A SMALL TOWN WITH BIG CULTURE: The Anacortes community brims with life during its exciting city-wide events. Whether you’re into bikes, art or boats, there’s always something fun to do in Anacortes within walking distance of The Salish Inn.
Mount Baker, Deception Pass, Deception Pass state park, Cranberry Lake, Whistle Lake, Rosario Beach state park, Mt. Erie Viewpoint, Washington Park, Cap Sante Boat Haven.
There are many companies that will take you on a tour of one of many salt and freshwater kayak locations. It is a great chance to see many different types of marine life. Whether it is dolphins, whales, sea lions or a vast variety of fish and birds kayaking is a great way to get in touch with nature. Visit some of the scenic island locations for a few hours or even a multi-day adventure.
Anacortes is a destination for boating enthusiasts. Whether you charter a sailboat or power yacht you’re going to have a great chance to get up close and personnel with the vast amount of wildlife that you find in the San Juan Islands. There are many different companies that will be able to accommodate the perfect adventure for you and your family.
One of the most popular activities is whale watching. Many different tour companies offer guaranteed whale sightings and a great chance to see one of three pods of Orca whales. There are many other whale varieties in the area so it is always a Kodak moment to capture some of the most impressive wildlife the area has to offer. The water is well protected from the open ocean, so even the most seasick person should have no problem.
From our local airport you can charter a flight from one of many reputable companies that will really take you on an adventure from a bird’s eye view. Most flights last from around 30-45 minutes and include Fidalgo Island, the San Juan’s, and Deception Pass which is the most popular park in Washington. The airport is only 5 miles from downtown Anacortes.
Many people come to the area to not only view wildlife but to eat it. It is a great and rewarding time crabbing for delicious Dungeness crab, or fishing for Salmon, Halibut, Rockfish, Lingcod and many other varieties as well. Contact a local sport fishing company to find out what time of the year is best for the different type of catch you’re looking for.
The area has a great variety of bird species to entertain even the most enthusiastic bird watcher. Whether you’re viewing the 27,000 snow geese that arrive in late fall to osprey, heron, swans and the most popular the Bald eagles. People have a great chance to view the Bald eagles in large numbers from November to March. Annually over 400 individual Bald eagles are putting on a show for everyone to see.
A great way to view the ocean wildlife is visiting a state park like Rosario Beach. At Rosario Beach state park it is the only underwater state park perfect for viewing tide pools where you can look at sea stars, octopus, otters, seals and many different types of fish and sea birds.
There are 2,700 acres of public forestlands. It is a great place to view deer, otters, raccoons, beaver and coyote. Bring a camera and get some great shots of the local wildlife.
Old town Anacortes is a must see with all the shopping, galleries, boutiques, antiques, book stores, coffee shops, and restaurants. There are many festivals and a great farmers market that is very popular with tourists and locals. The town has an old time feel to it since much of it hasn’t been changed since the old days. There is even the oldest continuously ran hardware store west of the Mississippi here. With many local pubs and brewers there is always somewhere to watch some live music and have some fun without going too far.
An award winning community is built around local talent operated since 1964. They produce six plays annually with a wide range of drama, musicals and comedies to entertain you. Visit their website to see upcoming shows and pricing.
Anacortes is home to two special museums. The primary museum building was originally designed as a Carnegie Library and was built between 1909 and 1911. It became home to the Anacortes Museum in 1968 and in 1977 was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This beautiful building, now fully restored, houses museum offices, a research library, and a variety of exhibits.
Anacortes’ second museum is the W. T. Preston, the last sternwheeler to work in Puget Sound and one of only two snagboats remaining in the contiguous United States. Built in 1882, the Preston removed navigational hazards from the bays and harbors of the Sound from 1885-1914. Also placed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Preston Heritage Center includes artifacts, models, and graphic displays, as well as tours of the boat.
Most marinas are locked and not open to the public. Not Cap Sante Boat Haven. It is a perfect place to visit and look at the wide range of sailboats and power luxury yachts. It is a great place to visit with a park and boardwalk that extends miles. It is a great place to view the marine life and take in breathtaking views of Mount Baker. It is almost certain that you will encounter a sea lion near the docks since they seem to think they own the place.
Practice your golf game at Swinomish Golf Links. This 18 hole golf course and the Callaway Performance center are good for the pro or amateur level enthusiast. The 18 hole golf course is a Par 72 course and has great views of Mount Baker and Fidalgo Bay.
The Farmer’s Market is popular with the locals as much as the tourist. It is a great place to see people, listen to music and get some of the freshest fruits and vegetables the region has to offer. Lots of vendors offering crafts and food so check it out while visiting. It is from Saturdays 9-2, May -Oct & Wednesdays, 4-7, late June – August. For more information go to their website.
Though relatively short at 3.3 miles, the Tommy Thompson Trail stands tall in the ferry port of Anacortes for its notable 2,000-foot-long paved trestle spanning picturesque Fidalgo Bay.
Anacortes offers one of the oldest and best gallery experiences in the San Juan’s. Whether you’re looking for painting, sculpture, jewelry, glass-work, photography or mixed media you’re sure to find that one of a kind piece. Anacortes First Friday Gallery Walk – On the first Friday of every month, offers art galleries open from 6-9 pm with free events, talks, and exhibitions.
Swinomish Casino offers all your favorite casino games to test your luck. It also has hundreds of the newest Slot Titles, Bingo Hall, Poker Rooms, Keno Rooms, Black Jack, Roulette, Craps, Four-Card Poker, Pai-Gow Poker and more.
Anacortes is known as the hub to the islands. It has two major state ferry routes and one county ferry. It is a great way to go exploring and get a chance to be on the water. It is busier in the summer and weekends so if you don’t need your car it is cheaper and easier to walk on. One ferry will take you to the San Juan Islands and Friday Harbor. The other will take you to Vancouver Island connecting in Sidney, BC. Sidney is Anacortes sister city in Canada. This trip takes 2.5 hours and a passport is required. The third ferry is the county ran one that goes to Guemes Island. It is a very short distance and has some nice beaches, seven galleries with great views of the area. We recommend stopping at the general store for food and supplies.
Most people feel their vacation starts as soon as they arrive at the Washington State Ferry landing in Anacortes, Washington. The ferry that will transport you from the Anacortes ferry terminal to Friday Harbor is about a 90-minute drive north from Seattle, Washington, or south from Vancouver, British Columbia. The sailing is a little more than an hour and you will cruise in comfort through some of the most beautiful waters in the world. Round trip reservations are recommended and easy to make. Just visit the Washington State Ferry Reservation system to book your sailing time.
Soak in the Seattle and beautiful Washington State scenery on the way to the islands by letting someone else do the driving for you. The airport shuttle runs cozy coach service from the Sea-Tac Airport to Anacortes.
ANACORTES TO BURLINGTON VIA HWY 20
Airporter Shuttle service between Anacortes and Sea-Tac Airport is temporarily suspended through Friday, April 30, 2021. Service to Sea-Tac Airport remains available 5 times a day from the Burlington Airporter Shuttle Office.