The fare on the Washington State Ferry from Anacortes to the San Juan Islands, is for round trip travel.  There is a charge for westward sailings, but not eastward.  The most economical way to visit the different islands (Lopez, Orcas and San Juan) is to travel from Anacortes to the furthest westward island, San Juan Island,  and work your way back to the mainland (eastward), stopping first at Orcas Island and then Lopez Island.   Check the ferry schedule carefully.  Especially during the tourist season, ensure early arrival at your terminal for departures to the next island or Anacortes.

The schedule changes every 3 months.  Be sure your schedule information is current.  It changes on June 22 this year.

Getting to the San Juans from Anacortes, and returning to Anacortes, is an issue in the summer months.  On Fridays and Saturdays westbound, Sundays eastbound, arrive 2 hours early and cross your fingers.  Other days of the week can also be difficult.  If you have internet access, try http://www.islandcam.com, it may help on the day of departure.