Due to an appointment on Thursday morning, February 9, I took two vacation days from work, and made it a two night getaway in Anacortes, Washington.
I was kind of up in the air about whether or not to take a little vacation. Or more accurately – the destination.
I thought about the Harrison Hot Springs Resort, a popular resort with mineral hot springs in British Columbia, about an hour’s drive away. I’ve stayed there a few times, but not recently. There was availability, but the prices – YIKES! $200 or more a night. Plus a $25 a night resort fee on top of it!
Are you effing kidding me???
I hate resort fees with a passion, and go out of my way to choose hotels that do NOT have this cash cow resort fee. Hotel resort fees suck when added on top of their already exorbitant rates.
I also considered driving to Seattle or Portland for a couple of nights. And then I thought about Deception Pass (Washington) where we went camping a few times when I was a kid. Not that I was considering camping! It’s not too far a drive, less than two hours, depending on the border line up. I started looking at hotels in the nearby towns of Oak Harbor and Anacortes.
I made a last minute decision to book the Ship Harbor Inn in Anacortes. I’ve never been there before, but it looked pretty nice.
I was also considering a hotel in Oak Harbor, but by the time I was ready to make my last minute booking, there was no availability in the room category I wanted.
Off the coast of Washington and British Columbia there are a lot of islands. The largest is Vancouver Island, but there are many smaller islands on both sides of the border. On the American side, they’re known as the San Juan Islands. On the Canadian side, they’re the Gulf Islands.
In Washington it’s possible to drive to some of the islands because they’re connected by bridges. Other islands can only be reached by ferry.
Anacortes is on Fidalgo Island. Drive over a bridge or two to get here.
Ship Harbor Inn
The Ship Harbor Inn had decent rates and I decided on a queen room with a water view. Seeing as how I can pay in Canadian dollars, I ended up reserving and paying for it on Booking.com (affiliate link) at a slightly lower price than the inn’s website, once the US/Canadian exchange rate was calculated.
I arrived just after 4pm in the afternoon, and the fellow checking me in said I’m in a cottage.
Um, no. I pulled out my phone to show my reservation on Booking.com, and said I’d booked a queen room with a water view.
“Booking.com usually upgrades their clients to a cottage,” says the fellow.
“Does it have a view of the water?” I asked.
Indeed it does. Also has a nice little kitchenette and a deck to enjoy the view.
And yes, that’s a Keurig on the counter with several coffee pods. There’s a full-sized fridge, a gas range/oven, and a toaster. The drawers are stocked with plates, glasses, utensils, pots and pans.
There’s a full bathroom with tub, mini shampoo, body gel, and a hair dryer. I’m pretty sure my bed was a king, not a queen. I loved it! The bed and pillows were so soft and comfy. Very luxurious. I wanted to take them home! There’s a flat screen TV on the wall behind where I’m standing to take the photos. Kind of an awkward angle to watch TV in bed.
A continental breakfast is included – waffles, eggs, egg and sausage muffin, yogurt, cereal, bagels, breads, coffee, tea, hot chocolate and juices.
If you’re very lucky, you may even spot a deer grazing on the Ship Harbor Inn’s grounds.
The Ship Harbor Inn is very close to the Anacortes Ferry Terminal where you can catch ferries to other San Juan Islands or Seattle. The ferry used to make runs to Vancouver Island, but service has been temporarily suspended. I sat outside on the deck watching ferries and come and go, and was near enough to hear the loudspeaker announcements for passenger boarding.
Bob’s Chowder Bar
My first night I enjoyed dinner at a diner specializing in seafood – Bob’s Chowder Bar.
I treated myself to the rock crab roll. It came with either fries or roasted red potatoes. My choice was the red potatoes, but they weren’t roasted. They came diced and fried, just the way my father used to like.
Everything was very good. I enjoyed the meal, it was a nice treat for me. But it was very expensive. What you see there, plus a Dr Pepper, plus tip, came to $47 Canadian dollars. That’s with the exchange charged by my credit card company.
Oh well. Gotta enjoy yourself when you take a little getaway to Anacortes, right? And it was a cute little place with atmosphere and good food.
When I was a kid we went camping at Deception Pass a few times. Humongous slugs in the woods are my strongest memory.
Deception Pass is a state park and charges $10 for day use. Aside from taking a few photos I wasn’t planning to stick around for a hike.
Next I stopped at the bridge that connects Fidalgo and Whidbey islands to take photos of the channel. There are very strong currents at Deception Pass.
The maps below show some of the islands off the Washington coast. Yes, this is the Pacific North West.
While I was taking photos, I could hear the sounds of a fighter jet but had trouble spotting it due to the clouds. I finally spotted it, but don’t even want to make a guess on what type of fighter jet it is. A noisy one, that’s for sure!
It doesn’t take too long to drive from the Ship Harbor Inn to Whidbey Island. Even stopping for photos, maybe half an hour or so.
And what is Whidbey Island known for?
A Naval Air Station.
Many scenes from the 1982 movie, An Officer and a Gentleman, were shot around this area. (Affiliate link below. If you click the link and purchase from Amazon, I’ll receive a small referral fee.)
I drove around a little bit and went for a nice walk at Joseph Whidbey State Park. No charge to be there, but there was only enough parking for about 5 cars. Seeing as how only two cars were there when I arrived, it wasn’t an issue.
I love walking on beaches. But the US Navy didn’t want me to have too long a walk.
I downloaded an app on my phone called Relive. You can use this app to track your route if you’re walking, biking, horseback riding, driving, etc. Then it creates a little movie to show your route plus photos you took at various spots.
I’m thinking about using this app later on when I become a nomad, but I thought I’d used the two night getaway in Anacortes to give it a trial run. Check out the little movie Relive created for me.
It’s OK, kind of fun. I look like a madwoman driving all over Whidbey Island!
I’m not sure if it’s the app for me. Immediately upon signing up I was bombarded with emails from Relive. After two or three days I had to unsubscribe due to this massive onslaught. Mostly wanting me to upgrade to the Plus version for $6.99 a month.
Yeah, right, I’ll get right on paying for an upgrade when I haven’t even tried out the app for a walk around the block yet!
The other thing is, even though I chose about 8 or 9 photos to show on my route, apparently the max is 5 photos. And I can’t change or edit them. Unless I want to pay $6.99 a month for Relive Plus.
Historic Anacortes. Home to all sorts of sea-going vessels. I love walking along the water, whether it’s a beach, a path, a pier, seeing the water soothes me.
Anacortes has a very nice paved path along the harbor. There are even public restrooms at the harbor master’s office.
Check out the huge harbor with a mixture of fishing and crabbing boats, yachts, and sailboats.
Loved the artwork on the garbage cans.
The driftwood giraffes were enchanting!
Two night getaway in Anacortes
Anacortes, Washington is a charming town in the Pacific North West. Walking in downtown Anacortes there are unique businesses selling handmade jewellery, souvenirs, restaurants, and even a fudge shop where I dropped a few bucks.
It’s very difficult for me to walk past fudge.
In the winter months, it’s pretty quiet. During the warmer months Anacortes hosts art festivals, farmer’s markets, whale watching tours, jazz concerts, and other activities.
Anacortes is halfway between Seattle and Vancouver, BC and a perfect getaway for everyone who enjoys being near the ocean and relaxing.
Have you ever been to Deception Pass, Anacortes, or Whidbey Island?
Published by Cheryl @ The Lifestyle Digs on February 26, 2023.