Take a loop drive around the beautiful Washington Park Anacortes.
Washington Park is 1.5 hours north of Seattle, directly west of Anacortes overlooking the Rosario Strait.
It offers stunning views of the San Juan Islands around a 2.2 mile paved Loop Road.
Visitors can drive or bike around the one-way Loop Road, or park at the entrance and walk in. There's also a network of dirt trails, but these are not suitable for children due to sheer drop offs.
The day use area at the entrance has a boat launch, picnic tables, restrooms and a playground. Overnight camping is also available near the entrance of Washington Park.
5 best things to see on the Washington Park loop road
1. Follow the signs to the start of the Loop Road (2.2. miles).
The Loop Road begins just past the day use area and boat launch at Sunset Beach, on the western side of Anacortes. This day use area is the perfect place for a picnic, with gorgeous views, sheltered tables, lots of open space to fly kites, and a playground. You can also enjoy the beautiful beach.
2. Continue along the northern side of Washington Park.
The first stretch of the Loop Road travels along the northern side of Washington Park, with peep through views of the coast through thick forest. This is a super narrow road, but thankfully it's one-way! The speed limit is only 10 miles per hour, and you will often encounter hikers along the road. There are a few dirt pull-outs for parking, leading to glorious views of Guemes Island, Blakely Island and Cypress Island.
3. As the road winds around the western side of Washington Park Anacortes, there's a set of stairs down to a beach with tessellated rock formations.
4. A grassed area soon becomes visible, with picnic tables overlooking Burrows Island.
Burrows Island is just one of 172 islands in the San Juan Islands archipelago, and has a beautiful lighthouse, unfortunately not visible from the road. There are also distant views of 1,273 foot Mt Erie, that you can drive to the top of!
5. The southern section of Loop Road travels away from the coast to the interior of Washington Park through thick coastal forest, back to the parking lot.
Things to do near Washington Park
After visiting Washington Park Anacortes, drive to the viewpoint at Cap Santa Park in Anacortes, for superb views of Mt Baker, the Cascades, and the marina. Then drive 5 minutes south of Anacortes to the summit of Mt Erie, the highest point on Fidalgo Island. Continue south to Deception Pass, a spectacular strait between Fidalgo Island and Whidbey Island. Finish the day by having a meal at Anthony's Restaurant in Anacortes, with superb waterside views.
If you have a few more days, travel 20-minutes southwest of Anacortes to explore the gift shops, boutiques and galleries at La Conner, or take the ferry from Anacortes to Orcas Island or San Juan Island. Alternatively, cross the Deception Pass Bridge to Whidbey Island. Travel down Whidbey Island to explore the lovely villages of Coupeville and Langley, Greenbank Farm, the Lavender Wind Farm, and the lighthouse at Fort Casey.