DISCOVER THE BEST OF LOPEZ ISLAND

If you time it just right, you can sit on the BARN GALLERY bluff and watch the orcas  as they head up or down, the San Juan Channel. If you’re interested in getting up close and personal with an orca, please check the whale watching excursions suggested in links below.

Lopez Island boasts the best of hiking, kayaking, boating, diving,  and of course biking.

We have the best roads and flattest hills in all the SAN JUAN ISLANDS.

One of the best hikes on Lopez is just a short WALK from the BARN GALLERY down to Shark Reef Park, where harbor seals, otters and eagles fish, frolic, and just hang out.

Watching and photographing Wildlife is another favorite Lopez Island pastime, and you can usually count on eagles, shore birds, waterfowl, herons woodpeckers, rabbits, deer, and pods of orcas, with an occasional owl at dawn or dusk!  This eagle image was taken from the BARN GALLERY

We have numerous local farms with seasonal stalls, a vineyard, and an organic grocery which offer a cornucopia of local organic meats, fish and veggies for a healthy gourmet experience. Does this Lopez organic produce story  EAT LOCAL  resonate with you?

Check out the links at the bottom of the page to discover the best of everything to help you with your “farm to table” dining experiences.

There are also a  surprising selection of arts and crafts studios and galleries on Lopez Island.  Traditionally on the Labor Day weekend holiday there is a studio tour where you can explore up to thirty local studios. We’ll publish the studio tour map on our newsletter as soon as the 2018 version is  available.

We have a great selection of interesting local eateries, offering a variety of fare,  and  a vineyard with tasting room. Scroll down for our select list of the best culinary experiences on Lopez Island.

LIGHTS! MUSIC! DRAMA! All happening on Lopez Island.

Lopez Island has more than you might imagine . Most weekends you will find something interesting going on at the Community Center in the village.

This enchanting enclosed garden was on the garden club garden tour several years ago.

We have art studio tours, and house and garden tours, where you can meet an entertaining cross-section of island residents. We’ll send you the information on the 2018 Lopez Home Tour, the Green Home Tour, the Garden tour, and the Studio tour in our newsletter.

Hang out and meet the locals; from drop-out sixties idealists, to Hollywood celebrities, to thought-provoking writers and artists, to tech billionaires (along with a few normal people, like us…..)

Done it all already? Lopez Island is only a short ferry boat ride to the other local islands of Orcas and San Juan, which just add to the variety of local experiences! And each island is different…..

Lopez Island is one of the San Juan Islands, located in the US Pacific North West; convenient to Seattle, and Vancouver BC.  It is reached by car & passenger ferry from Anacortes, or Kenmore Air float planes from Lake Union in Seattle, or San Juan Airlines from  Bellingham, Washington.

Sunset on the San Juan Channel taken from Lopez Island, typical of how you see the sunset from the BARN GALLERY bluff.
Lopez Island, Fisherman Bay

DISCOVER THE BEST LOCAL EXPERIENCES, with some comments by the BARN GALLERY hosts, based on our own experiences, and those of our guests.

OUTDOOR

SEATTLE TIMES : LOPEZ ISLAND IN THE FALL: HIKES, FARM STANDS AND FINE DINING.   If you want a quick overview, this article gets you on the right track really fast!

 HIKING  ~  LAND BANK   The hiking map shows locations of (7) Island preserves including one of our favorites hikes at Watmough Bay Preserve, where you’ll get fabulous views of Mount Baker and the Cascade Mountains, or look down into the water to see purple seastars and jellyfish.

HIKING ~LOPEZ ISLAND PARKS   Our favorite is Shark Reef Park, because we can walk there from the BARN GALLERY in 15 minutes, and we especially love the magical wooded path that leads to the rocky shoreline where we see  harbor seals, sea lions and otters,  and eagles fishing in the channel, often being pestered by attacking families of northwest crows!

LOPEZ  KAYAKS  Rent everything  you need here (if you didn’t bring your own equipment). Friends and guests say taking the guided tour around Lopez Island by water is one of their most interesting and rewarding Island experiences.

LOPEZ KAYAKING MAP   We thought this map would be very helpful to serious kayakers (yes/no/maybe?)

BIKE EVENT  Our favorite bike event, the  2018 Tour De Lopez   will take place 28th April, registration opens in February……..

LOPEZ BICYCLE WORKS  and  VILLAGE CYCLES  If you arrive by charter or float plane and need a bicycle for island transportation (which is actually quite doable) while visiting Lopez Island, we’ll be happy to take you to either of the bike shops when you arrive, where you will find everything you need (and we have a bicycle racks at the guest house).

BOATING IN THE SAN JUAN ISLANDS  The ten best spots for boating in the San Juan Islands – we are told. It’s up to you to verify!

SAILING  The San Juan Islands are a world-renowned boating destination, and we have  a multitude of boating and sailing adventures and services.  James discovered Lopez Island when on a sailing holiday with friends (back in the last century…)

CLASSIC DAY SAILING This is not strictly Lopez Island but such a fun opportunity we thought we’d include it as it’s only a short ferry ride to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island.

MAYAS LEGACY WHALE WATCHING    ~   SAN JUAN ISLAND WHALE AND WILDLIFE TOURS     ~   OUTER ISLAND EXCURSIONS AND WHALE WATCHING     Whale watching is a major big deal in the San Juan Islands. Here are just a couple of opportunities; however there are at least a dozen or more excursion boats from various ports including Bellingham, Anacortes and Friday Harbor.  When you get down to making your best choice (which varies depending on season) we’ll be happy to assist you.

DIVING IN THE SAN JUAN ISLANDS  Here is some general information on compelling dive sites in the San Juan Islands.

ANACORTES DIVING RENTALS   Here you’ll be able to find all you need in the way of equipment and information for local diving. We have been told they are a very accommodating business……

LOPEZ ISLAND GOLF  We are not golfers, but some people love our intimate and informal  9-hole course. One of the most fun events we’ve ever seen was an island-hop-golfing-event, where participants played a game on each of the  three island golf courses – some arriving by boat, others by private plane or ferry from the other islands, a couple of hardy souls on their bikes!  We’ll certainly add this to our newsletter if we see this coming up again!

MAP OF LOPEZ ISLAND  This map is rather geared to bicyclists, however it gives you an idea of what’s where on the island.

FARM TO TABLE and more…

FARM PRODUCTS GUIDE  This resource could be all you need!

BLOSSOM ORGANIC GROCERY  This is where we do most of our grocery shopping. Brian the owner really curates his products to make sure they meet his wholesome and organic criteria. They also feature lot’s of local organic products from most of the Lopez farms.

BARLOW BAY FISH CO / Jones Family Farm   I’ve had some of the very best salmon and halibut fillets ever from this Lopez Island resource. They specialize in oysters and mussels;  I do one-stop shopping here when shopping for my summer bouillebase.

LOPEZ VILLAGE MARKET  Not to be overlooked is our local supermarket;  they also carry organic products in addition to what you might expect.  When the ferry arrives in the summer, this is often the first stop for weekenders, and it’s usually packed – so schedule your trips to the market wisely!

FOOD FOR THE BODY…

VITAS WILDLY DELICIOU   We eat regularly at Vitas, and have done their wildly delicious take-out since 2001; never been disappointed. Bruce curates a great wine selection too!

HAVEN  The new star on the waterfront in the village. We often eat at Haven in the off season.  The fish dishes they serve are my favorite (locally sourced whenever possible), and they make a mouth-watering spicy hamburger; the Cowboy Burger! Do you like hot peppers…..?

URSA MINOR   Our latest hip-groovy “city-type/new age” bistro, which is a great addition to our typically more “laid-back” Lopez Island style. We’ve eaten at Ursa Minor and tried just about everything on the menu; lots of amazing culinary delights, again, all sourced from locally-grown organic farms. Reservations are a must…..

SETSUNAI   The best-kept secret on the island – the noodle place! Friends come from Orcas and San Juan to have lunch ~ “best noodles outside Asia” is the word!

VORTEX CAFE AND JUICE BAR   Hikers & bikers rave about the fresh juices, healthy and tasty!

ISABELS ESPRESSO   If there is any one place that encapsulates the Lopez experience, Isabels must be it!  We’ve been sipping at  Isabels  since 1997……(and we can make our own espresso in our kitchen at home)….what more can I say?

LOPEZ COFFEE SHOP   This is a great new addition to our Lopez Village; they feature locally roasted coffee and fresh pastries from Holly B’s right next door. We’re so fortunate to have a choice of two such excellent coffee shops on this little island.

LOPEZ ISLAND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE   For more information when you run out of our “best of” list!

FOOD FOR THE SOUL…

LOPEZ CENTER FOR COMMUNITY AND ARTS  Check this website a month before your scheduled visit to Lopez to find out what’s happening !  This isn’t a complete list – often there are spontaneous events and concerts – typical of an island community.

FOOD FOR THE MIND…

LOPEZ ISLAND STUDIO TOUR 2017   It’s difficult to find a listing of the many galleries on Lopez Island, and though we have some favorites we are including the 2017 Studio Tour map. It  gives you enough information to find the studios and the artists,  and schedule a visit to those that interest you. We highly recommend the 2018 studio tour. (maybe the CofC will come up with a new map….)

TRAVEL

FERRIES   This is the essential link to make a reservation to travel by ferry to Lopez Island by car from the Anacortes ferry terminal.  In the summer months it’s very important to make a reservation as soon as you know your travel plans. The ferrys are often booked a month or more in advance. We can also make a reservation for you if you let us know when you book.

LOPEZ AIRPORT  (LPS)  Lopez Island airport is very convenient to the BARN GALLERY (as in 3 minutes away).   It is  a public airport, 5 KM south of Lopez Village, with a 900m asphalt-surface runway. It will accept a Super King Air or equivalent size aircraft ( max 12,500 Lbs/single wheel).

KENMORE AIR   Our favorite way to arrive on Lopez Island is the float plane service from Lake Union in downtown Seattle. We can pick you up at the dock in Fisherman Bay, if you let us know when you make your booking for the BARN GALLERY.  Kenmore Air also fly into Lopez Airport.

SAN JUAN  AIRLINES  There are scheduled flights to Lopez Airport from Bellingham, Washington. We can schedule to pick you up at the Lopez Airport, if you let us know when you make your booking for the BARN GALLERY.

ISLAND AIR  Charter airline which flies into Lopez Airport.

THE AIRPORTER This is a round-trip shuttle service from various Seattle airports, to the ferry terminal in Anacortes. International travelers can arrive at SEATAC and travel to Lopez Island without a car. Once on the Island you can rent a bicycle for transportation. (at this time there are no rental cars or Uber services available on Lopez). We can pick you up at the Lopez ferry terminal if you let us know when you make your booking for the BARN GALLERY.

VARIOUS MAPS OF THE SAN JUAN ISLANDS     More than you will need!

LINK to Orcas Island attractions

LINK to San Juan Island attractions.

FIND SOMETHING “THE BEST” THAT WE MISSED?  ~ LET US KNOW, AND EARN YOURSELF A LOPEZ CRAFT BEER! (or an espresso….)

 

 

 

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