San Juan Islands Travel Info
Getting Here: From Seattle and points south take I-5 north to exit 232. This will be about 60 miles and look for the signs that say Anacortes, Hwy 20. Swing off to the right and turn left at the first light. Stay on Hwy 20 for around 18 miles until you get to the round about at the top of the town. Swing right and drive down Commercial Ave about 1.5 mile to 12th St. There will be a McDonald’s on the right about a block ahead of the turn. Turn left and drive about 5 miles to the Washington State ferry terminal. If you are bringing a car over, stay to the right, purchase your ticket and follow the instructions they will give you at the booth. If you are walking on,stay left and look for parking in the lower level or the pay parking in the woods up the hill about half way down the waiting area. Walk down to the terminal and buy walk on tickets inside. Once you are on the boat (make sure it’s one going to Friday Harbor!) relax 🙂 The ride takes an hour to an hour and a half depending on whether or not there is a stop at Lopez.
From Vancouver and Bellingham: Take I-5 south to exit 232. Follow the exit to the light and turn left then follow instructions above to ferry.
In Friday Harbor: Walk off boat and cross in front of ferry traffic to stay on waterfront. Friday Harbor Cruises is located in slip M 10 at the Port of Friday Harbor marina. If you come by car, there is no longterm parking in the town core so you’ll need to drive off the boat and follow up Commercial ST (the main drag) and turn right on 1st St. There is long term parking about 3 blocks up 1 st. by the Court House. If you are staying the night, check in to your lodging first. For a day trip, the best plan is to park at the ferry terminal in Anacortes and walk on the ferry.
Travel time: The drive from Seattle takes about 1.5 to 2 hours total and in the summer, you need to arrive 1 to 3 hours early!!! the boats fill up and you may be left at the dock especially on Friday and Saturdays or holiday weekends. For walk ons, allow 45 minutes before departure to park and buy tickets. No worries about overloads for walk on.
Here’s a link to the State ferry site for schedules and prices.
Lodging for San juan Island
Book your rooms early as things fill early for the high summer!