Wayfarer's Rest, Friday Harbor

7 Reviews
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Wayfarer's Rest Reviews

Great Value and a Comfy Rest

I'm another one of those people who is loathe to let this secret out, but this is a fantastic little spot for the budget traveler. Friday Harbor is a great jumping off point for exploring the islands by foot, by boat, or by bike. The hostel was clean, friendly, and unique -- the bunk beds were made out of driftwood and there were personal touches and decorations everywhere. They could have just gone to IKEA and bought all the furniture but no, it's cute and creative. There are a few changes to the hostel since the last reviews. Showers are now FREE. No coin operation! There was never a line for the bathrooms. The large dorm room has its own bathroom. On the downside, there is currently no veggie garden or chickens (though a fellow traveler gave me some extra eggs). I found the kitchens and the common rooms very nice, though the hostel is definitely a converted house, so you can hear people talking in the common room from your dorm room. Just bring earplugs and go to bed when everyone else does if you're not dead tired from island adventures. I slept great. My "dorm" room only had one bunk bed in it, and the second night, I had the room to myself. Very nice! I will definitely stay here again.


At the risk of letting out such a wonderful, well-kept secret, I have to add my five-star opinion to the rest of these comments. This hostel is so convenient and affordable. A lovely place, inside and out, to base yourself out of -- away from the bustling tourist traffic yet a quick and easy walk to and from town if you want to join the crowds. Yes, there are only three bathrooms for a max crowd of twenty-two people, but a little planning is all it takes to shower. Yes, the showers are coin-operated, which is a pain, but so are many shower facilities in State Parks. The two kitchens with their adjacent dining and living areas are huge, and can easily accommodate a max crowd. There's an added bonus of being able to close a door between the two kitchen/living areas, if there's a large group in one. The owners, who live upstairs, are very nice and accommodating. For anyone on a budget or who doesn't want to camp, you can't beat the Wayfarer's Rest for accommodations on San Juan Island. I plan on returning there again.


Great setting and cozy. But the private rooms are really cramped. Never mind not having closets or drawers. There are no places to hang up anything or set your suitcase/travel bag anwhere. Not enough bathrooms and coin operated showers? Yeesh.


Nice and clean, convenient to the ferry, but a bit pricey for a hostel -- thirty dollars/night. At this price, it's the most expensive hostel I've stayed at. Owners, who live upstairs, were nice. There was a garden, which was sweet. If you check in and no one is at reception, there are instructions on the board that tell you exactly where to go. Met some friendly people staying there. Overall, nice clean place and would stay here again.

happy visitor

Great place. There are actually three bathrooms, one with a double sink. We had no problems with the coin-operated showers. Very clean and comfortable place. It's close to town and the ferry dock; we were on bikes so it was very convenient. There are three cabins that can be rented with single beds that will sleep 2-3 people.

biker gal

This place is lovely and very spacious. There are two full kitchens, two dining rooms, a living room, four sleeping rooms and two bathrooms on the main floor of this big house. The owners live on the second floor. They have a two-year-old who runs back and forth and cries, loudly and often!! Anyway, the first kitchen has newer appliances but less cupboard space. The second, or "red" kitchen as they call it, has older appliances and much more cupboard and counter space. The stoves are electric. Neither kitchen has little cubbies for people's private food. I guess you just leave it on the counter. There was one tea kettle which made its way back and forth between kitchens. There were plates, cups, silverware, etc. However, the skillets and the pans in the first kitchen (I don't know about the "red" kitchen) have a lot of the non-stick coating scratched off. Not too healthy: those should be replaced. ______

This hostel has the potential to sleep I believe about fifteen, maybe seventeen people. Room #1 is a three-bed dorm--one twin bed and a set of bunk beds. Room #2 is private room with what looked like a double bed. There are two more dorm rooms off the "red" kitchen. One of those dorm rooms sleeps six, and I think the last dorm room sleeps three. There are also three or four private cabins in the back yard, which sleep one to two people each. The private cabins are for sleeping only; you have to come back into the big house to use the toilet and shower facilities. Do you see where I'm going with this? Fifteen people and two bathrooms?! They really, really need to add a couple more toilets: just toilets.


Also, the shower situation is strange. You know how you dry your clothes at a Laundromat? You put your quarter in, turn the knob and the dryer starts? Well, they have the same type of quarter set-up attached to the hot water in the showers. You are SUPPOSED to get one minute and 45 seconds of hot water for each quarter. I stayed in Room #1 right next to the bathroom and the first morning I woke up to someone POUNDING on this quarter machine because it wasn't working properly. Then the owner came downstairs and she pounded on it some more. I guess they finally got it working. The third morning I was awakened the same way. I did rent a towel--for $2--but I never used it. I didn't want to be in the shower and suddenly have the hot water turned off.


There is no Internet access, no TV or radio, and no clocks except for the ones on the stoves and microwave. There is a phone, and local calls are free. There was a Scrabble game and a deck of cards. There were lots of books and antiques, a pretty garden, friendly kitties roaming the property, and chickens. A lovely, mostly quiet setting. I would guess it to be about a five to six-block walk from the ferry landing, which is nice because Friday Harbor is a cute little place, and you can stop by King's well-stocked grocery store on the way up to the hostel, or the San Juan Brewery for a spicy Ale Diablo!


Would I stay here again? In the "off" season maybe. If they put in a couple more toilets, maybe. The price can't be beat. I paid $25 my first night (4th of July holiday) and $22 for my second and third nights. Plus you have the option of preparing your own food.

Tucson Bee

I fell in love with Friday Harbor. The people were very kind and helpful to the solo traveler. I found this hostel to be an ideal retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The owners, having stayed in hostels themselves, know how to run one perfectly! They took advantage of my single status and shuffled me around a bit but I didn't mind. I was able to stay in one of their private cabins (I see they now have two, I stayed here a few years ago. Back when they had grand plans for the sailboat in the backyard. I'm not sure what happened with that project!) I also stayed in one of the dorm rooms. The last night there, I stayed in a friend's RV at a nearby beach (I would NOT recommend that to anyone!!!) The hostel, was wonderful - clean and comfortable. The showers do require quarters to operate but that's not because the owners are cheap. There are water restrictions on the island. The house is yours to roam at will. The owners live in a larger cabin in the backyard. They, also, have chickens which provide fresh eggs for breakfast. If there are children staying the night, they can go collect the eggs in the morning! There is a nice garden on site, too. All in all, I had a wonderful stay and dream of returning someday! The only downside being that it's a bit of a hike from the dock, their dog wasn't too friendly, the shower situation, and the lack of planning in regards to my confirmed reservation. That's the reasoning for four stars, not five. Oh! Let's not forget that they had bought a house across the street for use with large group stays. I would imagine they still own it. They were remodeling it when I visited.



The Wayfarer's Rest is conveniently located within walking distance of the ferry terminal in Friday Harbor. Friday Harbor is the county seat and largest township in the San Juan Islands. Summer activities include whale watching, sea kayaking and scuba diving. Winter season activities include bird watching, hiking and salmon fishing. Hostel facilities included two spacious kitchens, private doubles and family rooms, mens and womens dorm, coin-op showers, gardens and cabins. We welcome travelers of all ages though we ask that parents traveling with young children rent a private room. Pets are also allowed in private rooms at an extra charge.

Location and Contact


Wayfarer's Rest is located four blocks from the ferry landing in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. Two blocks up Spring Street, left on Argyle Avenue. Two blocks down Argyle go left on Malcolm Street. We are the fourth building on the right, look for the sign.



Address: 35 Malcolm Street, Friday Harbor, Washington, USA

Wayfarer's Rest is listed on the following booking sites:

Not listed at Hostelworld Booking.com Not listed at HostelsClub


Website Wayfarer's Rest Friday Harbor (if you know the URL of their website, let us know and we'll add it)
Phone Number: +1 (360) 378-6428
To add or correct information for this listing, please use the Listing Correction Form.

Facilities and Amenities


Wi-Fi in Lobby/Commons


Credit Card Payments


Max. Age: All Ages

Checkout: 11:00 (11 AM)

Curfew: No Curfew

Minimum Stay: 1 night

Open Dates: All Year

Reception Hours: 2pm-9pm

Size: Small (less than 30 beds)


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