Shaw Island is not one of the large Islands in San Juan, but it is however unique in having virtually no commercial or tourist-oriented facilities other than two fairly small parks. most of the Island (which is privately owned,) is owned by people who like their slow-paced privacy. Roads are mostly inland and afford little access or even views of the shoreline. Always a surprise to first-time visitors and ferry-riders, the dock at the Shaw landing is operated by brown habited Franciscan nuns who run the adjoining Little Portion Store. There are also two other Catholic religious orders on Shaw, including the Order of the Benedictines which has a monastery on the Island.
Most travelers to the San Juans arrive by Washington State Ferries which set sail out of Anacortes. The Islands are also accessible by ferry from Sidney, near Victoria, British Columbia. Be advised that the ferries are often crowded and it is best to arrive early at the terminal in order not to be overloaded to a later sailing. It's also possible to just park your car, truck, or motorcycle at the Anacortes terminal and board the ferry on foot. The only problem that except for Friday Harbor, which is actually where the ferry dock is in town, there really isn't much you can see and/or do without transportation on the Island.
Automatic, Moped or Bicycle rentals are available for rental in some cases, and the major resort will pick you up by prior arrangement. Air transport is also available from different mainland points, or by charter, to each of the larger Islands. You will still need to arrange transport upon arrival. If you happen to be a boater, you may, of course, cruise the Archipelago at your leisure and find moorage at any number of ports and marinas.
Although the Islands now have a wide variety of facilities for tourists including some Inns, Resorts, Motel-like lodging, and Bed & Breakfastesque establishments as well. There are also overnight parks and campgrounds which are in high demand the majority of the year. The main advice that we can give you is that it is VERY unwise to come to the San Juans without a firm reservation for a place to stay.