Ride the Ferry to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island

If you are anywhere near Seattle, WA in the beautiful Pacific Northwest you should plan to drive a bit further North to Anacortes and take (at minimum) a day trip to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island.  The Anacortes ferry departure point is about 80 miles north of Seattle.  We live about 5 hours away, so we opted to say in Anacortes for the night so we could get on the ferry in the morning.   We were very much looking forward to Friday Harbor, but the ferry ride itself ended up being pretty fabulous too.

Sail-Boat-from-the-Ferry-to-San-Juan-IslandWe crossed over to San Juan Island the end of July of last year for a multi-day Vintage Vacation, but once we were there I could see how easy it would be to just go over to the island for the day.  This was one of the magical views from the ferry.

Ferry-Boat-Line-Pay-Station-Anacortes-WAThe ferry to Friday Harbor all starts here in the ferry line if you are going to take your car with you.  But as of this year, it now all starts here at the Washington State Ferries Reservations page.  This is a new reservation system that saves you from wondering how many vehicles will be in front of you in line and if you & your car will make it onto the ferry you are trying to catch.  But, what I would recommend for a day trip is just walking on and leaving your car parked at the terminal.  It is way less money to get across, you don’t need a ferry reservation, and there is enough to do by foot or bike/moped rental once you get to Friday Harbor.

Ferry-Boat-and-Blue-Sky-to-Friday-Harbor-San-Juan-IslandThere are lots of indoor and outdoor areas on the ferry to ensure you enjoy the ride over.  If you drive on, you park your car and then you can walk upstairs to the viewing levels.  Even with the ferry full of cars (we were one of the last ones on) there was a ton of space to sit or stand pretty much anywhere we wanted.

View-thru-Porthole-of-Water-and-San-Juan-IslandIt is was a nice smooth ride and lasted a little over an hour not including waiting and boarding and un-boarding.   Is un-boarding even a word?  Maybe off-board?  I don’t know.  I was never bored even with all the boarding and un-boarding.

Life-Preserver-Ferry-to-San-Juan-Island-Rosario-StraightI’m pretty sure there is even a little food counter inside.  We were so preoccupied with the majesty all around us that we were outside for the entire ride over.  We also had picked up Jack-in-the-Box breakfast sandwiches before we got in the ferry line so we could eat while we waited.

Keep-Clear-Shadow-PuppetsShadow selfies.

Back-of-the-Ferry-to-Friday-Harbor-San-Juan I tend to get motion sick to the point where I drive when we take road trips, but I didn’t have any issues at all.

San-Juan-Island-Ferry-Ride-LPicture perfect.

Friday-Harbor-from-the-Ferry-BoatHere is the view of Friday Harbor from the ferry boat as we arrived.

Friday-Harbor-Ferry-Boarding-to-AnacortesView from Friday Harbor looking out to where our ferry docked.

Friday Harbor MapHere is a little map of Friday Harbor so you can get an idea how easy it is to walk around.  You can see where the ferry docks in the upper right hand corner.

Friday-Harbor-Suzies-Mopeds-RentalsIf you want to venture all around the island you can walk up to Susie’s Mopeds where you can rent a bike, moped, or Scoot Coupe for the day.

Friday-Harbor-The-Market-Chef-Coffee-Shop-&-DeliI stopped at the Market Chef for coffee.

Friday-Harbor-The-Market-Chef-Coffee-Shop-&-Deli-2014-Coffee-Menu-BoardThe Belgian Mocha was wonderful.

Friday-Harbor-The-Market-Chef-Coffee-Shop-&-Deli-Order-CounterI read reviews that their food at the Market Chef is really good too, but I wanted to do a progressive restaurant tour so I just got coffee.

Friday-Harbor-New-England-CollectiblesThere are lots of fun shops to wander around and look in.

Friday-Harbor-Funk-&-Junk-Antiques-and-GalleryI like the name of this one.  Funk & Junk.

Friday-Harbor-Cafe-Demeter-ExteriorCafe Demeter was on my list of ‘must do’s’ for lunch.

Friday-Harbor-Cafe-Demeter-BakeryIt is an adorable little place with great food.


Friday-Harbor-Cafe-Demeter-Bakery-Cranberry-Turkey-SandwichTurkey sandwich.  Absolutely delicious.  I snagged a table on the front porch.

Friday-Harbor-Cafe-Demeter-Bakery-Rosemary-ShortbreadRosemary shortbread.  It is the right thing to do.

Friday-Harbor-Spring-StreetThis is the view down Spring Street heading back in the direction of the ferry dock.

Friday-Harbor-Lavendera-Massage-ExteriorThere is a lavender farm on the island you can visit although they would be a bit far on foot I think.  I opted for a massage instead.

Friday-Harbor-Lavendera-Massage-LobbyI don’t know if they always have same day openings, but they did when I was there!

Friday-Harbor-Hand-Lettered-Grocery-Store-Signs-SelfieGrocery store window reflection selfie.

Since we had our car (for part of our trip), we ventured beyond Friday Harbor too, but I’ll highlight some of the other things we did in another post.  I just want you to know that I didn’t go directly from lunch to massage to dinner.  I swear I didn’t.

If we had more time in Friday Harbor we could have gone to the Museum of Art, Paradise Lanes to bowl (which we always get a kick out of doing because we aren’t particularly good at it), a number of art galleries, and the Whale Museum (which gets good reviews).  There are also whale watching boat trips, kayaking expeditions, and a zip line course with transportation from Friday Harbor.  You can also take a taxi tour of the island.  I ended up sorta doing this when our vehicle broke down, but that’s another story for another day.  Bob’s Taxi & Tours comes highly recommended by yours truly.

Friday-Harbor-Cask-&-SchoonerWe decided on Cask & Schooner for a late dinner.  There are a number of highly rated dining establishments, but this one didn’t need reservations.

Friday-Harbor-Cask-&-Schooner-InteriorIt was a Tuesday night though so that might make a difference.

Friday-Harbor-Cask-&-Schooner-ChowderI wish I was there right now.  The food was really good.  Boy could I go for a cup of chowder.

Friday-Harbor-Cask-&-Schooner-Caesar-SaladA little Caesar salad with fresh anchovies on top.  This was a real Caesar salad baby.  The kind Caesar used to eat I’m sure.

Friday-Harbor-Cask-&-Schooner-BurgerCheese burger and fries.  I’m drooling on my keyboard now.

Friday-Harbor-Cask-&-Schooner-Fish-&-ChipsFresh fish & chips with the best dipping sauce.  Boyd and Isak were with me too.  I swear I didn’t eat all this food by myself.

Port-of-Friday-Harbor-Spring-Street-LandingAfter dinner we wandered around a bit more.  It is just so lovely and peaceful.

Port-of-Friday-Harbor-Whale-Watching-OfficeThere is the Whale Watching office.  I think you can also take out a sailboat for the day and be that person I was taking photos of from the ferry.

Friday-Harbor-Ice-Cream-ShopAnd to top it all off — Ice cream.  Boyd was excited to find licorice ice cream.  His tongue was black for a while after that.  I usually stick with peanut butter & chocolate.

Friday-Harbor-Ferry-PortWe stayed at Lakedale Resort while we were on the island. I’ll post about that amazing place soon.  It deserves a post of its own, but here is an evening shot of the ferry terminal awaiting the evening ferry shuttle back to Anacortes or a number of other island destinations.

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