As the leaves begin to change, painting the island with their variety of hues, the San Juan Islands begin to transform from the summer getaway they are best known for into an idyllic autumn retreat. In the case of the San Juan Islands, “off season” is a bit of a misnomer, as there is still so much to do and see, regardless of the season―especially considering the islands’ annual Savor the San Juans.
Savor the San Juans is, as described by the official travel site, “a fall feast for the senses.” Running from late September to early November, Savor the San Juans gives visitors a chance to delve into the wide range of activities―and flavors―that the islands offer.
For those interested in bicycling, the Friday Harbor Bike-n-Brew provides an opportunity to explore the island by bike, ending with an evening of relaxation and conversation over samples of regional microbrews. The Orcas, San Juan and Lopez Island farm tours are another way to learn more about the area, giving visitors a glimpse into the inner workings of some of the islands’ farms.
Fans of theater might be interested in attending a production at the San Juan Community Theater, while movie buffs should check out either, or both, of the islands’ two film festivals: the Orcas Island Film Festival, with a dynamic selection of award-winning feature length films, and the Friday Harbor Film Festival, featuring documentary films from the Pacific Rim and beyond.
Other events held during Savor the San Juans include the San Juan County WSU Master Gardeners’ Annual Gardening Workshop and Hops on the Rocks, a beer festival held on Orcas Island. There are also several weekly farmers’ markets to wander through, full of fresh produce from around the island and goods crafted by local artisans. To top it all off, an array of restaurants from casual to fine dining turn the spotlight on foods sourced from the islands.
The islands offer more than what can be experienced in a single day trip, so be sure to look into accommodations and transportation in advance. For more details about Savor the San Juans as well as information regarding lodging, transportation, and dining specials, check out www.visitsanjuans.com/savor.