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Life in Anacortes WA

If you are moving to Anacortes, WA, or planning a trip to our little island, here is what you can expect.

Anacortes, WA, is located on Fidalgo Island and is one of the world’s premier boating destinations. While this city of approximately 18,000 residents ( as of 2019) frequently makes national “Best of” lists, it remains mostly a hidden gem.

The small town of Anacortes, WA is connected to the mainland by three bridges and to the San Juan Islands so accessibility is quick and easy, no need to wait in the ferry line!

The Anacortes real estate market attracts retirees, outdoors lovers, boaters, writers, and work-from-home professionals. The City of Anacortes fiber optics allows homeowners to comfortably work from home without interruptions and enjoy island living overlooking views of Mount Baker, Guemes Island, or the Strait of Juan de Fuca.


Although Anacortes, WA is an island, it is connected to the mainland by 3 bridges – the Rainbow Bridge in La Conner, WA, the Twin Bridges over Highway (SR) 20, and the iconic Deception Pass Bridge. The rich fishing and boating community history, accessible forest lands, annual festivals, and temperate climate provide an ideal year-round vacation gateway lifestyle without leaving home.

Approximately 90 minutes from both Seattle, WA, and Vancouver, B.C, Fidalgo Island is within easy reach of big city life, but most Anacortes, WA residents find there is plenty to do right at home. Anacortes homeowners and visitors enjoy Anacortes Parks, which have approx. 3,000 acres of forestland plus wetlands, lakes, waterfront, beaches, and hiking trails, so outdoor enthusiasts will never be left with a dull weekend.

Whale watching, kayaking, sailing, powerboating, bird watching, and camping are easy to do in Anacortes, WA, but a kinder and gentler pace of life also awaits for those that want to relax and have a quiet time. Anacortes, WA  restaurants serve local seafood and farm-grown food but there is also a lot of diversity in cuisine including Thai, Chinese, all-American, Mexican, and Italian as well as independent coffee shops and breweries. Boutiques and small stores in the historic downtown Anacortes sell everything from unique clothes to antiques, books, and local art.


Anacortes, WA is the boating capital of the Northwest and the gateway to the famous San Juan Islands. It is a favored destination for savvy boaters in Washington State and a definite favorite for boaters all over the country.

Anacortes, WA houses several marinas that offer easy access to everyday essentials such as grocery stores, restrooms, laundry facilities, and easy access to the San Juan Islands – just a 60-minute ride to Roche Harbor on San Juan Island!

Here are the marinas in Anacortes (in alphabetical order):

  • Anacortes Marina *
  • Anchor Cove Marina *
  • Cap Sante Marina
  • Fidalgo Marina *
  • Lovric’s Marina
  • Skyline Marina *

* These marinas have private boat slips that can be purchased as real estate.


The Anacortes Community Forest Lands (ACFL) is a combination of a little over 2,800 acres including forests, meadows, lakes, and wetlands nestled in the heart of Anacortes. The forest lands are dog friendly but have a strict leash policy.

There are over 50 miles of multiple-use trails that are open to hikers. Bicycles, 2-wheeled motorcycles, and even horses are allowed in some areas.

Anacortes, WA also has many parks and lakes. Washington Park is the largest recreational park in Anacortes, with more than 220 acres of forestland and beaches, and is by far the most popular among residents and visitors alike. It features campsites, picnic cabanas, and a public boat launch favored by fishing enthusiasts in Anacortes and surrounding areas.

There is something for everyone in Anacortes, WA! Camping, beachcombing, hiking, bird watching, star gazing, walking, fishing, boating, dining, shopping or just playing outdoors. The territorial and water views are incredible all around Fidalgo Island.