How to do Cocktail Hour on San Juan Island

strawberry and mint cocktail in a martini glass

Who doesn’t love a good drink when on vacation? If you’re answer is “not me”, then this is not the blog for you! Here at the San Juan Island Inn Collection, we want to ensure you have a memorable experience no matter the occasion. So, I took it as my personal responsibility to find out just how you can best enjoy “cocktail hour” on the Island. Just choose your goal and I’ve got the place for you!

People Watching: Friday’s Crabhouse

Okay, lets be real for a moment, who doesn’t love people watching?  The rooftop bar at the “crab shack” is the prime people watching spot in Friday Harbor! Sit above the hustle and bustle of the town and watch the ferries come in and out with a Bloody Mary in hand. Locals and tourists alike love sitting at the bar looking out on the harbor. And get this, you can even bring your dogs! Does it get any better?

There’s a Game on? Haley’s is the Place

I am not the type of person that can sit and watch sporting events for hours on end (unless its the annual log rolling competition); however, there is something about Haley’s that enables me to actually watch a game from time to time! The atmosphere is perfect for any sport. Aaaaand they have sweet potato fries…okay okay…so maybe that’s the reason I say yes to watching a game. But hey, at least I’m there! Just be sure to get there early to claim your seat.

Boozing with a View: The Restaurant at Friday Harbor House

In my book, there is nothing better than enjoying a beautifully made cocktail outside on a warm summer’s night while looking out on the harbor. I can honestly say the best cocktail of my life was made by the lead barkeep at The Restaurant.

Feelin’ Fancy with Friends: Backdoor Kitchen

Grab a group of close friends and head over to Backdoor Kitchen to enjoy an evening of drinks, good company, and wonderful atmosphere. Whether you choose to sit inside or outside, you can’t go wrong! Oh, and definitely come hungry because you won’t be able to help yourself once you see one of their entrees pass by.

Best Beer on Tap: Cask and Schooner

Sometimes all you want is a good beer and it’s surprisingly hard to find sometimes if you don’t know where to look! Well look no further, Cask and Schooner is definitely your place. While I can’t drink beer (I’m allergic–a tragedy, I know!), they always have a cider available. And each time I’ve gone in, its been a different one. Which is perfect for me because I love trying new things. So whether you’re into beer or cider or both, just ask the bartender for his recommendation!

Escaping the “City”: Madrona at Roche Harbor

Believe it or not, the locals call Friday Harbor the “Sin City” of the Islands. It’s where everyone from the other islands come for real excitement. However, sometimes you just need to escape the “city” and relax in a different setting. In this case, Roche Harbor is definitely the answer! Sit out on the deck of Madrona Bar and Grill and bask in its quiet beauty. Although it’s not necessarily “cocktail hour” time, the Madrona is arguably one of the best locations to watch the sunset. And if you haven’t seen an Island sunset, then this is a must-do.

Romantic Date: Coho Restaurant

Looking for somewhere intimate to take your sweetie for a unique cocktail or an exquisite glass of wine? Coho is certainly the right place. The fine dining setting is the perfect atmosphere for date night. So go ahead and order our lavender lemon margarita. You’ll never have another margarita like it! Served in a martini glass, you’ll receive celestial tequila poured over a scoop of our homemade lavender lemon sorbet.


Nikki from the San Juan Island Inn Collection

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