Friday Harbor is the commercial hub of the San Juan Islands as well as the county seat of San Juan County. It is also the island's main port where ferries from Washington State and Victoria, British Columbia, dock and the location of the airport. In fact, its harbor is also the landing spot for seaplanes on scenic flights. Two of the most popular things to do in Friday Harbor include scenic flights and whale watching cruises that can be booked here.
Other activities that can be booked in Friday Harbor WA include fishing charters, bicycles, and kayaks. Kayaking in the San Juan Islands is some of the best in the entire Pacific Northwest, and San Juan Island boasts several exceptional areas for this serene form of touring. These areas can be found in Roche Harbor on the northwest tip of the island, which is the site of one San Juan Island Historical Park; on the southern tip of the island, location of the other San Juan Island Historical Park; Lime Kiln State Park on the west-central coast of the island; and other bays and harbors that are primarily located along the west coast of the island.
There are a number of Friday Harbor hotels and bed and breakfasts to choose from if you want to stay in the area that offers the heaviest concentration of attractions. These range from the Best Western Harbor Suites that offers suites with fully equipped kitchens to the charming Friday Harbor Hotel on the water. The things to do in Friday Harbor that offer a bit of culture and cosmopolitan amenities include dining and shopping. There are many excellent restaurants, casual bistros, and other types of eateries. You will also find boutiques and galleries offering a wide selection of art and handcrafts, much of it produced by local artists and artisans. If land-based lodging isn't for you, then Friday Harbor WA is the port where you can book cruises on sailing ships that sleep from six to twenty passengers and tour the islands for a few days.
Boating of all sorts is very popular in the San Juan Islands, and Friday Harbor boasts a 500-slip marina. You can arrive in your own boat or set out from here in a chartered boat. During the peak season with the best weather, which is from about mid-April to mid-October, boat slips and space on chartered boats are in as high demand as lodging. This is particularly true during the height of the whale watching season. If you plan to enjoy your vacations here during this time, you need to make your arrangements as far in advance as possible. Sometimes during the summer, even bicycles are scarce. The island is quite small (only about fifteen miles long and five miles wide), so you can stay in Friday Harbor and still be able to access everything the island had to offer on day trips. There are car rentals available here and you can bring your own vehicle onboard one of the ferries.
Other things to do in Friday Harbor include playing tennis, strolling to the nearby Jackson's Beach for some tide pooling, visiting one of the excellent historic museums, or get in a round of golf at the 9-hole course located just south of the airport. Special events include the Children's Festival in September, the Orca Fest in mid-May, and the bustling Farmer's Market that operates on Saturdays during the peak season.