PRESS “REFRESH” AT SAN JUAN’S LAKEDALE RESORT
So many of us mean to unplug more often than we do, and sadly it often takes a setting so serene and a WiFi signal so blessedly weak to force us to do just that. Once we finally power down and tune in, we wonder what the heck took so long. Destinations like Lakedale Resort on beautiful San Juan Island prove the perfect spot to disconnect and reconnect, and the benefits remain long after the ferry docks back on the mainland.
Accommodations here range from lovely lodge guestrooms to good old campsites, but we highly recommend the unique experience of “glamping” in a canvas “cabin”—a luxurious way to commune with nature. Highlights include having your own S’mores-ready fire ring, a daily continental breakfast in the friendly Mess Tent and a “Toasty Toes” turndown service that means the decadent delivery of hot water bottles to the “front porch” every evening.
At Lakedale, time stretches out into impossibly long days. Somehow, hours effortlessly fill with oh-so-arduous tasks like lounging and lazing, reading and napping. A gentle breeze consistently soothes, and time evaporates as you watch buzzing dragonflies play a game of tag among the cattails that circle the tranquil lake.
Though alluring activities abound across the island and on the property (yoga, paddleboarding, kayaking, fishing, tie-dying, food-and-wine events, etc.), here you also realize that it’s perfectly OK to simply stay put. The bald eagle feeding on the westside of the island? How about tomorrow. Whale watching? That’s for another day. The staff here is so genuinely welcoming (especially the wonderful Mary Ann), you’ll feel you’ve known them forever.
When you do finally muster the energy to leave the property, consider checking out westside highlights like Lime Kiln Point State Park and San Juan County Park, plus the island’s winery, distillery, lavender farm and, of course, resident camel. At the San Juan Historical Museum, hang among locals at free summer concerts that showcase musical talents every Wednesday evening.
At mealtime, try the charming Duck Soup Inn (just across from Lakedale, reservations required) or The Bluff at Friday Harbor House, which offers some of the freshest salmon, most dynamic cocktails (indulge in the watermelon martini!) and panoramic harbor views that can’t be rivaled. At Madrona Bar and Grill, relish outdoor seating and postcard-ready views of Roche Harbor. (A must-order here: The Chop Chop Noodle Salad, chock-full of prawns, chicken and—a regional favorite—Dungeness crab.)
Travel tips: Since Lakedale accommodations fill up quickly, book ahead of time, and consider mid-week adventures, too. Also be prepared for a hefty ferry fare for travel between Anacortes and Friday Harbor; vehicle reservations can be made online and are highly recommended to ensure you get a spot. (Although, truth be told, getting stranded on San Juan wouldn’t be the end of the world!)
Happy travels! We wish you all the best as you sink/sync into glorious island time.