The islands are served by the Washington State Ferry terminal in Anacortes. By car, take I-5 to the Burlington exit (exit 230), travel west on Highway 20 to Anacortes and follow the signs to the ferry terminal.
Washington State Ferries
Getting here is half the fun aboard a Washington State Ferry, and reservations are now available online to help make trip planning easier and more predictable.
Parking is available at the Anacortes Ferry Terminal passengers can park their cars and walk onto the ferry. There are 1,265 spaces in three parking lots. Pay parking is in effect at the Anacortes Terminal. Contact (206) 729-0241 for more parking information. For weekend service between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., call (360) 239-7397.
The Washington State ferries make two daily trips from Anacortes to Sidney, British Columbia, during the summer months. Reservations for the Sidney trip are recommended, especially from May through September and for holiday weekends. Call (800) 808-7977 to make a reservation.
To help plan your trip, visit www.takeaferry.com. From there you can also find more information about Washington State Ferry terminals, including addresses and directions, ferry cams, amenities and ADA information to make your trip go more smoothly. Web cameras are also available to view most ferry lines. You’ll need to make two reservations – one coming to the islands (westbound) and one leaving the islands (eastbound) if you’re visiting Orcas or San Juan islands. The system will prompt you to make a round-trip reservation. (Lopez and Shaw islands only have westbound reservations.)
If you can’t get a reservation on your desired day or sailing, reservations are released in three tiers to accommodate long- and short-term planning by visitors and residents.
- The first 30 percent are released two months before the start of each of the four seasonal sailing schedules, for all sailings during that season,
meaning that these reservations may be available up to five months in advance.
- The second 30 percent are released two weeks prior to the specific sailing date.
- The third 30 percent are released two days prior to the specific sailing date.
Each tier release of space opens online and by phone at 7 a.m. The remaining 10 percent on each sailing is set aside for those without reservations, emergency vehicles and customers with medical documentation.
You must check in at the toll booth at least 30 minutes ahead of your sailing time or you will lose your reservation and will travel standby. It is recommended that you arrive in line for your reserved sailing 45-90 minutes in advance of the sailing departure time due to possible long lines, staging requirements and loading time. Bring your printed reservation sheet with barcode for easy scanning.
There is no extra charge for a reservation, however, to secure a reservation you must provide a debit or credit card that will only be charged $10 if you are a no-show. Ferry tickets are purchased separately at the Anacortes terminal or online. Tickets are round trip, although be sure to make two reservations – one coming and one leaving the islands, as mentioned above.
There are several sailings each day to and from each of the four islands, which means you’ll likely get your first, second or third choice of sailing time with a reservation.
In the event that a sailing is canceled, Washington State Ferries will communicate the cancellations via travel alerts to your mobile phone or email address you submitted when you made the reservation. Those who choose to travel will still be prioritized once service is reinstated. If you choose not to travel you won’t be charged a no-show fee.
Walk-ons don’t need a reservation. You can leave your vehicle at the Anacortes terminal and walk onto the ferry with your luggage, bicycle or kayak. You’ll find parking rates and a variety of island transportation options, including a seasonal transit bus and car, bicycle and moped rentals. If you’re headed to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, the ferry arrives within easy walking distance to activities, attractions, lodging, dining and shopping. If you’re headed to Orcas Island or Lopez Island (or somewhere other than Friday Harbor on San Juan Island), you’ll want to check into transportation options.
When traveling from Sea-Tac Airport to Anacortes, there is a shuttle from Sea-Tac Airport to Washington Ferry, Anacortes. For schedule and fare information, call (866) 235-5247, or check online at Bellair Airporter www.airporter.com.
Choice of several daily flights direct to Friday Harbor airports from various Seattle-area locations.
Friday Harbor Seaplanes
San Juan Airlines
Flights from Anacortes and Bellingham.
NorthStar Air Tours
Services to the San Juans from anywhere in the Pacific Northwest.
If you are traveling on a private plane, The Port of Friday Airport has a 3,400-by-75-foot runway, 12,500-pound weight limit, and 45 spaces for guest aircraft.
Port of Friday Harbor
Roche Harbor Resort & Marina
Snug Harbor Resort