San Juan Islands, WA—As summer fades, fall’s Savor the San Juans events just keep growing. Harvest dinners on a farm bursting with ripe fruits and vegetables, wine or cider tastings in the vineyard or orchard, lunch at a shellfish farm or salmon hatchery, and more will pack the calendar this October, making it a great month to savor more than just a weekend visit to the “Gourmet Archipelago.”
A month-long movable feast for the senses in the San Juan Islands, the 6th annual “Savor the San Juans” pulls together all the elements of a memorable post-summer vacation getaway, including harvest festivals, music events, Artstock & art walks, a film festival and specials at the islands’ finest lodgings and restaurants.
Local food and winemaker’s dinners, Oktoberfests, dining out specials of “3 Courses/$30 or $35,” farm tours and cooking demos, are just a few of the culinary components. The Great Island Grown Festival kicks off the month on San Juan Island, with the Friday Harbor Farm Parade, October 5th. The Brickworks Plaza (Farmers Market site) heats up after the parade as six of San Juan Island’s finest chefs go head to head to create their best chili from local products. Friday Harbor art galleries stay open late that night with special events and island artists display their colorful wares in booths as part of Artstock, a celebration of diverse island visual artists.
On October 6th, the San Juan Preservation Trust and the San Juan County Land Bank will host an easy Farm & Forks cycling tour of protected agricultural lands and farm stand tastings, in the heart of San Juan Valley. Also around the island later in the month– theater performances and the first annual Friday Harbor Film Festival entitled, “Stories from the Pacific Rim” www.fhff.org, will keep visitors entertained. The new festival features over 29 documentary films including award-winning first run films with powerful ties to the Pacific Northwest. Many directors and producers will be present to introduce films, give workshops and answer questions. A two hour Kidz Cinema will feature films of children who are making a difference in their communities.
On Orcas and Lopez Islands, the cornucopia of culinary and cultural choices, includes a “Going Whole Hog” harvest event at Christina Orchid’s Red Rabbit Farm on October 6th, a salmon lunch and tour of Long Live the Kings’ Orcas Island Glenwood Springs salmon hatchery on October 13th, “Lopez on the Halfshell,” a Sweetwater Shellfish Farm tour and lunch on October 4, Lopez sheepdog demonstrations at Saddleback Farm, and Lopez Island Homegrown Watercolor Weekend on October 11th and 12th.
Lodging specials and packages for outdoor activities on all three islands are important ingredients of “Savor the San Juans” and can be browsed online. Check out the special “Savor” page of the San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau website at www.VisitSanJuans.com/savor for links to major events, participating restaurants, lodgings, transportation and activity specials. The Savor web page and online calendar http://bit.ly/phE3do will be updated almost daily as events and specials are added.