Family Photo-K42, K36 along with mother K14


SJ Outfitters 9Family photo of K42 Kelp along with mother K14 Lea and sister K36 Yoda taken off of the West Side on yesterday’s whale watch and wildlife tour by Naturalist Kevin.  The salmon are having a great run, and we have been spotting whales on the west side often this season!  With a deep underwater canyon, the West Side makes for perfect hunting grounds.  An adult male orca can eat up to 400lbs of salmon a day, which means there needs to be a lot of fish to keep these orcas happy.  Luckily, this season has seen great salmon numbers!


I hope you are having a great day!





San Juan Outfitters and San Juan Safaris



This Could be You-Up Close and Personal

Categories:Attractions, Specials, The San Juan Islands
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This Could be You

This could be you. Up close and personal.. Another great shot provided by Emily of San Juan Outfitters. This is one of the better seasons we have had This  photo is taken near Stuart Island on an overnight tour by Kayak Guide Jacob. Paddling around Stuart Island, puts you in great orca territory and the sightings this year have been amazing! Many of our kayak guides have come back from overnights claiming the best whale sightings of their lives, and Jacob was no exception. Orcas are often spotted in Boundary Pass by whale watchers and kayakers alike. All of the sunshine and whale encounters have made for a great season! Get more details click here at San Juan Outfitters

San Juan Outfitters- San Juan Island


San Juan Island Outfitters on San Juan Island offers all you could want for wildlife interaction. The professionals are just so knowledgeable and friendly and everything is at its peak right now….This is the time to get out there.


Great photo of an orca breaching! We love seeing these aerial displays!Photo by Naturalist Rachel
Located in Friday Harbor and Roche Harbor, just so easy to hope on board or climb in and paddle out to see this magnificent creatures.

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San Juan Island Wedding Season


San Juan Island Wedding Season At Tucker Inn

Tucker House Inn hosted 10 events in the last 3 weeks!

Love is in the air at the Tucker House

This time of year, between anniversary celebrations and wedding celebrations, that cakes and flowers abound around the Inn. Jim and Janis celebrated 51 years of wedded bliss last week. The Flemmings arrived yesterday for their 45th    anniversary. Mr. Flemming asked us to have 45 red roses awaiting their arrival. His wife was so amazed at the gesture that she jokingly remarked, “I earned every one of them!” Then there are the nearlyweds who become newlyweds under our watchful eye. The same night we were hosting David and Megan’s wedding dinner in our lower garden.  Jennifer and Sam, who married a year ago in that very spot, were staying with us celebrating their anniversary. We managed to snap off a quick picture of Megan and David’s cake right after the finishing touches before moving it to the garden.

And now we turn our attention to this weekend’s events – Trina and Lewis’s wedding and Lynne’s daughter’s bachelorette party. We will prepare the wedding feast, specialty his and her cocktails, cakes and all the flower arrangements. Our very talented team loves showering special attention on our guests for life’s milestones. The San Juan Islands are indeed a special place for new beginnings and celebrations and we hope to have the pleasure of hosting yours at the Inns.

Book your San Juan Island wedding cake at Tucker Inn and Coho Restaurant now still time this year. Getting married in 2015? Better get your plans in place now. Your wedding party can be accommodated all together, right at the Inn.



san juan island wedding-party-by-coho-restaurantsan juan island wedding-cakes-by-coho-restaurant san juan island wedding-cake-berries-coho-restaurant san juan island wedding-cake-tall-coho-restaurant

Stuart Island Action


Stuart Island Action….This photo was taken on one of our overnight kayak tours on the north end of Stuart Island by Kayak Guide Scott.  It’s not often you get a picture from the angle that a kayak offers, and it sure makes for an awesome photo!  Scott described the encounter as quite the thrill and I would imagine the guests quite agree!  At up to 35ft and 8 tons orcas are an amazing sight from a kayak! Join the thrills


San Juan Outfitters & Safaris

Kayak photos

Stuart Island Action


San Juan Island’s Premier Kayaking Tour Company
Specializing in high quality sea kayak tours. San Juan Outfitters is known for its low guide to guest ratio kayak tours. That includes the whale tours by kayak, the day kayak tours and overnight camping kayak tours

K Pod in the Fog


K Pod-

Emily is kind enough to send along posts letting all of us in on all of the whale activity that has been going on all over the west side of the Island. Below is another example of Emily’s efforts.

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K Pod in the fog

Hello John,


Attached is a photo I took while on a 9am whale watch yesterday (7/9/14) in the fog.  The K Pod had been heard early that morning on the Lime Kiln hydrophone and we were very excited they decided to grace us with their presence again.  The fog was thick and made for an eerie whale watch tour.   There were many breaches, spy hops, and tail slaps!


I hope you are enjoying all the sunshine!




Emily Schaller

San Juan Outfitters


Weddings are INN Season

San Juan Inn penthouse showing waterview of friday harbor

View from the Penthouse

Weddings are INN Season: It seems like we’re hosting a wedding a week this time of the year.  Weddings?  At our place?  Yes!  A wedding is what you’d like it to be and happy couples choose us because we’ve got crowd pleasing accommodations and a cool space to connect.  Just because you’re hosting a destination wedding doesn’t mean you need to invite everyone you’ve ever met.  Sometimes, special days are more special when you keep the guest list to just those special people INN your life.

While we’re a great spot for both your ceremony and reception, you’ll want to stay a few days so you can get out and enjoy the San Juan Island sunshine.  Whale watching, cycling, zip-lining and kayaking are all great group activities and if you plan ahead for next year now, you’ll be able to kick back and relax instead of worrying about finding the perfect spot to tie the knot.

San Juan Island is WILD about mushrooms

Categories:EventsTags: , , , ,

San Juan Island Chef is Wild About Mushrooms

Coho Restaurant’s Executive Chef, Bill Messick is wild about mushrooms.
He works with a group of foragers who gathers these mycological wonders from British Columbia south to Oregon.

Sometimes we are lucky enough to be the recipient of mushrooms from a local forager when the conditions and timing are just right. They keep Coho’s kitchen well stocked with these delectable edible fungi that Chef tucks in many of his menu offerings. It is not unusual on any one day to find porcini, morels, chanterelles, oysters, trumpet, or blue foot lobsters in his reach in cooler.

A few weeks back a new wild mushroom appeared on Coho’s menu – mousseron mushrooms. We had to do a bit of research about them. They are sometimes called ‘fairy circle’ as legend has it as they grow in circles on the forest floor.

Fairy Ring Mushrooms in Friday Harbor

These mushrooms are foraged for a short time in Europe in spring and fall and in the United States, they are found in the spring. When we tasted them, we realized their size could prove deceiving. These little mousseron mushrooms are small but full bodied and packed with flavor. Chef Bill featured them in an intensely flavored wild rice risotto which became the bed for a perfectly pan seared halibut filet.

So if you are in Friday Harbor, stop in for dinner at Coho Restaurant and try some Day Boat Scallops with a side of snap peas and porcini mushrooms or a grass fed beef tenderloin from Painted Hills, Oregon with a wild mushrooms sautée with the haricots verts.

This piece was written and given to us my Anna Maria De Freitas of Coho Restaurant and Tucker Houses Inn

san juan island mushrooms

What Makes San Juan Island So Special

San Juan Island information

Anna Maria of Tucker House Inn and San Juan Island Restaurant – Coho, sent me this interesting piece.


Just this week Travel and Leisure ranked the San Juan Islands #10 best island in the world and #2 in the US and Canada.
In 2013, Trip Advisor rated San Juan Island the number one island in the country and number four in the world!

We all know that the San Juan Islands are stunningly beautiful and are great place to see amazing wildlife or have a thrilling outdoor adventure. This week as we celebrated the July 4th holiday, the Island experienced a wave of visitors. If you’re planning on being one of them – and we hope you are! – here are some interesting factoids about San Juan Island beyond the whales, beauty and outdoor adventure.

These first three come from a recent contest run by the Economic Development Council (EDC).

1)      There are more business licenses per capita in San Juan County than any other county in the state of Washington. Chances are, if you have an idea for a product or service, you’ll be able to set up your headquarters here!

2)      There are cannonballs buried in the Cliffside of Orcas Island, left from the Pig War soldiers’ target practice. There are so many versions of the Pig War story. Check out the Harrison House and Tucker House’s version here!

san juan island information about the archipeligo

Mt. Finlayson & Spring Prairie 1 Photo Courtesy of National Park  Service 

More San Juan Island Information

3) Most of the San Juans were originally explored and mapped out by Spanish explorers, and we have an interesting part in Spanish history.

Here are some other factoids from other San Juan Island sources including the Visitor’s Bureau and Chamber of Commerce and from Island naturalists!

4)      128 rocks or small islands in the San Juans have official names.

5)      San Juan County has more miles of shoreline than any other county in the country, at 375. The average real estate value of waterfront property is $1,000-4,000 per square foot.

6)      In the early 20th century the islands were overrun with an infestation of European rabbits. They were very invasive and came from a careless owner on Smith Island. Nobody knows how they got from Smith to San Juan Island. They’re still thriving today.

7)      There are a few stories about how Friday Harbor got its name. The real one is because of Joe Friday, a very influential Hawaiian who was instrumental in settling the town. Island lore describes Spanish explorers mapping the islands, passing the harbor, yelling up to a gentleman standing there to ask what bay they were in, and getting back “Friday” as an answer!

8)      Every day between 4:30 and 6 p.m., one of our islanders goes out to the intersection of Roche Harbor and Westcott Rd. and leaves scraps of raw chicken and fish for bald eagles (we have more in San Juan County than in the lower 48). Often you can park your car and watch as more than a dozen eagles swoop in for a free afternoon snack!

9)      Popeye is a seal who is the mascot of Friday Harbor. She even has her own statue down by the waterfront. Popeye lives off offerings of scraps from the fresh fish shack down on the marina. Meet Floyd, the harbor seal mascot on the west side of the island! He loves to stop by Lime Kiln State Park to say hi to summer visitors. Floyd and Popeye are just two of over 4,000 harbor seals in San Juan County alone!

10)  You wouldn’t think of an island in the Pacific Northwest as a premier scuba-diving destination, but the rocky shorelines and interesting underwater formations of our archipelago are perfect for diving enthusiasts! Jacques Cousteau called the Islands, the #2 place to dive in the world. Rocky reefs and thick kelp forests offer views of crab, corals, sponges, starfish, octopus and more!

That was a lot of interesting facts and information about San Juan Island. Thanks Anna Maria!


Conversations with Anna Maria-Tucker House

over wasp islands orcas

Orcas Island

One of our truly great information resources is Anna Maria de Freitas, owner of the Tucker House B&B, Harrison House B&B and the Coho Restaurant here in Friday Harbor, San Juan Island. This is the first in what we hope to be many blogs that we get to post here.

“Many visitors ask about making a reservation for the ferry. Currently the Washington State Ferry run from Anacortes – Friday Harbor, San Juan Island is first come first served. Only the international crossing to Sidney accepts reservations. But that is going to change late this year, December 28th to be exact! Reservations will be available for the east and westward crossing for all of our guests traveling to and from Friday Harbor This new system will revolutionize the current system where you have to queue up sometimes several hours prior to the ferry’s departure. The system is in the final design and testing stage. We will update you once all the details are in place with all the particulars.

So in the interim, we share some strategies and tips for effortless ferry travel. Equipped with these strategies and the new Washington State Ferry app called Vessel Watch, you will breeze to and from the main land to Friday Harbor. Vessel Watch is a life saver. It offers a real time update of how many car spaces are remaining for a scheduled departure. This way you may decide to take a more scenic leisurely drive through Skagit Valley or make a bee line straight to the terminal.

In addition to the Washington State Ferry, there are other transportation options to San Juan Island with Kenmore Air or Victoria Clipper. These are ideal options if your hotel or Inn is walking distance from downtown Friday Harbor and you decide to come without a vehicle. Depending on your travel itinerary and the number in your party, there may be other options as well. Ask your hotel’s concierge when making your reservation. They will be happy to recommend the best transportation option for your party to travel to San Juan Island. Remember getting here is half the fun!”