Anacortes is quintessential “small-town America”—a place of great schools, Fourth of July parades, low crime, community theater, and friendly neighbors. Anacortes is 90 minutes from two major metropolitan areas—Seattle and Vancouver, BC—and their markets, as well as an easy commute from Whidbey Island Naval Air Station. We invite you to come explore Anacortes and stay awhile. Located on scenic Fidalgo Island, the city has a population base of approximately 16,000 and offers many choices – a mixture of small-town life with big-city accessibility. Anacortes is a great place to raise a family and form life-long friendships, while also enjoying a relaxed and fulfilling lifestyle in a beautiful setting.
A short 20-minute drive from NAS Whidbey Island, Anacortes is an ideal location for base families. The community boasts wonderful schools, a welcoming small-town atmosphere, affordable housing, and scenic beauty. For working spouses, Anacortes provides convenient access to the I-5 corridor, significantly reducing commute times from Oak Harbor.
Anacortes is also a ferry-served community that helps travelers visit the San Juan Islands, and Victoria BC – over 1.9 million travelers used the terminal in 2014. The south side of Fidalgo Island is also home to Deception Pass State Park, which is the most visited state park in Washington. There, guests can explore Pass Lake (95 acres) and the Maiden of Deception Pass story pole, which is located in the Rosario Beach area of the park.
Anacortes is home to diverse natural beauty and waterfront activities. There are 41.19 square miles to the island, with 3,091 acres of city-owned forest lands and parks, with 65.4 miles of saltwater shoreline. We have five freshwater lakes, and house nearly 2,500 boat slips in 6 different marinas. Deception Pass State Park is also located on Fidalgo Island, encompassing 1300 acres, and includes Civilian Conservation Corps Interpretive Center at Bowman Bay, and features trout fishing in Pass Lake.
Our island destination boasts a tremendous weather advantage. The island averages 26 inches of rain per year, roughly a foot less than Seattle. July and August average less than an inch of rain per month, and from April through to September average 20+ days of sun per month. Anacortes’ climate is mild, with daytime temperatures averaging in the 40s during the winter and 70s in the summer. The city typically receives several inches of fleeting snowfall each year.
Fidalgo Island boasts over fifty miles of forested trails, ideal for running, hiking, and mountain biking. The island is dominated by Mt. Erie, with four lakes, and wonderful scenic views of the sound. Anacortes is home to the second-largest bare-boat charter fleet in the world, as well as burgeoning whale watching, kayaking, and fishing operations.
The cultural attractions are many and varied. The community theatre has been operating continuously since 1964, staging six plays each year. There is a vibrant restaurant and gallery scene, with an art walk on the first Friday of each month. The Old Town area hosts a number of pubs with nightly music. The Anacortes Arts Festival in August draws 80,000 visitors over a busy weekend. Other annual events: Salmon Derby (March), Spring Wine Festival (April), Anacortes Boat & Yacht Show (May), Vintage Market (April and October), Waterfront Festival (June), Shipwreck Day (July), Oyster Run (September), and Bier on the Pier (October). The close proximity to two major metropolitan areas provides added variety.
The school system is excellent. The district consists of three elementary schools, a middle school, a high school, and a “school ready” campus, encompassing Gates grant-sponsored pre-school and kindergarten classes. Every year, Anacortes sends many high-school graduates on to university careers. www.asd103.org
Housing is available in a wide variety of price points, ranging from starter homes to those over $1 million. Property taxes are moderate and the local sales tax is 8.2%.
Anacortes is a wonderful place to call “home.” It combines the best of a number of worlds – small-town values with culture, scenic beauty, and an accessible location.