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8 Best Things to do in Anacortes Washington

A local’s guide to the best things to do in Anacortes, Washington.

Are you looking for the best things to do in Anacortes, Washington? Anacortes is located on Fidalgo Island and is a beautiful place to explore with much to discover.

As Whidbey Island residents, we spend a lot of time on Fidalgo Island and are ready to give you the insider’s tips to the best things to do in Anacortes Washington.

Related post: Things to do on Whidbey Island

Anacortes, located in Skagit County, Washington, is on Fidalgo Island. On the west side you will find the Salish Sea and incredible views of the iconic San Juan Islands. 

The city of Anacortes is a great place to visit because you can find plenty of outdoor adventures to partake in while visiting this charming town. Downtown, you will find plenty of shops and restaurants to choose from as you relax on your getaway.

It is close to many other places to explore on your trip including British Columbia, the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, and the San Juan Islands, so make sure to give yourself ample time to venture out further while you visit.

Things to do in Anacortes Washington

We’ve compiled a list of the best things to do in Anacortes, Washington, so you can make the most of your visit to this special place in Washington State.

washington park loop anacortes

Visit Washington Park: 

Washington Park is a great place to enjoy a scenic drive, take a hike, and enjoy the breathtaking views of the surrounding islands. You can choose to hike or bike the Washington Park loop trail where you’ll find breathtaking views of the San Juan Islands.

If you don’t feel like hiking, you can also drive along the loop and stop at each vista point to get out of your car and take in the scenic views. You can also find amazing tide pools at the middle of the loop which is a fun activity to do with kids.

Further out from the loop trail, you will find a playground, beach, boat launch, covered BBQ grills, picnic tables, and camping sites. It’s a great place to spend time with your family and to just enjoy the beauty of the outdoors here in the Pacific Northwest.

cap sante park anacortes washington

Visit Cap Sante Park

Cap Sante Park has a great viewpoint of the whole town, the Cascade Mountains, and Fidalgo Bay. We love to visit in the evening for a breathtaking view of the sunset. It is a cherished gem of Anacortes for both locals and visitors alike.

It also features a few benches perfect for enjoying a cup of coffee and a book while basking in the mesmerizing view.

Visit Mt. Erie Lookout

Mount Erie is the highest point of Fidalgo Island, where you can find stunning vistas of the surrounding landscape. It’s a great place for a day hike but you can also access it via vehicle if you prefer to drive. This is one of the best places to get panaromic views of Anacortes and its surrounding areas.

Visit Anacortes Farmers Market

The Anacortes Farmers Market takes place every Saturday from 9 AM – 2 PM from the first week of May through the end of October. You can find this local market at the Depot at 611 R Ave. in Anacortes.

At the farmers market, you can pick up fresh produce from local farmers, as well as many items from crafters and artisans on Fidalgo Island and nearby. Shopping at the farmers’ market not only promotes healthy eating but also provides invaluable support to the local community.

You can often find live music during the market, and plenty of fun things to do.

anacortes washington

Expore downtown restaurants and shops

Downtown Anacortes on Commercial Avenue is a walkable part of the city that offers a variety of art galleries, shops, and restaurants. You are bound to find some stores that you will enjoy browsing.

Some of our personal favorite stores to visit are: Trinity Skate Shop, Anacortes Oil & Vinegar Tasting Bar, Pelican Bay Books, Fidalgo Artisan Yarn & Clothing, Boxes and Bears, and many more.

nonna luise ristorante anacortes washington

Nonna Luisa Ristorante

Best restaurants in Anacortes

Anacortes has a wide range of restaurants, wineries, and breweries that will meet all of your culinary desires. Some of the best local restaurants that we always like to recommend are:

Gere-a-Deli – You can grab delicious salads and sandwiches at this local favorite.

Frida’s Gourmet Mexican Cuisine & Tequila Bar – Frida’s sells authentic Mexican cuisine and is the perfect place to grab a margarita.

Rockfish Grill and Anacortes Brewery – Rockfish Grill serves fresh local food options such as sandwiches, burgers, and seafood. Right next door you can find the Anacortes Brewery where you can indulge in a glass of wine, specialty cocktail or locally brewed beer.

Nonna Luisa Ristorante – Indulge in the true flavors of Italy at Nonna Luise Ristorante. This upscale dining establishment boasts an array of mouthwatering pasta dishes amidst a romantic ambiance, promising an unforgettable culinary experience.

Blackbird Wine Bar and Charcuterie – Another gem for those seeking an intimate setting is the Blackbird Wine Bar. It’s an ideal spot to gather with friends or enjoy a romantic date night. Here, you can explore a curated selection of wines from around the globe, perfectly complemented by thoughtfully crafted charcuterie plates.

Go whale watching

Anacortes is one of the best places to go whale watching in the Pacific Northwest. There are many tours available to choose from including Outer Island Excursions, Island Adventures, and Blue Kingdom Tours.

Grab your seat on one of these boats and enjoy searching for whales, sea lions, porpoises and more. You will also enjoy incredible views of the San Juan Islands. We recommend visiting during the summer months for the best experience.

deception pass bridge

Explore Deception Pass State Park 

You can’t visit Anacortes without making a trip to Deception Pass Bridge. The iconic bridge is one of the most popular landmarks to visit in Washington State and is one of our favorite things to do often.

The bridge connects Fidalgo Island to Whidbey Island, and offers truly mesmerizing views that shouldn’t be missed. You can walk along the pedestrian walkways to get a closer look of this natural wonder.

Deception Pass State Park is a great place to enjoy hiking and beachcombing, with many trails and viewpoints.

We highly recommend exploring Rosario Beach and Bowman Bay, as well as hiking the scenic Lighthouse Point Trail. These areas offer fantastic opportunities for kayaking and tidepool exploration, making them must-visit destinations within Deception Pass State Park.

san juan islands

Take a ferry to San Juan Islands

The town of Anacortes is home to one of the ports of the Washington State Ferries. The ferry terminal is the gateway to the San Juan Islands.

You can find routes to Lopez Island, Shaw Island, Friday Harbor (San Juan Island), and Orcas Island. Reservations are recommended to ensure you get a spot on the ship. You can make a reservation here.

A trip to Anacortes wouldn’t be complete without spending a day trip visiting one of the San Juan Islands. Spend a day discovering historic sites, nature hikes, and local cuisine.

Hike to the Cascade Falls in Moran State Park on Orcas Island, grab fresh produce from the Lopez Island Farmers Market, or take a self-guided farm tour at the Krystal Acres Alpaca Farm on Friday Harbor. There are so many adventures that you can find by traveling to these popular islands.

Which of these things to do in Anacortes WA are you looking forward to most? Leave a comment below!

Author: Katrina

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