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A car may not be entirely necessary throughout the duration of a traveler's stay in Friday Harbor. Local folk and vacationers often prefer to get around on foot or bicycle.
is currently the only rental car agency on the island. Late model cars,
convertibles, vans, and other standard vehicle sizes can be booked by
phone or e-mail.
Then, take a shuttle or water vessel to activities such as kayaking and the Orcas Island Historical Museum. Although it is slightly time-consuming, a car can easily be transferred onto the ferry, or tourists can rent one in town.
Compare their rates to those of your mainland departure point. It may prove less expensive to rent a car on the mainland and transport it on the ferry.
Prepare for a 1-3 hour wait to carry a vehicle on the ferry during the summer. The ferry leaves from Anacortes in mainland Washington. Anacortes is 1.5 hours from Seattle and the crossing time is 70 minutes from port to port.
The fare is typically 25 to 30 dollars more than a normal rider fare. If this seems too burdensome, then consider jet service to Friday Harbor.
Friday Harbor and San Juan Island are unique as there are no taxi regulations. If you don't bargain with the taxi driver before entering the cab, you might pay almost ANY amount when you arrive, as there is nothing to keep a dishonest driver from scalping you. Also beware of the "extra passenger" charge. Some taxis will say it's $20.00 to Roche Harbor but neglect to tell you that's for only one person, and the other persons are $2.00 or even $5.00 each.
Visitors to Friday Harbor generally cannot hail a taxi from the curbside and need to reserve a car prior to departure. San Juan Transit provides a shuttle bus that tours the island during the season. Also, the transit company offers narrated bus tours and schedules activities throughout the islands.
There are several taxi companies, but only one advertises and posts their rates. Friday Harbor Taxi has their basic rates printed on the side window of their taxi, and publishes rates for most of the Island on rack cards and on their website. They also have discount coupons for most of the Island attractions. They provide luxurious taxicab transportation for the lowest fares on the island, typically $5.00 around the Town of Friday Harbor and to the airport; $20.00 to Roche Harbor or Lime Kiln Park (Whale Watching). Other fares are as reasonable.