Anacortes Travel Guide

Anacortes is the largest city on Fidalgo Island in Skagit County, Washington and is home to the Washington State Ferries terminal. Refining is the area’s most important industry, after yacht construction and tourism. Somewhat gritty, Anacortes attracts boaters and few others than those passing through to the San Juan Islands. The city features plentiful parks, several forest trails and a number of popular spots for rock climbing at nearby Mount Erie.

The busy marine terminal at Anacortes is the single reason why so many tourists pass through this port town. Here visitors can observe a real working waterfront, including port tenants busy with rope manufacturing and shipbuilding, while they wait to board their ferry. For those with more time of their hands, the city’s park system boasts 3,000 acres of community forestlands, 18 colorful city parks and six lakes, not to mention scenic Mount Erie with its magnificent views.

The secluded beaches of Anacortes are the perfect spot for a picnic. Fun for the whole family can be found at the Children’s Museum of Skagit County, Anacortes’ community pool, the bowling center and Bunnies by the Bay workshop. The region offers a wide range of recreational activities, from sailing, power boating and kayaking to sport fishing, scuba diving and whale watching.


Anacortes History Museum: founded in 1958, the museum presents exhibitions, research and public programs related to the history of Fidalgo and Guemes Islands.

Children’s Museum of Skagit County: families can explore, learn and play in a thrilling interactive environment. Exhibits cover the arts, science and literature and are all designed with kids in mind.

Orca Whale Watching Tours: in the waters around the San Juan Islands, you may be lucky enough to spot a number of whales, in particular orcas and grey whales. There is also the chance to view sea lions and bald eagles.

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival: every April, over one million tourists come to see more than 300 acres of intensely colored tulips.

Anacortes Arts Festival: over 250 artisans, filling six street blocks, come from throughout the Northwest to participate in this lively event every August.