Friday Harbor is the biggest town in the San Juan Islands with an attractive mix of craft shops, art galleries, and great restaurants concentrating on local fresh fish, all within a quaint downtown next to the ferry dock. It is the sailing capital of the area, and just ten minutes by air from Victoria. On the north end of San Juan island, Roche Harbor Resort and Marina is like Friday Harbor - a significant boating destination.
Prior to the final agreement establishing the border between the USA and British North America, San Juan Island had the distinction of being the scene of the final altercation between British and American forces. It became known as the Pig War, when a pig owned by a member of the British camp wandered across line was seized and killed by a member of the American Camp! The Union Jack still flies high at the English Camp! Much of the San Juan Islands’ accommodation is made up of a great variety of vacation rental housing – in excess of 50 houses – many on the beaches. Great for a family vacation. Much of the activity is centred around maritime adventures, schooner cruises, whale watching, bicycling, beachcombing. It is also a centre of boating for the islands. Its lifestyle might best be described as laid back! It has excellent connections to mainland Washington by way of the Washington State Ferry System, and with its airport close to town – about a 10 minute walk – all so very convenient to Victoria - just 10 minutes by air. With almost 900 marina slips between the Friday Harbor, and Roche Harbor marinas, San Juan Island is the busiest recreational port in the USA in terms of boats cleared by US Customs. The Roche Harbor Resort also has its own grass runway, immediately adjacent to the property.