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Living a Boating Lifestyle in Anacortes, Washington

Anacortes,  located on Fidalgo Island in Puget Sound, is a popular destination for boaters. From this beautiful harbor one can cruise to the San Juan Islands, Victoria, or throughout Puget Sound in reasonably protected waters. Anacortes is about 70 miles from Seattle and near  Whidbey Island.   Many tourists visit this old fishing town and port on their way to the San Juan Islands. There is a cute downtown with many antique stores and shops. The city maintains a 220-acre  city park called Washington Park which offers forests and 50 miles of biking trails. It also hosts numerous festivals and events and the art scene is growing. The atmosphere is island-casual. Mt. Baker makes up part of the scenic background. Photo of the harbor courtesy of Wikipedia and MLounsbery. Photo of Majestic Inn courtesy of Wikipedia and Walter Siegmund.

Where to Retire in Anacortes and Home Prices

There is at least one active adult community in the Anacortes area (see link at top). The median home value in mid-2022 was $759,779 (Zillow).  There are also condominiums available. Some homes have views of Padilla Bay or Fidalgo Bay, and homes on the water or with expansive views will be more expensive.

What Is Special about Anacortes

Being an old fishing town on an island in Puget is a great place to start. Its public park system and access to the water and outdoor recreation make it quite special. The downtown is fun, and the Majestic Inn is a local landmark.

What Is Not Special about Anacortes

Living on an island can be difficult.  The cost of living is above average.

Climate and Physical Environment

Anacortes is on Fidalgo Island on Puget Sound, about 70 miles from Seattle. The average July high is 72 and the average January low is 35. November is the wettest month.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Anacortes has exhibits, festivals and galleries as part of its active arts scene. The Anacortes Community Theater provides a regular schedule. Its Arts Festival attracts 100,000 people every year. Some of the other festivals include Shipwreck Days and the Waterfront Festival. There are plenty of coffee shops and nice restaurants thanks to its busy tourist presence.


The crime rate is about half the national average.

Medical Facilities

Island Hospital receives excellent marks as the local hospital.


Although Anacortes is technically on an island, it is connected to the mainland by bridge. There is a local airport with air taxi service.

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