San Juan Island
Planning Your Journey to Friday Harbor and Beyond
Our street team took a trip to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, Washington to see what a day-trip away from Seattle might really be like. The island boasts double the number of sunny days as Seattle (250 sunny days) and half of the annual rain (29 inches versus 58 inches). With whale-watching season in high gear – we headed to the San Juan Islands in mid-August.
Planning Your Trip – Categories:
There are varied options to reach the San Juan Islands. Each of them involve a mix of pros and cons:
Plane – private charter planes land regularly at San Juan Island. This is a relatively high cost option at $xxx per person.
Passenger Boat – The Victoria Clipper boats make an interim stop of their Victoria, Canada runs at Friday Harbor. Kids are free and adults are around $65 round-trip. A great benefit of this option is that it leaves right from downtown Seattle. On the downside, once you get to Friday Harbor (a touristy area where the ferry lands) — you have no transportation and are relatively bound to the commercial district. The crossing from downtown Seattle is around 3.5 hours and parking is available for $10 – $20 per day. Which brings us to:
Washington State Car Ferries – You can ride these ferries as a passenger or bring along your whole car. The prices are ridiculously reasonable for a vacation, at only around $60 for a car + passenger, plus around $15 for each additional passenger. Kids are free. The ferry is clean and comfortable with food and drink service aboard. The crossing is around 1 hour and 15 minutes. The ferries are popular and you need to arrive for your ferry at least one hoiur prior to the sailing. Cars line up parked, and you can take a walk until the ferry leaves. When the ferry is ready to go – you’ve got 50 cars behind you — so you better be driving on that ferry quick!
Of course the best is – getting a friend to cruise you on their private boat. The ideal option, but only available to a select few….
Once you arrive at San Juan Island’s Friday Harbor, you’ll find a commercial touristy district similar to San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf, Carmel California, Monterry California — and many other coastal tourist areas.