I’ve had a love affair with tulips for a long time and seeing the tulip fields in Holland has been on my bucket list. Imagine my wonder and surprise when Instagram alerted me to the fact that there are fields of tulips to be frolicked in right here in the USA! Last year I saw pictures of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Washington State and immediately knew I had to go. It was so much closer than the Netherlands—plus, a trip to the Pacific Northwest would mean lots of great hiking and seafood (win/win). So last April, I planned a long weekend getaway to Washington State.
Skagit Valley Tulip Festival and La Conner
Picking a date for our visit was tricky because there’s really no way to know in advance when the tulips will start to bloom. It would be much easier to visit if you lived in the area, but as a visitor planning from the East Coast, I just had to pick a date and cross my fingers that the tulips would be waiting for me. The festival usually runs for the entire month of April, so I figured picking a date in the middle would be safest. But since we had such a warm spring last year, we actually ended up catching the very tail end of the season! We were very lucky that some of the fields were still in bloom—another week and they might have all been gone.
We flew into Seattle, grabbed our rental car and then headed straight to La Conner for the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. There are two large tulip gardens in addition to fields of tulips all throughout the valley. You can see the fields from your car, but the gardens are definitely worth a visit for the best photo ops and to see a huge variety of tulips up close. We liked the formal gardens at Roozengarde, but the fields at Tulip Town were better.
After exploring the tulip fields, we headed to the Wild Iris Inn in La Conner where I ate the most delicious cookie of my entire life. Seriously, best cookie ever. We really loved this inn—our room was comfortably decorated and included an electric fireplace and a porch with an outdoor hot tub. It was so relaxing to fill up the hot tub and soak with a view of the fields and mountains. We walked into La Conner and had dinner in the pub section of The Oyster and Thistle, which was right up our alley.