Anacortes, WAAnacortes is the crown jewel of Fidalgo Island, easternmost of the San Juan Islands and jumping-off point to the rest of the world-renowned archipelago.
Fidalgo is a "drive-on" island, accessible by bridges from the east and south. Anacortes is home to the Washington State Ferry Terminal, serving the rest of the San Juan Islands and Sidney/Victoria, British Columbia.
Anacortes-based whale-watching excursions lead to sightings of the 8-ton sovereigns of the sea on 95 percent of their trips! Members of local orca pods, based year-round in the San Juan Islands, are named, numbered and can be easily identified by distinct markings.
Anacortes is also the homeport for numerous sailing and power-yacht charters. Visitors can choose a vessel and chart their own course.
The island has three public boat launches and five full-service marinas, two facing the San Juan Islands and three facing interior waterways. Those who want to get out on the water will find plenty of boats and safe, comfortable single and double kayaks to rent.
For landlubbers, parks and playgrounds are abundant. Anacortes' largest and most popular is Washington Park, a 220-acre gem facing the Rosario Strait shipping lanes and San Juan Islands. It features a full-service campground, boat launch, playground, picnic shelter and a popular loop road for walking or biking. Deception Pass Bridge and its host state park are just minutes away, offering spectacular views and great beachcombing.
Mount Erie, rising 1,300 feet above Anacortes atop Fidalgo Island, provides spectacular views of an impressive neighborhood. The summit, which has four different viewpoints, can be reached in boots, on a bike or in a car.
Downtown Anacortes blends well-known retailers with distinctive shops, art galleries and antique dealers. A walk among dozens of outdoor historic murals passes many restaurants offering delicious Northwest and international cuisine. Quaint bed and breakfasts, hotels, motels and waterfront RV parks offer an array of accommodations, and the Northern Lights Casino is located just two miles from downtown.
Several entertaining annual events fill Anacortes' calendar: the Waterfront Festival in May, Arts Festival in early August, Jazz Festival in late August and Christmas Festival in December always generate rave reviews, while Fourth of July and holiday parades add to the small-town, big-activity feel that pervades Anacortes.
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Anacortes Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Information Center