Friday Harbor, WA is the little town on San Juan Island you first land in when taking the ferry from Anacortes, WA to San Juan Island. The entire island is filled with woodlands, vast fields, farms (see the very last photo on this page), whale watching shores, and another bustling town-like area called Roche Harbor that you have to drive to once you're off the ferryboat.
But Friday Harbor greets you immediately whether you've driven, bicycled or walked on the ferry. It appears bustling and busy, and I love it. But that's not the flavor of the entire island. Other areas are quiet and remote. Above is a photo I took from the ferry just as we were floating into town.
So backing up to the start of the day, above is a photo of the Anacortes ferry terminal on a recent walk-on trip to Friday Harbor. I'll take any excuse to ride the short ferry route from Anacortes to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. I have various friends on the islands, and my latest trip there was to enjoy the services of a friend and excellent Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner (a form of energy healing) who's lived in Friday Harbor for many years.
As I walked onto the ferry, the fog, as you can see a strip of it in the background of the photo above, was just lifting from the water to reveal a crystal blue sunny day for the ferry ride there. The inky cormorants were preening in front of a watchful seagull.
Here's a shot during the ferry ride to Friday Harbor. We were about halfway along at this point. Usually the ferry stops at Lopez Island, Orcas Island, and sometimes Shaw Island. But this one was just a straight shot to Friday Harbor, so it took about an hour.
The photo above is also just as we were arriving in Friday Harbor. Taken from the other side of the boat than the picture at the very top of this article.
Above, you can see a ferryboat similar to the one I took. This one is from the Friday Harbor terminal. There are two or three ferries going back and forth all day.
Another shot of the busier tourist section of town. When there, there's still a small town feel to it even in the busiest times of the summer.
Another pretty area near the main waterfront section of Friday Harbor.
See the four yellow umbrellas above? They shade an awesome ice cream shop. Enter at what would be your left when looking at this photo, and come out the other end with something delicious. Last time I bought ice cream there, though, you had to have cash.
Bicyclists love to ride the islands. These bikes above are waiting near the Friday Harbor ferry terminal for the next boat while their owners enjoy the town.
Another shot above of the waterfront section of town.
Going slightly deeper into town, you find more shops.
Although the above shot is one of a couple of favorite houses once you start walking a distance from the waterfront section of Friday Harbor, there's a diversity of homes here. There's everything from ornate artists' creations to very plain, small and simple.
Here's a photo of Pelindaba Lavender farm also on San Juan Island -- you have to drive a ways from the ferry landing in Friday Harbor to find it (although they have a lavender store right in town near the ferry landing.)
I hope you enjoyed this photo tour of a ferry ride from Anacortes to spend the day on San Juan Island. There is such beauty in this area of the world.
Return to the Small Towns USA Sampler