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.