About Friday Harbor

Accessible by ferry, boat, or airplane, the 172 islands making up the San Juan Islands Archipelago are located at the northern edge of Washington State just south of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Of the bunch, 4 of the islands are serviced by ferry: San Juan Island, Orcas Island, Lopez Island, and Shaw Island. These four islands are the most populated and provide the majority of lodging, shopping, dining, and medical services. San Juan Island is the home of Friday Harbor and is also the county seat.


The islands offer a temperate year round climate with noticeable seasons. Temperatures are in the 70’s in the summer and 40’s in the winter. We experience some heat spikes during summer months and the occasional snow in winter months. The islands average 247 days of sunshine and only about half the rain of Seattle as we are in the Rain Shadow of the Olympic Mountains.


2013 U.S. News and World Report Best Public High Schools in the Nation: FRIDAY HARBOR HIGH SCHOOL: Gold Medal Winner {2nd year in a row}; 5th in Washington State, (587 high Schools in Washington) 161st in the United States, (out of 21,000) – TOP 1% of US. Shaw Island is the home to the longest running school in the state – learn more at www.shaw.k12.wa.us.


In 2010, there were 6,894 residents on San Juan Island. In the Town of Friday Harbor there was 2,162 residents. The median age for males was 38.7 years and female was 44 with a combined average of 41.3 years. In 2010, Shaw Island had 240 full time residents. The County’s 2010 population is estimated at 15,844.