Fidalgo Island is no doubt an excellent business location with over two million visitors a year coming to Anacortes. Our area provides affordable utilities, strong sound infrastructure and plenty of power allowing for future growth. As a result, investing in real estate in this area indicates to be a sound decision. A well versed Fidalgo Island Realtor is essential whether looking for commercial or residential properties.
A Brief History of Fidalgo Island
Fidalgo Island is home to the City of Anacortes. The island was inhabited by Native Americans for over 10,000 years. The most recent are the Samish and Swinomish Tribes which have reservations in the area to this day. Early settlers established the beginnings of what is today Anacortes around 1870. As a matter of fact, the forefront of growth in the area was railroad and ship building.
Anacortes, Fidalgo Island’s Main City
Anacortes is commonly known as the gateway to the San Juan Islands. From the same terminal, you can take an international ferry up to Canada. Anacortes inhabits over 21,000 residents with over 9,000 homes and growing. Centrally located 80 miles north of Seattle and 80 miles South of Vancouver, BC. Also, an easy 20-mile commute to the I-5 corridor. In addition, Fidalgo Island boasts waterways on one side and the Cascade Mountains and majestic Mt. Baker on the other. Old Town Anacortes also hosts various festivals throughout the year. As well as monthly art walks with an incredible amount of community involvement. With the plethora of activities Anacortes offers, it’s no wonder we are a top tourist destination. As a Fidalgo Island Realtor, I am fortunate to call Anacortes home.
Recreational Activities On Fidalgo Island
This area is very rich in recreational activities. Anacortes is home to 2,800 acres of forest, meadows, wetlands and lakes. In Fact, with over 50 miles of multiple use trails you can find the hike to best suit your ability. Below are a few of the trails and the views you will enjoy:
- The Tommy Thompson Trail: 3.3 miles hugging the shoreline of Anacortes with outstanding views of the cascade Mountains and Mount Baker. Also, paved and flat, great for walking and biking
- Cranberry Lake: A handful of trails with the main trail being a 1.5 mile loop around Cranberry lake with off-shoots. Mostly easy going but can get muddy and rugged in spots with views of the lake
- Heart Lake Trail: 2.86 miles which loops around the lake through forests with views of the lake. The trail is easy and the lake is popular for fishing and kayaking. Also a great spot for horseback riding.
- Whistle Lake Trail: The largest trail system on Fidalgo Island and also a popular spot to swim and cliff dive
- Guemes Channel Trail: This trail is planned to eventually extend connecting the downtown and the Tommy Thompson Trail. Paved and flat with views along the Guemes Channel
- Washington Park: 220 acres of forest and breathtaking views of the Olympic Mountains and the San Juan Islands. In addition, a great place for family BBQs, and campouts
- Sharpes Park: undeveloped and privately owned 110 acres of waterfront land, with trails through marshlands and woods, offering scenic viewpoints
- Rosario Head, Bowman Bay and Pass Lake: Part of Deception Pass State Park and the Pacific Northwest Trail. Of course, a popular destination for elementary field trips
Education on Fidalgo Island
Fidalgo Island Schools are some of the best in the state and in the country. Consequently, the school district was recently recognized by the Washington School Research Center as being in the top 5% of schools in the State. There are numerous Pre-K options, 4 Elementary schools, a Middle school and the High School. The Anacortes High School offers extensive and diverse college/career ready programs. A Fidalgo Island Realtor can research and find the information needed to help decide on a school that best suits your needs.
Healthcare on Fidalgo Island
When relocating or investing in an area good healthcare should be a qualification of great interest. An area that provides good facilities for quality care is a community that will be desirable to future buyers and investors. Island Hospital is an integral part of the quality of life on Fidalgo Island. The hospital offers a range of services typically found in a much larger facility. Equipped with 43 private beds, it boasts the smallest hospital in Washington providing Level III trauma care. In 2012, the Medical Arts Pavilion opened, specializing in cancer care, physical therapy and wound care. Along with a full slate of wellness programming, birthing options, and a sleep center. Additionally, there are a number of other supporting businesses to the hospital in the community that your Fidalgo Island Realtor can inform you more about.
Various Communities of Anacortes, Fidalgo Island
There are numerous hidden communities and neighborhoods in all the coves, valleys, capes, and lakes of our Island. A Fidalgo Island Realtor will be able to show you the locations with all their unique amenities. They will also help you find the one that best suits you. Some of the more prominent neighborhoods are listed below with a few known features.
- Skyline: Clubhouse, cabana, RV hook-ups, use of 5 private parks, beach access, social events, annual picnic, architectural committee, monthly newsletter all with minimal HOA fees
- Portalis: A 67 unit residential project overlooking the San Juan ferry landing and the beautiful beginning route into the islands
- Cap Sante Court Retirement Community: Full-service retirement living with activities on and off location, providing a variety of ways to enrich your life
- Chandler’s Square Senior Living: Independent retirement living apartments for active adults as well as Residential Care Services for seniors.
- Old Town: The original settlement area of homes consisting of approximately 1000 homes; Highly sought after, the epitome of character!
- Clearidge: Approximately 135 homes with an average age of 45 years of age.
- San Juan Passage: Luxury homes, blending Nantucket charm with refined Northwest character
- Rock Ridge: Quality homes nestled against the pristine Anacortes Forestlands
Fidalgo Island Real Estate Market
The present demographics of Fidalgo Island is an average 50 years of age. Home ownership is high, with 59% of homes in the area being owner occupied. The average age of dwellings in the area is 1983. The labor segment of the population is 53% white collar and 47% being blue collar with an average household income of $61,279.
Furthermore, the real estate market is robust and leaning on the side of a seller’s market. You’ll want to hire an experienced Fidalgo Realtor to show you the inventory of homes. Prices are on the rise, presently, as of this writing, the average sales price is $449,511 with 11% of homes selling for list price or above.
Business in Anacortes
If you are thinking about starting your own business in Anacortes you will find it is very friendly toward small business and entrepreneurship. The Anacortes Chamber of Commerce has great startup resources and many helpful statistics on their website. Furthermore, the site has been redesigned and is full of information of all sorts for newcomers and longtime residents alike.
So, what is there not to like? Rainfall you say? A common misconception is that the PNW is very wet. When strangely enough, the Seattle area gets roughly a foot more rain than Anacortes. What’s more, Fidalgo Island is positioned in the rain shadow of the Olympic Peninsula. Due to this location, you will enjoy less rainfall in addition to mild all season temperatures.