An Afternoon On The Water: Kayaking In Anacortes

Calm Seas And Cool Breeze

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We could not have picked a better time to visit Anacortes a couple of weeks ago. As our previous post stated, there was so much to do and see on the excellent Fidalgo Island. From magnificent rooftop sunsets and spending time at various parks, to walking the town on a warm, calm evening and admiring the art throughout, there was no shortage of things to do. Being right on the water also means there are plenty of water activities which take place off the island. One such activity was kayaking.

A man of wisdom delights in water.
— Confucius


An Adventure on the Water


We had always been interested in taking up kayaking, but we never got around to looking into it. All the hiking and other explorations keep us pretty busy. So the next best thing was to go out on a kayaking tour. With our entire trip being provided by the Anacortes Chamber of Commerce, they set us up with Anacortes Kayak Tours for this adventure.

Our tour was scheduled for 5 PM that day, so with time to kill, we set out on a few other outings before arriving. One such place was Mt. Erie. Its 1,273’ summit is an easily recognizable landmark as it is the highest point on Fidalgo Island. The many viewpoints from the top offer sights of Mt. Baker, nearby islands, and much more. An additional viewpoint from the west side of the mountain offers views of Burrows Bay, Burrows Island, and Flounder Bay; all places which we would soon be kayaking through and around.


With still an hour or more before our tour, we stopped off at the nearby Washington Park. Here we soaked up some sun on a rocky beach and then drove the 2.2-mile paved loop road. With plenty of opportunities to park off the road at various points, we did just that on a few occasions to explore and gather more photos. The kayak tour was next and just down the street.


We arrived at Anacortes Kayaking Tours a little early, but our guide for the day, James, met us and said he was just finishing up with the last tour but would be ready quick enough. He asked that we meet him at the picnic table after gathering our things.

We met up at the picnic table, exchanged introductions and went over our gear and safety information. James was open, friendly, laid back and comfortable to be around. He led us to our kayak, a double seater, and instructed us on how to get in and fasten our skirts around the lips of our seats; he also showed us which way to hold and use our paddles. Taking things at our pace, James guided us out of the Skyline Marina and into more open water. 


Harbor seals popped their heads out of the water to have a look at us on numerous occasions as we glided along and between islands. Large swathes of bull kelp provided landing pads for birds and served as a shelter for crabs and other sea creatures. Closer to the rocky banks of Burrows Island, we got close-up views of barnacles and other crustaceans. James scooped a jellyfish out of the water at one point and handed it to us for closer inspection, before gently releasing it back into the water. We spied the resident peregrine as it took a rest atop a tall tree. Herons, more seals, and a few dolphin rounded out our wildlife encounters for the day. 


The sun was getting low in the sky, and we began our journey back to the marina. We had enjoyed a leisurely and informative trip. The setting, with only a slight breeze, calm waters and the golden cast of sunlight over everything made this an ideal experience. We created wonderful memories on the water that evening that left us looking forward to more. 


If you head out to Anacortes, which we recommend, absolutely take a kayak trip. Anacortes Kayak Tours knocked it out of the park for us, we had so much fun and enjoyed every second of our journey. 


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Approximate route

Anacortes Kayak Tours


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