Things To Do This Winter

A quiet winter escape has its own charms with stormy days and warm fireside drinks, time to spend in front of great works of art and unique performances, or treating yourself to a rejuvenating spa visit and relaxing massage.

Relax in a peaceful hideaway

Seek out a cozy cottage in the woods, cabin on the beach, charming bed-and-breakfast, inns, or a luxurious hotel. Snuggle up with a good book, enjoy the quiet nights, and wake up well-rested to some amazing views. In winter, you'll find the most availability and room choices, along with price drops from summer and lodging specials. 

Kingfish Inn at West Sound -  Suite 2 Lodge Pine

Winter Hiking, Mountain Biking & Horseback Riding

  • Hiking: In winter, parks and forests on the islands are quiet and serene; you may not even see another hiker on your path! Find the best hikes on Orcas, Lopez and San Juan Islands.
  • Mountain Biking: Since mountain biking isn't allowed during the summer months, winter is the time to take to the hills! The wide, soft trails and steep, heart-stopping ridges are open from October 15 through May 15 at Moran State Park on Orcas Island. 
  • Horseback Riding: There's nothing like going a winter trail ride by horse through the quiet forests on San Juan Island or Orcas Island!

Storm Watching

The rocky and pebbled beaches of the islands, strewn with massive old-growth driftwood, are an incredible place to stroll and hike, especially when a storm is blowing. Find a driftwood-built hut to sit inside as the wind and waves rise and nature offers up a dramatic show.

Therapeutic Pool at Rosario Resort and Spa

Rejuvenate your Body and Soul

Getting away in the winter can be a great way to reconnect with yourself and take care of your body and soul to get ready for a new year. Create your own retreat by taking a yoga class, scheduling a massage or take a soak in a whirlpool.

Hours of Happiness, Music & Martinis

Dark winter days call for meeting with friends over food, drink and great conversation. Locals in the San Juan Islands know that after a busy summer is over, local restaurants start up their weekly specials and happy hours that offer small plates, wine, beer and cocktails for a great price. Sometimes, music is on the menu, too! At The Mansion Lounge at Rosario Resort, you can hang out, have a cocktail and listen to the talented jazz pianist Martin Lund.

Topsíl Seafood and Sushi drink

The Whale Museum

In Friday Harbor, the Whale Museum is one of the best ways to learn about marine wildlife, especially before you go out on a whale and wildlife watching tour, a few of which run year-round. In the Whale Museum, you can listen to orcas, humpbacks and other types of whales on hydrophone recordings. You can see several fascinating displays of whale skeletons, watch videos, and learn about the behavior of these magnificent sea creatures.

Spend Time with Great Art

Winter brings one of the best art shows of the year to the San Juan Islands Museum of Art. The annual SJIMA Artists' Registry Show is an exhibition of artworks by over 74 Artists' Registry members from San Juan County. Each year the show has a different theme, and features emerging and established local artists expressing the beauty, identity, authenticity and connectedness of the San Juan Islands community. 

You'll find art galleries on Lopez, Orcas, and San Juan Island filled with functional pieces of beauty and inspiring works to contemplate. 

Winter Getaway

Slow down in the Islands this winter and recharge with a cozy, relaxing stay.  

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San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau
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1-888-468-3701 | (360) 378-9551
P.O. Box 1330, Friday Harbor, Washington 98250
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