Its that time of year again when we're all aching for some warmer temps and a bit more sun. The Skagit Valley kicks of this season with a colorful celebration unlike anywhere else. The Tulip Festival!
The festival begins in April each year as the tulip fields begin to show their colors. You have a few months to plan a trip to Mt Vernon and see this place for yourself as the festival is no one-weekend-wonder. In fact it's not really even located in a specific spot.
The festival is a "driving tour" and the different events are miles apart. If you've never been before what you'll find is that there are a dozen or so locations and farms to see the flowers and related activities, each farm with a different price and parking situation. You can expect to pay about $5-$10 per person at most fields. Some fields have free parking, but most of them charge a few bucks. Parking comes at a premium but that's because the crowds of people and cars can back up the roads for miles as people are coming and going to see the crazy wonderland of color.
You'll find small shops at most of the farms that will have some snacks, crafts, and of course if you're feeling all the flower vibes you can buy some tulips to take home. Flowers for the table or the garden you'll find plenty of options and colors you might not of even known tulips existed in.
It's a great photo opportunity and you'll see almost as many cameras out there as tulips! So be sure to bring yours. Leave the drones at home though. It's not that this is an FAA no fly zone or anything but one way to avoid the crowds is by taking a tour of the fields from the sky via plane or helicopter so you can see 4 or 5 in the air at any given time. Most fields have pretty clear walkways and as long as we have some dry weather you'll find it very stroller friendly.
Crowds... if you want to see this spectacle but avoid them there's only a couple of ways to pull that off. You had better be there before 10am, on weekdays, and in April. The roads and fields begin to get crowded as most people show up in the early afternoon, on weekends, and later in the spring/early summer months. I'm not saying it's not worth it to go when everyone else does, it is. Just be prepared for it and don't say I didn't warn you. It's truly a unique place and a great spot to enjoy some of our state spring time beauty.
Below are some links to the event brochure, website, and some directions. I hope they help you plan. Be sure to share your experience on our Facebook Group!