Anacortes Chamber of Commerce Circa 2003 -2006

For a number of years this was the official website for the Anacortes Chamber of Commerce.
Content is from the site's 2003-2006 archived pages.

Take a nostalgic trip back to their old site before going to the current site for the Anacortes Chamber of Commerce at:


Anacortes Chamber of Commerce
819 Commercial Avenue
Anacortes, WA 98221
Phone: (360) 293-3832
Fax: (360) 293-1595

"Anacortes on Beautiful Fidalgo Island...the Heart of the Northwest Adventure"


View of AnacortesAs our slogan suggests, Anacortes offers incomparable opportunities for recreation, thanks to its phenomenal natural setting by Puget Sound.

Whether you like to sail, powerboat, kayak, bike, (all of which you can charter or rent) hike, or golf, you can do it all right here. If you prefer more leisurely activities such as shopping, we have everything from antiques to zithers, (along with cool clothes, great galleries, handcrafted items...) As you might expect from a place where people want to be, there is a tremendous array of special places to dine, as well as lodging, including B & B's, inns, hotels, motels, and R.V. parks.

Anacortes is a friendly, relaxed, 'arty', attractive small city. Many people who first came to know us as the place where you get the ferry to the San Juan Islands, have discovered that we have a lot to offer on Fidalgo Island. It is probably no surprise that many of them have chosen to make Anacortes their home. We're also a good place to have a business, particularly if quality of life or access to the water is important to you. A major component of our quality of life is a mild climate with only 25 inches of rain per year, which is about 40% less than Seattle.

Whatever your interest, the following pages should give you a sense of what a special place Anacortes is, and provide you with the information you need. For additional information, please contact us at:


Anacortes is the crown jewel of Fidalgo Island, easternmost of the San Juan Islands and jump-point to the rest of the world-renowned archipelago. Fidalgo, the “drive-to” island, is accessible by bridges from the east and from Whidbey Island to the south. It is also home to the Washington State Ferry terminal, serving the rest of the San Juans and Sidney/Victoria, British Columbia.

Anacortes boasts a myriad of recreational activities for all ages, interests and skill levels. Here you can enjoy sailing, power boating, whale watching, hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, golf, camping, sport fishing, bird watching, scuba diving, beach combing and much more. Anacortes is homeport for numerous sailing and power yacht charters. There are four full-service marinas and three public boat launches.

Washington Park, a 220-acre gem facing Rosario Strait, is this community's largest and most popular park. It features a full-service campground, boat launch, picnic shelter, and loop road for walking, biking or driving. There is also a playground and beach area for kids and adults. Deception Pass Bridge and the state's busiest park are just minutes away, offering spectacular views and unique stretches of beach.

Mount Erie Park, rising 1,300 feet above Anacortes, provides spectacular views of the Skagit Valley and neighboring islands. Surrounded by more than two square miles of public forestland, it can be reached in boots, on a bike, or in a car.

Historic Downtown Anacortes offers specialty shops, antique stores and art galleries. Our historic mural project takes travelers past restaurants boasting cuisine from the Northwest and six other nations. Quaint bed and breakfasts, inns, motels and waterfront RV parks offer an array of accommodation options.

Several major events mark the island community's annual activities calendar. The Waterfront Festival in May and the Anacortes Arts Festival every August always generate rave reviews, while Fourth of July and Holiday parades add to the small-town, big-opportunity feel that pervades this special port community.

Make Anacortes your natural destination and enjoy our many area attractions.



Mission: The Anacortes Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to improving the business and community life of Anacortes.

Vision: To foster an environment in which commerce and community thrive through:

> Quality leadership
> Member services and benefits
> Ethical business practices
> Economic Development
> Government Relations

What Is The Chamber Of Commerce?

The Anacortes Chambers of Commerce is a member-driven, non-profit organization of businesses, professional persons and community-spirited individuals that provides leadership to improve the quality of business and community life in Anacortes. We accomplish this by utilizing the talents of our volunteers and staff to provide business services to our members, develop partnerships and alliances with appropriate entities, provide legislative advocacy, engage in economic development activities, and initiate programs of action and value to our members and the community at large.

We offer you…

An opportunity... to grow and enhance your business through the many services and benefits of membership.

An invitation… to get involved in the growth and development of the Anacortes community.

Unified representation... speaking out and acting in the best interest of the business community.

Community service... providing community information, relocation information, tourism promotion and visitor information.

We invite you stop by the Chamber and learn more about the ways you can get involved and benefit form your Chamber.



Anacortes, an All-American City, is narrowly separated from the mainland by ribbons of bright water. Like their guests, residents of the city never tire of the scenery. Mount Baker, Mount Erie and the San Juan Islands grace the horizon. When it comes to weather, Anacortes enjoys its location in a "sun trough," where weather stays moderate all year-round. Average rainfall here is just enough to encourage abundant growth of forests and flowers. 

And this charming community is not just a place to visit. It's a natural place to live. Excellent schools and neighborhoods make it a prime choice for many to raise their families. A new library, swimming pool and fitness center, senior center, Boys and Girls club, skate park, high-quality sports fields, and a youth sailing program are just a few of the wholesome activities available, all supported for the most part by public funds and donations. 

Community spirit here is abundant - volunteers are never hard to find. Natural beauty and excitement of the town nurture creative spirits. Dozens of writers, artists, quilters, musicians and craftsmen live in and around Anacortes, many with national reputations. Exhibits, art events, antique and other specialty shops, numerous galleries and other retailers support this creative community. 

Shell and Tesoro refineries, Northern Marine yacht builders, Bunnies by the Bay, Dakota Creek shipyard and Whispering Winds wind chimes are just a few of the successful companies that employ hundreds of people. 

A thriving boating community supports craftsmen in many areas such as cabinetry, rope manufacturing and boat construction and repair of all kinds. Several marinas offer moorage for commercial and private boats. Ferries and other large ships use the Port's dry dock for repairs and maintenance. Supermarkets and marine hardware stores cater not only to local residents but also to visiting boaters, stocking provisions for boating in nearby islands. 

It all comes down to a natural location for business, families and visitors, in a thriving community, surrounded by natural beauty and plenty of opportunities for natural fun. Quality of life in Anacortes is superb! 

We invite you to join those who travel to this small seaport town and to meet the people who live and work here. It's worth the journey. And you just might want to stay...


"Before I moved east, I lived in Anacortes for a number of years and very much enjoyed the nearness to the wild country surrounding the town. It's a fantastic area to raise a family, schools are good, and services are excellent. I worked as a coder, creating websites and graduated to search engine optimization. Along with a partner in Connecticut, we started an online store focused on Batman t shirts, hoodies and sweatshirts. We decided to make our store a model for the best displays of Batman apparel online. Our domain is and it continues to provide an abundance of information not just about Batman apparel, but also about the history and culture of Batman, his origins, social significance, newsworthiness - a trove of information that explains the reason he is so popular - and all the reasons people want to associate with him, wear his shirts, and be inspired by his ethic. All the reasons why he's a commercial success and why you'd want to buy his t shirts. Batman lives in all of us!" Bill Jones



A tour around present-day Anacortes reveals a city shaped by its lush forestlands and deep navigable waterways. Once home to dozens of canneries and lumber mills, Anacortes has always been an industrious town. 

To find out more about Anacortes' history, visit the Anacortes Museum at 8th and M Avenue, which is housed in the 1910 Carnegie Library Building. Then walk across the street to admire the colorful mosaic walls and gazebo built from local stone at Causland Memorial Park. Both are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

Another registered building at 2nd and Commercial houses Marine Supply and Hardware, the oldest marine supply company on the West Coast, featuring oiled wooden floors, woodstove fire and thousands of bins holding items too numerous to mention.

At 7th and R Avenue you'll find the museum's dry-berthed stern wheel snag boat W.T. Preston. Built in 1939 by the US Army Corps of Engineers to remove navigational hazards from inland waterways, the snag boat served until 1981. Now a National Historic Landmark, the vessel is open for self-guided tours on weekends during April and May, and daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

The 1911 Great Northern Railway Depot adjacent to the W.T. Preston, is also a registered place and now houses The Depot Art Center and gallery. On Saturdays during the summer and early fall, local farmers, gardeners, bakers and craftspersons gather at the Depot to sell their wares at a Farmer's Market. 

All around Anacortes, view more than 90 life-size murals designed and crafted by artist Bill Mitchell. Based on historic photographs, the murals portray many of the people and events that shaped the town. Along the water's edge you can also find remnants of lumber mills, fish canneries and other maritime industries.

Things To Do

Anacortes is Skagit County's 2nd largest city and home to Washington State Ferries northernmost terminal serving the San Juan Islands and Sidney/Victoria, Canada. With its active, working waterfront, extensive park system, community forestlands, abundant wildlife and recreational opportunities, it has become a 'base camp' for visitors seeking to explore the vast and diverse region that exemplifies the Pacific Northwest experience.

Anacortes' park system boasts 18 city parks, 3,000 acres of community forestlands, six lakes, scenic Mount Erie with its spectacular views, 20 miles of choice hiking/biking trails and one of the richest "eel grass" basins on the West Coast. Another local gem just three minutes drive from downtown Anacortes is the Cap Sante lookout and its near 360° views. From here you'll see boats coming and going from Cap Sante Marina, deep-water activity on the Guemes Channel, glacier-capped Mount Baker and a good portion of the city.

Marine activities include excellent saltwater fishing, sailing, kayaking, whale watching, scuba diving, yachting and beachcombing. Anacortes offers boaters five major marinas and nautical services to accommodate any related boating needs.

The beaches here invite leisurely searches through fascinating tide pools. Pick up a picnic lunch from any of the wonderful restaurants, deli's or artisan bakeries in town, grab a book from one of the three independent bookstores and select your own secluded spot to relax and enjoy the natural atmosphere.

For family fun, try the community pool, which features a buoy ball swing, a giant climb-on octopus, diving board, pool toys and a water slide named Twister. The bowling center features 10-pin bowling, video games and a restaurant. Bike and kayak rentals are available and offer exciting opportunities to see the Island from a different perspective. A tour of the Bunnies By The Bay workshop is a favorite for kids of all ages. Topped with a visit to the ice cream parlor or chocolate shop, you are assured to get rave reviews as a vacation planner. The local casino offers gaming, entrainment and dancing but is meant strictly for the grown-ups in your group.

If it's shopping you like, you can browse the many antique and specialty shops or walk the marinas to dream about that perfect boat. Relax afterwards with a coffee or dessert at one of the quaint sidewalk cafés.

For the athlete at any level, try the trails and roads for biking or hiking, kayak the waters around Fidalgo Island, workout at one of the local gyms, rock climb up Mt. Erie (walk, bike or drive if that's more your speed), walk or run the loop at Washington Park or go for a swim at the community pool. With two whale watching outfits, a dive shop, a kayak outfitter, a bicycle shop with rentals, sales and service plus all the fishing and boat charters you could hope for, it's easy to see that Anacortes is your natural destination for activity and adventure.


Whether you are planning for a family vacation, an individual retreat, an eco-adventure or a romantic getaway, there is much to do in Anacortes to enhance your stay. Here is a list of 101 things to do, just to get you started!

1 See the 360° view from Mt. Erie
2 Go whale watching
3 Browse the antique shops
4 Watch the sunset at Sunset Beach
5 Walk the loop at Washington Park
6 Go swimming at the Fidalgo Pool
7 Ride the ferry to Sidney/Victoria, B.C.
8 Watch chocolate making
9 Fly fish at Pass Lake
10 Watch large ship repairs at Dakota Creek Industries
11 Picnic at Bowman's Bay
12 Go bird watching at the Heron Rookery
13 Have a great cup of coffee overlooking the marina
14 Check out the glacial till at Rosario Beach
15 Kayak to Hat Island
16 Watch the boat builders
17 Shop at the oldest marine hardware store on the west coast
18 Go scuba diving
19 Photograph the tulips
20 Sail model boats
21 Hike around Little Cranberry Lake
22 Buy a yacht!
23 Workout at the gym
24 Look through tide pools
25 Ride the Guemes ferry
26 Mountain bike on the forestland trails
27 Jump off the cliff at Whistle Lake
28 Row to the island on Campbell Lake
29 Discover the "Lady of the Sea"
30 Go to the Quilt Show & Walk
31 Watch for eagles and falcons
32 Attend a local wine tasting
33 Go to an antique container opening!
34 Enjoy the Waterfront Festival
35 Go to the Saturday Farmer's Market
36 See the Vela Luka Dancers
37 Take in a movie at the Anacortes Cinemas
38 Rent a canoe
39 Charter a fishing boat
40 Go crabbing
41 Visit the Depot Art Gallery
42 Tour the W.T. Preston
43 Take your kids to Storvik park
44 Visit the Causland Park Memorial
45 Visit the Padilla Bay Interpretive Center
46 Walk across Deception Pass bridge
47 Drive or walk to Cap Sante Lookout
48 Take sailing lessons at South Harbor Park
49 Fish off Curtis Wharf
50 Hang glide off Mt. Erie
51 Take the kids to story time at the new library
52 Tour the Anacortes Historic Murals
53 Hike to the cave at Little Cranberry Lake
54 Go to the Skagit Symphony at Brodniak Hall
55 Feast at a salmon barbeque
56 Dance the night away at a pub
57 Water-ski at Campbell Lake
58 Take a photo at the 'lookout tree' at Washington Park
59 Ride the ferry to Friday Harbor for the day
60 Buy fresh shrimp and salmon at the docks
61 Golf at Similk Golf Course
62 Take an airplane ride over the islands
63 Take a dinner cruise on the Sound
64 Try your luck at the local casino
65 Go bowling
66 Take your kids to the skateboard park
67 Fly kites at South Harbor Park
68 Take a kayak safety class at the pool
69 Hike the Whistle Lake trail
70 Look for seals on the rocks & logs
71 Go clam digging
72 Take a drive around the island
73 Relax in the hot tub at a hotel
74 Take a nature walk through Forestlands
75 Learn the art of knot tying
76 Browse the downtown art galleries
77 Go to the Arts and Crafts Festival
78 Watch the town crier competition
79 Find the lighthouse at Bowman's Bay
80 Have a family picnic at Washington Park
81 Take a walking tour of the shipyards
82 Attend a church service
83 Walk the docks at the marinas
84 Have a Berry, Berry smoothie!
85 Go to the First Friday Art walk
86 Find a treasure at Shipwreck Days
87 Take your child to Kids R Best Fest
88 Check out the Powell story poles
89 Visit the Anacortes Museum
90 Pick up an Anacortes t-shirt
91 Go to a play at ACT
92 See the Harleys at Oyster Run
93 Row a boat on Heart Lake
94 Enjoy a Sunday brunch
95 Shop for smoked salmon
96 Go on a tour of Bunnies By the Bay
97 Crew with OARS (Old Anacortes Rowing Society)
98 Play softball at Volunteer Park
99 Look at property on Fidalgo Island
100 Take a Yoga or Pilates class
101 Make a new friend from Anacortes