Travel

San Juan Islands

Establishment neighborhood
Girl Meets Dirt
208 Enchanted Forest Rd., Eastsound
Girl Meets Dirt’s traditional preserves are a beautiful homage to Orcas Island’s unique history of orcharding. Founder Audra Lawlor moved to her “farmette” after leaving a Wall Street job in the downturn, and hasn’t looked back since. You can pick up her preserves (all made with island fruits) at gourmet shops around the country, but she reserves the small-batch specialty stuff for the island. The shop is open weekdays from 9am-5pm, but you can also call ahead to arrange a tasting—the jams make great souvenirs, and she also sells a gorgeous little selection of home goods like hammered copper pots and wooden serving boards, which are also made locally.
Gottman Institute
San Juan Islands
By taking a no-nonsense scientific approach to relationships, Drs. John and Julie Gottman are able to identify what works and what doesn't so that couples can create true intimacy, strong friendship, manage conflict, and support a shared vision for their future. During the Art and Science of Love weekend workshops that happen all around the country, attendees are introduced to the nine elements of healthy coupledom, which the Gottman's call the Sound Relationship House. It reads like a road map to happily ever after if you're willing to do the work. They also offer intensive workshops at their own home in the San Juan Islands—we've heard that couples arrive on the brink of divorce, and leave more in love than ever.
Four Winds Westward Ho
286 Four Winds Rd., Orcas Island
One of the most gorgeous camps we've ever seen, Four Winds Westward Ho is nestled among the San Juan Islands in the northwest corner of Washington State. This camp's roots date back to 1927, which means there are plenty of enduring traditions. All campers wear a uniform and gather regularly in front of the main lodge's fire to sing songs, play music, and swap stories. Not surprisingly, water sports are big here. Four Winds owns its own sixty-two-foot yawl, The Carlyn, which takes campers on day and overnight sails. Land activities include archery, basketball, pickleball, woodcarving, poetry, and gardening. For girls and boys, ages seven to eighteen, for four weeks; there's also a junior session, which is a one-week trial.
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