View Map

Overview

Washington State Ferries visit the town of Friday Harbor on San Juan Island daily throughout the year. Westernmost of the larger San Juan Islands, this charming 55-square-mile island has an abundance of outdoor attractions. Friday Harbor's Whale Museum provides an introduction to killer whales, and daily whale watching trips depart from the harbor. During the 19th century both the U.S. and Britain claimed the San Juan Islands, and in 1859, the killing of a pig nearly escalated into war. Troops from both nations were stationed on San Juan Island for many years thereafter, till the islands were awarded to the U.S. Today, San Juan Island ...

Washington State Ferries visit the town of Friday Harbor on San Juan Island daily throughout the year. Westernmost of the larger San Juan Islands, this charming 55-square-mile island has an abundance of outdoor attractions. Friday Harbor's Whale Museum provides an introduction to killer whales, and daily whale watching trips depart from the harbor. During the 19th century both the U.S. and Britain claimed the San Juan Islands, and in 1859, the killing of a pig nearly escalated into war. Troops from both nations were stationed on San Juan Island for many years thereafter, till the islands were awarded to the U.S. Today, San Juan Island National Historical Park encompasses historic buildings occupied by soldiers from both nations during the standoff. Also within the park are gorgeous beaches (especially South Beach), hiking trails, and dramatic vistas. Don't miss quaint Roche Harbor, Pelindaba Lavender Farm, and the picture-perfect lighthouse at Lime Kiln Point State Park (a fine place to look for whales from shore). A wide variety of lodging options — from luxurious B&Bs to rustic campsites — are available, and Friday Harbor features several outstanding restaurants. The town also has a small historical museum.

Don Pitcher
About the Expert

Don Pitcher has written or photographed 10 travel guidebooks to Alaska, Wyoming, Yellowstone-Grand Teton, and the San Juan Islands for Avalon Travel Publishing, Random House, and Sasquatch Books.

view full overview

Don Pitcher for Triporati

Compare Flight, Car Rental, and Hotel Rates

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Facts at a Glance

  • Location: West of Orcas and Shaw Islands in the San Juan Island archipelago in northwestern Washington state.
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Summer and fall