5 Tips for Visiting the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

A fan of all things Dutch, visiting the Netherlands in spring to see tulips at Keukenhof has been on my travel list for a while.

Holland isn’t the only place to see rows and rows of gorgeous tulips though. In the Pacific Northwest, millions of tulips bloom every spring.

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During a recent April trip to Seattle, I spent a morning at the Skagit Valley Tulip festival in Mt. Vernon, Washington. Known for its stunning tulip fields, visitors from all over the world come to Skagit Valley every spring- it’s truly a sight to behold.

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Tulips first came to Skagit Valley in the early 1990’s. With soil similar to Holland, it’s the perfect location for tulip crops.

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Driving through the region, you’ll see field after field full of tulips. Roozengaarde owns many of the fields in the region, their Bloom Map shows you where the fields are located and which flowers are blooming.

If you visit Roozengarde fields, you’ll pay a few dollars (~$5-8) to park at the first field, and then  be able to park at a second one for free. Your parking ticket could also be used as admission for one person to view the Roozengaarde Display Gardens, which we opted to do.

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I’d definitely recommend visiting the gardens- it’s a stunning display of tulips.

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Tulip Town is another popular destination in Skagit Valley. Although I haven’t visited Tulip Town, I’ve heard their fields and indoor flower displays are both nice. 

5 Tips for Visiting the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

  • How to get there: An hour and a half outside of downtown Seattle, Mt. Vernon is an easy and fun half-day trip
  • When to go: The festival takes place every year during April, but when the tulips actually bloom depends on the weather. I planned a visit for mid-April, figuring visiting in the middle of the festival would be my best chance to see the tulips in full bloom- I lucked out, we had great weather! Two weeks before my trip, I heard the fields were so muddy you couldn’t walk through them
  • What time to go: If you’re visiting on the weekend, go early in the day. Traffic in and out of Mount Vernon can become heavy, so waking up early is worth it if you want to see the tulips but don’t want to spend hours sitting on the highway
    • We stopped at General Porpoise on our way out of Seattle for doughnuts and cold brew, which made getting up early on a Sunday a bit easier

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  • What to do: Beyond visiting the tulip fields, if you want to see more of the region, head to downtown Mt. Vernon to check out the local shops and restaurants
  • What to wear: Be prepared for any kind of weather, spring in the Pacific Northwest can mean sunshine, rain, warm weather, cool / windy weather, etc. If it’s rained recently, the fields can be muddy, so I’d recommend wearing / bringing rain boots or sneakers

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PS. If Mt. Vernon is too far north for you travel to, I’ve heard there are also smaller scale tulip festivals in Woodland, Washington and Woodburn, Oregon.

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