Welcome to San Juan Islands

San Juan Island is the second-largest island in San Juan County. It is about 20 miles long and about 7 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 dock 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. In the Town of Friday Harbor there was 2,162 residents. 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 is estimated at 15,844.

In addition to Friday Harbor as a U.S. Customs port of entry, so is Roche Harbor Resort, which is about 10 miles from Friday Harbor on the Northwest corner of the island. Roche Harbor is a regionally famous resort for its superb deep-water marina and historic buildings, including the Hotel DeHaro. In addition to the marina and lodging, there are restaurants, shops, local artists’ booths, kayaking, whale watching and more.

What captivates most people that visit the island is nature’s beauty. The topography of the island is expansive farms and fields, forest, hills and rocky shorelines. It is a delightfully diverse island with something to please almost any traveler.

The western shore of the island is blessed with the orca whales swimming by and inspiring sunsets over Vancouver Island. Lime Kiln Point State Park is the only whale-watching park in the nation where often whales can 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.

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 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.

Explore – Points – Rewards

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.

Annual Events on San Juan Islands

Annual Events on San Juan Islands, WA

Friday Harbor Bike Fest

San Juan Island Artists’
Studio Tour
JUNE 1 & 2

Three Lakes Triathlon & Marathon
JUNE 15 & 16

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
JULY 20 & 21
Pelindaba Lavender Farm

Summer Arts Festival
AUG. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30

San Juan County Fair
AUG. 14-17

Friday Harbor Airport Fly-In
AUG. 24

Concours d’Elegance
AUG. 24

The Lakedale Music Festival with Brian Nova
AUG. 30-SEPT. 1

Savor the San Juans

Friday Harbor Film Festival
OCT. 25-27

Eat Island Grown
OCT. 27

Friday Harbor Winterfest
NOV. 30-DEC. 31

Island Lights Festival
NOV. 30

Old Fashioned
Christmas Market
DEC. 14

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 where cars can be left behind and passengers can just walk on the ferry. There are 1,265 spaces in three parking lots. Pay parking is in effect at the Anacortes Terminal. Call (206) 729‑0241 for more information on parking. 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, B.C., during the summer months. Reservations for the Sidney trip are encouraged and can be made by calling (800) 808‑7977. Reservations are recommended, especially from May through September and for holiday weekends.

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 (west bound) and one leaving the islands (east bound) 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 west-bound 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% 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% are released two weeks prior to the specific sailing date.
  • The third 30% 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% 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 which 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 almost assures that you’ll 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 cancellation(s) 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 on the ferry with your luggage and/or 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

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

Flies from Anacortes and Bellingham.

Westwind Aviation
(360) 378‑6991

Provides on-demand air charter 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 feet by 75 feet 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


San Juan County Park
(360) 378‑8420

Lakedale Resort
(360) 378‑2350

RV Parking/San Juan
County Fair
(360) 378-4310