Sharpes Corner/Hwy. 20 Roundabout to Begin Summer 2018


More than 30,000 cars travel through the intersection at Sharpes Corner on Highway 20 in Anacortes every day, and there are about 14 accidents at the same intersection each year.  As the main route to and from Anacortes, the Washington State Ferries route to the San Juan Islands and Victoria, B.C. as well as the only land access point to Whidbey Island, traffic worsens during the summer and is often stalled, causing high-speed, rear-end collisions.

After a series of public forums, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) found that moving forward with a roundabout was the best option and will reduce all collisions by 40 percent.  Projected to begin summer 2018 for completion fall 2019, the roundabout will also allow for better traffic circulation and reduce travel time through the intersection by 80 percent.

For more information about the Sharpes Corner roundabout at Highway 20 in Anacortes, visit

Anacortes, WA Day Trips and Activities

Anacortes Day Trips


Anacortes, WA is home to many summer events. Surrounding the city, however, are several beautiful day trip destinations- many of which are perfect for the whole family!

Anacortes Kayak Tours
‚ÄúThe San Juan Islands and surrounding areas boast some of the most abundant wildlife viewing and scenic vistas in Washington State‚ÄĚ. Sea kayaking is a unique way to truly experience the San Juan Islands. Tour lengths can be five hours, three hours, and one and a half hours- there really are options for almost every age!
For more info click here.

Whale Watching
If you prefer to view your surroundings from a vessel a bit larger than a kayak, hop on one of the whale watching tour. They typically last half of the day, giving everyone the opportunity to take in the San Juan Islands and learn about the history of the Puget Sound.

Old Town Anacortes
Summer is the perfect time to truly get to know Anacortes; visit the Farmer’s Market on a Saturday morning, then take the opportunity to walk through the Old Town district and browse the shops on Commercial Avenue. There is no shortage of boutiques, antique shops, book stores, and coffee shops to browse. You can even take a short walk to the marina and enjoy watching the boats coming in and going out.

Deception Pass State Park
If you’ve only driven across the bridge and haven’t actually gone into the park, you need to! Pack a lunch from the Farmer’s Market and go exploring around the park. There is a swimming and picnic area for the family, and miles of hiking and biking trails. You can even take advantage of clamming and crabbing during certain times of the year.
For information and directions click here.

Did you know that Anacortes is home to two unique museums? If you are looking for ways to teach the kids about local history (or become more familiar with it yourself), check out the Anacortes Maritime Heritage Center & W.T. Preston museum. Learn about Anacortes’ history of fishing, exploration, and overall establishment.
For more information click here.

When was the last time you took a ferry for fun? If you are new to the area or have been cooped up all winter, take advantage of the summer months to explore one of the many surrounding islands. Guemes Island, Orcas, San Juan, Lopez, or Shaw Island are all home to beautiful scenery, delicious food, and endless outdoor activities. You can even take a ferry up to Vancouver Island- just be sure to bring passports!

Day Hikes
Spend time outside on one of the beautiful trails just minutes from town! Take a look at our Outdoors in Anacortes post to find the perfect activity for you.

WA Ferry Summer Schedule


Washington State Ferries  is now on its summer sailing schedule, which began on June 17. There will now be increased service on popular tourist routes and a new reservation system for customers on the Anacortes/Sidney, B.C. route, Port Townsend/Coupeville route, and business customers on the Anacortes/San Juan Islands routes.

The summer schedule is available on the WSF website, and the red printed schedule (No. 225) is available at all vessels and terminals.

If you are interested in learning more about Anacortes real estate, land or homes for sale anywhere throughout Skagit County, please go to our website, or contact Jean Groesbeck at or call (360) 941-3734.

WA State Ferry Rates Increase May 1 on Anacortes/San Juan Islands Run

Anacortes Ferry Dock

The peak for WA State Ferry season begins Sunday, May 1.  The  Anacortes / San Juan Islands run will have an additional 35 percent surcharge applied to full fare vehicle/driver tickets.

The peak season surcharge does not affect foot passenger fares or frequent user  fares.  Peak seasonferry fares will be in effect Sunday, May 1 through Friday, Sept. 30. Summer parking rates at Anacortes will also be in effect May 1 through Sept. 30 Рpeak ferry season.

The following is from the WA State Ferry Website:

You can travel three ways:
Come Aboard On foot is easy, quick and avoids auto lines. Passengers are charged for round trip travel on most routes, and pay at passenger toll booths. Board an overhead ramp for loading, or wait for instructions to walk on the car deck. Walk-on passengers must be on board five minutes before departure. Most terminals do not have lockers available or luggage handling facilities, so plan to carry whatever you bring to the terminal. Many ferries are met by public transportation.

By car requires planning ahead. Sunny summer weekends and commuter hours from 6 to 9 a.m. eastbound and 4 to 7 p.m. westbound are busy. Travel at other times if possible. Arrive at the ferry terminal early and plan at least 30 to 40 minutes of wait time. San Juan Island waits may be 2 to 4 hours during peak season, depending on the route.

Pay your way at the toll booth for car/drivers and passengers. Vehicle fares are one-way – except on the Vashon and San Juan Islands routes. Follow directions to the loading area, and remember to be in your car and ready to go 20 minutes before departure time. Cars load in order of arrival with the exception of carpools, vehicles with a special priority, or vehicles to destinations different from yours.

Space on the ferry is limited. It is measured in terms of length, height and width of the load. Vehicles exceeding a “box” size of 7’6″ high by 20 feet long by 8’6″ wide will be subject to surcharges. RVs, bikes on top of the car, and long vehicles pulling trailers or boats are subject to these charges.

By bike (including motorcycles), you can load before cars if you are there 20 minutes before departure time. Otherwise, bikes load at the discretion of the crew – if you are really late, you could load and unload last. Bikes should be secured at the side of the boat. Canoes, kayaks, and other sporting equipment can be accommodated at the direction of the crew. Passenger-only ferries have limited space for bikes.


If the ferry line is too long, spend the night in Anacortes!  Anacortes is on Fidalgo Island, and is part of San Juan Islands.  Fidalgo Island is Connected to the mainland by two bridges and is also connected to Whidbey Island by the Deception Pass Bridge.

WA State Spring Ferry Schedule

The 2011 spring sailing schedule for Washington State Ferries begins March 27th and is current through June 18th.  The spring schedule will include the addition of popular routes and the international route between Anacortesand Sidney, B.C. will start again.  Explore the beautiful island of Anacortes and discover your dream home with the help of our fantastic agents.  Ferry service increases include weekend inter-island vessel in the San Juan Islands.  Eight hours of afternoon service Monday through Thursday between Anacortes and the San Juan Islands.  Adjusted sailing times to improve schedule reliability in the San Juan Islands.  Three-boat service on weekends on the Fauntleroy/Vashon/Southworth route.  The third boat will operate eight hours a day on Saturday and Sunday.




It is time for the Executive and the Legislative Branches to face this issue head-on and develop an effective, reliable ferry system to continue to meet the needs of its customers and Washington State.  To this end, we the undersigned petition the Governor and the Legislature to act during the 2011 Legislative Session to:

Dispense with further cuts in service and take action to refurbish the system so it can efficiently meet the needs of its customers;

  • Provide a permanent source of equitable statewide funding for building vessels;
  • Start building the 144 as soon as possible in 2012 to provide a replacement or backup boat of adequate power and capacity to our aging fleet;
  • Develop a sustainable, long term budget for WSF that caps fares at reasonable rates for ferry customers and which considers the economic and social impacts.

Coldwell Banker Island Living is looking out for our community, call with news you would like us to blog.  Forward our blog to friends so that they can follow the blog too!  Here is the link:

The 10 Best Places to Retire …


What are you looking for when choosing a place to retire? It is affordable housing? Extensive leisure and cultural interests? Opportunities for growth?  Sun? Sandy beaches? Clean air and environment? Tempting gourmet paradise? Fast & hassle-free access to health care?

All of the above is what you should be looking for.

If you are considering a would be place to retire, I say go for a place with a prosperous economy and include all or nearly all of the above “Goodies” in order to make your lifestyle a carefree retirement. Quite a few places that have such “goodies” here are just a few that make up the 10 best places to retire.‚Ķ..

Anacortes, Washington

A paradise for lovers of water. Anacortes is the crown jewel of the San Juan Archipelago of Islands. A leap, and a short ferry ride away from Victoria, British Columbia. It offers plenty of water travel and leisure activities such as sailing, kayaking and motor boats. You can beach comb and other things, like hike the many trails, playing golf, camping, bird watching and the beach. The downtown area offers specialty shops, antique shops and art galleries, bed and breakfasts and gourmet restaurants.

Sarasota, Florida

A famous Gulf Coast city. And ‘the home of some of architecture more beautiful than you can imagine. It is also famous for its more than 30 kilometers of beautiful beaches and a climate that is ideal for boating, water skiing, tennis and golf. Nature lovers will be spoiled by the beautiful atmosphere of pure white sand, exotic animals and plants. Culture-loving people would be the opera, ballet and theater are here in love. It’s not a big city, but also has an urban feel safe, thanks to the fun of first class.

Ames, Iowa

Offers a real American Midwest life. It is also home to acts of great music and touring theater companies name. It attracts visitors with affordable housing, and the low crime area. Life is calm and quiet here, as you might like.

San Diego, California

If you treasure sunny weather and clear air of the sea, San Diego is the place with beautiful weather and white sandy beaches and fresh air. Want) an active lifestyle (filled with the seas and beaches? Beautiful beaches and the famous Balboa Park are just some of the places you can go to games and entertainment. Reigns this city as one of the most competitive in electronics, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. You need a little spending on housing too, though. San Diego is not cheap.

Lawrence, Kansas

Lush surroundings and attractions, including shows at the Lied Center, an active community arts center and theater, are a vibrant downtown and the market for a long-time farmer, this city is a sign of temptation. Enough places to go and participate in the work for you, if you have time for a brisk pace.

Hot Springs, Arkansas

As a spa, but what you also consider the low cost of living. And it’s a good deal in terms of housing costs ‚Äď for example, on average, a single family house (1,600 to 2,100 square feet) $ 135,000 to $ 225,000.

Charleston, South Carolina

The South is one of the best places to retire. Charleston in the south, is a beautiful City, where you can enjoy many activities in a thriving economy. It ‘been called a historic city, romantic and beautiful. But one catch ‚Äď you insert with the summer heat.

Hanover, New Hamsphire

A colonial enclave famous for its cross-country can better see the man. The city is also known for the life of Ivy League.

Walla Walla, Washington

If you want a quiet life, where people know each other, then this is the place for you. Allow competitionSearch for peace and tranquility with its offer of libraries and art galleries. The local universities offer numerous activities such as conferences and courses for retirees. And if you’re used to big city prices, so you get Nice cheap bargain here by surprise.

Charlottesville, Virginia

This city is blessed with the rugged and picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains serve as a fine mix of colonial and 18th century ideals. It would also look at a relaxed lifestyle retirement: Playing golf in a quiet environment, or participation in water cooling, browsing through bookstores and antique shops …..

Or do you have in other places in mind? The most important thing ‚Äď it is a place of love and to enjoy life there.

WA State Ferries Might Start Taking Reservations!

WA State Ferries Might Start Taking Reservations if the DOT go along with a recommendation of a new study which shows that even though a reservation system would cost about $25 million, the ferry system said it could actually save money.  The cost savings would come from not having to expand the ferry terminals as well as spreading usage making sure that more vessels sail full.

The study also stated that a reservation system would reduce traffic congestion, and suggested the reservation system begin in 2011 for the AnacortesSan Juan Islands ferry run.

According to an article in the Seattle Times, the report suggests:

‚ÄĘ Up to 90 percent of the vessel would be available for reservations during peak and commute periods; up to 50 percent during off-peak times.

‚ÄĘ Reservations on commute period sailings would be available four weeks in advance; all other sailings would be available six months in advance.

‚ÄĘ There would be no extra fee for reservations, unlike what is charged for British Columbia ferries.

‚ÄĘ There could be cancellation fees and customers would have to arrive 15 to 30 minutes before the sailing time to guarantee their reservations.

This is great news for Anacortes, and all of the San Juan Islands!

If you would like information on homes for sale in the San Juan Islands or Anacortes real estate, please visit


New Ferry Terminal for Anacortes

The Seattle Times reported today that U.S. Sen. Patty Murray has obtained¬†$7.6 million more in federal money for Washington state’s ferry system.¬† One of the projects approved was a new ferry terminal in Anacortes!

This is great news!  Anacortes businesses benefit tremendoualy from ferry riders, and many Anacortes homes buyers first learn about Anacortes when they come to our city to take a ferry to the San Juan Islands.  

Originally Washington state only received $750,000 to upgrade the Guemes Island ferry dock out of the 11 grants were applied (totally approximately $56 million).  The Guemes Island ferry is actually operated by Skagit County.

We will post more details as they become available.


Washington State Ferry Update


Revised Draft Long-Range Plan Now Available


The Washington Department of Transportation¬†released the Revised Draft Long-Range Plan for the Washington State Ferry¬†system.¬† The Revised Draft Plan¬†reflected the comments on the DOT’s draft plan.¬†


During the 38-day comment period, there were ten public hearings in ferry-served communities to present the draft plan and to listen to public testimony. The public hearings were attended by over 1,300 individuals, hundreds gave public testimony, and over 800 provided written comments.  



A copy of the Revised Draft Long-Range Plan, as well as all of the public comments received between Dec. 19, 2008 and Jan. 26, 2009, are available online at