Anacortes Washington is best known for being a gateway to the San Juan Islands. This is due to the fact that the San Juan Islands ferry terminal is found close to the heart of town. There is much more to Anacortes than its ferry dock, however. Officially incorporated in 1891, this city of approximately 15,700 residents features an inviting downtown business district that has been restored. In the surrounding residential neighborhoods, lovely Victorian homes are in good supply, and the city deserves a nod for its quality restaurants.
Anacortes is situated on the northern side of Fidalgo Island in Washington’s Puget Sound area. Seattle is 75 miles to the south, and Vancouver lies approximately 90 miles to the north. The location helps to make it a popular boating destination, and among the main local industries is boat-building. Commercial fishing is also a major industry in Anacortes, and visitors should have little trouble arranging their own angling adventures. Venturing out on the water for some wildlife viewing is also a possibility, and back on dry land, there are plenty of area hiking trails to tackle. Shopping is just one more thing to add to the agenda in Anacortes, thanks largely to the local antique shops and art galleries. As far as the Anacortes accommodations are concerned, there are options to fit a wide range of tastes and budgets. Many visitors look to the inns and B&B’s first, as they include several gems.
Anacortes Ferry Route
The Anacortes Ferry terminal is the point of departure for many travelers who are bound for the San Juan Islands. The San Juans aren’t the only destination of choice for the Anacortes ferries, however. Another route takes passengers to Sidney, BC, which is approximately 15 miles north of Victoria on Vancouver Island. Travelers can take advantage of the Anacortes ferries for both day trips and overnight trips to the San Juans or Sidney, and there are ferry boats that can accommodate both people and vehicles.
Near the ferry terminal on the west end of Fidalgo Island is an Anacortes attraction that caters to outdoor enthusiasts. This attraction is 220-acre Washington Park. Arguably one of the top city parks in the entire country, Washington Park offers terrific hiking trails, year round campsites, a scenic loop for drivers and wonderful picnic facilities. Forested hills mix with meadows to make up much of the park’s landscape, and the views out over the Puget Sound are simply divine. Both the Olympic Mountains and the San Juan Islands are within sight from the shore.
Anacortes Arts Festival
Anacortes Arts Festival
Every year, Anacortes plays host to a delightful art festival. This festival, which got its start in 1962, is known as the Anacortes Arts Festival. During its three-day run on the first weekend of August, several downtown streets are closed to traffic. Numerous merchants and vendors set up shop in the non-traffic area, and entertainment in the way of live music is offered on several different stages. Activities are available for both kids and adults, helping to make the Anacortes Arts Festival a family-friendly affair.