Planning a trip or weekend vacation? Washington State tourism has a LOT to offer, especially if you'd like to visit the San Juan Islands. The following are the best ways to get up to the Islands. Take your pick of the easiest, or fastest, or cheapest way to travel, and come on up. It's beautiful any time of the year, and you can use this site as your personal guide to help you work out the kinks and make the trip a smooth one. Now, let me introduce you to Northwest Washington State travel.
Depending on how far you have to travel and how quickly you want to get here, there are a lot of ways to travel. Whether by plane, Amtrak train travel, private boat, ferry, car, or bus, you will find a way that works best for you. It's closer than you might think, too -- only 100 miles north of Seattle.
The most common way to come to the island is by car, and that includes taking the Washington State Ferry. Regardless of whether you are coming from the north or the south, all roads lead into Anacortes Washington where the ferry departs for each of the San Juan Islands.
Northbound: Take I-5 north to Exit 230 at Burlington. Then take Highway 20 west all the way into Anacortes. Stay on Commercial Avenue through Anacortes, watching for the sign to the San Juan Ferry Dock. Follow the road all the way to the ferry ticket booth.
Southbound: Take I-5 south to Exit 230 at Burlington. Turn west (right) onto Highway 20 and go all the way into Anacortes. Stay on Commercial Avenue through town, watching for the sign to the San Juan Ferry Dock. Follow the road all the way to the ferry ticket booth. Check WSF schedules and fare information. Now get the scoop about ferry reservations and other related stuff.
Flying, of course, is faster and easier than driving. Kenmore Air flies to the Islands out of Seattle, Lake Union, or Boeing Field. Sea Planes leaving from Lake Union land at the dock in Friday Harbor, while land planes come into the Friday Harbor Airport.
Washington State tourism is a thriving business when it comes to Amtrak, so don't rule out the train! Amtrak is a very dependable, affordable means to travel, and it's also fun. Kids love it! Your trip will be a bit longer because the nearest station is at Mount Vernon, not Anacortes. However, it's not difficult to get to the ferry terminal from Mount Vernon, and having come on the train just makes your trip more of an adventure. Remember, "The journey not the arrival matters," T.S. Eliot. Here is what you need to know about Amtrak train travel in Northwest Washington.