Last weekend some friends and I rented a house in Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands up near Canada. It might actually be as geographically "Pacific Northwest" as you can get. Early February isn't usually the ideal time to visit the islands, but we wanted to get away for Super Bowl weekend, and we actually lucked out with the weather!
The town of Friday Harbor and nearby Roche Harbor are pretty sleepy this time of year (actually that's an understatement), but we managed to find a few things to occupy our few days there.
If you want breakfast on the go, or while you're waiting for the ferry home, pop into The Bean Cafe. Their white chocolate mocha with soy milk is top notch, and I've never complained about ham, egg, and cheese on a croissant. They even have a small tv behind the counter with a ferry cam so you can see when your boat is arriving so you don't miss it!
If you’re looking for something to do during the day and it’s early February and too cold to do anything out on the water, stop by San Juan Vineyards. They have a surprisingly large selection of quality wine, and I bet you won’t leave without buying a bottle.
Sidenote: if you’re coming from town, just about 100 yards past the winery on the left is…a camel. You have to see it to believe it, but it will be there, just sitting in the pasture thinking it belongs there. It turns out she is “Mona the Camel” and the vineyard has a wine they named after her. It’s not available for tasting, but trust me when I say you should buy a bottle.
And possibly the highlight of your trip will be Popeye the seal, who hangs out near the port and frequently visits tourists. She has only one eye and hears people’s voices on the dock and comes up to say hi. We only caught a glimpse of her…somehow she knows when the grill isn’t open and she isn’t going to get any treats.
And if all else fails, just take a drive around the island. You will find absolutely beautiful, quintessential Washington scenery.