Enjoy the simplicity and serenity of San Juan Island’s gateway town. Friday Harbor is central to the transport, culture and commerce on San Juan Island, but the town is small and only has 2,000 inhabitants. Visit the cafés, restaurants, craft shops, festivals and galleries to get a sense of the community spirit on the island. In summer visitors flock here from the mainland and the bars and restaurants hum with a good natured atmosphere.
Culture thrives in Friday Harbor. Browse the art market, only a stone’s throw away from the ferry landing at Brickworks Plaza. Shop for hand-made pottery, jewelry, clothing and soaps. In summer, enjoy live music and theatre shows in the open air, visit one of the many festivals or simply sit in one of the waterfront bars and soak in the stunning views.
Take a self-guided walking tour of churches, parks and historical buildings. Pause at the granite memorial from 1921 in Memorial Park, which commemorates the locals who died in World War I. Don’t miss the San Juan Historical Museum, located in an old pioneer farmhouse. Tours are available throughout the year and its lawns are also used for major festivals and free live music nights.
Waterfront restaurants serve fresh seafood, harvested on the island, and a wide range of international cuisines, suiting all budgets. Treat yourself to an ice cream for dessert and take a seat on one of the benches in town for some people-watching.
To learn the names and habits of the resident orcas, head to the Whale Museum. Increase your chance to spot the seal colonies and pods of whales by joining one of the daily wild life cruises, kayak tours or scenic flights. During your trip you may meet the international graduate students of the Friday Harbor Laboratories, a world-renowned marine biology section of the University of Washington.
The town sits on the east coast of San Juan Island. Ferries sail directly from Anacortes on the mainland and water taxis can drop you off at nearby islands. Friday Harbor’s airport is close to the town center and has connections to cities such as Seattle and Bellingham.