Washington Tulip Festival and Fields

IMG_4223_LUCiDAmong the many things I didn’t know about Washington until we moved here: Skagit County is home to a significant array of tulip and daffodil fields!

The annual Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is a major spring event each year that draws thousands of people from across the country to see the amazing fields in bloom as well as the incredible display gardens.

We moved to Washington in mid-May and just missed the season that year. I put it on our list for the following year and gave my parents a heads up, knowing how much they love flowers, gardens and anything of that ilk. They planned spring visits the following two years and as luck and Mother Nature would have it, we couldn’t seem to align with the optimal moment for them to see everything in bloom!

The first year the season came early so the fields were already topped by the time they arrived. Thankfully we were able to visit RoozenGaarde and experience their display garden, which was incredible. The second year, the season came late and I wasn’t sure anything would be in bloom by the time they arrived! Thankfully some of the fields were beginning to look lovely in time for their visit and we drove through on our way to other activities on Fidalgo Island and in Anacortes.

This year I didn’t really think about planning a trip to the tulips. Our other trips gave us the overall impression, and Brian wasn’t a huge fan of all the people and cars we had to navigate during our previous visits to make another big trip seem worthwhile.

However, as we were discussing getting out our motorcycles for the weekend and trying to decide where we wanted to ride, I decided to look up the bloom map to see if there was an opportunity to head north once again. Sure enough, everything was in bloom and it was the absolute ideal time to go see the fields aflame with color!

I had a gift certificate for a restaurant in Mt. Vernon so we headed there first for lunch and then spent some time walking around downtown and checking out the different booths at this year’s festival. Although it was incredibly busy, I did enjoy some of the musicians and the architecture along the main street.

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It was a bear getting out of downtown and we were both already fed up with the traffic by the time we made our way out to the fields. They were beautiful and full of color and we drove around to several sets of fields along the Tulip Trail, most of which restricted parking along the road. We simply drove by, enjoying the views, and then looking for the next area on Brian’s map.

The one exception was a large field owned by RoozenGaarde that had roadside parking and access to the fields. We did park at that one so we could take some photos, and we even circled back to the field one last time before heading home so we could take a few last pictures with our bikes.

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It’s amazing to see all the fields in bloom, especially when the weather is cooperating and you have a blue sky and snow-topped mountains as your backdrop!

My only advice is to arrive as early as possible so you can beat the crowds and traffic. We haven’t found Seattleites to be early risers on the weekends so even getting there around breakfast-time is probably sufficient and would also give you the option of continuing on to other activities and making the most of your day. Enjoy!

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