Friday Harbor is the major commercial center of the San Juan Islands archipelago. With small, friendly shops and restaurants, rich culture and history, charming seaport, peaceful landscapes, and diverse wildlife, Friday Harbor is a perfect place to escape to a slower pace during your charter vacation. This port town is curated with adventurous activities, good food, local charm and stunning surroundings. Here, we have gathered some of the interesting activities that you must try and tourist attractions you should visit on your next getaway to this enchanting destination.
- Tourist Attractions: A must see attraction during your exploration of Friday Harbor is the San Juan Historical Museum. The museum is located just a few blocks from downtown Friday Harbor. It boasts the original farmhouse, the first county jail, a barn, a milk house, and a carriage house. Visit American Camp, located at the south end of the San Juan Historical Museum, where you can learn the island history, wildlife and watch more than 200 species of migratory birds. Spend a little time at English Camp, located on the north end of the San Juan Historical Museum. It features a formal garden, trails, and a cemetery. The Whale Museum is the first museum in the country devoted to protecting the endangered population of orcas. Stop by the Yellow Island Preserve which is known for its dramatic wildflower displays. It is an 11-acre nature preserve that features more than 50 species of wildflowers. You can also enjoy bird watching and other wildlife at Dinner Island Ranch.
- State Parks and Camping Grounds: Turn Island Marine State Park is a 35-acre marine camping park. The island is part of the San Juan National Wildlife Refuge. The island has 12 campsites and is a great place for camping with your family and friends. The park is accessible only by boat and its access point is Jackson Beach. Tourists visiting Friday Harbor will find the Sunken Park to be a great spot for the kids to explore while the adults can indulge in shopping, dining, and much more. Jones Island State Park is a 188-acre marine camping park with 25000 feet of saltwater shoreline. If you wish to indulge in overnight camping, then visit San Juan County Park on San Juan Island. The Park amenities include water, small picnic shelter, picnic tables, beach and boat launch area. The San Juan County Fairgrounds is ideal for a recreational vehicle camping experience as it offers 8 RV camping pedestals. Located four miles north of the ferry landing at Friday Harbor, Lakedale Campground provides guests the opportunity to experience 82 acres of natural beauty while camping on San Juan Island. You can also enjoy swimming, paddle boating, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, and canoing. Lime Kiln Point State Park is a 36-acre park with an iconic lighthouse, richly diverse environment, remnants and historic landscapes.
- Whale and Wildlife Watching: Observing whales and other marine animals in their natural environment is one of the greatest experiences that you'll have while cruising the waters surrounding Friday Harbor. With rocky shoreline, pebble stoned beaches and dramatic evergreen surroundings, your whale watching tour is sure to be the highlight of your vacation. As you set sail into the waters of Friday Harbor, you can expect to see orca whales, gray and minke whales, steller sea lions, harbor seals, bald eagles, harbor porpoise, dall’s porpoise, gray whales, pigeon guillemots, sea gulls, black oyster catchers, great blue herons and more.
- Best Beaches: Just 2 miles from the ferry landing, Jackson Beach is an ideal place for a picnic or beach combing. The beach also has beach volleyball courts, plenty of parking spaces, a free boat launch, and 3 picnic sites that are equipped with fire rings and barbecue grills. 4th of July Beach offers a quiet haven away from the hustle and bustle. South Beach is located inside of American Camp on San Juan Island National Historic Park. South Beach is a wonderful spot for walking along the shore while enjoying the gorgeous views of the Olympic Mountains. Eagle Cove on the south western side of the American Camp is ideal for water sports due to the shallow water and warm temperature. Granny’s Cove is a hidden gem that offers gassy trails for hiking and wildlife watching.
- Water Activities: Be sure to participate in the educational sea kayaking tours from Friday Harbor. The kayak trips are uniquely designed to create memorable encounters with wildlife. Beginners can simply enjoy paddling around in calm water and exploring the shorelines and harbor. In a saltwater sea or a freshwater lake, fishing in and around Friday Harbor makes for a decidedly pleasurable time. Some of the fish species you can catch here include Puget Sound rockfish, demersal copper rockfish, lingcod, greenling, cabezon, tiger rockfish, black rockfish, and blackeye goby.
- Dining and Shopping: From gourmet picnic grab-and-go food to tasty sandwiches, you are sure to find a restaurant in Friday Harbor to please you. You will be pleasantly surprised by the variety of Friday Harbor dining options. You can find traditional Italian cuisine, Pacific Northwest specialties, Thai and Mexican cuisines. Some of the more popular restaurants include Cask & Schooner Public House & Restaurant, The Market Chef, Cynthia's Bistro, Blue Water Bar & Grill, Friday's Crabhouse, Friday Harbor House Restaurant, and Backdoor Kitchen. Friday Harbor has a wide range of shops to explore, from boutiques to galleries and gift shops. You can find souvenirs, jewelry, and locally made women's clothing. Great shops to check-out while in Friday Harbor include – Funk & Junk Antiques, King's Market, Friday Harbor Souvenir, Dockside Treasures, Be Chic Boutique, New England Collectibles and more.
- Day Trips: A trip up to the Orcas, Shaw and Lopez Islands is a must see/must do experience during your visit to Friday Harbor. Visit Roche Harbor on board your own private yacht charter to enjoy historical architecture. Other amazing destinations located near Friday Harbor are Vancouver, Victoria, Whidbey Island, Desolation Sound, and Seattle. You get to experience variety, beauty, and serenity in these destinations.
Discover the beauty and adventure of Friday Harbor on a luxury yacht charter with us. Let our experienced staff on board your own chartered vessel help you explore beaches, waterfront parks, beachside restaurants and amazing destinations near Friday Harbor. To discover more about the type of yachts that you can charter here, click the Type of Yachts link provided here, or call 702-401-4284 to speak to one of our charter consultants regarding your yachting needs.