If you live in the Pacific Northwest, you may think of Anacortes as a gateway to Victoria, British Columbia or the San Juan Islands. You may have even stopped there for a quick lunch and then went on your way to the ferry terminal. What you may not realize is there’s no reason to go past Anacortes – it’s the perfect Northwest getaway. Full of charm and unique tidbits, there’s plenty waiting to be discovered in the town. Come for a day, a weekend, or even a whole summer to explore this seaside city that will have you feeling relaxed the entire time.
Have a Blast With Outdoor Adventures
There’s no better place to explore the outdoors, especially during the warm months. Grab your family or furry friends to head out for a day of hiking along the trails of Fidalgo Island. For an incredible view and a great workout, Mount Erie doesn’t disappoint. If you’d rather be in the water, you’ll love kayaking around Deception Pass and Burrows Island. You may even have some harbour porpoises swimming alongside you!
Find Unique Treasures at Antique Shops
You could easily spend an entire day browsing through all the shops on Commercial Avenue. Search through the shelves to find an old, restored sign from the 50s to hang up in your home. Nautical items are everywhere given Anacortes’ history and location to the ocean, which is a sea lover’s dream.
If boutique stores are more your style, there are plenty of those as well. Find a new framed mirror to put on your wall at home that everyone will be asking about. If you love one-of-a-kind jewelry, it’s guaranteed that you’ll take home at least several pieces you’ll see in the local stores.
Celebrate Monthly Events
There’s always a reason to celebrate when you’re in Anacortes. Multiple events are thrown each month that brings out the whole town. Don’t miss the unique Crab Pot Tree Lighting celebration at the beginning of December. There’s something to go to no matter what month it is, from the Spring Wine Festival to the Anacortes Boat Show.
Eat Seafood Fresh from the Sea
There’s no better place to get fresh seafood. When you order the catch of the day, you know it was recently caught by local fishermen. A majority of the food is locally sourced, so no matter what you’re eating it didn’t travel far to get there. It’s never been so hard to make a decision on what to have for dinner with so many creative options. Make sure to save room for dessert, as you don’t want to miss out on the fresh berries on top!
Support Local Businesses
One of the best parts of Anacortes is how the majority of the restaurants and shops are locally owned. You can actually get to know the people behind the business and hear their passion for their store. It makes it hard to go back to stores in the bigger cities where clerks often ignore you. You’re always warmly greeted in Anacortes, whether it’s at the bookstore or the busy coffee shop on a Saturday morning.
If there’s one thing the town isn’t, it’s rushed. People will always take the time to say hello to you and listen to your story. You may want to come back just based on the new friends you made!
Next time you’re looking to book a vacation, look no further than Anacortes. Come play, shop, and eat to your heart’s delight. You’ll feel so refreshed and relaxed at the end that you won’t want to leave!
Contributed post and photos from Marissa Pedersen – a travel writer and photographer who writes for the website Postcards to Seattle. She loves traveling abroad to new countries, but also spends a large amount of the year discovering the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Her favorite activities are hiking, kayaking, snowboarding, and scuba diving.