San Juan Island National Historical Park

When you visit San Juan Island, you will find a peaceful area filled with quiet woodlands and scenic coastal views, but that has not always been the case. This island almost exploded into a war between the United States and Great Britain, who both laid claim to the land after an American citizen shot a pig. Before the dispute could be settled, the Civil War erupted. After 12 years of both countries claiming the island belonged to them, Great Britain and the United States decided to enter binding arbitration performed by Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm I of Germany, who ruled in favor of the United States. The boundary of the United States was permanently set with his declaration. 

Things to Do

Things To Do Near San Juan Island National Historical Park

Once you get off the ferry or the plane on San Juan Island, you will find many things to do. You can spend the day playing on the Fourth of July, South, or Garrison Bay beaches. This is a great spot to launch a sea kayaking adventure. Visit the parade ground, barracks, blockhouse, commissary, and the formal garden at English Camp and the laundress and officers quarters at American Camp. 

Hiking Trails



Nearby Shops and Restaurants

map-marker-alt-regular How to Get There

How To Get To San Juan Island National Historical Park

You can only reach San Juan Island National Historical Park by seaplane or ferry. It is possible to take a flight from Boeing Field to this park. If you are landing at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, a shuttle service is available. If you are driving, then head north on Interstate 5 from Seattle. Take Exit 230 for Burlington/Anacortes/Skagit Airport. Turn left onto Washington 20 West, and get on the Washington 20 Spur West by continuing straight. Turn right on R Avenue. Turn left onto 32nd Street. Take the first exit at the traffic circle to get on D Avenue. Turn left on 12th Street, which becomes Oakes Avenue. This becomes Washington 20 Spur West. Veer right to get in the Washington State Ferries Holding Lanes. Turn right to reach the Anacortes Ferry Terminal.


4668 Cattle Point Road, Friday Harbor, WA 98250

Fee: Entry fee $0

Explore the scenic beauty and the history of San Juan Island National Historical Park where a war almost erupted between Great Britain and the United States over the death of a pig. Then, explore the area surrounding this park where you will find great places to explore, shop, and dine. The best way to get to this park is on the ferry. You can bring your RV to the island on the ferry, making it a convenient way to get around.