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Homeport of the San Juan Islands

On the drive into Anacortes, constant teasing will occur. Just as a glimpse of the beautiful San Juan Islands appears the road meanders, stealing beauty from view. Located on Fidalgo Island, Anacortes is surrounded by water and only accessible by bridge or sea.

The city serves as an anchor point for San Juan Island visitors as four islands – Shaw, Lopez, San Juan and Orcas – are all accessible by the Washington State Ferries from the Anacortes ferry terminal. With the San Juans so readily available, it is easy to overlook how beautiful and original the city of Anacortes really is. The best way to find it: a pair of walking shoes and a large water bottle.

All it takes is a quick stroll along Commercial Avenue to reveal the historic downtown area. With a cluster of shops, bookstores, florists and antique shops, there is a shop for everybody. Large flower baskets hang from most light poles and the one outside of Ana Cross Stitch, the Northwest’s largest yarn and stitchery emporium, is beautifully decorated with a piece of their crafty stitch work.

Take a walk past the marinas through Rotary Park and you’ll end up on a rocky beach, which during low tide can become an exploration zone for the curious. From Rotary Park take the trek to the Cap Sante breakwater, where Cap Sante Park sits. Here you can take in all the beauty of the San Juan Islands and Anacortes.

Eat
Calico Cupboard Old Town Bakery. Breakfast is considered to be the most important meal of the day, and Calico Cupboard makes it the tastiest. From hearty oatmeal pancakes to delicious omelets, everything is made from scratch, giving the comforting feeling of home cooking. 901 Commercial Ave., Anacortes

Gere-a-Deli. After eating here it will feel like the family recipe has been passed onto you. Family-owned and operated since 1981, Gere-a-Deli serves as a hub for the Anacortes community lunch scene. Try Grandma McPhee’s meatloaf. 502 Commercial Ave., Anacortes

Rockfish Grill and Anacortes Brewery. After a long day of exploring Anacortes, the Alaskan white fi sh dipped in a pilsner beer batter from Rockfish Grill and a pint from Anacortes Brewery is the perfect way to wind down. Rockfi sh offers a great selection of pub food, while the Anacortes Brewery has a beer for everyone, with more than 25 different brews. 320 Commercial Ave., Anacortes

Play
Explore the 3,000 acres of forested and parkland areas by watching the sunset at Washington Park or making the trip to Deception Pass, to hike, beach comb or to just enjoy the scenery. Check out the antique shops downtown or visit one of the galleries to see local artists’ impressive artwork. One of the
most popular activities for tourists is Whale Watching, with more than five outdoor agencies to choose from for a memorable experience sure to follow. Kayaking is a great activity for the whole family. The guides will take you on an adventure you otherwise couldn’t experience.

Stay
The Majestic Inn & Spa. While there are many places to stay in Anacortes, there is only one grand enough to being called The Majestic Inn. Enjoy amenities such as the spa and salon, restaurant, bar and the patio gardens. With only 21 rooms available, vacancies are limited. 419 Commercial Ave.