Anacortes is a vibrant seaside town with a long maritime history. Today it is the perfect jumping off point to the San Juan Islands.

Anacortes is a small seaside town located on Fidalgo Island, north of Seattle WA.  Although many tourists pass through on their way to the San Juan Ferry, this colorful town deserves more than a quick stroll.

Outdoors Activities Close to Anacortes

For hikers, Anacortes has more than 67 miles of public trails.  Washington Park features the Fidalgo Loop Trail. This trail winds though old growth forest with commanding views of the water and includes glimpses of the San Juan Island Ferries.  Mount Erie Park includes 160 acres and a hike to the highest point on the island.  Heart Lake is part of the Anacortes Community Forestlands and welcomes hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians.

Whidbey and Fidalgo Islands are connected at Deception Pass by bridge Deception Pass State Park is Washington’s most visited state park and is just 10 miles from Anacortes. The Deception Pass Bridge is a popular photo stop, offering commanding views of the pass and it’s turbulent waters.  The park offers access to over 77,000 feet of saltwater shoreline and almost 34,000 feet of freshwater shoreline.  The park is great for bird watching, beach combing, picnicking and hiking.

On the Water in Anacortes Washington

Love the water? Anacortes has lots in store for you. Boaters enjoy Cap Sante Marina.,The marina offers great facilities and is within walking distance of restaurants, shopping and entertainment.  The Annual Anacortes Waterfront Festival, held in early June offers fun for the whole family. Along with a variety of water activities, the marina is lined with booths that include great food and lots of local arts and crafts. Register for free boat rides with the Anacortes Yacht Club or create a boat building team and then test your creations floatability.

There are a number of spots in Anacortes that offer public beach access. Sunset Beach and West Beach in Washington Park are both great spots to take in the views and discover the abundant sea life along the shores. Look for crab, sea urchins and starfish.

Downtown Anacortes

Downtown Anacortes includes a variety of restaurants and shops and is all very walkable.  First Friday Gallery Art Walk is held the first Friday of each month from 6:00pm till 9:00pm. Visitors have the opportunity stroll through the many art galleries located downtown.

Anacortes: Where to Stay

The historic town of La Conner is a short drive from Anacortes. Stay here and stroll along the Swinomish Channel. Admire La Conner’s historic Victorian Homes. Visit MoNA, The Museum of Northwest Art. Katy’s Inn is situated in town overlooking the channel and the Main Street. Katy’s is within easy walking distance to shops, restaurants and museums.

Visiting the San Juan Islands and British Columbia

Visitors heading to the San Juan Islands or Sidney, BC can catch the Washington State Ferry in Anacortes. The Anacortes ferry runs to Orcas, Shaw, Lopez and Friday Harbor, with one trip to Sidney BC daily.  You can walk on or take your car.  Schedules and prices vary by season, so check the Anacortes ferry schedule and double check your dates of travel.

Weather in Anacortes and Getting There

Anacortes WA weather is mild with summer highs in the mid-70 and average highs in the winter close to 50 degrees.  Like most of the state, November through January are rainy, but summer is fairly dry and mild.

Anacortes is a short 1.5 hour drive up I-5 north from Seattle. From I-5 take Exit 230, Burlington/Anacortes, then turn left. Continue on the WA-20 spur into Anacortes.

Directions to the Anacortes Ferry Termial from Seattle include the above. Once in Anacortes, take the first exit from the traffic circle and travel down Commercial Ave/ WA-20. Follow WA-20 and signs for the Anacortes/San Juan Island Ferry Terminal.