We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

1st timers on San Juan Islands - Some Guidance Needed

Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
1,099 posts
7 reviews
1st timers on San Juan Islands - Some Guidance Needed


We are a family of 4 ...(2 adults and 2 teenagers) visiting San Juan Islands in June.

We are staying in Friday Harbor for 7 days.

We love the the outdoors, beautiful scenery, etc....

With our base in Friday Harbor for these 7 days, are we able to visit the other islands: Orcas and Lopez and do daytrips there?

We did not want to move from island to island and decided to have 1 base in Frday Harbor for these 7 days...yet having the opportunity to do day trip (1 day in Orcas & 1 day in Lopez).

1) Is this feasible?

2) what activities in terms of must dos and must sees would you suggest for these 7 days on the islands?

3) We will have a rental car. How much will it be to get it on the ferry in Ana

cortes and how much will it be to use ferry and have day trips to each: Orcas Islands & Lopez?

Please advise of the above and thanks.

1 reply
Level Contributor
316 posts
4 reviews
1. Re: 1st timers on San Juan Islands - Some Guidance Needed


Regarding your questions:

1) yes, setting up base camp on San Juan Island is totally feasible, and day trips from SJI to the other islands are actually quite easy and affordable.

2) In terms of must sees:

- Liime Kiln State Park on SJI (look for whales from the bluffs nearby and do a quick hike to the lighthouse)

- Roche Harbor on SJI for lunch or dinner

- Explore the south side of SJI (nice beaches, etc)

- Check out Moran State Park on Orcas (including Mt. Constitution)

- Spencer Spit State Park on Lopez is also on of my favorites

Take a minute to check out this website for other ideas https://www.visitsanjuans.com

3) With four people in the car the ferry will be around $100 to get to Friday Harbor from Anacortes. The final amount depends on the ages of your kids. Remember to make a reservation on the Anacortes to Friday Harbor route, as well as your return from Friday Harbor. Also allow for traffic time in Seattle when calculating the time to get up to Anacortes -- you don't want to be late for your ferry if you've made a reservation. The inter-island ferry costs $28.65 to bring your car on and passengers are free. The inter-island ferries are rarely full and they do not take reservations. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the ferry schedule, as the inter island ferries run infrequently (the times are listed in light blue bar on the ferry schedule). Also note that the spring schedule switches to the summer schedule on June 24, so plan accordingly.

Reply to: 1st timers on San Juan Islands - Some Guidance Needed
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted
Get answers to your questions about Friday Harbor