Friday Harbor is a town nestled in the stunning San Juan County of Washington State. It is the kind of destination that you visit when you want to slow down and experience a way of life that seems lost on the modern world. It’s also a charming little historic seaport, filled with quirky shops and family-owned restaurants – it is also refreshingly completely lacking any fast-food chains.
As the gateway to the San Juan Islands, Friday Harbor is the ideal place to visit for outdoor activities, culture, and a relaxed holiday.
However, you might have trouble finding information about it because it doesn’t see as many tourists as other towns in the US. That’s why we created this neighborhood guide, so you have all the information you need to make an informed decision about where to stay in Friday Harbor.
So, if you’re ready to learn about the best neighborhoods in Friday Harbor for every kind of traveler, keep reading!
Where to Stay in Friday Harbor
If you’re ready to book but short on time, then here are some unbeatable Friday Harbor accommodation options.
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Best Airbnb in Friday Harbor: Sawmill Creek Cottage
This is one of the best places to stay in Friday Harbor if you want some peace and quiet during your visit. It’s just a mile from the town and offers a unique rustic charm for up to two guests. The cottage was built in the 50s, but has a modern bathroom and fully-fitted kitchen, including all up to date appliances. It has its own private yard and is located close to a small and beautiful bay that’s home to local wildlife.
Best Luxury Airbnb in Friday Harbor: Utter Seclusion Friday Harbor
Offering almost complete peace and quiet, this lovely home is on six acres of land adjacent to the beach. It has two bedrooms, one bathroom, and enough space for up to six guests to sleep comfortably. From this property, you can go kayaking, shrimp fishing, swimming, or biking, right out of your front door.
Best Hotel in Friday Harbor: Earthbox Inn & Spa
This hotel in Friday Harbor is close to everything you would need for an enjoyable stay and provides clean, homey rooms. It has an indoor pool, hot tub, and on-site spa with massage treatments and a sauna. The rooms are spacious and include a fridge and microwave. There’s also a coffee shop on-site for an emergency shot of caffeine.
Friday Harbor Neighborhood Guide – Places to Stay in Friday Harbor
The Port of Friday Harbor
Friday Harbor is all about the water, so why not find some accommodation that’s as close to the coastline as possible? This will give you easy access to water activities, amazing views, and lots of seafood restaurants so you can taste the sea in every bite.
Lakedale is about ten-minute drive away from Friday Harbor and the best choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Friday Harbor if you’re on a budget. This tiny area is close to the coast, so you can enjoy the water, and surrounded by interesting natural areas and farms that you can visit to tour and sample the local produce.
Friday Harbor is a small town, but it’s known for its eclectic boutiques and shopping. And Spring Street is the place to be when it comes to great shops and some of the best restaurants in the town.
Friday Harbor is a tiny town on the coastline, known for its water activities, great seafood, and slow pace of life. There aren’t many neighborhoods in this town, mostly because of its size, but there are some areas where you’ll enjoy staying more than others.
The Port of Friday Harbor is the obvious answer to where to stay in Friday Harbor for the first time. It’s close to the town’s center and the water, which is what you really want to see when you visit this part of Washington State. This means you shouldn’t have any trouble getting on a whale-watching cruise or hiring a boat to head and explore the ocean.
The next area is Lakedale. This is an area further inland, but still close enough to the center of Friday Harbor that you can get there quickly. It’s also a quiet, local area where you’ll enjoy cheaper accommodation options as well as a few unexpected glamping options.
And the final area in this list is Spring Street, a long road that runs through the centre of the town all the way to the harbor. This street is lined with shops, cafes, and restaurants, so you really won’t have to go far for meals, entertainment, or just a slice of everyday life.
Friday Harbor’s 3 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in
This is all sounding great so far, but I need more information. No worries, let’s look at each neighbourhood in-depth so you can make an informed decision about where to stay in Friday Harbor.
1. The Port of Friday Harbor – Where to Stay in Friday Harbor for First Timers
Friday Harbor is all about the water, so why not find some accommodation that’s as close to the coastline as possible? This will give you easy access to water activities, amazing views, and lots of seafood restaurants with the freshest catch of the day.
For all of you looking at where to stay in Friday Harbor for your first time when you want to be close to everything, then the Port of Friday Harbor is your best choice. This is the area that makes visitors fall in love with Friday’s Harbor’s island lifestyle and it’s also where you’ll find the town’s live music events and farmer’s markets in the summertime!
Best Airbnb in The Port of Friday Harbor: Suite Located in Downtown Friday Harbor
As a reasonably priced, basic apartment in Downtown, this is one of the best places in Friday Harbor to stay if you’re on a budget. It’s walking distance from everything and kitted out with modern fixings and furnishings. It has everything else you’ll need for a short or long stay including a king bed and full bath tub.
Best Luxury Airbnb in The Port of Friday Harbor: Harbor View Condo
You can’t get any closer to the water than in this condo, making it a great choice for those deciding on where to stay in Friday Harbor for one night or two nights. It sleeps up to three guests and has a fully-equipped kitchen and a bathroom with a soaking tub. It is also just a short walk away from the best restaurants in the entire town!
Best Hotel in The Port of Friday Harbor: Tucker House
Located close to all the main attractions, including the water and the coast, this hotel is the best choice for nature lovers. It is also close to many top restaurants and bars, making it a good option if you’re looking at where to stay in Friday Harbor for nightlife. It serves an amazing three-course breakfast every morning and offers comfortable rooms with private bathrooms, some of them with a full kitchen or a fireplace. You can also hire kayaks and bikes from the B&B, so you can enjoy the outdoors even more.
Things to See and Do in The Port of Friday Harbor
- Relax on the coast at Fairweather Park
- Take in some local culture at the San Juan Islands Museum of Art
- Explore the trail through the Lafarge Open Space, San Juan Island Park & Recreation
- Relax with a coffee at the Rocky Bay Café or Salty Fox Coffee
- Make sure you check out the fresh produce and snacks at the Friday Harbor Farmer’s Market on Saturdays
- Get some seafood fresh off the boat at the Seafood market
- See what’s on at the San Juan Community Theatre
- Relax with the locals at the San Juan Island Brewing Co
- Visit the The Whale Museum to learn more about these majestic creatures
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2. Lakedale – Where to Stay in Friday Harbor on a Budget
Lakedale is about a ten-minute drive away from Friday Harbor and the best choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Friday Harbor on a budget. This tiny area is close to the coast, so you can enjoy the water and be surrounded by farms that allow you to visit and sample the local produce.
When you stay in Lakedale, you’ll enjoy a relaxed, secluded holiday away from crowds. But there are still some good restaurants in the area, so that you won’t go hungry during your stay!
Best Airbnb in Lakedale: Welcome to Fox Hollow Retreat
Completely private and surrounded by natural areas, this is a great choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Friday Harbor with kids. It offers every type of outdoor activity you can imagine, from hiking, biking, running, and nature experiences.
The property sleeps up to 10 guests and has 4 bathrooms, each with a Japanese soaking tub. And the main living area is large, welcoming, and has a fireplace to encourage socializing and bonding.
Best Luxury Airbnb in Lakedale: Waterfront!
This stunning home is one of the coolest places to stay in Friday Harbor if you want to be on the water. This spacious, custom home has three bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms with large and beautiful living spaces, a fully-equipped kitchen, and a small gym in case you want to exercise indoors. It also offers water views and a deck, so you can sit out and enjoy the amazing scenery during your stay.
Best Hotel in Lakedale: Inn to the Woods
This inn has views of Sportsmans Lake and is just four miles from the ferry at Friday Harbor. This cute cabin has large rooms with big picture windows to bring the outside, inside. There are lots of welcoming common spaces, and serves a delicious breakfast every morning. It’s just a few minutes from the local restaurants too so that all of your food needs are covered!
Things to See and Do in Lakedale
- Have a delicious seafood meal at Duck Soup
- Indulge in some local produce at the Dancing Seeds Farm or the San Juan Island Tea Farm
- Spark your own creativity at the Alchemy Art Center
- Enjoy a beautiful and historic natural area at English Camp, San Juan Island National Historical Park
- Head up to see the surprisingly grand John S. McMillin Memorial Mausoleum
- Enjoy the views and pebbly beach at the secluded Reuben Tarte County Park
- Take a boat ride over to Jones Island Marine State Park for camping and hiking
- Take in the gorgeous morning views from Mt. Grant Preserve
- Head to San Juan Vineyard for some amazing local selections
3. Spring Street – Best Neighborhood in Friday Harbor for Families
Friday Harbor is a small town, but it’s known for its eclectic boutiques and shopping. And dotted along Spring Street is where you’ll find all of these quirky shops. Exploring this street, and stopping all the time to add to your shopping haul and rest at the cafes, of course, will make your holiday time race by. That’s why this area is the only answer to the question of where to stay in Friday Harbor for families.
Spring Street is also right in the town center, so you shouldn’t have any trouble getting to other parts of town or to the dock. And because this town is so small and walkable, you won’t need a car to explore either!
Best Airbnb in Spring Street: Downtown Friday Harbor
Bright and cheerful, this one-bedroom sleeps 2 guests and is located in one of the best areas to stay in Friday Harbor if you want to be close to everything. It has a modern kitchenette and half bath, as well as excellent Wi-Fi to make your stay perfectly convenient and pleasant. This is the ideal place to stay in Friday Harbor for digital nomads or those traveling for work.
Best Hotel in Spring Street: Argyle House Bed and Breakfast
Located right in the city center, this is one of the best places to stay in Friday Harbor for entertainment. It has free private parking, and the hotel serves a delicious breakfast every morning. The rooms have private bathrooms and a hot tub. There are also shared areas in the B&B where you can hang out and meet other like-minded travellers such as the terrace, in a stunning garden, or lounge area.
Best Luxury Airbnb in Spring Street: Beautiful Condo in the Heart of Friday Harbor
This understated and elegant apartment has 2 bedrooms and enough space for up to 4 guests. It’s also located in a part of Friday Harbor with lots of nearby attractions and restaurants. It has a full kitchen, laundry facilities, private parking, and air conditioning to keep you comfortable in every type of weather.
Beautiful Condo in the Heart of Friday Harbor is one of our favourites in Friday Harbor but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.
Things to See and Do in Spring Street
- Explore the exhibits at the Waterworks Gallery
- Settle in for a drink and a snack at Mike’s Cafe and Wine Bar or the Coho Restaurant
- Indulge in some sweet treats at Felicitations Bakery
- Take a guided kayaking tour and explore the island’s waterways
- Take a whale watching tour from the harbor
- Put on your walking shoes and take a historic walk through Friday Harbor
- Go shopping all the way along Spring Street
- Visit the San Juan Historical Museum for cool displays on the history of the area
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Final Thoughts on the Best Places to Stay in Friday Harbor
Friday Harbor’s best neighborhoods are all fairly close to each other, after all this isn’t a big area, but we hope this guide shed some insight into where is best for you and your party.
Friday Harbor is the kind of holiday destination you visit when you need to relax and preserve your energy while still enjoying lots of great food and activities – perfect for those on a West Coast road trip who want to stop somewhere for relaxation. No matter where you choose to stay, you are sure to find this on your trip.
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