Travel Advisory: Find the latest information HERE

San Juan Islands Transportation Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can you drive to the San Juan Islands?

A: Yes, with a little help. You won’t find your way to the Islands on a bridge. But you can drive your car or rental onto a ferry that will bring you to the Islands. 

Q: What is the best island to stay on in the San Juan Islands?

A: That depends on your vacation plans. Each island has unique experiences and accommodation options. Lopez Island offers rolling pastoral views and easy access to bikeable roads from quaint B&Bs and bayside hotels. Orcas Island is full of outdoor adventure with Moran State Park near in-town hotels, secluded forest cabins, and stunning water-view resorts like Rosario Resort, West Beach Resort, and more. San Juan Island is home to bustling Friday Harbor, quaint Snug Harbor, and charming Roche Harbor, as well as a variety of B&Bs, inns, and hotels. Each island’s unique offerings make them adventures all their own, so take the interisland ferry to visit them all!        

Q: How early should I arrive for the Anacortes ferry?

A: It is recommended that vehicles arrive 45-60 minutes before departure time. Vehicles with reservations are required to be ticketed and through the toll booth 30 minutes prior to the scheduled sailing. 

Q: Do I need a reservation for Anacortes ferry?

A: If you are walking or biking on the ferry you do not need to make a reservation. For vehicles, to guarantee your spot on the ferry, it is highly recommended to make a reservation in advance. You can make a reservation at

Q: Can you take a ferry from Orcas Island to Friday Harbor?

A: Yes, there is a ferry that will take you from Orcas to Friday Harbor. This inter-island boat also has routes including Lopez and Shaw Island. Vehicle reservations are not necessary on the inter-island routes, though it is suggested to arrive 30-45 minutes prior to your scheduled sailing to claim a spot. You can find information on the inter-island routes and departure times on the ferry schedule at

Q: How long is the ferry ride from Sidney BC to Friday Harbor?

A: The ferry ride from Sidney BC to Friday Harbor is just over an hour. Ferries run one or two sailings per day from April to January; check the Washington State Ferries schedule for travel times and more information about how to make your trip run smoothly. Vehicle reservations are recommended for ferry travel to and from Canada. You need a valid passport to travel between the U.S. and Canada.

Q: Are Washington state ferry tickets round trip?

A: Your tickets from Anacortes to the San Juan Islands will be a round trip fare. Eastbound sailings between the islands are free (example: Friday Harbor to Orcas Island) while westbound sailings between the islands (example: Orcas Island to Friday Harbor) are one-way fares. International trips to Sidney BC are also one-way fares. 

Q: How many San Juan Islands are there?

A: There are 172 named islands and reefs in San Juan County. Three ferry served Islands, San Juan Island (with the county seat Friday Harbor), Orcas Island, and Lopez Island are the most populous and host the vast majority of lodging and dining options and tourism activities.

Q: How do you get to the San Juan Islands?

A: There are many ways to get to the San Juan Islands, and each option is a unique and beautiful journey. The most popular way to get to the San Juan Islands is by taking a Washington State Ferry. You can also get to the San Juan Islands by taking a wheeled passenger plane, seaplane, or private boat.

Contact Us:
1-888-468-3701 | (360) 378-9551
P.O. Box 1330, Friday Harbor, Washington 98250
Additional Resources

Site by Drozian Webworks
©2021 San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau
Privacy Policy