Name of Hotel: Roche Harbor Resort
Location: Roche Harbor, San Juan Island, Washington
Rating*: 5/5 (*Rating Scale – 1: Terrible, 2: Poor, 3: Average, 4: Very Good, 5: Excellent)
Type of Traveler: Families, Reunions, Girlfriend Getaway, Romantic
Best Time of Year: Summer
Key Features: Marina, Character, Water, Wedding Chapel
Drawbacks: Hard to get to, somewhat seasonal
I recently had tickets on Kenmore Air that had to be used by August 1. My sister-in-law was coming in from Chicago and I wanted to treat her to a special trip for her upcoming 50th birthday. Since she’d never been on a seaplane or to the San Juan Islands I decided to utilize my Kenmore Air credits. But where to go was the bigger question. If you only had one night in the San Juans where would you go? I think the obviously answer is Roche Harbor. It’s got it all: quaint restaurants, beautiful location, cute stores, hiking trails, water activities (whale watching, kayaking, an outdoor pool), bocce ball, comfy rooms and history.
For room accommodations, take a look at their website because they have all kinds of accommodations from homes to rooms in the historic Haro Hotel to condos to rooms in the newer Quarryman Hall. We stayed in a lovely room in Quarryman Hall with views out over the busy marina.
Be sure not to miss the nightly colors ceremony to get a feel for the local tradition for boaters. There really isn’t any reason to leave property but if you choose to do so, try the Duck Soup Inn for dinner or drive into Friday Harbor for townie activities. Duck Soup Inn is 5 miles away and Friday Harbor is 11 miles away. Taxis are readily available.
Getting to Roche Harbor is easy if you fly Kenmore Air to Roche Harbor. You get dropped off at the end of the dock and it’s an easy walk through the marina to check-in. If you drive, you have to take a ferry from Anacortes to Friday Harbor and then drive to Roche. Or you can arrive by boat which offers a unique experience of its own. I’ve been fortunate enough to arrive and stay by boat a couple times. Staying in the marina has a different feeling than staying in an air conditioned room. If you have a chance, you’ll love the unique marina culture of Roche.