking photographs and touring the beautiful San Juan Islands. Boats hold six or fewer allowing the space to fish, photograph or just decompress. July 30 -- August 1 evening photography classes will be taught by professional wildlife photographer Kelsey Tieszen www.sjifishing.com; [email protected]; (425) 205-1179

Award-winning French Camp 
Canoe Island French Camp has been operating in the San Juan Islands for nearly 50 years. Just awarded Special Distinction for promoting French culture in the Pacific Northwest by the French American Chamber of Commerce, instructors teach French language and culture to 9-16 year olds during the summer. In the spring and fall, the Camp hosts school groups, Family Camp, private meetings, and holds a Yoga Benefit Weekend in May. www.canoeisland.org; [email protected]; (360) 468-2329

Dropbox for photos: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/rqmylx6lj333gar/AABiV0_dvcIbZ-EU56MMOlPLa?dl=0


Barbara Marrett, Communications Manager [email protected]
(360) 378-6822 x 6