Local gifts — whether they evoke memories of past vacations or share a peek at places we can’t wait to visit again — always feel extra special.
“We often get visitors coming into the shop asking for something locally made to remind them of their time in Anacortes,” says Lori Maul, owner of Fidalgo Artisan Yarn & Clothing. She notes that this isn’t difficult because most of Fidalgo’s products are locally handmade. Maul adds that visitors coming to a small town like Anacortes enjoy boutique shops and independent restaurants. “It’s where fond memories are made that can be shared and relived over and over again.”
There are plenty of special gifts to be found in Anacortes. Many are available to order online as well as picked up in-store, and all of them can help keep those memories of unique local flavor alive and well until the next visit.
Local boutiques frequently collaborate with nearby businesses and artisans to make the most of that local flavor. In addition to featuring their own exclusive brand of locally hand-dyed luxury yarns, Fidalgo works with local professional artisans to create their carefully curated selection. Maul notes that her shop carries handmade wood bowls using reclaimed wood by Mark Casteel of Rainy Day Bowls; handmade garments by renowned artist Anita Luvera Mayer; hand-printed fine silk scarves by Diane Learmonth; and hand-knit lace shawls by Emily McNeil.
Similarly, Anacortes Oil & Vinegar Bar has a mutually beneficial relationship with Nonna Luisa Ristorante, an Italian restaurant located right down the street. “Luisa’s puts our Tuscan herb olive oil and traditional balsamic vinegar on the tables in their restaurant so [diners] can dip [their] bread in it,” says Kriena Pelusi, general manager of Anacortes Oil & Vinegar Bar. Pelusi says new customers who enjoyed the products while dining out are thrilled to learn they can buy them to bring home — and they continue to buy the products long after the vacation is over, thanks to online availability.
Like many boutiques in Anacortes, Pelusi says they frequently get repeat customers, especially during the summer months. “A lot of people traveling to Friday Harbor or the San Juan Islands found us during their travels and now we’re a part of their destination as well,” she explains. Because the shop features such a vast variety of oils and vinegars, the items come from all over the world — but featuring as many local products as possible is always a priority. “It’s not possible to do all of it [local], but we try to stay within the state as much as possible,” says Pelusi, noting that many products come from Seattle, Everett, and Anacortes itself.
At Tides of Anacortes, a charming women’s clothing boutique, owner Jennifer Mann chose her shop’s name because of the area and her love of boating. “A lot of the products in here are actually a reflection of the casual lifestyle that we have on this island,” says Mann. Like many residents of Washington State, Mann’s husband is Danish and his family still resides in Denmark. Using his heritage as inspiration, Mann says they make it a point to feature Danish clothing brands. In fact, Tides was the very first store in America to carry the brand Masai, which is based in Copenhagen. In the years since Masai has become more popular in boutiques throughout the U.S., but Tides has the claim to fame for being the very first American shop to carry their products.
“What makes Tides different and special is that we’re tuned into the lifestyle here, such as the boating community,” says Mann. For example, many products have a nautical theme that fits perfectly with the island-life vibe of Anacortes.
So if you’re looking for ways to shop local, be sure to revisit some of your favorite places in Anacortes. They are filled with gift ideas that are sure to bring a smile, a flash of happy memory, or an inspiration for trips yet to come.
Are You Ready To Experience Anacortes?
Want to learn more about things to do in Anacortes, Washington? Our website has lots of information on Anacortes restaurants, activities, and special events to help guide your plans for an island getaway. You can also find our Experience Anacortes app in the Apple Store and on Google Play.