Travel the Scenic Byway - with or without a car
Washington's newest Scenic Byway includes marine highway and two beautiful islands
The San Juan Islands Scenic Byway was designated by Washington State in April 2009 for its natural beauty and historical and cultural significance. Winding along stunning coastline, through dense forest and picturesque farmland, the Scenic Byway is divided into three segments: the first one-third encompasses 30 miles along the beautiful, blue marine highway (Washington State Ferries routes), the second one-third is a driving tour around San Juan Island, and the last third is a driving tour on Orcas Island. There are several ways you can learn about the attractions along the way, including downloading our Scenic Byway Map, or via our driving and cycling tours: San Juan Island Scenic Byway (South and West), San Juan Island Scenic Byway (North), and the Orcas Island Scenic Byway Driving Tour.
Our Washington State Scenic Byway is overflowing with natural beauty, history, arts and culture. While Lopez Island is on the marine highway route, it is not part of the official Scenic Byway. However, it has many beautiful areas to explore as well with our online Lopez Island Cycling and Driving Tour.
Learn more about the Scenic Byway by watching three videos on our YouTube channel.
Follow our San Juan Islands Scenic Byway Explorer page to see what’s happening on the Byway. “Like” our page to receive news, events and sightings. Send us your favorite photo (at least 400 pixels wide) from the Byway and we may post it!
Get your Byway souvenirs
Would you like to purchase a Byway poster, mug, coaster, etc.? On Orcas Island you can find them at Cottage Gifts near the ferry landing or at the top of Mt. Constitution in the Moran State Park Gift Shop. On San Juan Island you can find souvenirs at Dockside Treasures near the ferry landing in Friday Harbor. Roche Harbor Resort's grocery store also sells wooden Byway signs.
Travel the Byway without your car
We invite you to leave your car behind and join us in paradise! Tour the San Juan Islands Scenic Byway aboard our local seasonal shuttle bus, by bike, moped, scootcar, taxi or rental car.
Here are several car-free ways to explore our Byway:
- SHUTTLE BUSES – There are two shuttle buses in Friday Harbor. San Juan Transit runs a seasonal shuttle bus along the San Juan Island and Orcas Island byway routes. Wheelchairs are welcome, just call (360) 378-8887 in advance to ensure your particular needs can be addressed. The Friday Harbor Jolly Trolley The Friday Harbor Jolly Trolley is a historic trolley that has scheduled stops from Friday Harbor to different attractions around San Juan Island that run along the Scenic Island Byway routes. Both shuttles originate near the ferry landings and run from about mid-May to mid-September. 360-298-8873
- BICYCLE – Bring your own bikes, or rent them on Orcas or San Juan Island. Some lodgings provide complimentary bikes. Please note that there are no designated bike trails or paths on the islands, and sometimes no shoulders, so please bike safely and be prepared to share the road.
- MOPED, SCOOTCAR, TAXI or RENTAL CAR – You’ll find rentals and taxis on both San Juan and Orcas Islands. Mopeds and scootcars are seasonal. Call ahead to reserve your favorite mode of transportation. Rhode Trips Taxi & Tours can also take you around San Juan Island.
- RIDESHARE – Hitchhiking is legal in San Juan County. Look for the sjRIDESHARE signs along the road and on the ferry to safely connect with people willing to share a ride.
- FREE PARKING – You can pay to park at the Washington State Ferries Terminal in Anacortes, or you’ll find free overnight parking at the Port of Anacortes near their marina in Cap Sante Boat Haven. Park your car, unload your bikes, and ride less than four miles to the ferry terminal. Or you can catch SKAT (Skagit Transit) to the ferry terminal Monday through Saturday.
- Visit the Puget Sound Trip Planner for assistance in making car-less connections between public and private transit providers throughout Puget Sound.
Interested in the details of the Byway? Check out our Corridor Management Plan online here, or find a hard copy at the Orcas, Lopez or San Juan Island libraries.
Interested in the success of our 2-year summer shuttle bus alternative transportation grant project? Click here.