Anacortes is a short drive west of Burlington and boasts panoramic waterfront views of the San Juan Islands. Situated in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountain Range, Anacortes enjoys more sunny days and less rain than many of its neighboring cities. With its location on Fidalgo Island, Anacortes is the main gateway to San Juan Island, Lopez Island, Shaw Island, Orcas Island, and Victoria, British Columbia. Its vibrant Old Town has something for everyone with a variety of unique shops, book stores, antique dealers and much more.
Art galleries are a favorite stop for shoppers, especially on the first Friday of each month when the city’s galleries are open for extended hours to support Anacortes’ monthly Art Walk. You may also notice historic buildings and colorful exteriors that have life-size wall murals based on historical photographs strategically placed throughout the town. When it comes to food in Anacortes you will find a wide variety of dining experiences. From casual fish and chips to candlelight dinners, one thing is for certain; the chefs in Anacortes create mouth watering dishes from traditional Northwest favorites like salmon, halibut, and Dungeness crab. Among the quaint cafes, unique storefronts, and gift shops, you will also find specialty shops whose display cases are filled with fresh baked goods and handmade chocolates that will satisfy any sweet tooth.
For those seeking outdoor adventure, Anacortes is full of breathtaking beauty. On the northwest side of Fidalgo Island, you will find plenty to do in Washington Park’s 220 acre spread or in The Anacortes Community Forest Lands where 2,800 acres of beautiful territory is speckled with Heart Lake, Whistle Lake, Lake Erie, and Cranberry Lake along with 50 miles of well maintained hiking and biking trails. Mount Erie offers spectacular vistas of the San Juan Islands, Mount Baker and Puget Sound. This 1,273 foot peak offers four viewpoints that can be reached by foot, bike, or car. The most popular park in Washington State, Deception Pass State Park, is located on both sides of Deception Pass featuring several beaches, beach combing, exploration of tide pools, and miles of forest trail. The historic bridge over Deception Pass that connects Whidbey and Fidalgo Islands is worth the drive alone. Anacortes is also known for its whale watching tours with local companies offering excursions that often guarantee Orca, Minke, Gray and Humpback Whale sightings 95% of the time. Other adventures commonly found in Anacortes include kayaking excursions, sailing, fishing, crabbing, birding, and boating.
Anacortes Arts Festival
In August the streets of Anacortes will fill with 250 outstanding booth artisans, fine art exhibitions, culinary art, festive music, and creative youth activities. Pre-festival activities begin July 30th with the opening of the Arts at the Port fine art exhibition followed by the Art Dash half marathon, 10k and 5k on July 31st.
Enjoy the Pacific Northwest splendor of the sea and waterfront. Located at the Cap Sante Marina.
Since 1981 Anacortes has been the host of the largest motorcycle rally in the Pacific Northwest. If you are visiting Skagit County on the last weekend of September you are likely to see the 8,000 bikes and riders who fuel their way into the main streets of Anacortes.
Manieri Jazz and Swing Collection
An amazing collection of over 500 books and 1,500 CD’s and DVD’s available at the Anacortes Library, donated by Patricia Manieri in honor of her late husband Dominic Manieri.
Headphones and CD players are available for listeners to sample varieties of classical and new recordings.
Anacortes Mural Project
The brain-child of local historian and artist Bill Mitchel. Many murals are located in their proper locations, most in old town.
A five minute ferry ride from Anacortes will transport you to a piece of Skagit County unlike any other. Guemes Island, knows the meaning of “island time”. The 15 miles of paved roads on the island are traveled lightly by the annual population of 800. Upon arrival, you will be met by the island’s only commercial establishment, the Anderson’s General Store and Café. Whether you are driving, walking, running or taking a leisurely bike ride around this island, you will be greeted with friendly waves by the locals. Before you know it, you will be the one initiating the greeting. The island is 8 square miles in size, with rolling hills, incredible views in every direction and two prominent parks. Schoolhouse Park is located directly in the middle of the island and includes covered picnic tables, playground equipment and a soccer field. Young’s Park is located on the northeast tip of the island, with 1,000’s of feet of shoreline to explore.