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Make Your Reservations for the San Juan Island Ferry This Summer

Photo of the San Juan Island Ferry coming into dock in Friday Harbor

One of the unique parts of visiting this neck of the woods is getting here! A ride on the San Juan Island Ferry makes any trip to the Northwest unforgettable—your transportation becomes part of the fun, and it’s one of the best ways to take in our stunning archipelago. You’ll see stunning emerald green forests, beaches covered in driftwood, and wildlife—if you’re particularly lucky, you might even have the chance for some impromptu whale watching from the deck of the San Juan Island Ferry! 

While the San Juan Islands are made up of 172 named islands and reefs in San Juan County, there are three main islands serviced by the Washington State Ferry System: Orcas, Lopez, and San Juan Island (while Shaw Island does have ferry service, there’s not much for visitors at this stop.) San Juan Island is the largest and home to Friday Harbor, with a lovely collection of local boutiques, specialty shops, restaurants, and attractions. Our Friday Harbor Bed and Breakfast is less than half a mile from the San Juan Island Ferry dock, making it the perfect place to stay on a visit to the islands. 

Our Friday Harbor Bed and Breakfast accommodations vary in size and layout. Our Inn collection offers various options, from cozy B&B rooms for couples, family and pet-friendly suites, and vacation rentals. Our location puts you in the ideal spot to explore Friday Harbor and beyond. If island hopping is on the itinerary, the San Juan Island Ferry dock is within walking distance, and it’s best (more affordable and flexible) to hop on and off the boat on foot.

Summer is a popular time to visit, and San Juan Island Ferry reservations need to be booked in advance. Our Friday Harbor Bed and Breakfast fills up, too, so reserve your room today! 

San Juan Island Ferry, photo of the top deck of the ferry coming into dock

Your Guide to the San Juan Island Ferry

Depending on how long you plan to stay at our Friday Harbor Bed and Breakfast, we recommend enjoying at least a day or two of island hopping. Each island is unique, offering plenty of scenery and opportunities for recreation, dining, and amusement. If for no other reason, island hopping from one destination to the next on the San Juan Island ferry is a beautiful adventure!

Here are five things to know about the San Juan Island Ferry before you hop aboard: 

  1. Your adventure to San Juan Island begins in Anacortes, WA, located about an hour and twenty minutes North of Seattle and about 45 minutes from Bellingham. These large vehicle ferries allow visitors the opportunity to drive a car on.
  2. The San Juan Island ferry schedule changes between seasons. Since summer is busier, the ferry system offers more departures and arrivals. The Anacortes ferry travels to Lopez Island, Shaw Island, and Orcas Island, stopping in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. You will get the full tour en route during this trip, which typically lasts between one and two hours, depending on the number of stops.
  3. Reservations are recommended, particularly between May and September and on holiday weekends. When you make your reservation, you will need to make one coming onto the islands and one leaving the islands for a full round-trip. It’s always best to arrive 20 minutes or more before your scheduled departure. 
  4. Reservations are released in three tiers to accommodate long and short-term planning for visitors and residents. The first 30 percent are released two months in advance, the second 30 percent are released two weeks in advance, and the third 30 percent are released two days in advance. The remaining 10 percent is set aside for those without reservations, allowing about 15 to 20 drive-up or stand-by spaces. 
  5. There are plenty of things to do on the San Juan Island Ferry during your journey. Pop by the galley for a glass of wine, beer, and snacks. Head to the top deck to enjoy the beautiful views and fresh salt air. Grab a comfortable window seat (all seating is first come, first serve.) Be sure to have your camera at the ready for wildlife shots!

How to Navigate the San Juan Inter-Island Ferry

Once you’ve settled into your guest room at our Friday Harbor Bed and Breakfast and explored the nearby attractions, it’s easy to hop on the San Juan Island Ferry and head to the neighboring island communities. There are inter-island ferries that run between the islands on a daily basis. Inter-island ferries are loaded on a first-come basis for vehicles, so no reservations are required.

Here are a few things not to miss on Orcas and Lopez Islands:

  • Orcas Island is perhaps best known for the picturesque Moran State Park, with beautiful trails and outlooks. With over 5,000 acres, Moran State Park is the largest public recreation area in the San Juan Islands and the fourth largest in Washington. You’ll also find fantastic restaurants, pottery shops, and historical museums and sites. Be sure to pop by Orcas Island WineryIsland Hoppin’ BreweryBoathouse Cider Works, and Orcas Island Distilling.
  • Lopez Island is another excellent San Juan Island Ferry stop for outdoor adventures, northwest cuisine, and specialty shops. This island in the San Juan archipelago is known as the “Friendly Isle” as it’s tradition for drivers to wave to other cars and passersby from their vehicles. Check out Ursa Minor for local seafood, Lopez Island Brewing for craft ales, or Iceberg Point for a beautiful three-mile hike. 
San Juan Island Ferry, photo of an adorable puppy sitting on the deck at our Friday Harbor Bed and breakfast

The Best Pet-Friendly Friday Harbor Bed and Breakfast

After you’ve navigated the reservations for the San Juan Island Ferry and stepped foot onto our beautiful island, you’ll instantly notice the charm of our small community on the water. Thankfully, our Friday Harbor Bed and Breakfast is just a five-minute walk or a quick drive from the ferry dock. There’s plenty of street parking for those with a car, so you can easily leave your vehicle and set out on foot to explore all of the best activities in Friday Harbor and beyond. 

Our Friday Harbor Bed and Breakfast is one of the best places to stay on San Juan Island, especially for those traveling with their four-legged friends in tow! Our pet-friendly lodging offers a beautiful space to enjoy without sacrificing because you have your animal with you. You’ll enjoy spacious, comfortable suites, fine linens, high-end amenities, and welcoming hospitality—all of which our Friday Harbor Bed and Breakfast is known for, just take a glance at our more than 500 five-star reviews on TripAdvisor! 

Right in Friday Harbor, you’ll have everything you need within walking distance (and we have bikes and kayaks for our guests to enjoy). Less than a block away, our elegant Coho Restaurant offers beautiful northwest menus driven by the seasons and local ingredients. We also take care of your breakfast each morning! Head just a few blocks to San Juan Island Brewing and the town center for shopping, cafes, and more. You’ll quickly see why our guests return year after year to experience the beauty of the San Juan Islands and the hospitality of our Friday Harbor Bed and Breakfast. Start planning for summer now, and reserve your room today! 

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Recognized by Travel + Leisure Magazine

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