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Kenmore Air (866/435-9524 or 425/486-1257; www.kenmoreair.com) Fly with Kenmore Air between Seattle and the San Juan Islands in about 45 minutes. It’s fast, convenient & stress-free! Daily scheduled seaplane flights depart downtown Lake Union and Kenmore Air Harbor on Lake Washington to San Juan Island (Friday Harbor & Roche Harbor), Orcas Island (Rosario Resort, Deer Harbor and West Sound) and Lopez Island. Our daily Express flights depart Boeing Field to Friday Harbor Airport on San Juan Island & Eastsound Airport on Orcas Island.
Washington State Ferries (tel. 800/84-FERRY, 888/808-7977 in Washington, or 206/464-6400; www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries) operates ferries between Anacortes and four of the San Juan Islands (Lopez, Shaw, Orcas, and San Juan) and Sidney, British Columbia (on Vancouver Island near Victoria).
The round-trip fare for a vehicle and driver from Anacortes to Lopez is $24 to $36, to Shaw or Orcas $29 to $43, to San Juan $34 to $51, and to Sidney $43 to $54. The higher fares reflect a summer surcharge, and the lower fares (with the exception of trips to Sidney) are Sunday-through-Tuesday fares.
The round-trip fare for passengers from Anacortes to any of the islands ranges from $9.85 to $13 ($16 from Anacortes to Sidney). The fare for a vehicle and driver on all westbound interisland ferries is $17 to $21; walk-on passengers and passengers in cars ride free. Except for service from Sidney, fares are not collected on eastbound ferries, nor are walk-on passengers charged for inter-island ferry service. If you plan to explore the islands by car, you’ll save some money by starting your tour on San Juan Island and making your way back east through the islands.
During the summer you may have to wait several hours to get on a ferry, so arrive early. If you plan to leave your car on the mainland, any time between May 1 and mid-October, you’ll pay $10 to park it overnight at the Anacortes ferry terminal ($25 for 3 days, $40 for 1 week).
Between Port Townsend and Friday Harbor, passenger service is available from mid-April to early October from P.S. Express (tel. 360/385-5288; www.pugetsoundexpress.com), which will also carry bicycles and sea kayaks. One-way fares are $50 to $53 for adults and $35 to $43 for children ages 2 to 10; round-trip fares are $63 to $73 for adults and $45 to $49 for children.
From Bellingham, there is passenger service to Friday Harbor (San Juan Island) on the San Juan Island Commuter, Bellingham Cruise Terminal, 335 Harris Ave. (tel. 800/443-4552 or 360/738-8099; www.islandcommuter.com). The round-trip fare is $59 for adults and $39 for children ages 6 to 12. These passenger ferries operate between mid-May and early September.
You can also get from Sea-Tac Airport or downtown Seattle to the San Juan Islands ferry terminal in Anacortes on the Airporter Shuttle (tel. 866/235-5247 or 360/380-8800; www.airporter.com), which charges $33 one-way and $61 round-trip.
Cars, scooters, Scoot Coupes (2 person three wheelers) & electric bicycles can be rented from Susie’s Mopeds, 125 Nichols St. (tel. 800/532-0087 or 360/378-5244;www.susiesmopeds.com), which is 1 block from the top of the ferry lanes in Friday Harbor. Scooters and mopeds run around $25 to $50 per hour or $63 to $125 per day (follow the link for solid rates).
During the summer, San Juan Transit (tel. 800/887-8387 or 360/378-8887; www.sanjuantransit.com) operates a San Juan Island shuttle bus that can be boarded at the ferry terminal. It operates frequently throughout the day, stopping at all the island’s major attractions, which makes it a great way to get around for those traveling without a car. Day passes are $15 for adults, $13 for seniors, and $5 for children 5 to 12. Two-day passes ($25 for adults, $21 for seniors, and $10 for children), one-way tickets ($5 adults, $2 children), and round-trip tickets ($8 adults, $3 children) are also available. Children 4 and under always ride free. Over Memorial Day weekend and from the end of June to the middle of September, the Orcas Island Shuttle (tel. 360/376-7433; www.orcasislandshuttle.com) can transport you around Orcas Island. The fare is $5 per person between any two points on the island or $10 for a day pass. This same company also provides taxi service and rental cars.