Traveling to San Juan Island for the Concours
San Juan Island is a small island in the Salish Sea, just off the coast of America. There is ferry service every few hours from
Anacortes, lots of places to stay and a bunch of great restaurants, and the natives are always friendly.
The San Juan Island Visitors Bureau and the Chamber of Commerce both have good websites
with information on accommodations including motels, B&B's and vacation home rentals.
(click the links to above to go to their websites)
Town Graphics also has a great pictorial map of San Juan Island
Reservations are available for ferries to the San Juan Islands!
If you plan to visit the islands for the Concours (or any other time), making a reservation
will get you a guaranteed spot on the boat and make planning much simpler.
There is no charge for reservations, but a "no-show" deposit is secured via a credit card.
Reservations can be changed or canceled without charge up to 5pm the day prior.
Reservations become available 2 months prior to the start of summer
schedule, then 2 weeks and 2 days prior to the day of travel:
The first release for reservations is 30% of the available space and was available in late April.
If there is no space available then the next 30% becomes available at 7am two weeks prior:
So if you are heading to the island Saturday morning, then get online at 7am on Saturday
July 30th and make your reservations then. It is summer, they will go quick.
The next (and last) chance for a reservation is 7am two days prior to travel.
The system is sluggish at 7am so keep trying, and also try 3-5pm the day prior to pick up a
cancellation. There is also some standby space, so if you miss the reservations then
arrive early, bring a book and some refreshments.
Click here for the WSF reservations page.
The ferry departs from Anacortes to Friday Harbor at 4:10am, 6:15am, 9:05am,
12:00 noon, 2:00pm, 4:45pm and 8:20pm. Sailing time is just over an hour.
Return sailings from Friday Harbor will be at 5:40am, 8:10am, 11:00am, 1:55pm,
3:450m, 6:30pm, and the milk-run at 10:00pm. The 3:45pm is always busy,
so book early!
Low Tide Alert!
If you are coming from off-island, and have a car with limited ground clearance,
then you will want to plan around very low mid-day tides the weekend of Feb 13-14.
The highest tides-- and the flattest ferry ramps-- will be around 6am
and 6pm for that weekend. The lowest tides (and steepest ramps) are 9am-3pm each day.
For NOAA tide tables for Friday Harbor click here (noaa.gov). Anaocortes is similar.
Important Note: WSF now requires check-in in at the ticket booth
no later than 30 minutes prior to the scheduled sailing time. Vehicles
arriving after that time will travel standby, whining does not help.
WSF advises planning arrival at the Anacortes terminal 45 minutes prior
to the scheduled sailing, to allow for a possible queue at the ticket booths.
The Vineyard is at 3136 Roche Harbor Road.
From the ferry make a left at the tree onto Spring St, right in 2 blocks
onto 2nd street, then straight at the stop sign onto Guard St.
Turn right at the stop sign at Tucker, stay left at the "Y"
for Friday harbor Labs where Tucker becomes Roche Harbor Road.
Continue for another 2.8 miles and turn into the vineyard
main entrance for exhibitors. Spectator parking is the next
gate just past the Vineyard main entrance.
Here's an interactive Google map showing how to get to San Juan Vineyards, the site for the Concours:
And [Gasp] Google now has "street view" for San Juan Island. Imagine your car on this hillside: