Anacortes : Washington


What It Is Like to Retire in Anacortes

The town of Anacortes is located on Fidalgo Island in Puget Sound, about 70 miles from Seattle and not far from Whidbey Island. The population is about 18,000. Anacortes is a popular destination for boaters. 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.

Where to Retire in Anacortes and Home Prices

There is at least one active adult community in the Anacortes area (see link at right).  The median home value in mid-2020 was $502,645 (Zillow).  There are some condominiums available. Some homes have views of Padilla Bay or Fidalgo Bay.  Homes on the water or with expansive views will be over $400,000.


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.

Who Will Like Retirement in Anacortes

Folks who like the outdoors and being near the water, and who enjoy an active downtown will enjoy Anacortes.

Local Economy Is Driven by

Tourism is a key driver of the local economy, along with the ferries that go from here to the San Juan Islands. There are 2 oil refineries in town.

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 (4")

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.

Valuable Links

Anacortes Chamber of Commerce.

What people are saying about Anacortes

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