If you live in our glorious Washington State anywhere along the I-5 corridor, you’ve talked, endured and/or heard about it today already: the traffic. You plan your outings and shopping around it. Arranging a weekend getaway involving ferry travel may even seem daunting at times. But to get to the secluded, breathtakingly beautiful places, you’ll need your car, right? Not so! Thanks to Clipper Vacations.
Clipper Vacations run passenger-only ferries from Pier 69 in downtown Seattle directly to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island from April 23 to October 13 (weekends only on September and October). Instead of sitting in traffic and worrying if you will make the car ferry, take a stunning 3-hour and 45 minute boat ride through the glistening Salish Sea, underneath the majestic Deception Pass bridge, leisurely winding through the San Juan Island archipelago until docking in perfectly walkable Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. Clipper offers a gift shop, locally-sourced, freshly prepared, light snacks and beer and wine on their boat. There are three viewing decks and amble indoor seating, as well as wheel chair access and restrooms. Puppies in carriers and bikes are allowed on board for a fee.
Add a whale watch tour and stay a while by adding a night--or a few --at the lovely Earthbox Inn & Spa, a retro motor-inn with indoor heated pool, sauna, hot tub and exercise room, a full service, on-site spa and free beach cruiser bikes to check out the nearest beaches.
The former fishing village of Friday Harbor offers over 40 restaurants, cute shops and boutiques, the Saturday Farmer’s Market, four museums and seven galleries, all in walking distance to the harbor and the Earthbox Inn & Spa. Take the cute Friday Harbor Jolley Trolley or rent a moped to explore the two National Historical Parks on the isle, visit the lavender farm, the sculpture park or shuck your own oysters at beautiful Westcott Bay Shellfish Farm.
Come treat yourself to a truly relaxing island getaway as the Summer winds down and the leaves begin to turn and enjoy the beauty and harvest bounty of San Juan Island, so close, yet feeling so far away.