Anacortes, WA, USA became Sidney’s second sister city in June of 1996.
The entwined circle design of the Sidney Sister Cities Association logo reflects key aspects of the four cities. Green represents the State of Washington and it’s evergreen trees. Washington is informally known as The Evergreen State.
Anacortes is our closest Sister City being only a three and a half hour ferry ride from downtown Sidney. The two towns are similar in many ways with industries such as boat building and related marine industries. In the past Anacortes used to be heavily involved in fish (salmon) canning. Many of the cannery buildings still exist, having being converted for use by other industries.
Just as Sidney and the Saanich Peninsula is on the traditional lands of Coast Salish people, so too is Fidaglio Island. In the early 18th century, British and Spanish explorers explored the area but it wasn’t until the mid-19th century that European settlement took place. Anacortes was founded by a railroad surveyor and he named the town after his wife, Anna Curtis (say it quickly!). For a full history of Anacortes click here .
Anacortes is the terminus for the Washington State Ferry route to Sidney via San Juan Island. The Councils of the two towns, along with their Sister Cities Associations, Chambers of Commerce and other groups, work hard to ensure that the ferry route remains viable. The two towns will celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the first ferry run between Anacortes and Sidney in April 2022.
Commercial Avenue is the main street in Anacortes. The lower portion of the street is full of interesting shops, restaurants and bars. Pick up a map at the Anacortes Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center, and head out to enjoy a wander through some of interesting antique stores, book shops, craft stores, ships chandlers, clothes and other intriguing stores. Need a coffee? Lots of good coffee stalls and shops. Lunch, or dinner? Greek, Mexican, Italian, seafood and lots of other choices along the Street.
Anacortes and Sidney both have very active arts communities. The first Friday of the month sees the Anacortes Art Walk where all the art galleries on Commercial Avenue have open houses, offering refreshments and the chance to meet and greet with local artists.
Anacortes offers much for the visitor during the spring, summer and fall. Go here for more information. https://members.anacortes.org/events/calendar/
Note that due to COVID-19, ferry sailings are cancelled until further notice and all public events are curtailed.