FHL is on San Juan Island, approximately 100 miles northwest of Seattle, Washington. You can reach the island by airplane or ferry, arriving into the Town of Friday Harbor. It is not possible to commute between Seattle and Friday Harbor on a daily basis. Those who visit FHL generally live, work and study on campus full time. Leaving the island on the occasional weekend may be feasible, depending on course and research constraints.
All visitors, including researchers, course students, faculty, and teaching assistants must arrange for their own travel to Friday Harbor. Most out-of-state visitors travel through Seattle, Washington (SeaTac Airport: SEA). If you are scheduling flights into and out of Seattle, take into account the considerable time required to travel to and from Friday Harbor. Ideally, plan to land in Seattle no later than noon in order to arrive in Friday Harbor that same day. For your return reservation, it is easiest to fly out from SeaTac Airport after noon. You may fly out earlier, but that will most likely require you to spend the night in a hotel near the airport.
SEATTLE TO FRIDAY HARBOR TOWN (Ferry Dock or Airport)
There are a number of ways to reach Friday Harbor from SeaTac Airport in Seattle: plane (wheeled or sea plane), shuttle bus plus ferry trip, or car (rental or yours) plus ferry trip.
• Kenmore Air Scheduled Flights, Seattle to Friday Harbor
You can choose between wheeled aircraft or seaplane travel. Please check the Kenmore Air website for more information and to make reservations. Kenmore wheeled aircraft departs from Boeing Field and shuttle from SeaTac airport to Boeing Field can be arranged as part of the reservation. Kenmore wheeled aircraft arrive at Friday Harbor Airport (FHR). Kenmore Air seaplanes depart from Lake Union in Downtown Seattle and arrives at the Friday Harbor Marina.
• Chartered Flight, Seattle to Friday Harbor
Charter flights are charged per flight rather than per person, so if you can arrange to fly together with one or more person it may be less expensive than a regularly scheduled flight (through Kenmore Air). There are two airline charter companies in the area: please check Westwind Aviation, or Island Air, Inc. websites for more information.
• Shuttle Van (bus) to Anacortes ferry terminal, walk onto ferry to Friday Harbor
Another option is the Island Airporter van, which runs from SeaTac Airport to Friday Harbor just once a day, Monday-Friday; the Island Airporter boards the ferry to Friday Harbor, so you don’t have to walk with your luggage on and off the ferry.
• Car to Anacortes ferry terminal, drive onto ferry to Friday Harbor
The Washington State Ferry schedule can be found on their website. The departing Washington State Ferry terminal is in Anacortes (a 95-mile drive north of Seattle) and the arriving terminal is Friday Harbor. Schedules vary by date and by day of the week. Read the schedule carefully as not all ferries leaving Anacortes come to Friday Harbor!
You may bring your car or walk on the ferry. If you are bringing a car, a reservation for the ferry is highly recommended. Although a reservation is not required, reserving a spot for your vehicle guarantees a space on the ferry. Walk-on ferry passengers do not need a reservation. A debit card or credit card is required to make a reservation. (If you do not travel on your reserved sailing and do not change/cancel your reservation within the allotted time, a no-show fee will be charged to your credit card on file. Please read carefully the change/cancellation policies on the WSF website before purchase.)
Note: the purchase of a ticket to ride the ferry is a separate transaction from reserving a spot on a ferry. Ticket price includes round-trip from/to Anacortes and Friday Harbor.
Plan to arrive at the departing ferry terminal 60-90 minutes ahead of sailing. Driving to the Anacortes ferry terminal from Seattle takes approximately two and half hours but often heavy traffic can extend that time.
• Victoria Clipper (passenger-only)
From mid-May to late September the Victoria Clipper offers passenger-only ferry service (with luggage up to 50 lbs per person) once per day, most days from downtown Seattle to Friday Harbor. (In September the Clipper Ferry operates on weekends only.)
• Train to Mount Vernon, then by road to Anacortes ferry terminal
It is possible to take an Amtrak train from Seattle to Mount Vernon, WA. Road service can be arranged from Mount Vernon to the ferry landing in Anacortes, where the ferry to Friday Harbor departs. See catchatrain.com for more information.
• From Friday Harbor Ferry Dock (or Marina) to FHL
San Juan Taxi: 360-378-8294
Bob’s Taxi: 360-378-8388
TRAVELING FROM VICTORIA, BC TO FRIDAY HARBOR
Washington State Ferries provide sailings during part of the year (not in winter) from nearby Sidney, B.C., for walk-on and drive-on passengers. Visit their website for schedules, fares and parking information. The international sailings will accept reservations and we strongly advise making these as soon as possible. See above for how to get from Friday Harbor Ferry Dock to FHL.
It is possible to take an Amtrak train from Vancouver, B.C. to Mount Vernon, WA. Road service can be arranged from Mount Vernon to the ferry landing in Anacortes, where the ferry to Friday Harbor departs. See catchatrain.com for more information, and see above for how to get from Friday Harbor Ferry Dock to FHL.
The BC Ferries provide daily service from Tsawwassen, B.C. (near Vancouver) to Swartz Bay, B.C. (north of Victoria and near Sidney). Taxi or bus (6 km) can be taken from Swartz Bay to Sidney where you can take the Washington State Ferry to Friday Harbor. See above for how to get from Friday Harbor Ferry Dock to FHL. Note, the Washington State Ferry does not go to Sidney, BC during wintertime.