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Premier Waterfront & Whale Watching Westside Cottage

Bedrooms 1
Space 1,200 sq. ft.
Property type cottage
Minimum Stay 2 nights


About the property

The cottage is ideal for a couple or two adults.

This charming guest cottage is nestled on a five acre estate with magnificent views of the Olympic Mountains, Vancouver Island and spectacular sunsets over the Strait of Juan De Fuca. Premier whale watching awaits you right on the front lawn or from the picnic table above waters edge. Enjoy tennis and basketball on the court located right outside the cottage. Relax underneath the deck umbrella while bird watching. Go down to the cove and explore the tidal pools, have a picnic or launch your kayak or paddleboard. When you’re ready to venture out, Deadman’s Bay Beach is a short walk or bike ride away. Lime Kiln State Park is also just a short drive or within walking distance and features hiking trails, prime whale watching and a view of the lighthouse.

Please note: Owners do live on the property in the main residence located approximately the distance of a football field (100 yds) from the cottage. However, the cottage does afford it's own privacy.

More Details

Jane or Greg Gerhartstein
Member since: 2013
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within 12 hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
February 6, 2018

About Jane or Greg Gerhartstein

We moved to the San Juan Islands in 1991 from a 16 year life living in Dutch Harbor, Alaska where Jane taught elementary school as well as working along with Greg owning and operating a seafood company. We also owned commercial king crab fishing vessels along with other fishing related businesses. Realizing that the Aleutian Islands may not be the best place to raise our son, we moved to San Juan Island to raise our son Dylan. Even though Our son lives and works in the Seattle area he visits us and the island at least once a month and no doubt will always be connected to San Juan Island.

Now days Greg's hobby is flying (he owns and fly's a cessna 206H) and is working on becoming a master beekeeper, where Jane loves gardening, teaching yoga at the locale health club and playing tennis.

We also have a very sweet Golden Retreiver 'Timba'. She will no doubt want to bark a greeting to you and come running to say hi and as most Golden's she's an artfull beggar but she's the luckiest dog alive to live here and get to meet all the wonderful guests we have.

Jane or Greg Gerhartstein purchased this cottage in 1991

Why Jane or Greg Gerhartstein chose Friday Harbor

We felt very fortunate to have found this piece of paradise back in 1991. At that time the island was pretty quite but then came along 'Free Willie' the movie (which Greg, Jane and our son Dylan were extra's in). It then became well known that there were local pods of Orca whales here off the West Side of San Juan Island during the summer months and everyone wanted to see them. Once visitors found out how beautiful the islands were many decided to stay or move here. Needless to say the population has increased but not really that much. You will notice we still dont have a stop light in town or any fast food resaurants, yeah!! As the news of how beautiful the islands are, the San Juan islands have slowly become a world class vacation destination. Even though we share this beautiful spot with thousands of visitors every summer, fortunately our property still feels away from everything and everyone. We do however love meeting new visitors and guests from all over the world and sharing this beautiful and unique piece of paradise with everyone.

What makes this cottage unique

Obviously the whales out front makes our place very special. Wether it's watching them frantically feeding amongst a school of fish, spy hopping, breaching or just lazily sleeping and drifting along, it's a spectacular sight of nature.

The property also provides an abundance of other wildlife. You will no doubt encounter grazing deer, eagles perched or flying overhead, harbor seals sunning themselves on the shoreline, fox darting across the lawn, dove hooting their call or the frogs signing so loud in the pond at night that you'll hear them from inside the cottage. Many guests comment that they've wittnesed more nature in their brief stay with us here than they've encountered in their whole lives.

We hope you'll have the oportunity to come visit Windance Cottage and experience all this for yourself.


Friday Harbor Cottage Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • cottage
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 1200 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 2
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters ...
  • not suitable for children
  • pets not allowed
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Monument View ...
  • Mountain View ...
  • Village ...
  • Water View ...
  • Waterfront ...
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Fireplace
  • Fitness Room / Equipment ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Parking
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Free Wifi
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 3 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , combination tub/shower
  • 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 2
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 queen
    Bedroom 2 - 1 twin/ single , Sleeping nook sleeps smaller adults.
  • The upstairs bedroom is an open lofttype area. There is a queen bed with closet space, dresser and drawers. The nook on the ground floor has twin single window bedsThese can accommodate smaller adults but are more suited for just relaxing, napping or reading your book.
  • Books
  • DVD Player
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Stereo
  • Television
  • Deck / Patio
  • Lawn / Garden
  • Outdoor Grill
  • Tennis
  • wheelchair inaccessible
  • botanical garden
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • festivals
  • health/beauty spa
  • library
  • live theater
  • marina
  • museums
  • playground
  • recreation center
  • restaurants
  • ruins
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • eco tourism
  • horseback riding
  • paddle boating
  • scenic drives
  • shelling
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • whale watching
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • Babysitter
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • basketball court
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • racquetball
  • sailing
  • scuba diving or snorkeling
  • snorkeling/diving
  • surf fishing
  • surfing
  • swimming
  • tennis


Wonderful! 4.8/5 -
(12 traveler reviews)

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Premier Waterfront & Whale Watching Westside Cottage
average rating of 4.75 based on 12 reviews
Friday Harbor,Wa

Best place on San Juan Island

  • 5 of 5

Owners are very helpful and friendly. Cottage is extremely clean and comfortable. The property is like a wildlife sanctuary, whales, harbor seals, Eagles, fox, deer. Highly recommend, I know we'll be back. Thank you Jane and Greg for sharing your beautiful piece of paradise.

  • Submitted: Jul 24, 2017
  • Stayed: July 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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0 0
Friday Harbor, Washington

Serene and cozy respite Margaret J

  • 5 of 5

Windance Cottage is simply enchanting and the owners are always gracious. This is one of the premier places to stay on San Juan Island. Situated on the west side of the island, the short walk from the cottage to the beachfront provides access to a peaceful and world class view of sunsets, orcas playing, deer grazing, eagles chattering and flying overhead, fishing boats and cruise ships. I’ve even seen otters on the beach. It’s a perfect place to relax, admire the beauty and just breathe. The picnic table out on the bluff is a great spot to while away the lunch or dinner hour!

The cottage itself is open, but cozy, filled with light and up to date. The bed’s comfortable, the linens fresh and the kitchen well stocked. Other than food, there’s everything you need. On the waterfront side of the cottage is a deck, big and comfortable enough to just hang out, read a book, eat, talk. The tennis court is 50 paces from your deck. At one end, there are basket- ball hoops for a quick game of horse, pig or whatever!

The website and it’s pictures describe Windance perfectly. I know my review doesn’t say much new, it’s all been said beautifully before but I just wanted to be sure to mention that the best part of the experience is Greg and Jane. They truly enjoy people and they love what they do. You’ll get all the attention OR privacy that you need and drive away having made 2 new lovely friends. They’re the best!

  • Submitted: May 12, 2017
  • Stayed: April 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Beware the owners

  • 2 of 5


The setting is gorgeous. It's a great location on the west side of the island and good for whale watching during the right time of year. The cottage has a nice layout and the vaulted ceiling/loft allow a lot of natural light into the space.


The bed was very uncomfortable. Both of us had sore backs while we were staying there.

To get the full effect of the great view shown in the pictures on the website, you actually have to walk about the length of a football field to get there. The cottage is behind the owners' house which blocks most of the view. While we were welcome to use the adirondack chairs and picnic table down by the water, it was really on the owners' front lawn and not at all private. This was not what we expected from looking at the pictures beforehand. (The listing does say the main house is 100 yards from the cottage, but it doesn't specify the cottage is 100 yards BEHIND the house.)

The reservation process was a hassle. There was an incorrect email address listed on VRBO, so we had a difficult time getting in touch with the owners. We had to mail checks and sign a physical contract, and it took a number of attempts to get this information to them and confirm with them that they'd received it.

After our stay, we received an email from the owners saying that we left bleach spots on their sheet and towels and grease on the stove and floor. They took money out of our deposit for the sheet and towels. Although they didn't charge us extra for the grease, they went to great lengths to read us the Riot Act on proper rental behavior. We have been using VRBO and other rental services for over a decade with great success and have never had any complaints or money removed from our deposit. As we do every time we rent, we went over the checkout list prior to departure to make sure we were leaving the rental as requested. We had already paid a cleaning fee in addition to a large nightly fee. While the stains on the sheets and towels were unfortunate, it's also common, and why most hotels and rentals use white sheets and towels. That being said, it would have been more appropriate if the owners had simply written us an email saying they needed to take money for replacing the sheet and towels and saved us the patronizing. Overall, it was the least pleasant rental experience we've had and we do not recommend it to others.

  • Submitted: Sep 23, 2015
  • Stayed: September 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: First let us just say that we are sorry This guests experience at Windance cottage was so unplesant. What a shame these guests felt so inclined to write such a hurtful review based primarily on the fact that they damaged our property and hence our deducting the cost of repair from their damage deposit. In response to some of their disatisfation. As far as the bed goes, we are constantly asking our friends , family and guests how they've slept and how's the bed. We have never had anyone tell us they've felt the bed was uncomfortable however, if it was, we would have it changed out immeadiately. It was also surprising to learn that these guests felt that we did not represent the property accurately. We have always strived at making sure our guests have a clear understanding of the layout of our property. One thing we most always mention to just about everyone that inquires, is to go to Google Earth and look at the layout of the property. We do not want any guest to feel we have not represented the property accurately. As stated on our website, the cottage sets back 100 yards from the main house and affords its own privacy. We do however encourage all our guests to use "All" the property. We love nothing more than seeing our guests coming down to the shoreline, enjoying the whales, tidepooling or just setting in the adirondack chairs taking in the water views. This is a lot of the reason our guests enjoy our property. We're sorry these guests felt so uncomfortable making themselves at home. We did feel this review was very hurtful and unfair, insinuating that you would need to "Beware of the Owners" and we would read you the "Riot Act". This is just not our style. We have enjoyed sharing our west side property with family, friends and guests for over 20 years and have never had anyone leave not having had a wonderful experience and we're sorry if this was an exception. We feel very fortunate that many of our guests have become very close friends and now come back yearly. We will continue to welcome new guests and do our best to make all our guests feel as comfortable as possible here at Windance Cottage. We are honored and gracious to be your hosts and hope you will still consider staying with us. We promise to do our best to help make your experience here on San Juan Island the best experience possible. Thank you, Greg & Jane
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9 1

Best View on the Island - Great Hosts

  • 5 of 5

My wife and I wanted quiet privacy with an incredible ocean front view. That is what we got. Out of the 6 days we stayed there, we saw Orcas five of the six days just by sitting on the rocky bluffs. Just from the shore, we were closer to the whales than the whale watching boats that swarmed the J pod moving peacefully up and down the coast. The property has a pathway that leads down to a tide pool shoreline where there is an abundance of sea life.

The weather was perfect during our stay. Sunny and 70s. The property is on the west side of the island and takes about 20 minutes by car to get there from Friday Harbor.

The hosts were awesome and very accommodating. Before our arrival, we called them and got a lot of great advice on things to do and places to eat. Whatever we needed, they were there for us. Couldn't ask for better hospitality.

The cottage was beautiful. Comfortable and nicely furnished, we felt very much at home there.

For those wanting to enjoy the beauty of San Juan and not be bothered by the tourist crowds, this is the place.

The other reviews on all the wildlife you can see are spot on. We enjoyed watching a pair of eagles during our stay working on bringing back food to their nest.

Kayaking is a must while there and there are good outfitters for that. The American Camp is a beautiful place to check out. We also really enjoyed Krystal's Aplacas and were there to witness a baby alpaca being born. Roche Harbor is truly beautiful and spending the afternoon there is worth while.

We definitely plan on coming back.

  • Submitted: Jun 21, 2015
  • Stayed: June 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
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1 0
Palo Alto, CA

Beautiful, relaxing and refreshing

  • 5 of 5

Our family of four had an amazing week at Windance cottage. The cottage was just what we expected from the photos. The property itself is amazing. We had fun playing tennis, basketball, running in the big field and of course, enjoying the breathtaking views! We spent our days watching the Orcas swim by, discovering strange and exotic creatures in the cove, hiking out to see the sunset and enjoying a fire in the fire pit. In the afternoons we would launch off to see other parts of the island and from this location everything was easy to get to, however, it was hard to leave the cottage because everything you love about the island is right there in your backyard! The owners were very friendly and helpful. We would definitely stay here again when we return to the San Juan Islands for vacation. We will always treasure the memories made here!

  • Submitted: Jul 3, 2014
  • Stayed: June 2014
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you Bonnie for the nice review. It's guests like you and your family that make being in the vacation rental business such a pleasure. We feel very blessed to have the oportunity to be the custodians of this amazing piece of property and getting to share it with familys like yours is our reward. Thank you also for sharing your photo's. We'll hope to see you and your family again in the future.
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4 0
Berthoud, Colorado

Wonderful location and cottage!

  • 5 of 5

My husband and I had a wonderful, relaxing stay at this cottage! We loved the secluded and quiet location. We saw Orcas right out from the property on 2 days we were there. The cottage was very clean and welcoming. It was just a short drive to Friday Harbor and Lime Kiln Point Lighthouse. I would stay here again on a return visit and recommend it highly!

  • Submitted: Jun 16, 2014
  • Stayed: June 2014
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
7 Miles
Friday Harbor Airport
Nearest Ferry
7 Miles
Washington State Ferry
Nearest Golf
6 Miles
San Juan Golf & Country Club
Nearest Beach
1 Miles
Deadman's Bay Beach
Car: necessary

Windance Cottage is one of only a few shoreside propertys situated on the West Side of San Juan Island. This location is where most all visitors end up spending most of their time anyway. The cottage is located one mile from Lime Kiln State Park (whale watch park) and the famous west side pullouts (where visitors park to watch the whales feed, play and interact with other pods of whales). The West Side is also the sunny side of the island. We receive approximately a quarter of the rain the north end of the island receives, as you will notice the difference when driving around the island.

Windance property offers one of the best locations for launching your kayak. Most all the kayak outfitters will end up on the West Side of the island regardless of where they launch because of the diversity of wildlife along the shoreline.

If you're not playing tennis on our property (which is one of the prettiest tennis court settings in the world) or tide pooling down in the cove or staying busy with a number of other activities available on the property, you will probably be relaxing while the eagles fly over head, the deer graze on the lawn, the dove hoot their call and the sound of the water calms your soul.

Windance Cottage is one of the prettiest places on earth.


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning/Re-setting $75
Tax Rate 10.0%

Regular season rates apply for holidays.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

Please ask the owner or check their rental agreement when booking the property.

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