San Juans resort is idyllic island getawayLegions of San Juan Islands lovers have something new to be very excited about: It’s the all new Snug Harbor Resort and Marina on San Juan Island.
Snug Harbor has been around for years, but as we recently found out on a late November visit, it’s undergone a startling and very impressive re-birth. First of all, it’s located in a gorgeous spot, along the shores of tranquil Mitchell Bay on the Northwest side of San Juan Island, just 20 minutes or so from the state ferry dock in Friday Harbor, and close to another San Juans favorite Roche Harbor.
The impressive grounds now include 13 brand new cedar cabins, featuring one and two bedroom units, as well as three suites situated on top of the main lobby building. The cabins are beautiful, with spectacular interiors, expansive glass windows ,vaulted ceilings, full kitchens.and gas fireplaces.
Did I mention each unit has an absolutely stunning view of the water?
The cabins also have new Weber gas barbeque grills, so meals can be cooked inside or outside and, either way, you don’t have to leave this special place to look for a restaurant. This makes it especially convenient and cost-effective for families who don’t want to pay restaurant prices to feed large groups.
We will definitely be back next summer on our boat, as Snug Harbor has its own 65-slip marina, that can accommodate vessels of varying sizes. You’ll also find crab cookers available for use at the marina, as well as complimentary paddleboards, kayaks, canoes and bikes.
Whale watching is offered for the charter out of the marina, and we are told by locals that a certain well-known “Captain Jim” is considered THE expert of when and where to locate Orca whales in the waters just minutes from Snug Harbor.
Whether you feast on home-cooked meals in your cabin or sample the many excellent restaurants in Friday Harbor, you’ll want to work all that off, and the resort makes that easy with its own exercise facility.
Getting there was relatively simple. Just catch the state ferry at Anacortes, get off in Friday Harbor, and it’s an easy and short drive up the island to Snug Harbor. Kenmore Air also services San Juan Island, and a float plane ride is a spectacular way to go.
We were very impressed when we got a phone call while waiting in the ferry line informing us that our cabin was ready whenever we wanted to check in -- and keep in mind, this was BEFORE NOON. High marks for not sticking to the old “sorry but you can’t check in until 4 pm.” line. Just in case we were going to arrive late, they even went in the cabin and turned the lights and gas fireplace on for us. Nice touch.
Check in was very easy and professional. And we couldn’t wait to try Mitchell Bay Coffee, located adjacent to the lobby.The next morning it didn’t disappoint, featuring delicious coffee drinks, fresh waffles, local baked goods, cereal and other treats. They also serve soup here.
The Snug Harbor Store was also impressively stocked with clothing items, sundries, and food for cooking in your cabin or snacking. The resort has a large events room, and we discussed the possibility of having a family reunion, wedding, or corporate retreat there. All would work just fine.
San Juan Island is a premiere destination year-round, but we found it very laid back and not crowded at all on the weekend before Thanksgiving. Summer can be a different story of course, but even when the crowds swarm the San Juans, Snug Harbor can be a respite hidden away from the warm-weather hordes.
It was an easy drive down the island to Lime Kiln State Park to look for whales from shore. Alas, no whales paid us a visit, but with breaks in the clouds, no rain in site and not a single person there but us, it was a very special outing.
We also caught the Saturday Farmers Market in Friday Harbor, where we loaded up on fresh pasta, sauce, and other goodies for a memorable meal back at the cabin. A quick stop at King’s Market for a bottle of wine, completed our search for sustenance. And no trip to Friday Harbor is complete without spending quality time at Serendipity, one of our favorite used book stores.
A short drive back to Snug Harbor, and we settled into our fantastic cedar hideaway with a stunning view, turned up the gas fireplace, cracked a good book, and enjoyed some quality time soaking in a very relaxing Pacific Northwest day.
For those of you who can’t get away from TV or your smart phone, the cabins all have flat screens and excellent wifi available. But if you really let go, and accept the best of what Snug Harbor has to offer, TV shows, social media and e-mail will be blessedly far far away. We did just that, and the result was special memory-making weekend at Snug Harbor on San Juan island.
For more information, please visit www.snugresort.com or phone (360) 378-4762.
RECOMMENDED LODGING: San Juans lodging
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