What’s New & Cool in the San Juan Islands Summer Edition, 2019
Press Releases
Monday, June 10, 2019 08:00 AM

Grand Openings, Lodging Upgrades

Boathouse on the Bay
At the heart of Doe Bay Resort is the Boathouse. Once a simple storage space, it’s coming to life in 2019 as both guest lodging and event space. The main floor will have two bedrooms with water views, a den, and two baths, including a steam shower room. Upstairs, the top floor will have some of the best views on the property, and the open floor plan, commercial kitchen, and fireplace make it a natural for intimate wedding receptions, yoga retreats, and private concerts. The Boathouse will open for reservations in August. Contact: River Augenstein [email protected]; www.doebay.com   

Outlook’s new lookout
The Outlook Inn has just completed an expansion. Five luxury rooms located across the street from the New Leaf Cafe overlook Indian Island and East Sound. Called the Water’s Edge Suites, each room boasts freestanding soaking bathtubs, fireplaces, and original art. The newly completed Water’s Edge event space [500 sq. ft/44 sq. meters] and outdoor waterfront lawn provide stunning views and the perfect place to hold a small reception for weddings, and business or wellness retreats. Contact: Sara Farish [email protected]  www.outlookinn.com/ 


Food, Wine, and Chefs

To market, to market
Following an extensive remodel, The Market Chef re-opened for its’ 18th year of business on May 13th, 2019. Customers will find more than a fresh coat of paint; a new revolving seasonal sandwich menu, the addition of new retail space and regional beer, cider and wine on tap complete the menu. Owner Laurie Paul has sourced unique, locally made, culinary-themed housewares and her favorite specialty grocery items and you will find them in the new retail space, available to browse while you order lunch. The new “On Tap” program means that customers can now enjoy a pint or schooner of beer, hard cider, Nitro cold brew or glass of wine with their lunch or afternoon snack. Contact: Laurie Paul [email protected]

All for wine and wine for all
Amid 60+ hour corporate work weeks, Southern California traffic, chaos, and a brand new beautiful baby boy, Wesley and Tera Landman quickly saw this wasn't how they wanted to raise their son, Winston. So they set off in pursuit of a place where they could plant deep roots and join a community that aligned with their life values. During this search, they vacationed on Orcas--"their happy place"--and it all clicked. Driven by their family-first approach to life, they set out to invest in a family business--and Orcas Island Winery was simply waiting for them. The Landmans will retain the award-winning winemaker behind Orcas Island Winery's premium Washington State wines as they apprentice and begin crafting their own wines, a multi-year endeavor, including their ultimate goal of producing an estate wine. Contact: Wesley and Tera Landman [email protected]; https://orcasislandwinery.com/

Remodel at Roche
Historic Roche Harbor Resort is renovating two of their waterfront restaurants. The floor in the Madrona Bar and Grill was lowered to match the deck, and with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors, the outdoors comes in for a delightful al fresco dining experience, perfect for summer. Classic McMillin’s Dining Room needed a little extra TLC due to the age of the building (built in the 1880s). A brand new kitchen and floor-to-ceiling windows replace the 60s-era wood paneling and bring the vivid island sunset inside. Executive Chef Bill Shaw and his team are still finalizing a new menu, but fan favorites like the 40-day aged prime rib will make a reappearance when the restaurant reopens in July. Contact: Sam Niland, [email protected]; www.rocheharbor.com  

Makeover for Mia’s
Island favorite Mia’s Café on Orcas is getting a makeover with new owner Shawna Hanan. Hanan will keep the breakfast and lunch schedule, with a focus on locally sourced ingredients. Starting in the fall, Hanan hopes to arrange a regular schedule of guest chefs to present pop-up dinners. The back of the building will become a separate coffee shop run by Hanan’s business partner Whitney Page. Witty Coffee and Donuts will offer single origin espresso from Counter Culture Coffee Company and caffeine-free options like beetroot lattes and selections from the Orcas company Enchanted Forest Tea. Customers will be encouraged to bring their own mugs.  “We are overlapping everything,” Page said. “Shawna is serving my coffee in the restaurant, and her baked goods will be in the coffee shop. We both love the earth and are very sustainably minded.” https://orcasislandchamber.com/web-category/mias/


Exhibits & Activities

Power of Potential
Alchemy Art Center is a new non-profit organization on San Juan Island, fulfilling a vital role as a place where artists of all ages can work, and where the larger community can explore artistic expression.  They offer ceramics, photography, and printmaking classes, as well as studio membership. Alchemy is open to both locals and island visitors. They host weekend workshops in all of their studios, as well as classes for adults and children. Contact: Maria Michaelson [email protected]; https://www.alchemyartcenter.com/

Tree of Life
Cedar has been a “Tree of Life”, providing material for many uses. Humans have approached the cedar tree with respect, skill, and knowledge. This year’s featured exhibit at the Orcas Historical Museum is titled: Cedar. Co-curated with Rivkah Sweedler, it contextualizes cedar in nature, history, and art and includes photos from the Museum’s archives, baskets, tools, and more. The exhibit includes an interactive cedar processing station that allows visitors to touch, smell, soak, and beat bark. Contact: [email protected]; https://www.orcasmuseums.org/featured-exhibit-1.html

Dive a little deeper
The San Juan Islands Museum of Art is bringing the finest of Pacific Northwest art to showcase the denizens of the deep and the icons of the Salish Sea. The exhibition will illustrate the ecology in our ocean and look deeply into the waters at colorful marine life.  While the exhibition will delight with glowing art by many Northwest artists such as Raven Skyriver, it will also send messages about threats to the approximately 130 variously endangered species:  Jellyfish. Orcas. Starfish. Salmon. Eel Grass. Herring. Nudibranch. Anemone. Humpback. Octopus. The Salish Sea has an abundance of underwater life most of us will never see. DEEP DIVE brings these beauties and rarities to SJIMA visitors and will be on display June 14th – September 16th, 2019. Contact: Diane Martindale [email protected]; www.sjima.org

Be statuesque
The San Juan Islands Sculpture Park is rapidly becoming one of the most beautiful sculpture gardens in the Northwest. New work by island artists Jason Napier, Eben Shay, and Gerry Newcome looks out over new gardens and a renovated welcome house. Younger visitors will enjoy playful sculptures like “Big Bird,” “Aerion” (the Dragon), and the Starfish exhibit where the young and young-at-heart can make driftwood creations. www.sjisculpturepark.com

How udderly fantastic!
The humble milk house, one of the four original structures remaining from the King Farm at the San Juan Historical Museum, might be diminutive in size but has some significant tales to tell. A new series of interpretive panels will detail aspects of the islands past dairy industry. Research has shown a total of 14 dairies had operated on the island in addition to a creamery in two locations. Contact: Kevin Loftus [email protected]; http://www.sjmuseum.org/  


New Products & Apps

Sea Salt is Made for Grilling!
Popular San Juan Island Sea Salt is looking forward to the warmer weather with their new grilling blends. The new steak blend is smoky and peppery with mustard and coriander notes to round it out. The BBQ blend features tomato and paprika and is the perfect seasoning for anything cooked over a fire. Contact: Brady Ryan [email protected]; www.sanjuanislandseasalt.com


Check in while you ROAM
The Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) ROAM app is a free mobile application that provides an option for pleasure boaters to report their U.S. entry to CBP via their personal smart device or a tablet located at local businesses to satisfy reporting requirements. In limited areas, travelers arriving in remote locations may also be eligible to use the CBP ROAM app. Contact your local POE to confirm arrival notifications via the CBP ROAM app are accepted. Travelers should download the CBP ROAM app on their web-enabled smart device. For more information: https://www.cbp.gov/travel/pleasure-boats-private-flyers/pleasure-boat-overview/roam


Writings and Musings

Skully from Shaw
Dagney Skully and the Pendulum Bead Strings is the adventure of nine-year-old Dagney Skully and her family living at Shaw Island County Park. As her family struggles to make ends meet, Dagney accidentally comes across some information about a scandal that could create an unrepairable catastrophe. Written by San Juan Island author Sarena Schumacher, who describes Skully as “more than just a book. It is an attempt to create a movement of positive interactions between people through goodwill and the notion of paying-it-forward.” www.dagneyskully.com 


Nature and Stewardship

Lean, Green, Ferry Machines
For Earth Day, Washington State Ferries launched their two-year Sustainability Action Plan that outlines goals and actions for greener ferries and terminals. The plan presents six focus areas: greenhouse gas emissions, air quality, biodiversity, water, waste, and community impacts and engagement. Among the tactics are plans to remove dangerous creosote-coated timber from Puget Sound, develop an electric hybrid ferry program, and implement operational efficiencies to reduce fuel consumption. Contact: Hadley Rodero (206) 470-0524

Read for the whales
Saving Our Oceans is a robust accounting primarily of plastic pollution slowly blanketing the oceans (and earth). The author also covers the illegal slaughter of whales and dolphins, the International Whaling Commission, and most importantly, a chapter on what we individually can do to help stop the cataclysmic catastrophe that is unfolding on this planet. Saving Our Oceans is informative and infuriating, but ultimately, it promises a bit of hope. Proceeds from sales will be donated to the Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition and The Whale Museum in Friday Harbor. For more information: https://moonlightmesaassociates.com/westerns-whales-and-oceans-welcome-you/


Awards and Anniversaries

Orcas Island one of New York Times’ Places to Go in 2019!
Orcas Island is listed in the #33 position on the New York Times world list, published January 9th.The Times captions its photo: “A small Island is attracting big-time foodies.” It goes on to say, “The horseshoe-shaped Orcas, one of the largest islands that make up the San Juan archipelago, has gained fame in recent years for its impressive tide-to-table culinary scene and experimental wines, attracting among others, Oprah Winfrey.” With shout-outs to Doe Bay Wine Company, James Beard-nominated rising star chef Jay Blackinton, the historic Outlook Inn for its luxury waterfront cottages (opening this summer) and the expansion of Moran State Park; it’s a powerful testament to the allure of Orcas Island. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/travel/places-to-visit.html

A Centennial Celebration
Lime Kiln Lighthouse turns 100 years old on June 30, 2019. The Friends of Lime Kiln Society’s birthday celebration includes lighthouse tours, live music and performances, silent auctions and raffles, arts and crafts, keynote speeches from the Coast Guard and Washington State Parks and lighthouse experts, and even a lighthouse anniversary wine label. An epicenter for research, education, and inspiration, this distinctive island landmark is considered one of the most photographed icons in the San Juan Islands. Lime Kiln Point State Park, also known as Whale Watch Park, welcomes 350,000 visitors from roughly 40 different countries every year. Contact: Erin Corra [email protected] www.folksSJI.org;

Winning Whiskey
Orcas Island Distillery’s West Island Whiskey was judged American Single Malt Whiskey Best in Category at the 15th Annual Judging of Craft Spirits. The whiskey, released in 2018, received both the Best in Category award and a gold medal in this year’s competition. Orcas Island Distillery continued the winning streak with another Best in Category for its Apple Brandy Eau de Vie, a title it has held every year since the apple brandy was first released in 2016. Contact: Charles West [email protected]; http://www.orcasislanddistillery.com/


Dropbox of hi-res images: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/buikc9jmxxxf6t1/AACsU_9qmKo8v3LLVt2f49yAa?dl=0

Media Contact:
Barbara Marrett
Communications Manager
San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau
(360) 378-6822 ext. 6
[email protected]