Things to do in Anacortes

Things to do within walking/biking distance from the market

The Anacortes Farmers Market is a fun an entertaining place to spend the afternoon as well as nearby downtown. But did you know there are all kinds of other family friends things to do within walking distance of the market? Come to the market and shop, have some lunch while listening to some music and then consider one of these fun activities!

Play in the Madrona Grove

The small grove a madrona trees directly behind the market is a unique treasure. Madronas are very particular in where they grow and to have such a wonderful cluster of them in town is precious to us. In the morning you will frequently see deer grazing here. The grove is a great place to throw a ball for your dog and let the kids run through the trees. There are also few picnic benches to enjoy.

Walk to Rotary Park

To get to Rotary Park head to the marina just south-east of the Market. Follow the marina railing eastward and enjoy the boats, birds and sea life. There are numerous benches and pergolas to sit at. Keep following the sidewalk eastward to the paved trail that wraps around the marina and at the end you will find the little Rotary Park. There is covered seating under the pergola and two beaches to explore.

There is a dirt trail that parallels the paved trail and it leads to:

Rotary Park Disc Golf Course

Did you know the city has a nine-hole disc golf course at Rotary Park (701 T Ave).

The disc golf course was made possible with support from the Anacortes Parks Foundation, the City of Anacortes, and the Rotary Club. Please be mindful of other park users, pack out all of your trash, and respect the neighboring residences.

The course is a challenging short par-3 course with many obstacles. Since this is a new course we will have some upcoming work parties to help “groom” the fairways.

Visit the Maritime Heritage Center and W.T. Preston Steamboat

The Heritage Center is the building directly south of the market. You probably noticed the giant steamboat! Enjoy the Center’s numerous photos and history of Anacortes then take a tour of the W.T. Preston!

Play Giant Chess

If you go to the Marina and follow the railing south you will end up in front of the Harbormasters Office and the giant chess board. Available mostly in summertime, there is another pergola here to enjoy the nearby shade and play a game.  As of 2020, use of the chess set may be prohibited based on the Port’s coronavirus mitigation plan, so check with the Harbormaster before using.

Bike the Tommy Thompson Trail

Another amazing resource we love! The Tommy Thompson Trail was part of the Rails to Trails program and crosses over Fidalgo Bay.

Rarely do hikers have the opportunity to walk across a magnificent bay on an abandoned railroad trestle. This paved rail trail is an easy walk year round. It is ADA accessible for wheel chairs and strollers. Keep an eye out for marine life. You may see a sea lion staring back at you as you stroll across the trestle connecting the eastern and western shores of Fidalgo Bay.

The Tommy Thompson Trail starts at the intersection of 11th Avenue and Q Street in Anacortes. The blacktop heads south along Q Avenue. After 7 blocks, the trail heads diagonally east and the street changes names to R Avenue. After 0.6 mile, the trail passes the access point at the intersection of 22nd Street and R Avenue. There is a restroom here.

Heading south again, the trail passes a public restroom at 30th Avenue. In another 0.7 mile from 22nd Avenue, the trail reaches 34th Street. Continuing south, the traverse the western shore of Fidalgo Bay. Looking across the bay on a clear day, there are views of Mount Baker on the distant eastern horizon.

After another mile from 34th Street, the trail passes an RV park. A majestic totem pole stands next to the trail. After crossing Weaverling Road at the RV park, there is an ADA accessible port-a-potty next to the blacktop. Beyond the RV park, the trail heads in a southeasterly direction and crosses Fidalgo Bay on a rocky causeway and then a wooden trestle.

To get to the beginning of the trail from the market, simply walk/bike south from the market on Q Ave along the sidewalk.

Go on a Walking Mural tour

Painted by a local character – the late Bill Mitchell – there are more than 100 murals on the sides of buildings all over Anacortes depicting bits of local residents and history. Make a game of it and see how many you can find! The visitors center often has a map that includes a good number of these murals.

Play Pokemon Go
You will find Pokestops at the Depot and surrounding areas.

Visit Guemes Island
Looking for something extra adventurous and want to make a day of it?  Exit the market to 6th Street, then head west (the only way you can go because the Dakota Creek warehouse blocks the other direction) and go from where we are (R Avenue) up to I Avenue, where you will see the Guemes ferry terminal to your right.  A short 5 minute ride across the channel, the ferry runs frequently on summer weekends (check schedule here). Walk-ons (including folks with bikes) don’t require a reservation is cheaper than bringing a car.  Within walking distance from the terminal is Guemes Island Store often hosts live music on Saturday evenings and is known for their tasty food selection as well as beaches great for strolling (stay on beaches and respect adjacent private property).  Bikers can consider visiting Guemes Mountain nature area where they can then hike the approximately 2 miles to the top for amazing views.