Skagit County

County Offices
1800 Continental Place
Mount Vernon 360-336–9300

Chamber of Commerce
819 Commercial Avenue
Anacortes 360-293-7911

Skagit County is located in the northwest portion of Washington State between Seattle, Washington and Vancouver, B.C. Canada. It is named after the Skagit Indian tribe. The county is home to a population of more than 117,000 residents. It is included in the Mount Vernon-Anacortes, Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area. The county seat is at Mount Vernon, which is also the county’s largest city.

The majestic Cascade Mountains stand to the east, overlooking a fertile valley boasting a variety of agricultural crops. Running through the valley is the powerful Skagit River flowing westward toward the beautiful San Juan Islands. World famous tulip fields blanket the valley in the spring. Flocks of Canadian geese, snow geese and trumpeter swans can be seen here in the winter. Bald eagles soar overhead year round and great blue herons stand along the shorelines.

Cultural sites include the Skagit County Historical Museum, the La Conner Quilt Museum located in the historic Gaches Mansion, the Museum of Northwest Art, the Sedro-Woolley Museum, the W. T. Preston sternwheeler, The Depot Arts Center in Anacortes and the Anacortes Museum. There are seven public libraries, several community halls and granges. Residents can enjoy film at one of the many multiplex theaters or movie houses, including the historic Lincoln Theatre in old downtown Mount Vernon. There are many theatre, dance and music performance groups throughout the county. Skagit County is also home to many world famous authors, artists, and performers. It is conveniently located between two internationally recognized cultural centers: Seattle, Washington and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada both of which are only a short hour drive away.

Skagit County’s economy is booming and it is regarded as one of the fastest growing areas in the state. Agriculture, fishing, wood products, tourism, international trade, and specialized manufacturing make up the economy of Skagit Valley. With its accessible ports and refineries, Skagit County is also the center of the states petroleum industry. The national trend toward employment in retail trades and personal/professional services also is evident in Skagit County with malls and almost every national retail chain being represented here.

Health care is a priority in the County and is well represented by an selection of facilities and human service agencies that offer a continuum of care, resources and support to meet the physical, mental and developmental needs of the community. The county is home to three hospitals; Skagit Valley Hospital in Mount Vernon, United General Hospital in Sedro-Woolley and Island Hospital in Anacortes. There are also several clinics, medical centers, nursing facilities and retirement care homes in the county.

The County affords outstanding educational opportunities at all levels. Public and private schools offer strong college preparatory, vocational and technical programs. County Schools offer a variety of enrichment programs which take students beyond the normal curriculum. Academic enrichment in music, drama and art broaden the cultural awareness of local students and community. Accredited private schools that offer classes in kindergarten through grade twelve are also available. There are 44 primary and secondary public schools in the seven school districts throughout the county. There are also seven primarily church-related private schools. Skagit Valley College, a two-year community college, has strong vocational programs.

City Offices

Anacortes is home to more than 16,000 residents. Anacortes is known for the Washington State Ferries dock and terminal serving Lopez Island, Shaw Island, Orcas Island, and San Juan Island, as well as Victoria, British Columbia (via Sidney, British Columbia) on Vancouver Island. There is also a Skagit County-operated ferry that serves Guemes Island, a residential island located across a strait north of Anacortes.

Anacortes is home to 12.5 miles of saltwater shoreline and four freshwater lakes, surrounded by and inclusive of 3,200 acres of city-owned forestlands and city-owned parks. There are 20 different parks within the city limits of Anacortes, from a skate park, the Ben Root Memorial Skate Park, to parks with commanding views and beautiful overlooks including, Mt. Erie, the highest point on Fidalgo Island and Cap Sante, with the ruins of an amphitheatre. Washington Park is perhaps the locals’ favorite park, jutting into Rosario Strait on the western edge of Anacortes and offering forested trails, sweeping island and water views and amazing sunsets. This park has day use areas, barbecue pits, boat launches, and 75 overnight camping sites. Picnic sites and car pullouts provide beach access along Green Point, the western shoreline of the park.  Kiwanis Waterfront Park, next to the Guemes Ferry Landing, offers commanding views of Guemes Channel, maritime traffic and island backdrops. Anacortes is a gateway to the San Juan Islands and Vancouver Island. Viewers participating in a survey with Seattle television station KING-5 picked Anacortes as the “Best Ferry Ride” in the Washington State Ferries fleet with its daily trips to the San Juan Islands and Sidney, British Columbia.

Anacortes boasts many outdoor activities, fishing, boating, kayaking, whale watching, bird watching, and hiking/biking along the trails of the more than 3,000 acres of local forest. Anacortes is home to the Anacortes Arts Festival, which attracts over 100,000 people the first weekend in August, the Waterfront Festival, and the Oyster Run, an event that attracts thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts on the last Sunday in September. Anacortes is also home to a museum housed in a historic Carnegie Library and the W.T. Preston, a National Historic Landmark steam-powered sternwheeler. Next to the Preston are the Maritime Heritage Center, a historic train depot and a plaza with a thriving Saturday Farmers Market. The cultural attractions are many and varied.  The community theatre has been operating continuously since 1964, staging six plays each year.  There is a vibrant restaurant and gallery scene, with an art walk on the first Friday of each month.  The Old Town area hosts a number of pubs with nightly music.

Anacortes is quintessential “small-town America”—a place of great schools, Fourth of July parades, low crime, community theatre, and friendly neighbors. The school system is excellent. The district consists of three elementary schools, a middle school, a high school, and a “school ready” campus, encompassing Gates grant-sponsored pre-school and kindergarten classes.

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