13 Reasons to Visit the San Juan Islands in 2018

We are halfway to March, which means you still have 10 more months of 2018 to make some vacation plans! Why not look at visiting some islands right in Washington’s backyard?  The San Juan Islands have so much to offer for the entire family! We here at What’s Up NW have laid out a sampling of some of the upcoming events this year, just to give you a taste of what those beautiful islands have to offer!  You can see a full list of events (updated daily) here!

(Photo Credit: Robert Demar)

MARCH

San Juan Islands Ag Summit and Bite of Lopez, March 16-17, Lopez Island
The 6th Annual San Juan Islands Agricultural Summit will take place on beautiful Lopez Island on March 16-17, 2018. Grow your inspiration at this gathering of over 150 local farmers, food producers, businesses, and food advocates for two days of events, education and camaraderie in our local food community.

(Photo Credit: San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau)

APRIL

Orcas Island Lit Festival, April 13-15, Orcas Island
The inaugural Orcas Island Lit Fest (OILF) is a celebration of literature, poetry and non-fiction writing. Festivalgoers have the opportunity to attend readings, panel discussions, and writers’ workshops hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning writers, critically-acclaimed authors, and beloved regional and emerging writers.

(Photo Credit: San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau)

Tour de Lopez, April 28, Lopez Island
This very popular non-competitive bicycle tour of Lopez Island is brought to you by the Lopez Island Chamber of Commerce and is the kickoff event for cycling in the beautiful San Juan Islands. Whether you make it a day trip or make it a weekend getaway you will not be disappointed! Many riders return every year for this event.

(Photo Credit: Ann Palmer)

MAY

History Lives Here – National Historic Preservation Month, May 1-31, Lopez Island, Orcas Island, San Juan Island/Friday Harbor
Are you a history lover? There’s so much history to experience in the San Juans during “History Lives Here” month. Guided walking tours, local history talks and other special events will attract visitors and residents alike, and portray the past as long-time islanders lived and remember it.

(Photo Credit: San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau)

JUNE

San Juan Island Artist Studio Tour, June 2-3, San Juan Island/Friday Harbor
This community event celebrates the way San Juan Island artists work and live. In addition to displaying their work, including sculpture, jewelry, pottery, printmaking, glass, fiber and fine art, the artists share insights into how their art is created and what inspires and motivates them in their chosen media.

(Photo Credit: Teresa Smith)

Three Lakes Triathlon & San Juan Island Marathon, Half Marathon, & 10K, June 15-16, San Juan Island
Spend a day running through some of the San Juan Islands most beautiful terrain at this multi-faceted event, which includes an Olympic Triathlon, an Olympic Relay Team Triathlon, a Sprint Triathlon, and a Sprint Relay Team Triathlon. The perfect place to do your first 10K or your 10th Marathon, this racing weekend will be filled with fun, food and athletes of all ages and abilities!

(Photo Credit: Lakedale Resort)

Orca Sing, June 23, San Juan Island
Gather for an evening of music at Lime Kiln Point State Park to honor the Southern Resident orcas! This year, Fred West and Seattle’s City Cantabile Choir will perform. Washington State Parks and Orca Awareness Month will also be celebrated. Tours of the historic lighthouse will be offered before and after the concert. While there is no guarantee, we hope that the orca whales will grace us with a pass-by!

(Photo Credit: San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau)

JULY

Shakespeare Under the Stars: The Tempest, July 5-August 12, San Juan Island
Island Stage Left celebrates its 20th anniversary with Shakespeare’s The Tempest—set on an island surrounded by magical creatures and summoning all the forces of nature—and will run from July 5th through August 12th, with performances on Orcas, Shaw and Lopez islands from July 5th through July 8th.

(Photo Credit: Island Stage Left)

8th Annual Cider and Mead Festival, July 28, Orcas Island
Come taste and learn about some of the best ciders and meads from the Pacific Northwest and beyond. The big white tent will be filled with a number of hard cider and mead producers, their fabulous products and lots of raving fans.

(Photo Credit: San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau)

San Juan Island Lavender Festival and Arts Fair, July 21-22, San Juan Island
Tours and exhibits survey the entire process – from field to finished product. The fields are open for strolling, relaxing and breathtaking photo ops. The Cutting Field is open for visitors to harvest their own bouquets of certified organic lavender from the many varieties in bloom. Demonstrations cover topics such as lavender cultivation, harvesting, essential oil distillation, history & uses, cooking with lavender and more. We’ll be joined by over 30 local artists who will have their work on display and for sale in the fields.

(Photo Credit: Lesley Haenny)

AUGUST

Doe Bay Fest, August 1-6, Orcas Island
Doe Bay Fest is a four day grassroots festival featuring music, food, drink, camping and activities in the unique setting of the Doe Bay Resort and Retreat. Many people love Doe Bay Fest for the camaraderie, the gorgeous surroundings, and of course for the music.

(Photo Credit: San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau)

Orcas Island Artist Studio Tour, August 10-12, Orcas Island
This is your chance to visit the working studios of over 30 premier Orcas Island Artists. See firsthand how and where those special techniques are being mastered, meet the artists and purchase their most recent work. Watercolors, stone cutting, woodwork, forging, encaustics, ceramics, fiber arts, sculpture, photography, jewelry, printmaking, paintings and more.

(Photo Credit: Orcas Island Studio)

San Juan Summer Arts Festival, August, San Juan Island
Join us for a fun festival showcasing the talents of the makers from all of the San Juan Islands!
Over 25 art vendors, food from local farmers and chefs, local beer, wine, and spirits, and a stage with local and visiting musical talents! Every Friday night in August. It’s a festival to celebrate this incredible community, to welcome visitors, and to enjoy the amazing talents of the creatives who live here! Fun for the whole family.

(Photo Credit: San Juan County Arts Council)

For updates and to see more events, please visit, www.visitsanjuans.com/events.

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