Our charming and colorful waterfront town beckons you as you glide around the bend into the San Juan Island ferry dock. Thankfully, all of the best things to do in Friday Harbor are just steps off the boat. You’ll find excellent touring options, Friday Harbor restaurants, local shops, and wine tasting. Our downtown area is entirely walkable and can easily be explored without a car.
This is also the case when you stay at our San Juan Island Inn Collection. Just a stone’s throw from the ferry, our 18-unit Inn is the ideal place to call home while adventuring through the woods, kayaking, and dining out on Northwest cuisine. So many of the best things to do in Friday Harbor are right nearby! Whether you’re heading to the San Juans for a trip for two, family-getaway, or solo retreat—we have a beautiful room or suite for you!
The Best Things to do in Friday Harbor
Summer offers the perfect weather for exploring the San Juan Islands. The days are longer with a mix of sunshine and clouds, the air is crisp and clean, and temps can reach the ideal mid-70s. Start filling your itinerary with hikes, tours, and treats.
Here are the eight best things to do in Friday Harbor this summer:
- Grab a latte at a local coffee shop: If there’s one thing about people from the Northwest, we’re particular about our coffee. Thankfully, San Juan Island has a handful of delightful cafes serving up strong and smooth espresso drinks. The Bean Cafe, The Salty Fox, and San Juan Coffee Roasting Co. are all right in the heart of Friday Harbor.
- Hit the shops: After you’re fully caffeinated, take a stroll down the pretty downtown streets. Be sure to pop into Pelindaba Lavender for beautifully scented products and goods. You’ll also find anything from clothing boutiques and jewelry to bookstores and galleries.
- Wine tasting at Madrone Cellars: One of our favorite things to do in Friday Harbor is wine tasting! And this local boutique winery has charming indoor and outdoor garden seating for wine and cider flights paired with charcuterie and cheese boards.
- Grab a pint on the patio at San Juan Brewing: Just a few minutes walk from our San Juan Island B&B, this local brewery is a fantastic spot for a pint in the sunshine. Wood-fired pizzas and upscale pub grub are ideal for a hearty lunch break.
- Take a kayak tour: The San Juan Islands is one of the finest regions for kayaking. The pristine waterways are alive with wildlife, and with each turn, you’ll find breath-taking scenes. Calm inlets and glassy coves await your kayaking adventure, making this area one of the best for beginners and experts alike. Our kayaking outfitter partners include Crystal Seas Kayaking, San Juan Outfitters, Outdoor Odysseys, Discovery Sea Kayaks, and Sea Quest.
- Whale watching excursions: By far, one of the most memorable things to do in Friday Harbor is a whale watching tour. While March through November is the best window of time to glimpse these beautiful marine mammals, there have been more transient Orca sightings year-round due to an abundance of food. However, the endangered resident Orcas are a rare sight at this point in time, though conservationists are working tirelessly to remedy this. Our partners for whale watching tours include San Juan Safaris, San Juan Outfitters, Western Prince Cruises, San Juan Excursions, and Maya’s Legacy Charters.
- Stroll along Jackson Beach: For a quintessential northwest beach experience with rocky and sandy patches strewn with driftwood, shells, and treasures, head to this local stretch about two miles from downtown Friday Harbor.
- Dinner at Coho Restaurant: Just a short one-block walk from the Tucker House Inn & Harrison House Suites, you’ll find elegant slow food meals with seasonal ingredients, thoughtful preparations, and absolutely artful presentations at Coho Restaurant. It’s the best place to wrap up your day with a glass of wine after exploring the fantastic things to do in Friday Harbor.
Comfortable Lodging for your Island Getaway
Of course, one of the best things to do in Friday Harbor is relax in your suite at our San Juan Island Bed and Breakfast. Spend a leisurely morning with a French press and a scratch-made hot breakfast with seasonal ingredients delivered to your door (menu options change daily). Feel free to find a spot on our garden grounds to enjoy the flowers and the fresh air before setting off on an adventure on the island.