A safe day in
Located on Fidalgo island in Washington state, this vibrant seaside town serves as a gateway to the San Juan Islands and is a popular area for whale watching. The island is conveniently situated halfway between Seattle and Vancouver and is one of the only islands in the Pacific northwest that is accessible by car. The island is only about 40 square miles, half of which are dedicated to public parks and recreational lands and waters, making this a desirable destination for all kinds of outdoor enthusiasts.
Because of Anacortes’s proximity to the Cascadia Subduction Zone that lines a section of the ocean along the Pacific Northwest coast, the city is at risk for major damage should the Cascadia earthquake and predicted subsequent tsunami occur. Like much of the west coast, Skagit County is at risk for wildfire in the summer, often experiencing burn bans. The city is also nearby two extremely well monitored actives volcanoes: Mt. Baker and Glacier Peak. Although this may seem overwhelming, the first step to visiting a city safely is understanding the risks that exist there. With a few simple steps taken to prepare for whatever situation you find yourself in, you can travel fearlessly to Anacortes and enjoy the remarkable natural beauty and lively community.
Best Time to Visit Anacortes
While each season in Anacortes offers unique experiences, we can make a few recommendations based on busy seasons and average temperatures. For the warmest weather with the least likelihood of rain, travel to Anacortes in the summer months. Keep in mind that you’ll be sharing the town with other tourists eager to explore the area. Whale-watching fanatics should note that the best time for this activity is generally between April and September. For more mild temperatures, that can sometimes feel chilly with the humidity, visit in the spring or fall. You’ll see more availability in vacation rentals and less travelers. Winter may be the least desirable time to visit on paper, but if you’re up for braving the cold, you can enjoy the island for lower rental rates and few other visitors.
Travel Safely in Anacortes
Terra Frma strongly believes that disaster prone towns and cities deserve to be visited and supported. Some of the most spectacular areas in the world happen to be disaster prone areas. If we stop visiting them, we stop seeing the world at its fullest. Just as you deserve to be resilient at home, you deserve to be resilient while traveling as well.
Travel safely to Anacortes by taking these simple preparedness steps, which include packing smart and researching helpful resources ahead of time.
Terra Frma strongly believes that disaster prone towns and cities deserve to be visited and supported. Some of the most awe-inspiring areas lie *in the path of or atop* some of the most pseciatlu areas in the world happen to be disaster prone areas. If we stop visiting them, we stop visitng the world in its fullness. Just as we believe that people deserve to be as resiliant as possible, we believe the same level of resilience is deserved while traveling. And we can. We can safely travel to the places we love. By simply taking simple preparedness steps.
Pack the following items
- Disaster Deck
- Vehicle Kit
- Printed map of Skagit County
- Map of Tsunami evacuation routes from Anacortes
- Map of tsunami evacuation route on foot and by car from accommodations
- On-Foot Kit in day pack for visiting beaches
Local safety resources for Anacrotes, WA
- Sign up for the Skagit County Public Notification system (you can unsubscribe when you leave).
- Print and read the Skagit County Volcano Hazard Zones.
- Print relevant emergency information radio stations and phone numbers for Skagit County from the Skagit Country Incident Information site.
- Review Skagit County's Tsunami Action Plan. Print out Map 4 which details the potential tsunami impact zone across the city of Anacortes.
- Read this 2018 Washington State Department of Natural Resources article: New Maps Show Cascadia Tsunami Impacts for Anacortes, Bellingham.
Anacortes is at risk for
- Volcanic Eruption
A Day in Anacortes
Spend a day in Anacortes and walk along the waterfront and go whale watching from ashore or by boat. No matter what time of year you visit, bring along your Disaster Deck and even your Grab + Go Box so you always know the right actions to take.
The small town is known for its historic waterfront and mix of annual music and food festivals that draw visitors from all over. The walkable downtown area houses a plethora of dining experiences from casual to elegant, unique clothing and homegoods stores, antique shops and plenty more unique finds to suit every type of visitor.
Get Outside in Anacortes
Go whale watching. With protected waters and three pods of resident orcas, Anacortes is a fantastic place to see these oceanic mammals. With plenty of day and half-day tour operators available for tours, you're opportunities to see whales, including humpbacks, minke, grey whales and orcas, as well as bald eagles, puffins, Dall's porpoises, sea lions, harbor seals, cormorants and more are great. The protected waters are also known for being calm, a bonus for travelers worried about their sea legs (and stomachs).
Mt. Eerie Park offers a large selection of hiking trails, informative signs, and forest land. The park is well-suited for all ages as there is a road to drive all the way to the top, or a hiking trail to get you there. The mountain is the highest point on the island, sitting at just under 1,300 feet elevation, this makes it one of the best places on the island to view the sunset.
Where to Eat in Anacortes
Dad’s Diner is a local favorite breakfast spot may not be so secret anymore, but it doesn’t make it any less popular among residents and visitors alike. Order off their large chalkboard menu and enjoy a unique twist on breakfast classics. Because of the diner’s popularity, there is usually a wait here, so plan accordingly.
Bob’s Chowder Bar & BBQ Salmon is the spot to be if you’re looking for a great, no-fuss seafood meal with an eclectic and fun experience. Many visitors come back multiple times over one trip, or make a point to always get to Bob’s when they visit. Well known for their chowder, Bob's is a great stop for lunch or dinner.
Where to Drink in Anacortes
Pelican Bay Books & Coffeehouse, a lovely book and coffee shop blend, is just about one of the coziest places in Anacortes especially on a rainy day. Settle down with a latte or hot cocoa and a great book off the shelf in one of their large comfy chairs or many tables to get away from it all for a few hours.
Brown Lantern Ale House is a laid-back tavern established in 1933 that has been serving up American fare and the largest selection of beer in town since. Enjoy an authentic pub experience with live-music and truly local charm.
Salt & Vine is for those with a more sophisticated taste. Their gourmet cheese platters and a sampling of perfectly paired wine to match is an experience you will not soon forget!
Where to Stay in Anacortes
Whether you are camping, renting, or staying at a hotel, we recommend you learn the safety procedures in place at your accommodation, print a map and highlight routes from your accommodation to the nearest designated safety shelter. Seaside towns like Anacortes should have tsunami evacuation routes and notification systems, which are important to learn about, even if you're just visiting.
Hotels in Anacortes
On Fidalgo Island, Sunrise Inn Villas and Suites is a friendly, owner-operated Anacortes hotel with comfortable beds and spacious accommodations, featuring eight different room types that range from basic queens to luxury suits with king beds and views of Mt. Baker. Close to fishing, whale watching, golfing, hiking and fantastic views, this hotel is a great choice for staying in Anacortes.
The Nantucket Inn is set on a half acre of manicured land with sweeping views of Fidaglo Bay and Mount Baker. Built in 1925, this colonial mansion is located on the main road in Anacortes, in walkable distance to restaurants and an eight-minute drive to the ferry terminal. Reserve the entire inn or just a room. Eight bedrooms all have private bathrooms and the house features comfortable sitting areas and a fully equipped kitchen.
Majestic Inn & Spa is true to its name. This historic boutique hotel was originally a hardware store and office building built in 1890 in downtown Anacortes on Fidalgo Island. A 2013 renovation added modern luxury to the existing historic charm, including an award-winning eucalyptus steam room and Apothecary Spa.
The Grab + Go Box
No matter where you live or where you travel, the Grab + Go Box is your resource for practicing vital steps to outsmart any disaster. It is the only step-by-step product that prepares you before and guides you during any natural disaster. Interactive expert resources and wellness-focused guidance help build physical and emotional resilience in you and your family.