• Joey Amato

Fall in Love with San Juan Islands

Updated: Aug 19



There is no better way to feel the pulse of island culture than to experience its food, and this fall, the “gourmet archipelago” sets the table to experience the bounty of the San Juan Islands at its peak. Savor the San Juans turns fourteen this year, and has grown to encompass film festivals, a farm parade, harvest dinners and more. Savor is a great way to ease into a slower time of year, while basking in the food, music, and natural beauty of Orcas, Lopez, and San Juan Islands. Taste Island Grown foods and wine, beer, cider and spirits, during a selection of farm-to-table dinners by local chefs. Press cider, learn about fermentation and permaculture.


Each film festival—the Orcas Island Film Festival and the Friday Harbor Film Festival on San Juan Island—celebrates a sense of place and our connection to nature. Opportunities to meet directors and actors, Q & A’s with filmmakers, discussion about important cultural and environmental issues and the chance to explore the autumnal beauty of the San Juan Islands are just part of the appeal.


Now in its 8th year, an impressive lineup of world-class films establishes the Orcas Island Film Festival (www.orcasfilmfest.com) as one of the best-kept secrets in the film world. The festival, October 7th-11th, features a curated selection of critically acclaimed international films and audience favorites direct from their debuts at the world’s greatest film festivals including Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Telluride, Toronto, New York, and Seattle. Many of the films are award contenders at the Oscars each year and attendees will see these films before their official theatrical release.


The Friday Harbor Film Festival will hold a hybrid festival in mid-October, meaning that it will occur on two platforms over 11 days, October 14 - 24. In-Person Festival will open with a Gala party and awards event on Thursday, October 14, followed by theater-based film screenings Friday through Sunday, October 15 – 17. Filmmaker Q&As will accompany the showings. Virtual Festival runs October 18 – 24, featuring films accepted through FilmFreeway as well as films and Q&As from In-Person Festival. All will be available on-demand on the website, www.fhff.org. The livestream Festival Finale will feature the Audience Choice Awards presentations on Sunday, October 24.


More farmers than ever are offering visitors the chance to open the barn door to see behind the scenes at some of the Islands’ most beautiful farms, creameries, wineries, flower gardens, shellfish farms and more. Lopez, Orcas, and San Juan Island each hosts a farm tour to revel in another successful harvest season.


Pack your spirit of adventure and discover a moveable feast for the senses.

*During these uncertain times, event details are prone to change due to safety concerns. Please check www.visitsanjuans.com/savor for event updates and www.visitsanjuans.com/travel-advisory for COVID information.