The San Juan Islands are all gorgeous, and great for a quick getaway from the usual, day-to-day life. Friday Harbor is quiet and calm, but the island feels so magical. If you go at the right time, and avoid the touristy times of the year, your trip will be an unforgettable one. Read on for more on transportation, accommodation, dining, activities, and more!
Day 1 (Arrive): Biking, Walking, Exploring
After you arrive in Friday Harbor, it would usually be just after lunch. So after you get there and settle down a bit in your room, you’ll have just enough time to take a ride on the bikes and explore the cute little town on wheels. Walk around a bit, and just have fun, taking in the island a bit! Trust me, once you get there you are not going to want to have something strictly planned on that first day!
Day 2 (Full Day): Golf, Tennis, Swim, Tours
The second day that you are on Friday Harbor is the only full day that you have, so you want to make the most of it. Start the day off on the driving range…there is a great golf course about a 10 minute drive away from town. On the way back, stop by at the Friday Harbor High School to play tennis on the courts! (there are also tennis courts off of the golf course). In the afternoon, depending on the weather, go for a swim…or go kayaking or whale watching. Click HERE to book a kayaking tour, and HERE for whale watching (they also have kayaking!).
Day 3 (Leave): Zip-Lining!
Save the best for last! Ending a short trip off with a beginner-friendly zip-line is the way to go! Our family LOVES to zip-line, and we go every chance that we get. While this zip was not the most challenging, it was still gorgeous up in the trees. There is a short ladder to climb, and a short suspension bridge with rails. You do not stay up in the trees for the entire time, so it is very good for first-time zippers, and a relaxing zip for more advanced zippers. Have fun!
After you go zip-lining, there usually isn’t a ferry at the right time. So, spend the rest of the day just walking around and having fun!
Optional: Switch Day 2 and Day 3 (why I don't recommend)
You’re probably wondering, why not just switch Day 2 and Day 3 around. You’re probably thinking it’s better to go zip-lining on a full day rather than half a day. However, as the zip-line tour is usually between 1-3 hours depending on how big your group is (ours took only an hour as it was just my dad and I), you will not need a full day for zip-lining anyway. Since you want to maximize your time, you should make use of the full day. It’s all based on your schedule and everything that you want to do, I’m just sharing my experience!
To get to Friday Harbor, or any of the San Juan Islands, you have to take a car ferry. If you are going to Friday Harbor from Seattle, then you would take the ferry from Anacortes, with is around a 2-hour drive from Seattle. The ferry usually takes around an hour and half (give or take where you are taking it from). Once you get to Friday Harbor, you don’t really have to drive much to wherever you are staying!
There are some small, cute little houses that you can rent along the island, but we wanted a “hotel”, but also “house” feel. The Island Inn was perfect! It is literally right off of the ferry, which means it is extremely close to the water, with excellent views! Not only that, but it comes furnished with a full kitchen and everything you might need and feels like a mini-house…but it’s still a hotel! What I mean, is that it isn’t like an Air BNB, you still have all of the perks of a hotel. I was pleasantly surprised by their service, and how well thought-through their penthouses were. I highly, highly recommend The Island Inn, and even the people are so nice and helpful! Check out their website HERE for more information!
Vegan Corner: Mike's Cafe
click me, I’m a video!
Anywhere you go, there will be good food. San Juan was no exception. But the BEST food was at Mike’s Cafe, which is the ONLY vegan restaurant on the island. Mike, the owner, has had the restaurant on the island for over 6 years and the food was simply delicious. Pizzas, burgers, salads, sandwiches, you name it! I highly, highly recommend at least one meal at Mike’s. Also, something very convenient is that the restaurant is located just one street down from the Island Inn!
Public or Private Transport?
On Friday Harbor, there is no public transportation. You don’t really need a car, except to drive to the ferry, but if you wanted to go somewhere a little farther (like to go golfing), you would need to drive. So, Private Transportation is probably best!:)