Welcome to San Juan

San Juan Island is the second largest island in San Juan County. It is about 20 miles long and about 8 miles wide, covering about 55 square miles. Friday Harbor is situated on the East side and approximately in the middle of the island, North and South. The Washington State Ferry docks directly in the middle of town. The town is convenient for visitors to walk on the ferry and walk off right in town, enjoying all the shops, museums, galleries and restaurants.

Friday Harbor is the only incorporated town in the San Juan Islands and holds the county seat. In 2010, there were 6,894 residents on San Juan Island and 2,162 residents in the Town of Friday Harbor. The median age for males was 38.7 years and female was 44 with a combined average of 41.3 years. The county’s 2010 population was estimated at 15,844.

Friday Harbor and Roche Harbor Resort are U.S. Customs ports of entry. Roche Harbor Resort is about 10 miles from Friday Harbor on the Northwest corner of the island.

Roche Harbor is a regionally famous resort known for its superb deep-water marina and historic buildings, including the Hotel DeHaro. In addition, visitors will enjoy restaurants, shopping, local artists’ kiosks, kayaking, whale watching and other local attractions.

Most visitors are captivated by the island’s natural beauty. The island’s topography includes expansive farms and fields, forest, hills and rocky shorelines. It is a delightfully diverse island with something to please almost any traveler.

Orca whales swim by the western shore of the island, where inspiring sunsets over Vancouver Island captivate visitors.

Lime Kiln Point State Park is the only whale-watching park in the nation where whales can often be seen from the shore.

Two historic and especially scenic areas – English Camp on the west side of the island and American Camp on the southeast end of the island – lie within San Juan Island National Historical Park. These two camps housed American troops and British troops more than 150 years ago during the Pig War, a strange historic battle that was spurred by the killing of a pig.

The list of things to do on San Juan Island is endless. There are recreational activities, galleries, theaters, museums, shopping and restaurants – from boutiques to world class art galleries, to restaurants to excite your culinary delight – all within walking distance from the ferries.

Plan on a minimum of two to three days to ensure you won’t miss any of the highlights and a day or two more if you want to island hop and visit one of the neighboring islands.

Hiking is among one of the San Juan Island highlights and can be truly fabulous. Exploring the islands with good walking shoes is a great way to see them up close and have your own island adventure. www.sanjuanislandstrails.org/trailsw/trails

Get the app

San Juan Islands Insider App, available on Google Play or Apple’s App Store, lets you earn points while exploring the island and redeem them for goods and services at island businesses.

Community Events

San Juan Island Artists’ Studio Tour
June 2-3

Three Lakes Triathlon & Marathon
June 16-17

Fourth of July
Parade, 10:30 a.m.; Kiwanis Pig War BBQ, 11:30 a.m.
Music at the Port, 6 p.m.; Fireworks, 10 p.m.

Lavender Festival – Pelindaba Lavender Farm
July 21-22

Summer Arts Festival
Aug. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31

San Juan County Fair
Aug. 15-18

Friday Harbor Airport Fly-In
Aug. 25

Concours d’Elegance
Aug. 26

The Lakedale Music Festival with Brian Nova
Aug. 31-Sept. 2

Friday Harbor Bike ‘n Brew
Sept. 15

Savor the San Juans
Oct. 1-31

Friday Harbor Film Festival
Oct. 26-28

Friday Harbor Winterfest
Dec. 1-31

Island Lights Festival
Dec. 1

San Juan Island Chamber of Commerce
(360) 378-5240

Getting Here

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
(888) 808-7977

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.

Airport shuttle

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.

By plane

Kenmore Air
(866) 435-9524
Choice of several daily flights direct to Friday Harbor airports from various Seattle-area locations.

Friday Harbor Seaplanes
(425) 277-1590

San Juan Airlines
(800) 874-4434
Flights from Anacortes and Bellingham.

NorthStar Air Tours
(250) 800-1381

Westwind Aviation
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.

Boating information

Port of Friday Harbor
(360) 378-2688

Roche Harbor Resort & Marina
(360) 378-2155

Snug Harbor Resort
(360) 378-4762

Victoria Clipper
(800) 888-2535