There are two main options for getting to the Islands from the mainland- ferry or plane.  Your choice will be based on cost and travel schedule- so be sure to check out both options to see which better meets your needs. 

PLANE:  Kenmore Air has a number of daily flights running between Boeing Field or Lake Union, WA and Friday Harbor.  Their website can be confusing but online reservations are available.  ( )  Flights can be scheduled to either the local airstrip (AIRPORT) or the marina via seaplane- both arrivals on the island are within 1 1/2 miles of one another.  If you fly into the marina  on a seaplane, you are limited on the amount of luggage you can bring- so be careful to review the weight and size restrictions prior to booking.  That being said, the water arrival is quite interesting and you will be deposited at the end of the pier within walking distance from local places to stay and eat- the main town of Friday Harbor is blocks away.  If you leave from Boeing and arrive at the airport, you'll most likely want to get a cab into town- the airport will help with the scheduling upon your arrival.  The airport is about 3/4 mile out of town, but within walking distance for the hearty. 

Island Commuter Charters also offers a couple of daily flights if you'd like to leave out of Bellingham.  Try San Juan Airlines for flights departing from the Airport in Anacortes.  There are also a number of private charters available.

FERRY:  This is the only option to get your car to the island.  The first place to review your ferry options is at the Washington State Ferry Homepage (  There are a number of daily ferries that run between Anacortes, WA and the San Juan Islands.  Anacortes is approximately 1.45 hours from SEA TAC, depending on traffic.  Drive north on Interstate 5, passing through Everett and Mount Vernon. Take Exit 230 (Sedro-Wooley/Burlington Exit) and go left (west) following Highway 20 to Anacortes. In Anacortes follow the signs to the San Juan Islands ferry terminal.  Alternatively, you can take a shuttle service from SEA TAC to Anacortes by calling Airporter Van at 800-448-8443.  It is very important to check the ferry schedule- it changes with the seasons.  In peak months (May-September) allow yourself AT LEAST 2 hours in advance to ensure you will make the ferry you have chosen.  In these peak months, plan on arriving at least two hours ahead of that ferry so you can be in line for boarding.  You can also walk on the ferry and leave your car at the parking terminal in Anacortes- there is a fee for parking as well as walk on passengers- so plan ahead.


ON ISLAND TRANSPORTATION:  Once you are on island, your need for a car will depend on where you're staying and your planned activities.  If you are actually staying in town with no plans for touring the island, leave the car behind in Anacortes and call a cab as needed.  Point to point cab service is available at Bob's taxi (378-6777), or Friday Harbor Taxi (298-4434), while San Juan Transit has a number of island tours scheduled (378-8887) around the island.  Mopeds and scootcars are another means to get around the island and can be rented hourly or daily at Susie's (378-6444).