San Juans named No. 3 by travel guide

“The Gourmet Archipelago” is Lonely Planet’s new moniker for the San Juan Islands.

The publisher of more than 500 travel guides and home to a travel website that gets 12 million hits per month has ranked the San Juans “Number  3” in its Top 10 U.S. Destinations for 2013.

“We’re thrilled,” said Barbara Merritt of the Visitors Bureau. And that was before MSNBC featured the list and the San Juans on it’s Saturday lineup.

Louisville, Kentucky, and Fairbanks, Alaska, took the first two places on the list. Our archipelago was followed by Philadelphia and American Samoa.

Lonely Planet’s list drew on a recent website article by Brendan Sainsbury, calling the San Juan Islands “The Gourmet Archipelago” — a descriptive title that apparently includes Lummi Island, home to the New York Times-mentioned Willows Inn, and an unnamed restaurant that features “local-caught razor clams”.

But quibbling aside, mention of The Bay Cafe on Lopez and Doe Bay Cafe on Orcas, and the lavender farm and the alpaca ranch on San Juan Island, can’t help but enhance the popularity and growing reputation of the San Juans corner of paradise.

And not a mention of orcas or coal ships.


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