The Washington State Ferry System Offers Regular Service To Friday Harbor

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Washington State Ferry System - Washington State Ferry Near Orcas Island PHOTOWashington State Ferry System Page -  Photo Of Guys PointingWashington State Ferry System Offers Regular Service From Anacortes To The San Juan Islands WA

If you're like most people you'll be arriving at the San Juan Islands via the Washington State Ferry system.   If you've never been on one of these fantastic vessels before you're in for a very pleasant experience. These giant people and car carriers are part of the largest ferry system in the world and they make getting to and from the San Juan's incredibly easy,  affordable, and best of all, fun.  


 Drive Or Walk Aboard The Washington Ferries

You can take your car, bike, RV, or just park your car at the terminal and walk aboard for a very low fare. But you will likely want to make your way 80 miles north of Seattle to Anacortes Washington to the gateway to the San Juan Islands / Washington State Ferry Terminal. 


Anacortes Washington Ferry Terminal
 Driving Directions From Seattle   MAP IT 
  • I-5 North toward VANCOUVER B.C.  64.5 Miles
  • Take the WA-20 exit- EXIT 230- toward BURLINGTON / ANACORTES 
  • Turn LEFT onto WA-20 / W RIO VISTA AVE / AVON CUTOFF. Continue to follow WA-20 W.   11.6 miles
  • WA-20 W becomes WA-20 SPUR W.  2.6 miles
  • Turn SLIGHT RIGHT onto COMMERCIAL AVE / WA-20 SPUR.  1.2 miles
  • Turn LEFT on 12th street. (After you pass a McDonalds on your right)
  • Continue  on 12th which becomes Oaks Ave and keep going until you see signs for the Washington State Ferry Terminal and you will veer right into the toll booth lanes.  

If you are driving from Bellingham simply go south on I-5 and take the WA-20 exit to Anacortes.

Pay & Go Your Way To Your San Juan Islands Adventure



As you drive into the Anacortes Washington State Ferry terminal you pick a line and inch your way up to the tool booth. Have your money ready and tell them which island you'd like to go to and they'll  give you a receipt and tell you the number of the lane for you to wait in. This is important because lane 3 might be going to Lopez Island, Lane 8 to Friday Harbor, and lane 18 to China? 

The traffic directors will motion you to the proper lane when you drive aboard the ferry and they try to squeeze as many cars on as possible so you'll have to pull very close to the car in front of you.   

Try to pay attention to how close you are to both sides because you might have to favor one side so you'll have enough room to open your door and get out.   Sometimes you have lots of room and other times it's almost impossible to open your door.    Basically,  just do as you're told and everything should be fine. 

 These are the higher peak season fares - Fares subject to change. Fares are substantially lower during off peak season and there are discounts for seniors and the disabled.


 Per Person

 Vehicle & Driver

Anacortes To Orcas Island

$ 12.20

$ 39.60

Anacortes To San Juan Island

$ 12.20

$ 47.00

Anacortes To Lopez Island

$ 12.20

$ 33.00

Anacortes To Sydney B.C.

$ 14.70

$ 49.50

Washington State Ferry System AnacortesSafe & Secure Washington State Ferry System

Security is very tight both at the ferry terminal as well as onboard each Washington State ferry.    Every car entering the ferry terminal is subject to a search.   The armed security men were very focused and serious as they made their way thorough to every car.   It's a comfort knowing they take security seriously and don't use high school kids with plastic badges as security guards. The guards appeared to be either military or homeland security personnel and you could really tell they knew what they were doing.      


Arrive Early To The Ferry Terminal

The Washington State Ferry System's website tells you to get to the terminal at least 20-30 minutes before sailing time but it's not a bad idea to arrive even earlier if you want to be certain you make it on.   All ferries operate on a first-come first-served basis and if a ferry is full there is nothing to do but wait until the next one. To pass the time you can leave your car and go grab a coffee and danish in the terminal,  walk along the waterfront and take in the sea air, or just have a seat at one of the picnic tables overlooking the bay.

Once Onboard The Washington Ferry

The Washington State Ferries are a very safe and comfortable way for you to get out on the water and see the San Juan's up close for yourself.   Once you've parked your car you can get out and make your way upstairs to the passenger area. These boats are enormous with room to spare so don't worry about being in a hurry to get a good seat.  Even on a busy day during high season there are more than enough seats available, both inside and out on the decks. During a crossing you will often see bald eagles, seals, dolphins, and perhaps even a pod of orcas. One popular crossings is the Keystone/Port Townsend route for those crossing to the Olympic peninsula to visit Port Angeles and the Olympic National Park

Washington State Ferry System 

Alaskan Marine Highway System 

Beginning in Bellingham, the Alaskan Marine Highway is America's gateway to Alaska.  Regular car and passenger ferries depart Bellingham, making stops in Prince Rupert, Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersburg, Sitka, Juneau, Haines, Skagway, and more.    On your journey you will experience the beauty of Alaska's Fjords, glaciers & forests.   You may also catch a glimpse of migrating whales, eagles,  and other wildlife on your trip through the inside passage. .   PHOTOS & INFORMATION about the Alaska Ferry System's Alaska Marine Highway System.

IMPORTANT:  If you are interested in the Alaskan Marine Highway System.  CLICK HERE    Terms of Use



The San Juan Islands are a favorite vacation spot in North West Washington State. The 172 San Juan islands offer endless recreational opportunities, from sailing, sea kayaking, hiking, scuba diving, whale watching. During your visit to the San Juan Islands don't miss the opportunity to see these beautiful creatures in their natural setting. They might not be chasing beach balls or turning flips but local Orca Whales sometimes do like to put on a show for visitors.