New in Friday Harobor

Friday Harbor San Juan Island

The town of Friday Harbor turned 105 this February and without much fanfare, Friday Harbor is getting gussied up – an infrastructure face lift of sorts. Much of the work has focused behind the scenes in sewage or water treatment plants or beneath the road beds – replacing aging water and sewer lines, fixing storm water catch basins and repairing pump stations.

These types of repairs remind me of the Inns – all the behind the scenes repairs and proactive maintenance that you can’t do without. Somehow the 6 new water heaters or rewired electrical box do not have the same gee whiz factor as a newly painted room or landscape installation.

The town recently completed a few projects that you can’t help but notice. Blair Avenue from Spring to Guard Street will open this week. Those of you reading from a big city probably think we’re crazy highlighting this as news. This new 2 lane road, a veritable highway for the Island, has new sidewalks, street lights, and tree planters with beautiful Native American designs. The entire road bed of Blair Avenue was completely rebuilt.

Friday Harbor San Juan Island

Busy summer traffic was detoured from this major cross town arterial plus traffic to the middle and high schools, the post office and many other businesses that line the boulevard had to be rerouted. Islanders are musing with delight to say they can now drive the entire length of Blair Avenue without a detour. They describe the smoothness of the asphalt lift with the adjectives used to describe the facial complexion of models. Ah Island life. We are all proud of this new road project!

Speaking of road projects, the town completed a chip seal project that did an overlay on many of the down town roads and side streets. While it was a bit dusty for a few weeks and difficult for cyclists to maneuver upon, those inconveniences are distant memories for the improved road surface we now enjoy.

Friday Harbor’s new trash and recycle containers are showing up in prominent places in the down town core. No more having to carry your recyclables back to the Inn to find an appropriate receptacle for disposal.

The town will make a big splash for the holidays. Gone are the years when the tree lighting didn’t light as planned. The Town hired a professional company to light Memorial Circle Park, the entrance to town, for the holidays. From the installation previews, it is going to be nothing short of spectacular. No more Charlie Brown trees for Friday Harbor! Do plan a visit for an old town holiday celebration.

Friday Harbor is San Juan Island’s gateway. Our small little town of 2,200 residents maintains infrastructure that supports the growing summer population of visitors.Friday Harbor Trash Cans


Island Museum of Art Transforms

IMA Inside-Out
Friday Harbor EMS

The former EMS Building

When Peace Island Hospital moved Emergency  Medical Services (EMS) to the hospital complex, the Island Museum of Art (IMA) used this as an opportunity to transform the now empty building into a permanent home for the museum. Over the years the museum has occupied a variety of storefronts in downtown Friday Harbor. The new building would house IMA’s permanent collection as well as rotating exhibits.

Noted local architect Richard Hobbs designed the new building which apropos to an art museum is a work of art, with three galleries and an airy artist workshop. He transformed a utilitarian building into an a visual focal point for the town. The dramatic glass atrium facing Spring Street is inviting. Speaking of inviting, the IMA will welcome the community to their housewarming in early November.

San Juan Island Museums

New Design

IMA Inside-Out

The steel girders for the window panes

Birding on San Juan Island

San Juan Island Birding

For all you bird enthusiasts, or shall I say birders, there isn’t a more perfect place to come to see many species of birds in the Pacific Northwest.  San Juan Island has more than 200 species of birds. Birders consider San Juan Island some of the best bird watching in the state of Washington.

One reason is that the volume of water that flushes from the Strait of Georgia through Haro Strait, and the Salish Sea is a rich environment for birds. Currently you can see, common murres, Cassin’s auklets and the occasional forktailed storm petrel.


On American Camp’s rocky shorelines you can find, black oystercatchers, surf scoters and rafts of seabirds on the open water. Shorebird migration begins around July 1, when birds such as black-bellied plovers stop to feed in the prairie grasses. Fourth of July Beach and Jakle’s Lagoon are big wintering spots for ducks, including buffleheads and Harlequin ducks as well as common loons.

Savannah Sparrow

In the woodlands of American Camp and English Camp, you’ll find winter wrens, chestnut-backed chickadees and rufous hummingbirds. On the prairie, look for American goldfinches, great horned owls, and 18 varieties of raptors, from merlins to peregrine falcons to northern harriers. In spring you’ll see Savannah sparrows and vesper sparrows, and winter is a good time to see migrating seabirds.

Spend a weekend birding and stay at the Harrison House Suites!

Orca Whales Amazing Presence in the San Juan Islands 2014

Photo by Jim Maya

It has been a spectacular year for seeing orca whales in the San Juan Islands!  Many of our guests return from whales watching trips or from LimeKiln State Park, “Whale Watch Park” and have wonderful stories of seeing mother and baby orcas feeding together or some orcas putting on a breaching and jumping show.  Stay with us at Harrison House Suites and have a chance to see the orca whales this season!

whale breach

J pod arrived in the Salish Sea May 29, followed soon by some of L pod members June 3 and a month later on July 2 K pod showed up. So for well over a month now some combination of J pod with Ks and/or Ls has been found almost every day shuffling up and down the west side of San Juan Island or points north into Georgia Strait. Reports have been filled with wonder and appreciation for the opportunity to witness these whales’ graceful moves and intense socializing.

Transients/Bigg’s whales are still here as well, mainly near Victoria and Nanaimo.

Strawberries have arrived at Harrison House Suites

Mini Cheesecake with Strawberries
Harrison House and Tucker House Garden

Harrison House and Tucker House Garden


Strawberries are ripe and ready for picking!  This year our strawberries have been bountiful and extra sweet.  We are so lucky to have a garden full of delicious strawberries.  We have been hard at work picking, freezing and creating delicious recipes for our guests.

The heart-shape of the  strawberry is the first clue that strawberries are good for you. They protect your heart, increase HDL (good) cholesterol, lower your blood pressure, and guard against cancer.


Strawberry from the garden

Strawberry from the garden

Packed with vitamins, fiber, and particularly high levels of antioxidants known as polyphenols, strawberries are a sodium-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free, low-calorie food. They are among the top 20 fruits in antioxidant capacity and are a good source of manganese and potassium. Just one serving — about eight strawberries — provides more vitamin C than an orange.

Mini Cheesecake with Strawberries

Mini Cheesecake with Strawberries

Check out our recipe using stawberries, it is divine!

Mini Cheesecakes with Strawberries:

30 oz Cream Cheese

10 oz Fresh Chevre

12 oz of sugar

Pinch of Salt

10 oz eggs

1 oz Egg Yolk

5 oz Cream

1/2 oz Vanilla Extract


Baking Cups

1) Cream cheeses with sugar and salt, until smooth, about 3 min

2) Whisk together eggs, add to cheese mix in 4 additions

3) Add cream and vanilla

4) Pour into cupcake pan and bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 min

5) Refridgete till cool, then peel baking cups off and decorate with strawberries!


Switch to Full Width View
275 C Street Friday Harbor WA 98250 | 360.378.2783 or 800.965.0123 © Harrison House Suites | Photography: Michael Bertrand Photographer & Others