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City of Anacortes
—  City  —

Coordinates: 48°30′7″N 122°37′25″W / 48.50194°N 122.62361°W / 48.50194; -122.62361Coordinates: 48°30′7″N 122°37′25″W / 48.50194°N 122.62361°W / 48.50194; -122.62361
Country United States
State Washington
County Skagit
 - Mayor Dean Maxwell
 - Total 14.2 sq mi (36.7 km2)
 - Land 11.8 sq mi (30.5 km2)
 - Water 2.4 sq mi (6.2 km2)
Elevation 23 ft (7 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 14,557
 Density 1,235.7/sq mi (477.1/km2)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 - Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP code 98221
Area code(s) 360
FIPS code 53-01990[1]
GNIS feature ID 1511964[2]
View of the downtown and marina of Anacortes, from the east

Anacortes (pronounced /ˌænəˈkɔrtəs/) is a city in Skagit County, Washington, United States. The name Anacortes comes from Anna Curtis Bowman, the wife of early settler Amos Bowman.[3] The population was 14,557 at the 2000 census. It is one of two principal cities of and included in the Mount Vernon-Anacortes Metropolitan Statistical Area.

There is a Washington State Ferries dock that serves Lopez Island, Shaw Island, Orcas Island, and San Juan Island, as well as Victoria, British Columbia (via Sidney, British Columbia) on Vancouver Island. There is also a Skagit County-operated ferry dock that serves Guemes Island.



Anacortes was officially incorporated on 19 May 1891.


Anacortes is on Fidalgo Island. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.2 square miles (36.7 km2), of which, 11.8 square miles (30.5 km2) of it is land and 2.4 square miles (6.2 km2) of it (16.93%) is water.


In a recent estimate, there are about 16,300 people as of 2007, 6,086 households, and 4,162 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,236.0 people per square mile (477.1/km2). There were 6,551 housing units at an average density of 556.2/sq mi (214.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 92.66% White, 0.32% African American, 1.14% Native American, 1.64% Asian, 0.13% Pacific Islander, 1.48% from other races, and 2.63% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.15% of the population.

There were 6,086 households out of which 28.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.2% were married couples living together, 9.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.6% were non-families. 26.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.84.

In the city the population was spread out with 23.4% under the age of 18, 5.5% from 18 to 24, 24.8% from 25 to 44, 25.5% from 45 to 64, and 20.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 93.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $41,930, and the median income for a family was $49,531. Males had a median income of $38,080 versus $27,080 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,297. About 6.0% of families and 7.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.4% of those under age 18 and 7.1% of those age 65 or over.


The Majestic Inn, Anacortes, Washington

Anacortes is on Fidalgo Island. It is surrounded by the north Puget Sound and San Juan Islands on three sides, and by the Swinomish Channel and the flats of Skagit Valley to the east. The weather is milder than other areas of the Pacific Northwest, because it lies within the Olympic Mountain rain shadow. Fidalgo Island gets 21" of rain per year, only half as much as Seattle.

Anacortes was established with a name and a post office in 1877 in the vain hope that it would be selected as the western terminus of the transcontinental railroad. The town was officially incorporated in 1891 shortly after the railroad bust, and became a lumber and fishing center. In the 1950s oil companies built big refineries near town. Two of the five refineries in Washington are located near the town. One is owned and operated by Tesoro (originally built and owned by Shell Oil), the other is owned and operated by Shell Puget Sound Refinery Company (originally built and owned by Texaco). Refining remains the area's largest industry, but the economic base now includes yacht construction/shipbuilding, tourism, and residential services for the nearby Whidbey Island Naval Air Station.

The 619 Commercial Avenue building

Anacortes is a popular destination for boaters and those traveling on to the San Juan Islands. The city maintains a 220-acre (0.89 km2) city park on the northwestern end of Fidalgo Island called Washington Park. This park features camping, boat launching, and majestic views of the San Juan Islands. The most prominent view is of Cypress Island.

Anacortes Community Forest Lands, 2,800 acres (11 km2) with 50 miles (80 km) of mountain biking and hiking trails, are a rare amenity in a city the size of Anacortes. In adjacent Mount Erie Park, a number of rock climbing routes are popular on the cliffs of the south and west faces of Mount Erie. Mount Erie offers scenic vistas from its 1273 foot peak.[4]

Anacortes hosts many long-distance cyclists, as it is the western terminus of the Adventure Cycling Association's Northern Tier cross-country bicycle route, which ends in Bar Harbor, Maine.

“Shipwreck Day” is a popular single-day, flea market/town garage sale event held annually on the 3rd Saturday in July. City management accommodates the occasion by blocking off several downtown streets.[5]

What the Heck Fest is an annual festival coinciding with "Shipwreck Day." The festival takes place at various locations all over town in a week in the middle of July. Performers present music, movies, literature, and art. The thematic center of the festival is the dinner show that includes a full meal along with the concert, an actual community event.

Each August the Anacortes Arts Festival is held. The festival started in 1962 as the result of efforts by a group of dedicated community arts patrons and is held on blocked-off downtown main street areas. Vendors, merchants, and artisans present their wares in covered booths while jazz and blues musicians are showcased on four different stages.

The Oyster Run is an annual one day biker-friendly motorcycle rally held on the fourth Sunday of September. Beginning in 1981, the event has grown into the largest rally in the Pacific Northwest, with an estimated motorcycle count of 15000 bikes, and growing in numbers each year.[6]

Because Anacortes is located near the San Juan Islands, the area provides one of the best whale watching opportunities anywhere in the world, offering calm waters and a huge variety of widelife, which includes three resident Orca pods. Locally based guided charters guarantee sightings on their one-day adventures.[7]


Anacortes is governed via the mayor-council system. The mayor is elected directly. The city council consists of seven members who are elected from single member wards.

Notable residents and natives

Sister cities

Anacortes has four sister cities:[10]

See also


External links



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