The city of Anacortes is one of my favorite small towns in Washington. I visited earlier this spring to explore the outdoor activities they had to offer and loved it. Curious to see what they had going on in the colder months, I was excited to make another trip up there. I figured all the tourism traffic would be gone from the summer months, but it actually was still pretty busy! Here’s my guide to spending a cozy weekend in Anacortes.
If you’re planning a trip to Anacortes, I highly recommend staying at the Majestic Inn & Spa. It’s located right on Commerical Ave, where all the action is downtown, so you really don’t have to drive anywhere. I loved looking out at the water every morning, and really liked the fact the receptionist grinds coffee for you each day. You’ll love the room and atmosphere so much that you won’t want to leave. You almost don’t have to either – in addition to spa services, they have a restaurant and lounge to spend your time in.
Once you lure yourself away from the comfort of your hotel, you’ll easily be distracted by all the shops downtown has. I got lost in the travel section of a bookstore for quite awhile! They have adorable boutique shops too, where you’ll be tempted to buy way too much.
Since it was the holiday season when I was there, decorations were everywhere I looked. I loved that this store was selling “Santa Claus dust!”
Go Beer Tasting
Anacortes Brewing shares the building with the Rockfish Grill. They have a variety of regular beer on tap, as well as a good selection of seasonal beer. My favorite was the porter, although it was hard to pick.
Bastion Brewing isn’t downtown, but a few miles east on the main highway. It’s worth the drive, though – they had pretty decent sized samples on their tasting trays. I loved the northwest ale, although it was hard to pick a favorite.
Rock Out to Live Music
I used to see live music a lot when I was college and really miss those days. In Anacortes, it seems that almost every weekend bands are playing somewhere, so I decided to check out a few. At The Brown Lantern, Three for Silver played a very entertaining set. The next night at H2O, The Fabulous Roof Shakers played to quite an energetic crowd. I think I was the youngest one in the place, yet the older crowd had way more energy than me (and better dance moves!).
Celebrate the Holiday Season
The night I got there was the night of Anacortes’ annual tree lighting. This was no ordinary tree, though – it was made out of crab pots! I got a kick out of that – we love all things nautical up here in the Pacific Northwest! It goes back to the town’s history of fishing, which dates back to the early 1890s. Fish processing plants employed a large number of people through the first part of the 1900s, after which they started shutting down.
The next morning, it felt like it was Christmas. Horse carriage rides were going up and down the streets to everyone’s delight. There was a holiday parade later in the day, which I was able to see from my hotel room. I was so glad I decided to come up this particular weekend.
Eat Amazing Seafood
Being right on the water, you know all the seafood you’ll eat in Anacortes will be local and fresh. None of the restaurants disappointed. After the tree lighting, I stopped at Union Tavern to catch the Huskies game and had a delicious tuna melt sandwich. This tavern’s menu is far from your ordinary “pub” food.
For lunch the next day, I stopped at Rockfish Grill to try their fish tacos. Something about their sauce made them one of the best I’ve ever had, and I’ve had a ton of fish tacos. I was also able to get a sampler from Anacortes Brewing while I was there.
Bring a nice outfit so you can dress up when you visit Atown Bistro for dinner. It’s a popular place and pretty small, so make a reservation in advance. There’s a fireplace as soon as you walk in, and everyone was attentive to my table, even if they weren’t my server. I started with the beer-soaked mussels and frites – I hate to say it, but I think these were actually better than the ones I had in Nice at a famous mussel restaurant! Save room for dessert because you will not want to miss out on their bread pudding.
You don’t even need an itinerary when visiting Anacortes- you could easily entertain yourself by just walking around and exploring. For example, look how cute their garbage cans are below! I’ve never described a garbage can as cute in my life.
Walk down to the water to check out all the boats while you’re at it. These were huge ones that were being worked on while I was there. I never knew how big these boats actually were out of the water!
If you’re looking to getaway this winter season, I highly recommend visiting Anacortes. I had such a relaxing weekend and loved the cozy feel of all the stores. It’s a beautiful place no matter what time of year you go.
Where was the last place you visited where you truly felt relaxed?
This trip was in partnership with the Anacortes Chamber of Commerce, but all opionions are my own.
Want more stories from the Pacific Northwest?
Sign up for my newsletter to find out about the best places to visit in the Pacific Northwest along with plenty of outdoor activities to do!