Anacortes is a city in the North Cascades region in Washington. It is the major Washington State Ferries terminal to the San Juan Islands. The City of Anacortes occupies roughly half of Fidalgo Island, the easternmost island in the San Juan archipelago. The city comprises 15 square miles, approximately half of which is public park and recreational lands and waters. The city has 12 miles of shoreline and 67 miles of public trails. Its population was 18,000 in 2021. The city is home to thousands of boats.

Race day off Skyline Marina in Anacortes

Get in edit

Map of Anacortes

By car edit

From Interstate 5 (I-5) north or south, take the exit for Highway 20 in Burlington and head westbound. This runs turns into Commercial Drive, and runs through the heart of town, and on to the Washington State Ferries terminal.

By boat edit

  Note: The Sidney-Anacortes ferry service has been suspended and will not resume until at least 2030.
(Information last updated 01 Mar 2023)

By ferry edit

For security and immigration processing when traveling between the US and Canada, a 60-minute advance arrival is strongly suggested for vehicle traffic. Walk on passengers need to arrive 30 minutes in advance. Vehicle reservations are recommended. Please speak with Washington State Dept of Transportation Information Agents in Seattle at +1-888-808-7977 or +1-888-808-7977, or reserve online. Passports are required to enter either country.

  • 1 Washington State Ferries, 2100 Ferry Terminal Rd, +1 206-464-6400, toll-free: +1-800-843-3779. Offers ferries from Lopez Island, Orcas Island, Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, and Shaw Island to Anacortes. Season service from Sidney, British Columbia. If traveling on weekends, be prepared for long waits for the ferries. A 60-minute advance arrival is recommended for vehicle traffic. A 1-hour advance arrival is advised for the 8:30AM international sailing. For the afternoon sailings, a 90-minute advance arrival is advised. Passengers should arrive at least 30 minutes prior to sailing. Service to Sidney has been suspended since the Covid-19 pandemic and the operator has announced that service to Sidney is suspended until at least 2030 due to the lack of available ferries and crew.

By private boat edit

Anacortes is an official U.S. ports-of-entry and can process boaters through customs. The Cardinal Rule is touch land at customs dock before any other stops, fines for not doing so can be up to $5000. Besides a passport for everyone on board, you will need your boat's license number and User Fee Decal number.

Customs enforces USDA guidelines for what foods are acceptable to bring into the country and these guidelines are constantly changing so it is best to check in with them before arriving. Boaters are responsible for knowing the prohibited foods and can be fined for not declaring them.

By plane edit

  • 2 Anacortes airport (OTS  IATA) (between the town and the ferry terminal). Offers scheduled and charter service in small propeller airplanes, serving the San Juan Islands. It also welcomes general aviation.    

The nearest airport with flights from out of state locations is in Bellingham (BLI IATA) and the nearest major international airport is Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA IATA).

Get around edit

  • Skagit Transit, +1 360-757-4433, . Operates bus service within Skagit County including within and between Anacortes, Burlington, La Conner, Mount Vernon, and Sedro-Woolley. The buses do not run at night. Also offers connecting service from other counties, including route 80X traveling south from Bellingham and route 90X traveling north from Everett. Routes 80X and 90X stop in Burlington and Mount Vernon.    
    • Bus route 40x connects March's Point Park & ride to Mount Vernon on WA-Hwy 20 and 536.
    • Bus route 409 travels within Anacortes
    • Bus route 410 travels between the Washington States Ferries' Anacortes ferry ferminal and Marsh's Point Park and Ride via Anacortes. For public transit travel beyond Anacortes, rides must transfer at March's Point Park and Ride on WA-Hwy 20
    • Bus route 615 connects March's Point Park & ride to Mount Vernon through La Conner via a different route than 40x.

See edit

Fidalgo Island is a beautiful place, covered in northwest forest, with a number of freshwater lakes, Mt. Erie, many parks, and a thriving small town. The city serves as a wonderful "home port" for boaters exploring local waters or on their way to Alaska--in fact, Anacortes has been named on many "best boating" destination lists over the years.

The flavor and character of Anacortes has been largely maintained in the city's 1 old town area, which is north of 12th St. On Commercial Avenue, just eat of old town, is roughly ten-block stretch boutiques, restaurants, and hotels. This area is very walkable and a great excursion for shoppers.

  • 2 Anacortes Museum, 1305 8th St, +1 360-293-1915. Tu-Sa 10AM-4PM, Su 1-4PM. Located within an old Carnegie Library. Has exhibits featuring the local area. Free.
  • 3 Anacortes Maritime Heritage Center, 703 R Ave, +1 360-299-4130. Jun-Aug: Tu-Sa 10AM-4PM, Su 11AM-4PM; remainder of year Tu-Sa 10AM-4PM, Su 10AM-4PM. Museum with maritime-related exhibits. Free.
  • 4 W.T. Preston, 703 R Ave (adjacent to the Anacortes Maritime Heritage Center), +1 360-299-4130. On days that it is open, same hours as Anacortes Maritime Heritage Center. Jun-Aug: Tu-Su; Apr-May and Sep-Oct: Sa Su; Nov-Mar closed for season. A National Landmark sternwheel steamboat that now sits on land. $5.
  • 5 Deception Pass State Park, 41229 State Route 20 (located south of Anacortes along Highway 20), +1 360-675-3767. Has over 4,100 acres (17 km2) of forest, campsites, trails, and scenic vistas of the San Juan Islands, Victoria (British Columbia, Canada), Mount Baker, and Fidalgo Island.

Nearby edit

  • 6 Hope Island Marine State Park. near Camano Island, this 200-acre marine park in Skagit Bay. The park offers several campsites, attractive beaches and a trail across the island. The island is forested with occasional meadows and rock outcroppings. The island is a natural area preserve to protect a rare Puget Sound ecosystem and accessible only both boat. 1.5 miles southeast of Hoypus Point, about two miles east then southeast on Cornet Bay boat launch.
  • 7 Skagit Island Marine State Park. Skagit Island State Park is a 24-acre marine camping park in Skagit Bay near Camano Island and is accessible only by boat. The island is forested with occasional meadows, rock outcroppings, attractive beaches and a land trail and has 2 mooring buoys.

Do edit

The city offers a full service marina, 1 Cap Sante Marina, operated by the Port of Anacortes. The marina is within easy walking distance of old town and easy re-provisioning. A number of boat chartering companies operate out of the Boat Haven, offering half-day whale watching, fishing and transport services, or the rental of boats on a weekly (or longer) basis. There are also a number of kayaking companies, offering equipment and/or tours. Many use Anacortes as "home port" for additional journeys throughout the sound.

Anacortes is a boater's paradise, with an award-winning marina and a wide variety of services.

There are over 67 miles of public trails, maintained by the city. The system connects to a number of freshwater lakes, stocked with fish, and a number of other scenic points. Bag lunches are available from local restaurants and delis.

  • 2 Anacortes Kayak Tours, 2009 Skyline Way (drive past the San Juan Island ferry terminal, onto Sunset Drive; take a left onto Skyline Way and proceed to the Skyline Marina building; destination is on the left), +1 360-588-1117, toll-free: +1-800-992-1801, . Offers guided sea kayak trips departing from Anacortes, Deception Pass State Park, San Juan Island, and Orcas Island.

Buy edit

Anacortes is home to a variety of interesting hotels, restaurants, and stores. Come check out antiques, book stores, crafts, art galleries. The city is home to the oldest marine hardware store west of the Mississippi.

Eat edit

Anacortes offers a wide variety of restaurants, offering cuisines ranging from Mexican to Asian, Mediterranean and Northwest fare.

Drink edit

Anacortes offers a wide variety of drinking establishments, from upscale restaurants to wonderful pubs & taverns, many of which offer live music nightly.

Sleep edit

Anacortes offers a full spectrum of lodging, with accommodations ranging from high-end European-style hotels to economy rooms. There is truly something for every budget.

Go next edit

Routes through Anacortes
Port TownsendOak Harbor  S   E  BurlingtonNorth Cascades N.P.

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