Must-See Attractions In Anacortes, WA: Your Ultimate Guide

Things To Do In Anacortes Washington

Discovering the perfect small town for a little exploration can sometimes feel like a daunting task. We’re familiar with the hunt, always aiming to stumble upon a hidden jewel such as Anacortes, WA.

This guide is your all-access pass, covering everything from breathtaking whale watching tours at Deception Pass State Park to tranquil hikes up Mt. Erie Park. So let’s dive in—Anacortes is calling!

Key Takeaways

  • Washington Park in Anacortes, WA offers stunning views and wildlife sightings. Visitors can enjoy picnics, playgrounds, and hikes.
  • Mt Erie Park provides panoramic vistas of Fidalgo Island and beyond. It is perfect for outdoor rock climbing and hiking adventures.
  • Cap Sante Park is known for its breathtaking sights of the marina and Mt. Baker, making it a great spot for nature lovers.
  • Rosario Beach features tide pools with diverse marine life and tells the history of the Samish people with The Maiden of Deception Pass statue.
  • The Anacortes Museum and Maritime Heritage Center offers tours of the W T Preston paddle wheel boat for those interested in maritime history.

Top Attractions in Anacortes

Things To Do In Anacortes Washington - A scenic photo of Deception Pass Bridge surrounded by lush greenery.

Anacortes offers captivating natural beauty, including Washington Park with its stunning views. You can also explore the majestic Mt Erie Park for panoramic vistas.

Washington Park

We love Washington Park for its stunning views and wildlife. It sits in Anacortes, WA, making it a peaceful spot for those exploring the small towns around. The park boasts picnic tables and a playground, perfect for family outings.

You might even spot deer wandering around! Ronda K from Lynnwood, WA shared her experience on September 9, 2023. She found the park beautiful with its mix of beach access, wildlife sightings, and areas to relax.

This place also serves as a gateway to adventure for us. We use it as a starting point for hikes or simply to enjoy nature without going too far from town. The blend of green spaces and waterfront makes it ideal for picnics or quiet walks by the sea.

Whether you’re coming from nearby Fidalgo Island or taking an Anacortes ferry trip from further away, Washington Park is a must-visit destination in our book.

Mt Erie Park

Mt Erie Park is in Anacortes, WA. It stands out for its stunning views from the top of Mount Erie. We can see multiple vistas and beautiful lakes here. Ronda K from Lynnwood, WA visited on September 12, 2023.

She shared that the view from atop was truly magnificent. This park offers us all a chance to enjoy outdoor rock climbing and explore several hiking trails.

We make our way through woods until we reach the peak. At the summit, we find ourselves surrounded by panoramic views of Fidalgo Island and beyond. The Skagit Valley spreads out to one side while the Salish Sea sparkles on another.

On clear days, we can even spot some of the San Juan Islands off in the distance—Lopez Island looks close enough to touch! Mt Erie Park invites adventurers who love nature at its most grandiose yet serene form—it’s a must-visit when you’re exploring Anacortes or looking for day trips around Seattle.

Cap Sante Park

Cap Sante Park is a gem in Anacortes, WA. It gives you great views of Cap Sante Marina and the channel. You can see boats glide by and spot Mt. Baker in the distance. This place offers breathtaking sights that make for perfect photo ops.

We love visiting Cap Sante Park because it connects us with nature without leaving town. The air feels fresh, and the scenery around Cape Sante Marina is something out of a postcard.

It’s easy to forget all your worries here as you gaze at the water and mountains.

Rosario Beach

Rosario Beach, located in Anacortes, WA, is a serene spot featuring tide pools teeming with marine life. Visitors can catch glimpses of sea stars, octopus, otters, seals, various fish species, and sea birds.

The beach also houses The Maiden of Deception Pass surrounded by plaques detailing the history and culture of the Samish people. It’s a haven for nature enthusiasts eager to explore diverse marine ecosystems and immerse themselves in indigenous heritage.

Anacortes Museum and Maritime Heritage Center

The Anacortes Museum and Maritime Heritage Center, located in Anacortes, WA, is a small museum offering an informative tour of the W T Preston paddle wheel boat. Visitors can explore the historical context of maritime heritage and gain insights into the intricacies of life on the waters.

The center provides a fascinating glimpse into the maritime world, making it a must-visit for those seeking more than just typical tourist attractions. If you’re intrigued by nautical history or enjoy uncovering unique local experiences, this center will be a captivating stop during your exploration of Anacortes.

Outdoor Activities in Anacortes

A kayaking adventure in Anacortes with stunning island scenery and crystal clear water.

Uncover the thrilling outdoor adventures awaiting you in Anacortes.

Discover kayaking, boating, whale watching, and more to make your trip memorable.


Kayaking in Anacortes is an exciting way to explore the scenic beauty of the area. It offers a chance to spot dolphins, whales, sea lions, and a variety of fish and birds. Sea kayaking tours are available for those interested in a more structured experience.

Anacortes is known for its diverse wildlife and kayaking here allows us to witness that firsthand. It’s no wonder this activity is popular among visitors seeking outdoor adventure amidst natural wonders like Deception Pass State Park and surrounding waters.


Boating in Anacortes is a prime attraction, offering ample opportunities for exploring the stunning waterways. Chartering sailboats or power yachts can be an exciting way to experience the serene beauty of the San Juan Islands.

Additionally, boating tours are available for wildlife enthusiasts to marvel at the diverse marine life surrounding these picturesque islands. Cape Sante Marina tops the list as a popular boating destination and provides a memorable experience for visitors seeking adventure on the water, as reviewed by Pam S on July 17, 2023.

Whale Watching

Whale watching is a must-try experience in Anacortes. Tour companies guarantee sightings of one of three pods of Orca whales. Sea kayaking tours also offer opportunities to see these magnificent creatures.

Various companies provide whale watching tours, offering an exciting and educational adventure into the world of marine life.

The Salish Sea is home to diverse marine wildlife, including stunning orcas and humpback whales. Local tour operators boast a high success rate for spotting these majestic creatures, making it an ideal activity for nature enthusiasts looking to witness these incredible animals up close.

Whether by boat or kayak, whale watching promises an unforgettable encounter with some of the ocean’s most fascinating inhabitants.

Fishing and Crabbing

Fishing and crabbing in Anacortes offer diverse opportunities like catching Dungeness crab, salmon, halibut, rockfish, lingcod, and other varieties. We have access to fishing tours suitable for anglers of all levels.

These activities are immensely popular in Anacortes as it provides an enjoyable experience amidst the natural beauty of the area. If you’re looking to explore some exciting outdoor activities that involve the surrounding waters, fishing and crabbing make for a great adventure.

Bird Watching

We love bird watching in Anacortes! The town offers a diverse range of species, including snow geese, osprey, heron, swans, and bald eagles. It’s a popular activity here with various spots perfect for keen bird enthusiasts to explore and observe these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.

Get ready to be amazed by the impressive variety of birds that call Anacortes home. With such a wide array of species to discover and admire, this activity is suitable for nature lovers of all ages and backgrounds.

Day Trips from Seattle: Anacortes, WA

Thinking of a quick getaway from bustling Seattle? Anacortes, WA is the ideal destination. Enjoy picturesque views and immerse yourself in local history at your own pace.

Getting from Seattle to Anacortes

When traveling from Seattle to Anacortes, consider taking a scenic drive and savoring the picturesque ferry ride. The Washington State Ferries offer a convenient route, passing through breathtaking waterscapes as you journey toward Anacortes.

You can also choose to take Interstate 5 North and then State Route 20 West for an approximate two-hour road trip amidst stunning natural scenery. This flexible travel experience allows you to enjoy the journey as much as the destination, ensuring an adventure-filled approach to your visit in Anacortes.

Nearby attractions and experiences

In Anacortes, there are several nearby attractions and experiences that cater to various interests in a quiet, small-town setting. Here’s what you can explore:

  • Shoal Bay offers serene beaches and scenic hiking trails.
  • Jim Thompson Factory presents an intriguing glimpse into local craftsmanship and history.
  • L’Aquarium de Barcelona provides an immersive marine experience with diverse aquatic life.
  • Anacortes is known for its beaches, golf courses, hiking trails, and marinas, offering ample opportunities for outdoor recreation.
  • Visitors can enjoy food and drink options such as wineries, breweries, and distilleries to savor local flavors.
  • Museums, art galleries, and specialty shops are available for cultural and historical experiences—ideal for those seeking enriching encounters.

Exploring the Best Small Towns in Washington: Anacortes and Beyond

Nestled in the heart of Washington State, Anacortes captivates with its picturesque charm and laid-back atmosphere. Discover historic neighborhoods teeming with antique shops, galleries, and cozy cafes – perfect for a leisurely stroll or a relaxed afternoon.

Venture beyond Anacortes to uncover nearby gems like La Conner, an idyllic waterfront town famous for its vibrant farmer’s market brimming with local produce and artisan crafts. As you navigate through these quaint towns, soak in the breathtaking natural beauty while indulging in unique shopping experiences and delectable farm-to-table dining options.

Embark on scenic drives that lead to hidden treasures such as Deception Pass State Park offering thrilling kayaking adventures amidst stunning landscapes. Delight in whale-watching excursions departing from these serene small towns, allowing you to marvel at majestic marine life up close.

Uncover the allure of charming bed-and-breakfasts like Salish Inn providing bespoke accommodations designed to enhance your tranquil escape amongst these everchanging landscapes.

Unlock the secrets of Washington’s small towns where every turn reveals new wonders waiting to be explored – it’s not merely a journey; it’s an unforgettable experience crafted by nature’s own hand.

Dining and Accommodation in Anacortes

Discover Anacortes’ diverse culinary scene, offering an array of dining spots showcasing fresh seafood, farm-to-table options, and international cuisines. Accommodate your stay in Anacortes with a range of choices including waterfront hotels, cozy bed and breakfasts, or vacation rentals.

Top restaurants

When visiting Anacortes, we recommend exploring these top restaurants:

  • Marina Hotel: Enjoy fresh seafood and stunning waterfront views at this historic hotel’s restaurant.
  • Bambo Bistro: Indulge in Asian fusion cuisine paired with a selection from their extensive wine and sake list.
  • Old Town Anacortes: Explore various dining options amidst the charming streets of Old Town, offering a diverse range of culinary experiences.
  • Wineries, Breweries, and Distilleries: Savor locally crafted beverages at the town’s wineries, breweries, and distilleries, complementing your dining experiences with unique flavors.

Unique accommodation options

When seeking unique accommodation options in Anacortes, Washington, consider the following:

  • Swinomish Casino & Lodge – Enjoy a wonderful stay with captivating views of the bay and excellent amenities.
  • Marina Hotel – Experience comfort and convenience with easy access to Anacortes’ attractions and waterfront.

Remember, these accommodations offer distinctive experiences that cater to diverse preferences for an unforgettable stay in this charming town.

Tips for planning your trip

When planning your trip to Anacortes, keep in mind the seasonal variations in weather and activities for personalized experiences. Consider visiting during the Anacortes Farmer’s Market or exploring Deception Pass State Park’s kayaking adventures.

Look into accommodations close to popular attractions to maximize your exploration time and minimize travel hassle. Be sure to plan outdoor excursions around available equipment rentals and guides for an enriching experience.

Prepare yourself with adequate information on whatcom, Bellingham, U.S. Post Office proximity, and other nearby towns for potential day trips or additional experiences. Additionally, familiarize yourself with the transportation options from Seattle to Anacortes for a stress-free journey, considering factors such as parking availability at various attractions.

Things To Do In Anacortes Washington Conclusion

In Anacortes, WA, adventure awaits at every turn. From the serene beauty of Washington Park to the breathtaking views at Mt Erie Park, there’s something for everyone. Whether it’s exploring Rosario Beach or discovering the rich history at Anacortes Museum and Maritime Heritage Center, this charming town offers an abundance of must-see attractions.

Plan your trip now and immerse yourself in the natural wonder and outdoor activities that define Anacortes – you won’t be disappointed!

Things To Do In Anacortes Washington FAQs

1. What’s so special about kayaking in Deception Pass State Park?

Well, we think it’s quite the adventure! The waters around Deception Pass State Park offer some of the best kayaking experiences you can find. You glide through clear waters, surrounded by stunning scenery… It’s not just about paddling; it’s about discovering hidden coves and watching for wildlife. Trust us, it’s an experience you don’t want to miss.

2. Can we find local produce at farmers markets in Anacortes?

Absolutely! The farmers markets here are bustling with activity, offering everything from fresh fruits and veggies to handmade crafts. It’s a place where we can chat with locals, taste some homegrown flavors, and even pick up unique gifts. Visiting these markets gives you a real sense of the community spirit in Anacortes.

3. Is there a best time to visit Deception Pass State Park for kayaking?

While any day is a good day for kayaking here, summer months tend to be ideal… Longer days mean more time on the water and warmer weather makes those dips in the lake refreshing rather than chilly. But remember – always check the weather before heading out!

4. Are there other must-see attractions near Anacortes besides kayaking and farmers markets?

Oh yes! While kayaking in Deception Pass State Park and exploring our vibrant farmers markets are top picks, there’s plenty more around Anacortes waiting for you… Take scenic hikes, visit historical sites or simply enjoy waterfront dining with views that seem straight out of a postcard.

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