June 18, 2016
Traveling to San Juan Island can get a bit overwhelming when planning your logistic from Seattle. Many people do not realize that the San Juan’s are located pretty far north of Seattle. So I have decided to write a small How To Get to San Juan Island post to help with your trips planning.
Many people travel to San Juan island for Whale Watching, Kayak Tours, Biking, Hiking or simply enjoying a little down time. Whale watching is one of the main attractions and can be done from power boat or from kayak. Western Prince Cruises offers some of the best whale watching experiences on the island. With two different boats and some of the most experienced naturalist on the island, you are guaranteed a great time. Discovery Sea Kayaks specializes in San Juan Island Kayak Tours, offering a range from a Half Day Tour to Multi Day Kayak Tours. All kayak routes are designed to travel to some of the best whale watching waters around the San Juan’s. But before all of that what is the best way to get here?
The most common way travelers arrive on the island is the Washington States Ferry System. But first, you have to find your way to Anacortes Washington. From the SeaTac Airport, you can use one of two bus transporters to Anacortes.
The Island Airporter is a San Juan based business that travels from San Juan to Seattle daily. The benefit is they actually drive onto the ferry and off load on San Juan Island. This reduces a bit of travel time and shuffling between buses and vans.
A bit slower than the Island Airporter but more departure times which can make your overall logistics a bit easier. Bellair buses depart from the SeaTac Airport and exchange to a smaller bus in Mt. Vernon, then on to the Anacortes Washington State Ferry terminal. Once at the terminal you will need to purchase a ticket for Friday Harbor, San Juan Island.
Car or Car Rental:
A majority of guests drive from the Seattle area with their car or car rental. If you plan on bringing a car onto the island you will need to make a reservation with the Washington State Ferry for the Friday Harbor, San Juan Island sailing. Plan for traffic between Seattle and Anacortes so that you arrive with plenty of time to process through the loading lines.
You can also opt to park your car at the Ferry terminal in Anacortes and walk-on to the ferry. If you plan to walk on the ferry you will not need a reservation and can purchase a ticket when you arrive at the terminal. If you are just coming for the day for a kayak tour or whale watching tour I would recommend walking on. If plan on being on the island for several days a car can be helpful getting around unless you want to rent a bike while you are here.
The most convenient and quickest way to the island is by plane. Flying to the island is a pretty awesome experience in itself. Though flying is more costly it is a huge time saver.
Kenmore Air offers flights from Boeing Field on reliable Cessna 208’s or Seaplane flights from Lake Union or Lake Washington. If you are flying to SeaTac Airport Kenmore offers a shuttle service to connect to their Friday Harbor bound flights.
Westwind Aviation offers charter flights from Boeing Field and Friday Harbor. If you have a small group of people this can be a great way to go. Save time and hassle and flight directly to San Juan Island. With a small group of 4 or more, the rates are more than worth the flight. Discovery Sea Kayaks works with Westwind and provides discounts on kayak tours for flying with Westwind.
Water Transportation from Seattle
The Victoria Clipper offers trips to San Juan Island from Seattle. The trip requires a bit more planning if you are wanting to reserve a kayak tour or whale watching tour. The arrival times and departures times of the Clipper can be challenging making connections with local island activity providers.
I hope this short and quick blog provides a few ideas for travelers to San Juan Island. If you are planning and kayak tour and have questions on how to get here, please call.
Questions or comments? Phone us at or send an email to [email protected]. You can also visit our contact page and submit an inquiry via our contact form.
Posted In: Discovery Adventure Tours | Discovery Sea Kayaks | Getaways | Multiple day kayak trips | San Juan Islands | Sea Kayak