Review By: Andrea Gohlke –
Every coast has special getaway spots where travelers seek solstice. Whether it’s heading to the shore, curling up in the mountains, throwing down a beach towel at some sandy locale, or motoring to an island one unifying feeling is the relaxing sensation when you’ve finally arrived your vacation commences.
Washington is a diverse enough state that you can be at the coast, in the mountains, or walking the concrete jungle all in a matter of hours. It’s a place I’ve been able to call home for many years and one of my favorite darlings is Roche Harbor, a member of the San Juan Islands.
There are several ways to arrive to Roche, via boat, seaplane, or ferry. All have advantages as you get to see and experience various aspects of the luscious landscape. It’s not unusual to see a pod of Orcas when you’re on the ferry or to feel the jolt of landing on water when you’ve flown in a cozy 8-seater.
I acknowledge being spoiled by getting to spend time in this tranquil setting. The sunsets are spectacular, the proprietors lovely, and the community gracious. The same band of folks seem to return from working at ski resorts to this summer hideaway and we have now grown with one another. Marriages and children have occurred and yet time stands still in this quiet cove.
Nothing beats lunch on the deck. Most assuredly when we go on a ladies getaway after doing a running loop around the island we will swab our faces with a wet wipe and mosey up to Madrona Bar and Grill for a Bloody Mary, two, or three …. Season after season, the food quality is unchanging. Scrumptious salads, fresh dungeness crab and artichoke quesadillas, generous heaping french dip sandwiches and my favorite the fresh prawn and avocado margarita cocktail.
Roche Harbor is the kind of magical place you think is only in far off dreams. I can only consume crab there. Nowhere else throughout the year can I overindulge for days on end with crab omelets, crab melts, crab straight from the pot into my mouth, and crab as a late night snack. It’s a decadent treat and one that I will forever indulge myself on when up in this utopian village.
Should you think island life is too slow for you, wineries, distilleries, boys playing taps at dusk, paddleboarding, and art walks beckon you. I’m so delighted to head up there again this fall and if I could, would sprinkle magical Roche Harbor fairy dust on all to be whisked away to paradise.