Yesterday’s collapse of the Skagit River bridge directly affects the normal route to the Anacortes ferry terminal. The good news is you can now use the secret way the locals use.
Heading North from Seattle take exit 221 at Conway left across the highway and then right onto Fir Island Road. Fir Island Road is a long straight road which makes a 90 degree turn before Best Road. Just past the hard right is a great farm stand on the left side of the road. Just past that you will take a left onto Best Road. If your hungry stop at REXVILLE Grocery. These are the same people that opened OAKVILLE grocery in Napa and they have lots of wonderful food. A couple of miles past Rexville is Christens Nursery which is my wife’s favorite spot if you’re into gardening; follow that to SR-20, left towards Anacortes.
If you are not in a hurry for the ferry; La Conner is a small detour from this route but has a great brew pub wood fired pizza oven, museum and lots of art galleries and antique shops.
Mount Vernon is also an alternative route
Exit 226, SR-536 through Mount Vernon to SR-20 and then to Anacortes. This is one exit before the “official” detour and will avoid the detour traffic. (This is also the route that most GPS units will suggest). Again this is a sleepy little town on the banks of the Skagit River. Main Street is only a few blocks long but has some great little shops and another great brew pub that has awesome BBQ.
Coming from the north…
From the north the usual route to Anacortes is exit 230, SR-20 direct to Anacortes. The question here is whether I-5 is open to exit 230, the official detour for southbound traffic is exit 231.
Again most locals not in a hurry would get off in Bellingham and take the Chuckanut Drive, America’s first scenic highway. If you like oysters you might want to stop at Taylor Shellfish. This will also allow you to detour through Edison and will drop you off at hwy 20 which will get you to the ferry terminal.
See you on the island!