Top 20 Washington State Trips

Anacortes Museum

Anacortes is located two hours north of Seattle, and operates a ferry service that is the gateway to the San Juan Islands.

Anacortes has two free museums, the Anacortes History Museum and Anacortes Maritime Heritage Center.  It also has an original steam powered sternwheeler open for tours, the W.T. Preston Snagboat (admission required).

Anacortes is a popular tourist destination, with a bustling restaurant scene along Commercial Street, viewpoints at Mount Erie and Cap Santa Park, and a loop drive (2.2 miles) around a coastal headland at Washington Park.

3 Best Anacortes Museums

1. Anacortes History Museum (FREE)

The Anacortes History Museum is a short walk from downtown, located inside the old Carnegie Library Building. This single story museum has a series of temporary exhibitions on Anacortes' fascinating history as a lumber and fishing town. Admission is FREE (check hours).

See an early painting of Anacortes from 1891, with the Cap Santa Park headland and Mt Baker in the background.

2. Anacortes Maritime Heritage Center (FREE)

The Anacortes Maritime Heritage Center is also free (check hours).  See historic photos and artifacts on the fishing and boat building history of Anacortes.  

The entrance to the Anacortes Maritime Heritage Center is a short walk from downtown.

Anacortes has a rich boat building history, with early shipyards like Bowman, Rickaby, Trafton and Keesling.  

From the late 1800's to 1980, Anacortes was known as the "City of Smokestacks", with a dozen lumber mills on its waterfront. These pulp mills, saw mills and box mills, utilized the plentiful supply of trees from Fidalgo Island's forests. 

From 1940 to 1978, Scott Paper operated out of Anacortes.

3. W.T. Preston Snagboat (admission required)

The W.T. Preston Snagboat is adjacent to the Anacortes Maritime Heritage Center. It's the last of the steam powered sternwheelers operated by the US Army Corp of Engineers along local waterways, to remove navigational hazards like log jams and other debris (check hours & admission).  

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