First time visitor advice about taking the Ferry to the San Juan Islands
Riding the ferry into the islands is the magical moment where you disconnect from the mainland. Everyone always has photos of their ferry rides into the islands.
You'll need to drive to the Anacortes ferry line and buy a ticket for the car and driver ( less than $50 total to Friday Harbor... this is a round trip ticket ), and foot passenger tickets for the other family members for about $10 each ( also round trip ). If you buy tickets to Orcas or Lopez they will be cheaper because they are closer .... but when you want to go further west into the islands you would need to pay for more ferry tickets ( much less expensive than the first tickets from Anacortes). If you go to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island first then your ferry fare heading East to Orcas island would be free. Same with going East from Orcas Island to Lopez Island.... but If you want to go West back to Friday Harbor from Lopez Island you would need to pay for the Lopez to San Juan Island fare. It is always free to go back to Anacortes from any of the islands. Just show up early to the ferry landing.