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Insider’s Guide: How to Get to the San Juan Islands

How to Get to the San Juan Islands

The San Juan Islands, north of Seattle in the top western corner of Washington State, is one of the best destinations for your summer getaways. This area is quiet and safe and feels a world away from the hustle and bustle. It’s truly a place to unwind and relax. Before you start planning, it’s best to look into how to get to the San Juan Islands—there are two main transportation options: the Washington State Ferry System or by seaplane.

San Juan Island is the second-largest island in the archipelago, and it offers a long list of great things to do this summer and into fall. There are a handful of excellent and diverse state parks, lovely dining options, and plenty of adventures on the water for guests to enjoy. If you choose to drive on the ferry, it can be handy to have a car, but it is not a necessity, as biking is a popular pastime, and many of the best activities are located within Friday Harbor. 

That’s where our Friday Harbor bed and breakfast comes in. The Tucker House and Harrison House Suites offer a collection of lodging options that stand out as the best place to stay while visiting the San Juan Islands. Whether you’re traveling with family (dogs included), friends or seeking a private solo retreat, we have a selection to fit those needs. Once you know how to get to the San Juan Islands, you’ll quickly see that the journey here is all part of the adventure. Book your lodging today! 

How to Get to the San Juan Islands

How to Get to the San Juan Islands this Summer

Now, the fun begins! Let’s start planning your adventure to this stunning archipelago in the Northwest, and that starts with how to get to the San Juan Islands. There are two primary popular means of transport; however, many people travel here by private boat, which is always a unique way to get there. No matter how you get here, you will be impressed by the pristine, natural beauty at every turn. 

Here’s our guide on how to get to the San Juan Islands: 

Arrive by Washington State Ferry

By far the most popular way to the San Juan Islands, the Washington State Ferry departing Anacortes to Friday Harbor, is taken by more than a million visitors annually. These ferries are big enough to accommodate vehicles, so you can drive right on (with a reservation) and have your car with you for your island adventures. 

Reservations may be made online via the Washington State Ferry website or by phone at 1-888-808-7977 (statewide) or 1-206-464-6400 (out-of-state). The first 75% of the space on each vessel is available to reserve up to two months before your sailing date. You’ll want to arrive early for your departure; the WSF system encourages 45-60 minutes before your sailing time. 

Once on the ferry, you’ll have about an hour to enjoy the beautiful scenery. Head up to the top deck to take in the stunning landscape of the PNW. There’s a galley available for snacks, drinks, and wine and beer. For more insider tips and tricks, read our blog here. 

Travel by Seaplane

The second most popular way to arrive in the San Juan Islands is by float plane. A few local companies offer flights from around the Seattle area, Bellingham, and Anacortes. If you first fly into Sea-Tac, many small flight companies offer a shuttle. Kenmore Air is the most well-known seaplane fleet. They depart from Lake Washington and offer guided flights to Friday Harbor all year. 

Boating to the San Juan Islands

If you’re lucky enough to own your own boat, the question of how to get to the San Juan Islands will be easy to answer. The San Juan Islands are a boater’s paradise. Several marinas on the islands offer guest moorage, including Friday Harbor Marina and Roche Harbor Marina. Feel free to contact us at our Friday Harbor bed and breakfast for more details on traveling to the islands via personal boat. 

How to Get to the San Juan Islands and the best place to stay in Friday Harbor

Book Our Friday Harbor Bed and Breakfast

The fun can begin once you know how to get to the San Juan Islands. Picking where to stay can be the best part of a vacation, and our Friday Harbor bed and breakfast offers an array of lodging choices. If you’re coming with kids or animals in tow, we have larger multi-room suites that are pet-friendly and spacious. However, if you’re coming for a romantic getaway for two or a solo retreat, we also have cozy B&B rooms that set the perfect tone. 

No matter which lodging option you choose, you’ll be privy to our friendly and personable hospitality—we can even help arrange your travel if you’re still unsure how to get to the San Juan Islands. We always offer a detailed concierge service that puts our property above all the rest. You’ll also be treated to a hot and homemade breakfast each morning or stay, delivered directly to your door. 

Here’s a lovely review on TripAdvisor from a recent guest who came to visit for a second time: “Once again, Tucker House went all out to give us the quiet and enjoyable experience we consistently have there. Incredible breakfast (chef’s choice) delivered to our suite each morning, wonderful interaction with staff for questions and lovely accommodations within walking distance of shops and restaurants. It’s why this is our favorite place to stay whenever we visit Friday Harbor.” Join us at our Friday Harbor bed and breakfast and book today! 

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