Retro Motor Inn with Spa on Pacific Northwest Island
Just off the coast of San Juan Island, you can often see congregations of Steller sea lions jump up on the rocks, yelping at boats. Other marine mammals such as harbor seals and otters can be seen year round. Above the waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, there are over 200 different species of birds, including bald eagles, ospreys, and other species passing through on their seasonal migrations along the Pacific Flyway migration route—which passes through the San Juan islands. Residents of the isle have learned to live in harmony with the rugged environment and diverse wildlife of the Pacific Northwest. The renovated 1960s-style Earthbox Inn & Spa encourages guests to explore the island's wildlife trails and pebble beaches; you can borrow complimentary beach-cruiser bikes from the retro inn to take in the scenery. Whether on foot or by bicycle, you can also venture into Friday Harbor to check out the town's art galleries, bookstores, and coffee shops.
The Earthbox's spa uses natural ingredients to soothe aches and pains with hot- and cold-stone massages, body treatments, and facials. Groupon customers will receive a 20% discount on massage, face, and body services if booked 7 days in advance. After a dip in the heated indoor pool or jacuzzi, you can oust toxins in the onsite sauna. Both Earth Place rooms and Sky Place rooms provide snug spaces that offer microwaves, mini fridges, and a natural color palette that reflects the wilderness outside.
San Juan Island, Washington: Rolling Hills, Quaint Towns, and Striking Fauna
Chugging ferries, weathered fishing boats, and whale tour boats crisscross Friday Harbor's bay, San Juan Island's largest port. A handful of historical buildings date back to the town’s founding in 1909, though they've assumed new identities as eateries, indie bookstores, and coffee shops.
Wildlife cruises can help you get an up-close view of the area's local marine life; depending on the season, orca whales, porpoises, and sea lions can be seen making their way through the chilly waters surrounding the islands. Just north of Friday Harbor, you can taste different varietals and enjoy barrel tastings at San Juan Vineyards, which is open year-round.