A Seaside Retreat at the Tucker House Inn
You might think we were crazy to agree to the next leg of this trip – an almost 10 hour drive from Missoula to Anacortes, WA and then an hour ferry ride to Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands. Yes, we got up at 4am to do it in order to make a 2pm ferry and thank God there wasn’t any traffic. But if you fell in love with Nantucket the first time you stepped foot on that island, you will love Friday Harbor just as much and would understand why we just had to include this stop.
There’s something so relaxing about taking a ferry to an island, it feels like you are really escaping reality. Sparkling, crystal clear blue waters and dark green forested islands abound. As soon as we docked in Friday Harbor, I noticed the similarities to Nantucket. If you sometimes long for a time when life was simpler, more tranquil, and slower paced, you’ll be enchanted by Friday Harbor’s ambience—a charming, walkable seaport built on a hill leading up from the harbor. Stroll through quaint villages, catch a glimpse of harbor seals and the magnificent, endangered orca whales, kayak the glassy waters along the shoreline, cycle quiet miles of country roads or browse unique shops and feast on delicious local fare at many diverse restaurants.
A short walk from the harbor took us to the Tucker House Inn, which is perched on a hill overlooking the town. The Inn consists of a labyrinth of buildings including two Victorian Houses – one built in 1898 and the other at the turn of the century, plus three cottages. We stayed in the Goose in the Pond cottage which was an amazing, cozy accommodation. We loved the king feather top bed, cathedral ceiling with skylight, and remote controlled gas fireplace which came in handy as the temperatures dropped quickly at night. Right out your door is a grassy lawn, with a weeping willow and shade gardens. They seem to have thought of everything as the kitchen is fully equipped to make your own meals. I loved that they use organic cleaners and vinegar in lieu of highly scented fabric softener and they stock bathrooms with private-label handmade organic body products in refillable dispensers versus individual amenity bottles. And the freshly baked chocolate chip cookies that were waiting for us in our room upon check-in were delicious!
As we were only spending one night in Friday Harbor, we didn’t have much time to explore the quaint shops and restaurants, but we were lucky enough to end up at Coho restaurant for dinner. Coho’s Chef creates exciting menus developed around the seasonality of fresh ingredients from the surrounding Islands. Of course being in the Pacific Northwest, we had to try the Grilled Troll- caught King Salmon with Shrimp & Celery Salad, Herbed Fettuccini, Baby Spring Vegetables, Shallot & White Wine Nage.
Our trip was way too short but we loved the Tucker House Inn and they even sent us on our way with a breakfast-to-go bag as we had to catch an early ferry. While Nantucket may be closer, it’s definitely worth the trip to Friday Harbor!