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Tranquil Island Living Has Found Its Home in Anacortes WA
The small town of Anacortes has just over 16,000 residents and sits on Fidalgo Island, on the western edge of Washington state, as is connected to the mainland by three bridges and to the San Juan Islands and Sidney B.C. by the Washington State Ferry system.
The gentle climate of Fidalgo Island is mild year-round and has about a-third less rain than Seattle. The Anacortes real estate market attracts retirees, lovers of the outdoors, sailors, writers, marine related industries, and tele-commuters, the latter able to be in an "office" in their homes with a phone and an internet connection, yet in reality, enjoying island living overlooking views of Mount Baker, Guemes Island, or the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
At ninety minutes from both Seattle and Vancouver B.C, Fidalgo Island is in easy reach of big city life but most Anacortes residents find there's enough going on right under their noses. Anacortes homeowners and visitors enjoy Anacortes Parks which have 2,200 acres of forestland, wetlands, lakes, waterfront, beaches and hiking trails so outdoor enthusiasts will never be left with a dull weekend.
For those who prefer the arts, Anacortes has the ACT Community Theater, regular Skagit Symphony performances, a museum, a monthly art walk, jazz and arts festivals, and a new multi-million-dollar library with an extensive list of speakers and activities.
Whale watching, kayaking, sailing, power boating, bird watching and camping are easy to do from Anacortes, but a kinder and gentler pace of life also awaits. Anacortes restaurants serve local fare, Thai, all-American, Mexican and Italian, and independent coffee shops and the country's leading brands are all represented. Boutiques and small stores sell everything from wool to antiques, books and cookware.
And in terms of getting away, the San Juan Islands offer a change of pace, just a 55-minute ferry ride away, or Vancouver Island is two hours to the north.
Amos Bowman founded Anacortes in 1876 and named it after his wife, Anna Curtis. For many years Anacortes was a fishing town as men headed up to the seas of Alaska for crab and other seafood. There's still an active industry in boat building, fishiing and crabbing - as well as jobs in the two local oil refineries. Now, the town's history is told through a series of almost life-size figures dotted through downtown, painted by a local artist Bill Mitchell.
Anacortes has grown considerably since Anna Curtis' day, and in fact the population of Anacortes has doubled in the past 20 years, with still more room to grow. Homes are being constantly built, many overlooking the Guemes Channel, which leads to the nearest island neighbor, Guemes Island, where real estate prices vary reflecting the mix of small cabins to high-end homes.
Within the city limits of Anacortes, there are 100-year-old homes in an area called Old Town. Beyond Old Town you will find some historic buildings with state of the art new custom homes and everything in between - something, in short, to suit the needs of anyone wanting to call Anacortes home.