Getting Here Is Half the Fun!!

In general, plan on a half day (four hours) for travel between Sea-Tac Airport and San Juan Island if traveling by ferry. The Washington State Ferry system is the only system which takes vehicles to San Juan Island. That ferry departs from Anacortes, WA, about 90 miles NW of Seattle. The round trip ferry cost for vehicle & two adults is approximately $60.00 to $70.00. You can find ferry schedule information at If you are bringing a car, be sure to arrive at the Anacortes terminal one to two hours before departure.

The amenities at the Anacortes terminal are limited and basic. We usually stop in Anacortes for drinks and take-out food and have a good book to enjoy the wait. Waiting for the ferry in Friday Harbor is more enjoyable because the ferry parking lot is close to the downtown stores. You can browse the shops or walk the docks while you wait for the ferry to depart.

Having a car on the island is convenient, but can add hours to your waiting time. The ferries are loaded on a first come - first serve basis. You can park your car at the Anacortes terminal parking lot and board the ferry as a walk-on passenger at a much smaller cost. This allows you to arrive at the terminal just 30 minutes before departure.

Another option which saves time and comes to about the same cost is to fly via charter air service from SeaTac or Lake Union to Friday Harbor Airport. Rental cars, summer shuttle services, taxi, mopeds and bicycles are readily available on San Juan Island.

When you are leaving, try to plan your departure from Sea-Tac Airport for late afternoon. Otherwise you will have to leave the island early in the morning & miss breakfast!