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Living in Anacortes Washington - EVERYTHING You Need to Know

What is Living in Anacortes Washington Like?

Anacortes, Washington, located in Skagit County, is a charming city with approximately 18,000 people as of 2023. Located on Fidalgo Island, Anacortes offers easy access to outdoor activities such as hiking, boating, and whale watching. The city is near State Route 20, which runs through the North Cascades, providing easy access to other towns and attractions. Anacortes embodies the Pacific Northwest lifestyle with its stunning views of the Salish Sea, lush greenery, and proximity to the San Juan Islands. Anacortes residents and visitors enjoy recreational activities such as kayaking, hiking, and exploring the nearby Deception Pass State Park. The Best of Anacortes includes a historic downtown, modern shopping centers, and residential neighborhoods with breathtaking views of the water and surrounding islands.     

One of the main attractions in Anacortes, Washington, is the Anacortes Farmers Market, which offers a variety of locally grown produce, handmade crafts, and artisanal foods. It is a popular spot for locals to gather and support the community. Washington Park is another attraction in the area, which offers hiking trails, beach access, and stunning views of the San Juan Islands. Anacortes has several other parks, including Cap Sante Park and Seafarers Memorial Park. These parks offer amenities such as playgrounds, sports fields, picnic areas, and walking paths, providing plenty of opportunities for residents to enjoy the outdoors. Additionally, Anacortes is home to several museums, including the Anacortes Maritime Heritage Center and the Anacortes History Museum, which offer a glimpse into the town's rich history and culture.     
The cost of living in Anacortes, Washington, is slightly higher than the national average but still relatively affordable for the Pacific Northwest region. The average home value in Anacortes is around $675,000, which may be steep for some, but it would be considered affordable compared to some cities in Washington. For those who prefer to rent, the average cost for a one-bedroom apartment in Anacortes is around $1800 a month. Anacortes offers a range of housing options, including single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and apartments, making it a great place to call home for individuals and families alike. There are some large employers in and around Anacortes, Washington, including Marathon-Anacortes Refinery, one of the area's largest employers, and the Port of Anacortes.

If you're searching for a picturesque coastal town with a strong sense of community, excellent schools, and plenty of outdoor activities, Anacortes, Washington, might be the perfect place for you! Keep reading to discover more about what it's like to live in Anacortes, including information about its neighborhoods, schools, cost of living, and some pros and cons of living in this charming city. This information should help you decide whether living in Anacortes, Washington, is the right fit for you.    

The Moving to Anacortes Washington Team

Let our team of trusted professionals help you buy or/and sell a home in Anacortes Washington. To connect with a local expert/real estate professional in Anacortes Washington, CLICK HERETo start receiving emails with homes that match your criteria anywhere in Washington, CLICK HERE and sign up for Listing Alert. With a little info on what, where, and how much, you'll get newly listed homes matching your criteria sent to your inbox as they hit the market. This can give you a big leg up in your home search.

The first step in the home-buying process is getting pre-approved for a mortgage. Todd Davidson is an experienced mortgage broker and can help you get the best financing option for your home purchase. Not quite ready yet? Todd can help you put together a plan to get you there. Whether you're thinking a few months or a year or more if you want to buy a home, reach out to Todd and he can help. CLICK HERE to email Todd and set up a call to get the process started or just call him at 971-275-2465. 

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Todd Davidson

Mortgage Broker

What is the Cost of Living in Anacortes Washington?

If you're exploring a move to Anacortes Washington, or any place, the cost of living would be a significant factor in your decision-making. I calculated the REAL cost of living in Anacortes, Washington, by factoring in today's costs for housing (rent and own), utilities, food, transportation, healthcare, and other necessities to live. To live in Anacortes, Washington, and rent, you would need to make $54,000 a year. To live in Anacortes, Washington, and buy a home, you would need to make $70,000 a year. Rental amount is based on current low end cost of studio or one bedroom, purchase is based on recent low end sales of a three bedroom and monthly payment with 20% down.

Cost of Living

Living in Anacortes Washington Tips/Info/Blog Posts

Helpful Tips for Moving to Oregon and Buying a Home







Top Neighborhoods in Anacortes Washington

Anacortes, Washington, is a charming coastal town that offers a diverse array of attractions and housing options, catering to various preferences and lifestyles. Whether you're seeking a vibrant downtown atmosphere, a peaceful suburban setting, or breathtaking scenic views, Anacortes has something for everyone. Here are six neighborhoods in Anacortes worth considering:

  1. Old Town: Located in the heart of Anacortes, Old Town is a historic neighborhood with charming Victorian homes and a bustling downtown area. Attractions include the Anacortes Farmers Market, the Anacortes Museum, and the Anacortes Community Theatre. Parks in the area include Storvik Park and Seafarers Memorial Park.

  2. Cap Sante: Situated on a hill overlooking the city, Cap Sante offers stunning views of the water and surrounding islands. Housing options include modern condos and spacious single-family homes. Attractions in the area include the Cap Sante Marina and the Tommy Thompson Trail, which offers scenic walks and bike rides.

  3. Skyline: Located on the northwest side of Anacortes, Skyline is a waterfront community with a mix of single-family homes and condos. Residents enjoy access to the Skyline Marina and the Skyline Beach Club, which offers a pool, tennis courts, and a clubhouse. The nearby Washington Park offers hiking trails and a beach.

  4. San Juan Passage: This newer development is located on the south side of Anacortes and offers luxury homes and condos with water views. The community features a private marina and access to the Tommy Thompson Trail. Nearby attractions include the Anacortes Community Forest Lands and the Anacortes Ferry Terminal.

  5. Fidalgo Bay: Situated on the east side of Anacortes, Fidalgo Bay is a quiet neighborhood with a mix of older homes and newer developments. The area offers easy access to the Anacortes Community Forest Lands and the Fidalgo Bay Resort, which features a golf course and restaurant.

  6. Whistle Lake: Located on the outskirts of Anacortes, Whistle Lake is a secluded neighborhood with a mix of cabins and larger homes. The area is known for its natural beauty, with Whistle Lake and the surrounding forest offering hiking and fishing opportunities. The nearby Mount Erie Park provides stunning views of the surrounding area.     

If moving to Anacortes, Washington, and you'd like to buy a home in one of these fabulous neighborhoods, CLICK HERE to sign up for LISTING ALERT to be the first to know when a home matching your criteria gets listed for sale in Anacortes, Washington.

Cap Sante Marina in Anacortes Washington

20 Pros and Cons of Living in Anacortes Washington

Living in Anacortes Washington Pros

  1. Stunning Natural Beauty: Anacortes is surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty, including the San Juan Islands, Deception Pass State Park, and numerous hiking trails. The scenic views and access to outdoor activities are unparalleled.

  2. Gateway to the San Juan Islands: Anacortes serves as a gateway to the San Juan Islands, making it an ideal starting point for island hopping, kayaking, boating, and whale watching adventures.

  3. Boating and Fishing Paradise: With its prime location on Fidalgo Island, Anacortes is a haven for boating and fishing enthusiasts. The area offers excellent opportunities for salmon fishing, crabbing, and exploring the waters of the Puget Sound.

  4. Vibrant Arts and Culture Scene: Anacortes has a thriving arts and culture community, with numerous galleries, theaters, and music venues. The city hosts annual events like the Anacortes Arts Festival, attracting artists and visitors from around the region.

  5. Friendly Community: Anacortes is known for its friendly and welcoming community. The city has a strong sense of community spirit, and residents are known for their warmth and hospitality.

  6. Quality Education: Anacortes is home to top-rated schools, including Anacortes High School, known for its excellent academic programs and extracurricular activities. The community places a high value on education and offers diverse learning opportunities.

  7. Abundance of Outdoor Recreation: Whether you enjoy hiking, biking, kayaking, or birdwatching, Anacortes has an abundance of outdoor recreation opportunities. The city's parks, trails, and natural areas provide endless options for staying active and enjoying nature.

  8. Thriving Local Economy: Anacortes has a strong and diverse economy, with industries such as manufacturing, healthcare, tourism, and marine services. The city offers a range of employment opportunities and has a relatively low unemployment rate.

  9. Charming Downtown Area: Anacortes' historic downtown is a charming and vibrant area, lined with boutique shops, restaurants, and cafes. The community takes pride in supporting local businesses, making it a great place to explore and shop.

  10. Mild Climate: Anacortes enjoys a mild climate with warm summers and cool, wet winters. The weather is generally comfortable, allowing for year-round outdoor activities and a pleasant living environment.

Living in Anacortes Washington Cons

  1. High Cost of Living: Anacortes has a higher cost of living compared to some other areas in Washington. Housing prices, rental rates, and general expenses can be relatively expensive.

  2. Limited Job Market: While Anacortes has a thriving economy, the job market may be limited in certain industries. Finding employment opportunities in specific fields could be challenging, leading some residents to commute to nearby cities for work.

  3. Traffic Congestion: During peak tourist seasons, especially summer months, Anacortes can experience increased traffic congestion due to the influx of visitors and ferry traffic.

  4. Limited Healthcare Options: Anacortes has limited healthcare options compared to larger cities. Specialized medical services may require traveling to nearby cities for treatment.

  5. Limited Shopping and Dining Options: While Anacortes has a charming downtown area, it may not offer the same level of shopping options and dining options as larger cities. 

  6. Relatively Remote Location: Anacortes is located on Fidalgo Island, which may feel remote for individuals who prefer access to a wider range of amenities and cultural offerings that larger cities provide.

  7. Challenging Commute to Major Cities: If you work in a larger city like Seattle, commuting from Anacortes can be challenging due to the distance and potential traffic congestion during peak hours.

  8. Seasonal Weather: Anacortes experiences cool, wet winters and a relatively limited amount of sunny days compared to other regions. The weather may not be suitable for those who prefer a consistently warm and sunny climate.

  9. Potential Tourist Crowds: As a popular tourist destination, Anacortes can experience crowds, especially during peak tourist seasons. This may affect access to popular attractions and increase the overall level of activity in the city.

  10. Airport Access: If you live in Anacortes, Washington, and need to fly, add a little time to your journey. The Bellingham Airport is about 45 minutes away. You can get direct flights to Seattle, Las Vegas, and several other cities. For bigger trips, you may want to fly in and out of the Sea-Tac International Airport, which is almost 2 hours away.

View from Mt. Erie on Fidalgo Island Near Anacortes Washington

FAQs About Living in Anacortes Washington

What is Anacortes Washington known for?

Anacortes, Washington, is most known for its annual Shipwreck Festival, which takes place every July and celebrates the maritime history of the area. The festival attracts visitors from all over the Pacific Northwest and features various events and activities such as a parade, live music, and a street fair. The festival also includes a swap meet where attendees can buy and sell nautical items and artifacts. The rich maritime history of Anacortes is on full display during the Shipwreck Festival, making it a must-see event for anyone interested in the sea.

What cities and attractions is Anacortes close to?

Anacortes, Washington, is situated in Skagit County, which is part of the Puget Sound region in the northwestern part of the state. The city is located approximately 80 miles north of Seattle and 20 miles west of Mount Vernon. Anacortes is also close to other cities in the area, including Bellingham, about 30 miles to the north, and Everett, about 50 miles to the south. The city is a gateway to several popular destinations in the region, such as the San Juan Islands, North Cascades National Park, and Deception Pass State Park. Anacortes' location in Skagit County makes it an ideal starting point for exploring the surrounding natural beauty and nearby cities.

What is the weather like in Anacortes Washington?

Living in Anacortes, Washington, you can expect mild weather throughout the year. In the winter months, the average high temperatures range from 45°F to 50°F, and the average low temperatures range from 32°F to 35°F. The city occasionally experiences light snowfall during the winter, with an average of 7 inches of snowfall annually. Summers in Anacortes are mild, with average high temperatures ranging from 70°F to 75°F and occasional hot spells in the 80s and 90s. The city receives around 33 inches of rain yearly, with most precipitation occurring in the fall and winter months.

Does Anacortes Washington have good public schools?

Students in Anacortes, Washington, attend public school in the Anacortes School District, which serves the city of Anacortes and some surrounding areas. For the 2022-23 school year, ranks the Anacortes School District #27 out of 252 school districts they ranked in Washington, giving it an overall A- rating. The district is committed to providing a well-rounded education, including arts and athletics, and offers a variety of programs for students with different interests and needs. The district has a diverse student body and strong partnerships with local organizations and businesses. Families living in Anacortes, Washington, can feel confident that their children will have access to a quality education in the public school system.

Is Anacortes Washington safe?

Living in Anacortes, Washington, you'll find it a very safe place. Property crime rates in Anacortes are lower than the national average, and violent crime rates are significantly lower than the national average. states Anacortes has a crime rate lower than 68% of all US cities. Anacortes, Washington, residents should feel very safe living in Anacortes, Washington.

What is there to do living in Anacortes?

Living in Anacortes, Washington, you will always have things to do. The city is surrounded by natural beauty, including the Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands, offering ample opportunities for boating, kayaking, and whale watching. Anacortes boasts several parks, including Washington Park and Cap Sante Park, which feature playgrounds, picnic areas, and scenic walking trails. The city hosts several annual events, including the Anacortes Arts Festival, which attracts visitors from around the region, and the Waterfront Festival, offering live music, food vendors, and a beer garden. If you're looking for a day trip, Anacortes is located near attractions like Deception Pass State Park and the North Cascades National Park. Whether you enjoy outdoor activities or cultural experiences, there is always something to do in Anacortes, Washington.

Who are the large employers in Anacortes Washington?

If living in Anacortes, Washington, some of the top employers include the Marathon-Anacortes Refinery, which employs over 400 workers, the Anacortes School District, which employs over 300 people, and the Port of Anacortes, which employs over 200 people. Other notable employers in Anacortes include Shell Puget Sound Refinery, Dakota Creek Industries, and various marine-related companies. With a diverse range of employers, residents of Anacortes can find opportunities in oil refining, education, shipbuilding, and more.

How is the healthcare in Anacortes Washington?

Living in Anacortes, Washington, puts you near the Island Hospital, which is a level III trauma center and has 43 beds. This hospital would likely be able to provide you with most of your medical needs. If looking for a specialist and can't find them in the Anacortes area, you're around 20 miles away from the Skagit Valley Hospital in Mount Vernon, Washington, which is a level III trauma center and has 137 beds. Or in Everett you'll find the 538 bed Providence Regional Medical Center.

I want to relocate to Anacortes.  How do I make it happen?

You've come to the right spot if you're looking to move to Anacortes, Washington.  There’s a lot of information on this website to help including some helpful links below. If you want to ask questions, try our Facebook Group > Moving to Washington  where we have broad group of locals to answer any question you might have. If you’re looking to buy a home in the Anacortes area, getting pre-approved for a mortgage should be your first step. For Mortgage Info, reach out to me. I would love to tell you more about what living in Anacortes, Washington, is like as well as help with your mortgage if you decide to purchase a home.

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