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Explore Washington state waterways


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Who said travel restriction had to prevent you from island hopping this summer?! Washington is chalked full of various different islands. And plenty of the islands are accessible via ferry, which is half the fun of the journey. Remaining in your car is highly encouraged during your travel on ferries, meaning keeping socially distanced while exploring Washington’s waterways is completely possible. Once on the various islands, social distancing measures are in place to ensure the safety of all guests, we recommend checking the islands website before visiting. But the journey will still be well worth it, with ample outdoor recreation and plenty of restaurants serving up to-go food options. All aboard the summer of ferry rides! 

Let’s start with a ferry ride that’s right in our backyard, but once you depart on the other side you will forget just how close you really are! The Anderson Island Ferry departs from Steilacoom and is just a short thirty minute ride, transporting riders to the southernmost island in the Puget Sound. Anderson Island is an island that still remains deeply rooted in their small town vibes, with only a general store, one restaurant and no stop lights, it’s the perfect place to disconnect. If you’re looking to cool off after exploring the island then we highly recommend visiting Lowell Johnson Park. With two separate roped off swimming areas, it’s the perfect place to relax and end the day, before catching your ferry ride back to town.  

Anderson Island Ferry Terminal, 56 Union Ave., Steilacoom, $23.85 per standard vehicle, for additional fare info and schedule visit here,

If you’re looking for an island with more recreation options, we would recommend traveling further up north and boarding the Bainbridge Island Ferry. While it’s true it’s possible to reach this island without boarding a ferry, we would highly recommend this short 35 minute ferry ride departing from Seattle. Once on the island there are plenty of outdoor recreation options available. Both Fay Bainbridge and Fort Wad parks offer waterfront park space and picnic tables, a 250-acre Grand Forest offers plenty of hiking options and kayaking, canoes and paddle board rentals will allow you to spend a whole day on the water if desired. If you don’t feel like lugging a cooler of food on this journey, there are plenty of options available for takeout. We would recommend swinging by Proper Fish for an order of fish and chips or a lobster roll. 

Seattle Ferry Terminal, 801 Alaskan Way, Seattle, $20.40 per standard vehicle, for additional fare info and schedule visit here,

Our next ferry trip will more than likely have you wanting to plan an overnight trip! As you will be hoping aboard The San Juan Island Ferry further up north via Anacortes. Multiple islands comprise the San Juan Islands, meaning multiple stops are available on this ferry route. Stops include Lopez Island, Shaw Island, Orcas Island and Friday Harbor. Depending on the route chosen the journey can take as little as 45 minutes, or upwards of two hours. But no matter what journey you choose your landing place will be well worth it. With sweeping views of the Salish Sea and tons of wildlife spotting opportunities, the Islands provide a scenic background to your stay. The islands also provide tons of different lodging options available on all islands ranging from camping, bed and breakfasts and cabins this is a place you might want to consider spending the night and catching your ferry ride back the next day. 

Anacortes Ferry Terminal, 2100 Ferry Terminal Rd., Anacortes, fares vary by island, for all fare info and schedule visit here,

If you’re looking for a ferry journey that is an easier day trip, we would recommend the Edmonds Ferry traveling to Kingston. The journey begins in Edmonds and once arriving on the island we recommend two options, either a 19 minute drive to Port Gamble or a 23 minute drive to Poulsbo, or better yet, both! 

Edmonds Ferry Terminal, 199 Sunset Ave. S, Edmonds, $20.40 per standard vehicle,

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