1. Bonfire on the Beach
For the first of our date night ideas, how about a glorious evening under the stars? Grab your puffy and your sweetie before heading to South Beach for some of the PNW’s best. Ignite the fire and your love. If you decide to enjoy some litefare or nibbles, enjoy provided picnic tables as you gaze at the stars and into each other’s eyes.
South Beach is located in American Camp National Park at the southernmost tip of San Juan Island. Along the beach, there are designated fire pits at each site. Just a reminder that this is a national park so while you while you may be tempted to gather kindling or driftwood along the beach, please bring your own firewood. Our national parks are leave no trace. Hint: If it’s a windy evening, choose the farthest site as the cliff face blocks much of the wind!
2. Popcorn & a Movie
While movie night may sound a bit ordinary, we promise it will be anything but when visiting Friday Harbor. The Palace Theatre is a small town historic theatre built in 1915 that featured silent movies when it first opened. You still buy your ticket at the old-fashioned ticket window outside on Spring Street. Inside there are two intimate theaters that showcase first run movies. There are hardly any lines even when a blockbuster movies come to town. You can’t miss the smell of popcorn and the concessions will lure you and not disappoint. Watching a screening at The Palace is is often like attending a private screening as the theatre is never crowded.
The Palace Theatre has an interesting connection to the Harrison House Suites. Mrs. Middleton and her husband Alfred owned the theatre until 1959 when they sold it to Milt and Lee Bave. The Middleton’s lived in the building that is now Harrison House. Mrs. Middleton was the piano accompanist for the silent movies when the first theater open. Mrs. Bave was the projectionist and often put her hand over the projector when she thought a scene was too racy for the audience. We promise that doesn’t happen anymore. So grab your honey and enjoy a first run show in a unique setting.
3. Hike and Picnic
Head to the westside to Lime Kiln State Park for a picnic with a million dollar view. Before you leave Friday Harbor, choose from a number of eateries to pack your picnic. Our friends at Market Chef, San Juan Cheese or the Spring Street Deli will hook you up with the fixings for a perfect picnic. If you let your innkeepers at the San Juan Island Inn Collection know 24 hours in advance, they will also prepare a picnic for you.
From the parking lot, hike to the lighthouse. There are several picnic tables there. If you prefer a more private spot, try heading down by the base of the lime kilns. Take the trailhead to the north , and as the lime kilns come into view follow the trail until you see steps leading down toward the water. There are two picnic tables at the bottom of the steps overlooking Haro Strait. Picture perfect and private!
4. Visit the Farmer’s Market and Cook “Inn”
Having a romantic dinner “Inn” can be much more special than eating out — not to mention less expensive. Take a stroll to the Saturday morning farmer’s market located in Brickworks on Nichols Street. Brickworks is two blocks from the San Juan Island Inn Collection and next to the Coho Restaurant. There you can buy island meats, seafood and produce to create a memorable meal no matter what you’re craving. Take the ingredients back to your suite or cottage and set the mood. Flip on the fire place, pull the cork on a bottle of wine, turn on some jazz and settle into a lovely evening with your honey enjoying a shared meal.
5. Dinner at Coho Restaurant
If you are looking for a romantic dinner in Friday’s Harbor, look no further than the Coho Restaurant, part of the San Juan Island Inn Collection. Their intimate dining room with 9 tables is the perfect setting for rekindling your romance, staring into each other’s eyes and whispering sweet nothings to each other.
Chef will take you on a culinary journey savoring the San Juan Islands and surrounding mainland producers. The servers are professional and attentive and will do their best to create a memorable dining experience. If you are celebrating a special milestone anniversary or preparing to “pop the question”, let their team know in advance. Chef will prepare a special multicourse dinner, or have a special dessert, bottle of bubbly or flowers awaiting your arrival.